300 episodes

Extraordinary first person stories from around the world

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    • Personal Journals

Extraordinary first person stories from around the world

    The narcotics cop and a daughter hooked on heroin

    The narcotics cop and a daughter hooked on heroin

    Kevin Simmers devoted his life to the war on drugs as a narcotics officer in Maryland in the US. He spent years sending dealers and users to prison. But when his own teenage daughter got addicted to heroin, he faced a heart-breaking dilemma. He tells Outlook's Jo Fidgen his story and how last year he opened Brooke's House - a rehab facility named after his daughter - to help young women caught up in the opiate crisis.

    Producer: Thomas Harding Assinder

    Picture: Kevin Simmers with his daughter Brooke
    Credit: Courtesy of Kevin Simmers

    • 22 min
    The barber saving lives one haircut at a time

    The barber saving lives one haircut at a time

    When British barber Tom Chapman got his first hairdressing job his manager congratulated him and said "be prepared to be a psychiatrist and a therapist as well as a hairdresser". These words stuck with him when he lost a good friend to suicide. Tom decided to use his barber's chair to get men to open up about their problems. He set up the Lions Barbers Collective, which runs Barber Talk training for barbers all over the world.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen
    Producer: June Christie

    Picture: Tom Chapman
    Credit: Tom Chapman

    • 22 min
    Conjoined twins can now look into each other’s eyes

    Conjoined twins can now look into each other’s eyes

    Ervina and Prefina Bangalo were born in Mbaïki, in the Central African Republic, with the back of their heads joined together. Their chances of surviving were incredibly low. By chance, Italian doctor Mariella Enoc was visiting the paediatric ward they were in. She immediately fell in love with the babies and decided to take them and their mum, Ermine Nzotto, to the Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital in Vatican City, where pioneering neurosurgeon Dr Carlo Efisio Marras and a team of 30 doctors and nurses were able to separate them. It took almost two years and three surgeries to complete the separation. In June 2020 the children were finally able to look into each other’s eyes.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen
    Producer: Alice Gioia

    Picture: Conjoined twins, Ervina and Prefina Bangalo, with mother Ermine Nzotto before they were separated.
    Picture Credit: Bombino Gesu Children's Hospital

    • 17 min
    The supermodel who escaped a cult

    The supermodel who escaped a cult

    Hoyt Richards has been called the first male supermodel. In the 1980s and 90s he jet-setted around the world doing shoots for Versace and Ralph Lauren, and moving in the same circles as stars like Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington and Madonna.

    But outside of working hours he was involved with a cult called Eternal Values. They believed there would be a catastrophe at the turn of the century and the group would have a crucial role to play.

    This episode was first released on 29th March 2018.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen.
    Producer: Catrin Manel.

    Picture: Hoyt Richards.
    Credit: Fabrizio Gianni.

    • 40 min
    When trash met thrash: Paraguay's landfill musicians

    When trash met thrash: Paraguay's landfill musicians

    The Recycled Orchestra run by Favio Chavez, began as a safe haven for kids living in the Cateura slum. It turned into a global phenomenon when it caught the attention of rock royalty and actual royalty around the world. Playing instruments made from the trash thrown away at the local landfill site, teenagers who once only knew the streets around their homes now travel across the planet performing with bands like Megadeth, Metallica and Stevie Wonder. But despite their success, they still play the same instruments made of garbage and remain in the shanty town, putting everything they make back into their community.

    Archive in this programme is from the documentary Landfill Harmonic.

    Presenter: Clayton Conn
    Producer: Mariana Des Forges

    Picture: Favio Chavez
    Credit: Landfill Harmonic Movie

    • 26 min
    Fosse and Verdon: the legacy of a dancing family

    Fosse and Verdon: the legacy of a dancing family

    Nicole Fosse is the daughter of two American dance superstars – Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon. Their legendary collaboration led to the reinvention of the modern musical, and huge stage and screen successes like Chicago and Cabaret. They were one of the most influential couples in show business and their style has inspired even Beyonce and RuPaul. The Fosse-Verdon relationship was remarkable but, as Nicole recalls, life wasn’t always as smooth as her parents’ celebrated choreography.

    Presenter: Emily Webb
    Producer: Maryam Maruf

    Picture: Bob Fosse, Nicole Fosse and Gwen Verdon
    Credit: Getty Images

    • 41 min

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