Seriously is home to the world’s best audio documentaries and podcast recommendations, and host Vanessa Kisuule brings you two fascinating new episodes every week.
In 2018, within a few months of each other, Katie Allan and William Lindsay took their own lives at Polmont Young Offenders Institution in Scotland. There have been nine suicides at Polmont since 2012 and the overall suicide rate in Scottish prisons is at a record high.
Katie's mum Linda believes many of these deaths were avoidable. She was told by the Crown Office that there were sufficient grounds for prosecuting the Scottish Prison Service for potential failures of duty of care to both Katie and William, but they couldn't proceed because, unlike the police, the NHS, or even a private prison, the prison service has immunity from prosecution.
With a Fatal Accident Inquiry about to open into Katie and William's deaths, Linda has little faith it will hold the prison accountable.
Dani Garavelli Presenter and Researcher
Liza Greig Producer
Elizabeth Clark Executive Producer
BBC Scotland Productions for BBC Radio 4
How to Read the News - Episode 1
When journalists tell stories, they rarely start at the beginning but instead with the latest development. Context comes towards the end. It’s called the ‘inverted pyramid’.
When scandal at the Confederation of British Industry hit the newspapers and boss Tony Danker was dismissed, he complained that articles didn’t state right at the start that he was not accused of the worst misconduct. If you didn’t make it much past the headlines, you might not realise that.
We discover why journalists write stories ‘the wrong way up’, how that affects how we understand them, and how that might change with new technology.
‘How to Read the News’ - this series is all about giving you the tools to decode the news.
Presenter: Jo Fidgen
Producer: Charlotte McDonald
Researchers: Beth Ashmead Latham, Kirsteen Knight
Editors: China Collins, Emma Rippon
Graceland in the Glens
In 2019, Elvis Presley Enterprises threatened to deconstruct Graceland and move it to Saudi Arabia, Tokyo, or whoever was the highest bidder. Artist, writer, KLF member and money burner - Bill Drummond - realised something had to be done. Bill's relationship with Northern Ireland began before his relationship with Elvis - but at some junction, these two relationships were bound to collide. It seems the Curfew Tower at the junction of the crossroads in the village of Cushendall in the Glens of Antrim is where this collision will be taking place.
Producer: Conor Garrett
The Screening Dilemma
Ronnie Helvy is on his way for a screening test. He's in his sixties and wants an assessment to check for a variety of cancers. He isn't currently displaying any symptoms but is seeking reassurance. His blood will undergo a series of tests in exchange for over a thousand pounds. The outcome might be able to determine whether he is susceptible to cancers that some of his family have died from. It sounds like a good thing. Or is it?
Advances in health screening have allowed us to see far into our bodies' future. During the pandemic home testing became an everyday routine. The same technology has helped develop new tools that can sequence our DNA quickly. Simple tests are making the process less intrusive than ever before.
These improvements have also seen the development of a number of major national screening programmes. Including Our Future Health and the UK Biobank. Both of these are large scale research studies to help researchers prevent chronic health conditions. They could also inform the NHS on how to implement generalised screening across more of the population.
Private health clinics are also offering health check-ups -- tests that could spot future warning signs. Home-testing kits can be ordered from the internet. But what does this information tell us? And is it information we can trust? We look at whether the private industry is acting responsibly when it comes to genetic testing.
The BBC's Health Correspondent Matthew Hill finds out whether screening programmes can really help us live both better and longer lives. And he asks: can diagnosing conditions decades before they might affect us cause more harm than good?
The promise of diagnosing conditions early is an exciting one. But there are fears among some health professionals that more screening might not be entirely helpful.
We take a look at what lessons from the past could tell us about the current surge in screening. And we consider some of the dilemmas it might present us with.
Presenter: Matthew Hill
Producer: Robbie Wojciechowski
Editor: Richard Collings
Dr Paul Cornes, Oncologist and International Advisor on cancer
Prof. Clare Turnbull, Division of Genetics and Epidemiology at the Institute of Cancer Research
Helen Wallace, Deputy Director of GeneWatch UK
Prof Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford and the UK’s Life Sciences Champion
Hotel Room Art
The inside story of art in hotel rooms - and why hoteliers think it's so important to get it right. Ian McMillan has always been fascinated by the artworks he finds on his travels. Here he encounters mass produced flowers, abstract excitement and ancient artefacts. In three very different hotel bedrooms he meets curators, designers and artists - but most importantly he meets the art, and asks why we have ‘art’ hotels .
The Kids Are Alt Right? - Episode 1
In major countries across Western Europe, the radical right is making an impact at the ballot box. From the success of the PVV in the Dutch General Election, to progress for Marine le Pen's National Rally in France, commentators have described a populist surge ahead of European Parliament elections in June. But what's less well covered is the fact that in some major countries in Europe, radical right parties attract the young more than they attract the old.
This can be a surprising revelation, as it's a popular notion that young people arrive at the ballot box somehow automatically left wing. And there's a similar belief that as we age, we inevitably become increasingly right wing. But Professor James Tilley is on hand to reveal that the relationship between age and how we vote is not this straightforward. Across five episodes he'll investigate how young people become attached to particular political parties, how ageing affects our political views - and how the choices made by political parties play out among the young and the old.
Presented by Professor James Tilley.
Produced by Kevin Core.