A rich selection of documentaries aimed at relentlessly curious minds, introduced by Rhianna Dhillon.

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A rich selection of documentaries aimed at relentlessly curious minds, introduced by Rhianna Dhillon.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-05-22 05:50
last episode published
2019-05-21 04:00
publication frequency
4.73 days
BBC owner  
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Number of Episodes
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Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

Destiny and the Brain

Neuroscientist Hannah Critchlow asks what the latest brain research might be telling us about ideas of free will, nature and nurture, and destiny. At the dawn of neuroscience, it was an established principle that all of the neurons in the brain are c...
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Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Greg James digs into the BBC's archives, taking some of the week's news stories as a starting point for a trip into the past. Greg, who describes himself as a "proud radio nerd", is let loose in the vast BBC vaults, home to...
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The Prototype

We assume the instruments we know and love today will be around forever. What if they're not? What new forms and ideas could take their place? Hannah Catherine Jones takes you into the world of the prototype, meeting instrument inventors challenging tr...
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Concerts Inside

Ex-inmate Carl Cattermole explores the power of concerts that have taken place in jails. Music lover Carl recently served an 18-month prison sentence. While inside, he found solace by listening to music through his headphones - but never had the expe...
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Can My Eleven Year Old Fix My Life?

Arthur is eleven, likes dinosaurs and plays the cello. Arthur's dad Babak is 40, an artist and a former musician. His most successful artistic endeavour was when he collected twigs and sold them on eBay for £62. As his self-deprecating social media po...
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The Song Hunters: The Black Mountains' Lament

Singer and song collector Sam Lee travels to the remote mountains of Greece and discovers the haunting sound of Europe's oldest folk music. High in the black mountains of Epirus, close to the northwestern tip of Greece, winding its way through the thi...
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The Art of Now: Race and Fashion

Deputy Editor of Elle Magazine UK, Kenya Hunt, celebrates the work of black designers in fashion and investigates how the fashion world is grappling with conversations around race. Kenya meets different generations of black designers, exploring their ...
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The Fast and the Curious

Tom Heap sets off on a guilt trip road trip to find out why people like him won't give up the things they know are destroying the planet. Tom loves his powerful car. Despite a pretty thorough knowledge of the science of climate change and the contribu...
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The Bubble

Social media, especially Twitter has changed the way we consume the news. Articles, commentaries and opinions are put into our news feeds by the people we choose to follow. We tend to only follow the people we agree with and like, and block and unfollo...
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Peach Fuzz

Mona Chalabi asks why female facial hair still seems to be a source of such shame. Last year, when she sent a lighthearted tweet about hairy women, she was deluged with replies. Hundreds of women wrote to her to describe the physical and emotional pai...
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The Art of Now: The Return of Voguing

Clara Amfo assesses the rise of voguing in the UK, a dance form with its origins among queer, mostly black and Latino people in the Harlem ballroom scene. Voguing is currently having a resurgence in popularity thanks to shows like Pose, Top 40 artists ...
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Introducing The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry

Hannah Fry and Adam Rutherford present highlights from their podcast in which they investigate everyday mysteries using the power of science.
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Can Hip Hop Save Ballet?

In the world of classical ballet, black dancers are conspicuous by their absence. Eric Underwood, a former soloist with The Royal Ballet, wants to understand what might be restricting their participation. In Amsterdam, Eric meets Michaela DePrince, b...
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A Sense of Time

Animal senses reveal a wealth of information that humans can't access. Birds can see in ultra violet, and some fish can 'feel' electricity. But how do different species sense time? If you've ever tried to swat flies, you'll know that they seem to have...
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The Monster Downstairs

Life for the child of an alcoholic can be lonely, locked inside a house of secrets. A code of silence means they don't want to talk to friends, or neighbours, or even their brothers and sisters. Journalist Camilla Tominey, whose mother was an alcohol...
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Where are all the black women in Grime?

Journalist and Grime fan Yomi Adegoke noticed something lacking when it comes to discovering and enjoying the genre of music she loves. Women who look like her. Whether it’s behind the scenes or at the forefront, black women seem noticeably absent whi...
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A Job for the Boys

Women once made up 80% of the computer industry. They are now less than 20%. Mary Ann Sieghart explores the hidden and disturbing consequences of not having women at the heart of the tech. Who is the in room today when technology is designed determine...
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The Puppet Master – Episode 1. Snipers

The Puppet Master is a series that gets to the bewildering heart of contemporary Russia by exploring the fortunes of a secretive, complicated and controversial man called Vladislav Surkov. Reporter Gabriel Gatehouse speaks fluent Russian and has acce...
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The Puppet Master – Episode 2. Ascension

This is the story of the most powerful man you’ve never heard of. He can spot an ex-spy with presidential potential and help turn him into a world leader. He creates opposition movements out of thin air. He’s got a nation’s news directors on speed di...
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The Puppet Master – Episode 3. Impresario

The story of Vladislav Surkov, the most powerful man you’ve never heard of, continues. His background is in theatre and PR, but his profession is politics. And in this episode, Gabriel Gatehouse tells the story of how it all comes together in a bold st...
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The Puppet Master – Episode 4. Unravelling

Is it all getting too much for the hero – or is he the villain of our series? His name is Vladislav Surkov and his enemies are circling. Gabriel Gatehouse continues the story of the most powerful man you've never heard of.
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The Puppet Master – Episode 5. Enemies

Effigies, aliases, and a 'golden cage': it all comes down to this in the series finale about Vladislav Surkov, the most powerful man you’ve never heard of. Presented by Gabriel Gatehouse.
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Flat 113 at Grenfell Tower

On the 14th floor of Grenfell Tower, firefighters moved eight residents into flat 113. Only four would survive. Using evidence from stage 1 of the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry, Katie Razzall pieces together what went wrong that night in flat 113. The ...
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The Turtle Dove Pilgrimage

Folk singer Sam Lee, along with William Parsons of the British Pilgrimage Trust, lead eleven pilgrims on a journey across Sussex tracing the origins of the iconic folk song The Turtle Dove. Over a hundred years ago, the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams...
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Macpherson: What Happened Next

In April 1993, a black teenager, Stephen Lawrence was murdered in a racist attack in the London suburb of Eltham. The Metropolitan Police bungled the investigation into his killers. The Inquiry which followed by Sir William Macpherson produced one of t...
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Barristers on the Brink

Journalist Afua Hirsch used to be a barrister, but after only two years advocating for some of the most vulnerable people in society she quit. For Afua, cuts to legal aid and burgeoning caseloads were making it impossible to do the job to the standard ...
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The Deported

What’s it like to be deported or forcibly removed from the UK? Recorded over the past year, these are the stories of three people sent to Nigeria, a country they left many years ago, and what happens to them once they arrive. Fola was training to be a ...
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A New School for New Orleans

Clara Amfo travels to New Orleans to meet the staff and artists from The Embassy, a dynamic, groundbreaking music studio in the 8th and 9th Districts. Based in one of the city’s most deprived areas, the studio works with music artists of all kinds to d...
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NB - Episode 1: Realising

What do you do when you realise you’re non-binary? How do you come out to yourself? How do you find people like you? Caitlin Benedict is coming out. But before they begin, they need to really understand what it’s like to live as non-binary: to exist as...
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With “toxic masculinity” high on the agenda, are we are now viewing boys as potential perpetrators of sexism and violence? Is this fair - and what should we be teaching them? After #MeToo with phrases like “toxic masculinity” on everyone's lips, are we...
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I Can't Be Racist

Social psychologist Dr Keon West explores racial bias, and the concepts of both conscious and unconscious bias, drawing on the latest pyschological and sociological research. He examines common misconceptions surrounding racism and examines how bias is...
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Branding Genius

Who owns Shakespeare? The English? The tourist industry? The world? Branding and Graphic Designer Teresa Monachino goes in search of the 21st century phenomenon that is William Shakespeare and uncovers his contradictory brand values, with the help of a...
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The Placebo Paradox

Imagine a therapy that made use of the body's own biology to specifically and selectively attack illness, with no side effects and at minimal cost - one that could treat pain and relieve subjective symptoms. It would be one of the most powerful tools i...
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Driven to Distraction

Are we really more distracted than ever before? Historian Rhys Jones explores the history of distraction and how previous generations have fought back We are often told we are in the middle of a distraction crisis - big tech companies have learned how ...
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Behind the Scenes: PJ Harvey

John Wilson follows PJ Harvey as she creates the score for a new West End theatre production of All About Eve. Singer songwriter Polly Jean Harvey is the only artist to have twice won the Mercury Prize for Album of the Year – for Stories from the City...
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Paris Blue

Jazz writer Kevin Legendre explores the encounter between American modern jazz and the French New wave in Paris in the late 1950s and 60s. Paris in the civil rights era was a hub of artistic collaboration as well as a kind of political refuge - a dest...
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American Civility: Year Zero

America today is an uncivil society with a President who calls for his opponent to be locked up, a legislature that seems to be interested only in partisan shouting, not governing, and with large chunks of the media egging on the bad behaviour. This st...
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Pausing Puberty

Britt Wray investigates the drugs used to delay puberty in children questioning their gender. A growing number of children in Britain are being seen by the NHS Gender Identity Development Service. Referrals have increased from just over 200 in 2011/12 ...
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Powers of Persuasion: How Britain Learned to Sell

Designer Wayne Hemingway examines 100 years of British advertising on film and television, with special behind-the-scenes access to the one of the world’s largest advertising collection at the British Film Institute. Wayne follows advertisers’ first he...
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How To Burn A Million Quid: Rule 1

Bill sets off on a mission to shake up the music industry by causing chaos and confusion.
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Millennials in the Workplace

Beanbags! Beanbags are what Millenials want from a job - along with free food and the lofty idea of ‘making an impact’. That’s what academic Simon Sinek's video about "Millennials in the Workplace", enjoyed by over 10 millions viewers, would have you b...
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Searching For Swimming Pools

Writer Charles Sprawson reflects on his life as he copes with advancing dementia. Charles Sprawson is the author of Haunts of the Black Masseur: The Swimmer As Hero - a romantic history of swimming and a memoir of his own adventures in water. Now 77, C...
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Annalisa Is Awkward

What are we all so awkward about? Annalisa Dinnella explores this slippery emotion. Can she and a group of comedians outsmart awkwardness - and should they even be trying? Annalisa has 5% vision and regularly navigates the fog of other people’s awkward...
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I Feel for You: Narcs and narcissists

At a time when we're being told we need more empathy, some experts claim that narcissism - empathy's evil twin - is on the rise. Narcissism has vaulted off the psychotherapist’s couch, sprinted away from the psychiatric ward, and is now squatting in th...
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I Feel for You: Empaths and empathy

Empathy is the psycho-political buzzword of the day. President Obama said - frequently - that America's empathy deficit was more important than the Federal deficit. Bill Clinton said "I feel your pain", and Hillary urged us all "to see the world throug...
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Behind the Scenes: Marianela Nunez at Covent Garden

As she prepares to perform two roles in a new production of the classic "White ballet", La Bayadere, the Royal Ballet's charismatic Argentinian-born principal dancer, Marianela Nunez shares her life behind the scenes. Marianela Nunez is considered one ...
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The Case of Charles Dexter Ward - Episode One

From H.P. Lovecraft: The investigation into a mysterious disappearance.
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Let's Raise the Voting Age

In 1969 Harold Wilson's Government lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. Fifty years on, with calls for votes at 16 gaining support, Professor James Tilley explores not just whether reducing it further makes sense, but if arguments could be made for ra...
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Apollo 8

Six months before Neil Armstrong’s ‘one small step’ came humanity’s giant leap. It was December 1968. Faced with President Kennedy’s challenge to land a man on the Moon before the end of the decade, NASA made the bold decision to send three astronauts ...
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Doorstep Daughter

Two families from very different backgrounds, one street and a baby on a doorstep. This series charts the story of how a young Christian couple came to entrust the care of their little daughter to a Muslim family that lived nearby in 1990s Watford. The...
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