The Barclaycard Gamble – BBC Radio 4, 2016

The remarkable story of how a six page document and an investment of just £20,000 became the first steps on a road that changed British society forever. In 1966 the ‘Barclaycard’ became the UK’s first credit card, and customers could start to buy with money they had yet to earn. This idea would gather momentum and not just sweep away post-war austerity, but help create a culture that has led to UK average household debt standing at 170% of disposable income. Presented by Kamal Ahmed. 

Asquith’s Fight For Equality – BBC Radio 4, 2016

Up until 1966 two of the UK’s great railway stations, Euston and St Pancras, both operated a colour bar which prevented blacks taking jobs where they would be visible to the public, or supervise white men.  It was a ban enforced by the National Union of Railwaymen, until Asquith Xavier risked his own job and the anger of his fellow workers when he went public and demanded the rules be changed. Oona King tells his story. 

I Work For The Government, And Let’s Leave It At That – BBC Radio 4, 2016

Journalist Julia Langdon uncovers the surprising ways women have been recruited into the British secret services, and reveals how important that process is today. At the Royal Naval School for girls, a fierce lady addressed Julia about a career in the government but no details of the job were given and she was told that if asked, she should say “I work for the government and let’s leave it at that, shall we.” Only later did the penny drop that the recruiter worked for the secret services. 

On Air with Annie NightingaleBBC Radio 2, July 2015

Annie Nightingale looked back at her 50 years in broadcasting.

I’ve heard many documentaries on the history of popular music and culture since 1960. I’ve never before heard one that translates the black and white of memory into the full colour of how it felt at the time.” 

Gillian Reynolds, Daily Telegraph

The War Game FilesBBC Radio 4, June 2015

Michael Apted revealed the secret collaboration between the BBC and Harold Wilson’s administration in the banning of the film The War Game.

“This programme pieces together the cooking of a pickle such as can only be rustled up by the British establishment” David Hepworth, The Guardian

“Previously secret Cabinet Office files reveal the pressure put on the BBC…” Gillian Reynolds, Daily Telegraph

Julia Dear Boy, Welcome To Westminster – BBC Radio 4, February 2015

Lobby Correspondent Julia Langdon asked if changes to the workings of Parliament have damaged democracy. With contributions from Kenneth Clarke, Betty Boothroyd, Robert Rogers, Shirley Williams and Jack Straw.

The City on the Couch – BBC Radio 4, January 2015

Psychoanalyst Mary Bradbury investigated why a growing number of big businesses in the financial sector are taking more care of their employees’ mental health.

My Family’s Fight For Civil RightsBBC Radio 4, July 2014

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Baroness Oona King went in search of her family’s connection to the American Civil Rights movement. The Observer – “The south’s memories die hard, even to today. What a valuable and timely piece of radio …”

 

1963: That Was The Year That Was – BBC Radio 2, 2013

TW3

Three programmes looking back at the tumultuous year that was 1963. The topical satirical show That Was The Week That Was, or TW3, hosted by a young David Frost, was making waves and reaching millions.  In an affectionate tribute to the show and the late Sir David, this series brought together some star guests of the time to look back on the events that were making the headlines including the Profumo scandal, the Great Train Robbery, the assassination of President Kennedy, the first episode of Dr Who and the Beatles first album.  The programmes discussed the events, played the music and revived some great sketches from That Was The Week That Was in the company of John Sergeant, Tony Blackburn, Barry Norman, Don Black, Joan Bakewell and other guests. Music by The Segue Sisters.

 

Mandela on Mandela – BBC Radio 5Live, 2013 

Mandela

John Simpson presented a special programme looking back at the life of Nelson Mandela, which features remarkable recordings of the great statesman himself, in discussion with Mandela’s ghost writer Richard Stengel. John Simpson met and interviewed Nelson Mandela many times and shares some of his memories of those occasions as he introduces a relaxed Nelson Mandela talking candidly about his childhood, family, political struggle and captivity.

 

Fear Of The Brain Drain – BBC Radio 4, September 2013.

Liddle

Sunday Times and Spectator columnist and former Editor of Radio 4’s Today programme Rod Liddle asks if there a Brain Drain from the UK, and investigates if fear of the Brain Drain is being used to inflate salaries and bonuses in the City and elsewhere. Listen to a preview clip by clicking on the player below.

 

Simpson in China – BBC Radio 5 Live, August 2013

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In this probing documentary, the BBC’s celebrated World Affairs Editor John Simpson reports from China, five years after the Beijing Olympics. Simpson talks to activists, academics and artists who are openly questioning whether Chinese communism can survive and returns to Tiananmen Square, where he dodged bullets to cover the 1989 massacre for the BBC.

 

Back to BaliABC Radio National, Australia, October 2012

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Bali bombing survivor Peter Hughes (r) makes an emotional journey back to the scene of the blasts. On the tenth anniversary he asks, how safe is Bali now and what has happened to the Balinese victims of the terror attacks?