300 episodes

Extraordinary first person stories from around the world

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    • Personal Journals
    • 4.6 • 14 Ratings

Extraordinary first person stories from around the world

    Searching for a serial killer from my bedroom

    Searching for a serial killer from my bedroom

    Paul Haynes’ search for an elusive serial killer started when he was out of work and had to move back to his childhood home; this soon took over his life and became a full-time occupation. He then teamed up with the crime writer Michelle McNamara who came up with the name 'Golden State Killer.' He told his story to Emily Webb.

    Get in touch: outlook@bbc.com

    Presenter: Emily Webb
    Producer: Emily Webb

    Picture: Paul Haynes
    Credit: Sabrina O’Callaghan

    • 38 min
    The bowl of porridge that changed my life

    The bowl of porridge that changed my life

    When Elizabeth Nyamayaro was eight years old a severe drought hit her small Zimbabwean village. She was saved from starvation by a local United Nations aid worker, who gave her a bowl of porridge after finding her collapsed on the ground. It was an experience that made Elizabeth determined that one day she too would work for the UN. It was a difficult road, but she eventually made it to one of the top jobs in the organisation. She campaigned for global gender equality, and launched one of the UN’s most successful social media campaigns ever, HeForShe.

    Get in touch: outlook@bbc.com

    Picture: Elizabeth Nyamayaro
    Credit: Behind the Cause

    • 39 min
    The break-up that cost me my voice

    The break-up that cost me my voice

    Shirley Collins grew up in a folk music-loving family in Sussex, England, during World War Two, and announced her intention to become a folk singer when she was still just a teenager. Her career would lead her to record music with her sister Dolly; to record folk songs in America with legendary song collector Alan Lomax, and to become a key figure in the 'folk revival' of the 1960s and 1970s. But the trauma of a painful break-up cost Shirley her singing voice - "sometimes I would open my mouth and nothing would come out", she remembers - and led to a heartbreaking decision: "I walked away from music for years. I felt I had no option." Shirley did all sorts of jobs to support her children, and avoided even listening to music sometimes - it made her too sad. Then one day, the musician David Tibet, a huge fan, got in touch and begged Shirley to try to sing again. Shirley tells Emily Webb the story of a voice lost and found again.

    Get in touch: outlook@bbc.com

    Presenter: Emily Webb
    Producer: Laura Thomas

    Picture: Shirley Collins circa 1963
    Credit: Brian Shuel/Redferns via Getty

    • 40 min
    Secrets and Lies: China’s dissident cartoonist

    Secrets and Lies: China’s dissident cartoonist

    Badiucao is one of China's most famous dissident cartoonists. His art is political and provocative - from poking fun at powerful Chinese figures like President Xi Jinping, to capturing the final days of Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo. For years, Badiucao operated in secrecy: he moved into exile in Australia, and wore a mask at public events to conceal his identity. In 2018 he planned his first ever solo exhibition in Hong Kong, but how would the Chinese authorities take it?

    Do you have a fantastic story involving a secret or a lie? We'd love to hear about it. Record a short voice memo or write an e-mail and send it to us at outlook@bbc.com. If your story is about someone you know, just make sure they're ok with you telling us about it.

    Presenter and producer: Maryam Maruf
    Secrets & Lies series producer: Fiona Woods
    Music: Joel Cox

    • 26 min
    Secrets & Lies: Family secrets

    Secrets & Lies: Family secrets

    In episode nine of Outlook's Secrets and Lies series we bring you two extraordinary stories of family secrets unravelled.

    Growing up in California, Rachel Mason and her brother Josh didn't know exactly what was sold in their unassuming and straight-laced parents' bookstore. They had no idea the shop was actually one of the biggest distributors of adult material, specifically gay porn, in the US. The bookshop became a haven for the queer community as Karen and Barry supported gay employees throughout the HIV and Aids crisis in the 1980s, all the while hiding the business from family and friends. Rachel has made a documentary about their story called Circus of Books.

    Scottish actor Alan Cumming is the star of Hollywood films like X-Men and the hit TV series The Good Wife, but for him the real drama is in the family secrets that have shaped his life and career.

    And if all this sharing of secrets has got you thinking about a story in your own life we'd love to hear it. Write to us, or send a short voice memo to outlook@bbc.com. The secret could be about you or someone you know, or it could just be a fantastic tale you heard. If your story is about someone you know, just make sure they're ok with you telling us about it.


    Presenter: Emily Webb
    Producer: Fiona Woods and Maryam Maruf
    Original story producers: Maryam Maruf and June Christie
    Music: Joel Cox

    • 42 min
    Secrets & Lies: Imposters

    Secrets & Lies: Imposters

    This episode of our Secrets and Lies series is all about imposters. From the Outlook archive, we have two stories of lies so audacious that, when exposed, they caused shockwaves globally.

    Fab Morvan became world famous with the 80s pop band Milli Vanilli. He and his bandmate Rob Pilatus notched up number one hits in Europe and America, and sold millions of albums. But they had a secret - and when that secret came out, it had a devastating effect.

    Rachel DeLoache Williams ended up in the midst of a high-profile court case in the United States. It all centred on Anna Sorokin - someone she had considered to be a close friend but who she says conned her out of tens of thousands of dollars. Anna had tricked New York city’s elite into thinking she was a wealthy German heiress, when in fact she was a fraudster with no trust fund at all. Anna was found guilty on a number of charges including grand larceny and served nearly four years in prison.

    Do you have a fantastic story involving a secret or a lie? We'd love to hear about it. Record a short voice memo or write an e-mail and send it to us at outlook@bbc.com. If your story is about someone you know, just make sure they're ok with you telling us about it.


    Presenter: Emily Webb
    Producer: Fiona Woods
    Original story producers: Fiona Woods and Katy Davis
    Music: Joel Cox

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

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