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Today we embrace the melodrama, the secret, the amnesia, the surprise relative, the multiple personality disorder, the rape, the recasting, the coming back from the dead, the love, the murder, and the marriages (!), as we talk about all things soap opera with special guests Natalie Zea and Travis Schuldt. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit meg…
 
As a child Kathy Sullivan always dreamed of adventure, little did she know she would grow up to make history both in the depths of the ocean and in space. Kathy was one of Nasa's class of 1978, the first recruitment drive that brought women into its astronaut ranks. In 1984 she became the first US woman to complete a spacewalk and went on to take p…
 
Rosayra Pablo Cruz tells how she fled Guatemala in April 2018 with two of her children after an attempt on her life and death threats against her eldest son. Hoping to be granted asylum in the United States, she says she didn't realise that a new "zero-tolerance" policy had just been introduced there which meant that any adults trying to cross the …
 
Patricio Galvez is a Chilean musician who has lived in Sweden for the last 30 years. In 2014 his daughter Amanda travelled to Syria with her children and joined the Islamic State group. When she was killed last year he battled governments, crossed borders and entered a war zone to try and rescue her seven young children. This episode was first rele…
 
The Thunder was the most notorious and elusive poaching ship in the world; for ten years governments had struggled to catch it. Then, in 2014, a crew from the organisation Sea Shepherd - known for its anti-whaling activity - found it illegally hunting Patagonian toothfish in the ice flows of the Antarctic and decided to stop it. They pursued the Th…
 
Skin is the lead singer of Skunk Anansie, the multiplatinum-selling band whose political, in-your-face music stood out from the 1990s UK music scene. Skin had to forge her own path as a black, queer woman in the white male world of rock music, describing how she grew from a painfully shy church girl into a performer famous for her screaming vocals …
 
When Hollywood legend, Marlon Brando won a Best Actor Oscar for his role in The Godfather in 1973, he chose not to accept it. Instead he asked a young Native American woman called Sacheen Littlefeather to go on stage, in front of a televised audience of 85 million people and reject it on his behalf. It was the first time someone had made a politica…
 
Kane Hodder has been dubbed ‘cinema’s most prolific killer’ for the long list of on-screen murderers he has portrayed over the last 40 years. He is best known as the man behind Jason Voorhees’ iconic hockey mask in the Friday the 13th franchise. Kane started out as a stunt performer but his career was almost over before it even began when he suffer…
 
British concert pianist James Rhodes is a star in the world of classical music. He's won awards, had several hit albums, performed in top venues all over the world and Oscar-nominated actor Andrew Garfield will play him in a biopic. His career is a testament to overcoming unimaginable trauma. James is a survivor of child sexual abuse. As a result, …
 
This edition of Outlook is devoted to the impact of comic books and three remarkable journeys taken by artists and publishers who fell in love with comics as children.Indian comic enthusiast Vijayan Soundrapandian has been working to bring his favourite characters to audiences in Tamil Nadu. His company Lion-Muthu Comics translates some of the worl…
 
Christi Daugherty – also known as CJ Daugherty – is a best-selling writer of Young Adult thrillers and crime novels. As a child, she would lose herself in books and literary adventures as a way of coping with her own unstable and violent family life. Her father was controlling and abusive – her home was miserable until her mother plotted a secret m…
 
Outlook's Saskia Edwards goes in search of the elusive creator of what must be one of the most maddening games - the Rubik's Cube. On route she meets one of the fastest cubers in the world, Feliks Zemdegs. He can solve the puzzle in a matter of seconds, but even he can't tell Saskia where she can find its inventor - Erno Rubik.Erno Rubik has a book…
 
Born to Salvadoran immigrants, Roberto Lovato grew up in 1970s San Francisco. His father Ramon was involved in suspect business dealings, and could sometimes be angry and violent. As their relationship became increasingly strained Roberto rebelled, influenced by the culture of emerging organised street gangs. He became more interested in the civil …
 
Jalikatu Mustapha is one of just four eye doctors in the whole of Sierra Leone. Her work was recently recognised by Queen Elizabeth II. Jalikatu shared an online chat with the British monarch in which she described how simple operations are changing lives in her country. But Jalikatu’s life almost took a very different course. She was a child durin…
 
Today, as the election looms in America and tensions run high, Julia, Rider, and Tod talk about what they're reading that is bringing them peace, what's helping them stay calm, or at least distracting them from an incessant, terrifying news cycle. Rather than just their own ideas, they asked listeners to chime in with what they're reading for comfo…
 
Mike Farmer and Robert Ward have spent decades travelling the world in pursuit of meteorites. Their awe-inspiring and insatiable hunt led to fortune – but also unexpected danger. It's a story of cowboys, cargo pants and some of the most coveted rocks on earth. This episode was released on the 23rd of February 2019.Presenter: Saskia EdwardsProducer:…
 
In her 30s Kiran Dembla was a full-time stay-at-home mum living in the Indian city of Hyderabad. She spent her days cooking and cleaning and caring for her children. Kiran always had the sense that something was missing, she describes feeling a 'blankness', but it was only when she discovered that she had a blood clot in her brain that she decided …
 
John Shepherd is a self-taught electronics whizz. From a young age he was fascinated by science and electricity. He'd spend his days collecting discarded radio and tv sets and re-fashioning them into new devices. He used his skills for an unsual pursuit - he wanted to reach out to potential extra-terrestrial life. This was the 60s, the space race w…
 
Hamish de Bretton-Gordon is a British chemical weapons expert whose work in Syria has attracted global attention. But working in a warzone is dangerous and not only has Hamish had to smuggle himself into countries, he's faced bombs, bullets and even the Islamic State group in order to investigate and document chemical warfare. Hamish has written a …
 
Shane McCrae is an award-winning African-American poet and writer whose work often addresses the black experience in the US. Poetry for him was a way of making sense of his difficult and abusive upbringing. As a child, Shane was raised by his white maternal grandparents in a deeply racist household. His grandmother taught him the Nazi salute, told …
 
Rob and Jason Holmes were first recruited as undercover agents when they were children. They were in Atlantic City on the lookout for black market goods - like replica designer clothes, sunglasses, watches. Their employer was their private detective dad and their fee was ice cream. Now they take on some of the world’s biggest counterfeiters. It’s a…
 
Guatemalan grandparents Favio "El Lobo" Vasquez and his wife Maria Moreno first met on the disco dance floor over 30 years ago. Despite being from rival dance groups they ended up falling in love and have been dancing together ever since. But earlier this year, after the death of their daughter, dance helped them in ways they could never have imagi…
 
Writer Xiaolu Guo grew up in 1970s China, in a tiny village by the East China Sea. She'd been left there to live with her grandparents, and didn't know where her parents were. When they returned to collect her age seven, it began a lifetime of change - and a reckoning with China's history, from the feudal era to the Cultural Revolution. Presenter: …
 
Sara Seager is an MIT astrophysicist. She has made it her life’s work to peer into the spaces around stars – looking for exoplanets outside our solar system, hoping to find the one-in-a-billion world that is enough like ours to sustain life. But after the unexpected death of her husband, Sara struggled with some of the new day-to-day tasks that she…
 
If you visited the controversial Atlantis commune in southern Colombia back in the 1990s, you’d have probably heard some disturbing noises. The group practiced primal screaming, a form of psychotherapy which seeks to address childhood pain. They’d hold confrontational group sessions, where they were encouraged to direct their anger at each other, h…
 
Groundhog Day... deja vu... are phrases that tend to have negative connotations. Repetition is often equated with monotony. Not so for Catherine Russell. She holds the world record for the most theatre performances in the same role and she wouldn't have it any other way. For the past 32 years she has been playing the role of Margaret Thorne Brent -…
 
Simon Dawson was on a wayward path after a difficult childhood. He says his mother would tell him directly that she didn't love him. Things were at their lowest when their family house burnt down and Simon was blamed for it. Unsure of love, he turned to music for answers. But the real lessons came later in life when he set up a farm and the animals…
 
In 1996, an African American reverend called David Kennedy faced one of his biggest fights. A new shop had sprung up in Laurens, his small town in South Carolina, selling white supremacist memorabilia and housing a Ku Klux Klan museum. It was called the Redneck Shop, and Reverend Kennedy knew he had to stand up to the racist owners. At first he sim…
 
During Sierra Leone's civil war Aminata Conteh-Biger was abducted by armed rebels. After her release, she began a new life in Australia but has since returned to help the women she'd left behind, becoming a champion of maternal health in a country with one of the worst maternal and infant mortality rates in the world. She is the founder of the Amin…
 
Marie McCreadie moved to Australia from the UK as a young girl in the 1970s. It was the start of a new adventure for the whole family, but then one day when Marie was 13 she lost her voice, leaving her unable to make a sound for over a decade. Marie was ostracised, told she was cursed, and was put in a psychiatric unit. Then, in her twenties she di…
 
By 1994, the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo had been under siege for two years. Sniper fire and shelling were a daily threat to the residents stuck in the city. Though life was tough, artistic creativity flourished. The heavy metal community was one particularly resilient music scene. Whilst there were still local gigs there was a hunger for something…
 
In 2000 Danny Stewart found a newborn baby boy, tucked in the corner of a New York subway station on his way home from work. The discovery hit the headlines, but when no one came forward to claim the baby the family court judge asked Danny if he would like to adopt him. Danny and his partner Peter Mercurio had never discussed raising a child togeth…
 
Nettie Washington Douglass tells Anu Anand what it's like to carry the names and bloodlines of two African-Americans who were born into slavery but famously devoted their lives to fighting it, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.Nettie descends from pioneering educator Booker T Washington and the abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass. He…
 
Growing up in the city of Jos in central Nigeria, Panshak Zamani better known as Ice Prince, never set out to become a musician. But through personal loss and the violent crisis he saw unfolding on the streets, he found solace in singing and rap. Panshak tells Anu Anand how he overcame his struggles to write a hit song that became one of the most r…
 
Sara Faith Alterman was eight when she accidently discovered that her prudish dad was secretly a globally successful writer of adult books. Growing up, it was never discussed, but when he was dying of Alzheimer's in his late 60s, he asked Sara to help him write again before it was too late.Sara Faith Alterman’s memoir is called Lets Never Talk abou…
 
Alexandra Wilson is a young black British barrister - and as a result sometimes gets mistaken for the defendant in court. Growing up in Essex she never imagined herself becoming a lawyer, but the murder of a close family friend inspired her career. She studied at Oxford University and was eventually awarded a Queen’s Scholarship, given to students …
 
When Atsushi Sakahara boarded a crowded train on the Tokyo subway in 1995, he found himself in the middle of a targeted chemical attack. Years later he went looking for answers from a notorious doomsday cult, which led to an unlikely friendship. Atsushi has directed a documentary about his journey called Me and The Cult Leader.Presenter: Emily Webb…
 
You might remember the 1979 cartoon film adaptation? Or maybe the 1999 Canadian TV series? Or the 2018 British miniseries--or maybe the play or role-playing game? Or maybe you read the original novel Watership Down, written by Richard Adams, published in 1972. This week, Julia, Rider, and Tod discuss this epic book that centers on a small group of …
 
Malik Al Nasir was casually watching a TV documentary when a face jumped out at him – it was a photograph of the black Victorian football star Andrew Watson. He was stunned at the close resemblance between them and he was determined to find out how they were connected. Little did he know that that journey would lead him from Liverpool to Guyana to …
 
In the 1960s, a bunch of musically gifted, pre-teen siblings from Saigon put together a rock ‘n’ roll group. For a while the CBC Band was the biggest music act in South Vietnam, even headlining the country’s first international rock festival. They had an unlikely fan base – battle-weary US soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War. This episode was firs…
 
Brittany K. Barnett, an African American lawyer, grew up in the shadow of the US war on drugs in the 1980s. Like many others in her community in rural east Texas, Brittany’s mother was addicted to crack cocaine, and when Brittany was 22 years old, her mother was sentenced to eight years in prison. Only a few years later, she discovered the case of …
 
Malebogo Molefhe is a trailblazing basketball player from Botswana. The only girl in a game played by boys, she was called the 'tigress' and rose to be captain of her country's first ever women's national basketball team. But off the court she was controlled and abused by her partner, culminating in a brutal attack where he shot her eight times, le…
 
Mansour Omari spent nearly a year in a Syrian government prison in 2012. We hear his account of life in an underground cell and how, against the odds, he managed to smuggle out the names of his fellow cellmates to their loved ones - by writing them down, using chicken bones and blood on a piece of cloth. This story was first released on 20th March …
 
When an intrepid crew of eight entered Biosphere 2, a giant air-tight greenhouse in the Arizona desert in September 1991, no one knew how it would pan out. It was an experiment to see if humans could live in similar glass worlds on other planets. Their intention was to survive by cultivating the farmland and plant life inside to create the food and…
 
Artist Maleonn spent his childhood in the back of a theatre, watching his parents at work. Maleonn’s mother was an actress, and his father directed “very noisy” and “incredibly colourful” Beijing opera performances. Though his father was keen, Maleonn was determined not to follow in his directorial footsteps and instead chased his passion for art. …
 
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