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Sporting Witness

Secretariat - America's superstar racehorse

BBC World Service
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9 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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How one of the greatest racehorses of all time won the US Triple Crown in 1973.

In 1973, Secretariat became the first horse to win the Triple Crown of American thorough-bred racing for 25 years, recording some of the fastest times ever recorded. Nicknamed “Big Red”, the colt was one of the most popular horses of all time – learning to pose for photographers and going on to sire 663 foals after he was put out to stud. Secretariat even inspired a Hollywood film in 2010. Ned Carter-Miles talks to Secretariat’s jockey, Ron Turcotte.

PHOTO: Secretariat in action (Getty Images)

Sporting Witness

Spurs dream of European glory

BBC World Service
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9 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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How Tottenham Hotspur took on Anderlecht in a battle for the 1984 UEFA Cup

In May 1984, Tottenham Hotspur took on Anderlecht in a battle for the 1984 UEFA Cup The game was played over two legs and ended in a penalty shootout.

in May 1984, Tottenham Hotspur took on Belgian side Anderlecht in a battle to win the UEFA Cup Final. It was played over two legs, with the final, dramatic game held at Tottenham's White Hart Lane stadium. It ended in a penalty shootout. Alex Last has been speaking to former Spurs legend and England international, Graham Roberts, about his memories of that historic night.

Photo: Tottenham Hotspur Captain Graham Roberts celebrates a goal against RSC Anderlecht during the 2nd leg of the UEFA Cup Final at White Hart Lane, London, 23rd May 1984.. (Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

Sporting Witness

Liverpool - The kings of Europe

BBC World Service
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9 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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How Liverpool won their first European Cup in 1977, starting a decade of domination.

In May 1977 Liverpool won their first European Cup with a famous victory against Borussia Mönchengladbach at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. It was the start of a run that would bring the Anfield side another three wins in the next seven years. Alex Capstick talks to former Liverpool captain, Phil Neal, a four-time European Cup winner.

PHOTO: Tommy Smith, Ian Callaghan and Phil Neal with the European Cup (Getty Images)

Witness History

UNESCO and race and tolerance

BBC World Service
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9 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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How UNESCO fought racism and advocated tolerance.

How UN's educational and cultural wing fought racism and advocated tolerance.

UNESCO – the educational, scientific and cultural arm of the United Nations was first established in 1945. Its aim was to use education as a means of sustaining peace after the horrors of the Second World War. Addressing race and racism was a key part of its mission. Caroline Bayley has been speaking to Doudou Diene who spent many years at UNESCO working on anti-racism and tolerance.

(Photo: UNESCO logo seen at 39th General Conference of the organization, 2017 in Paris, France. Credit: Chesnot/Getty Images)

Witness History

The building of the Aswan Dam

BBC World Service
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9 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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One of the largest dams in the world, the Aswan High Dam in Egypt was completed in 1970

One of the largest dams in the world - the Aswan High Dam in Egypt - was completed in 1970. We look at the cost of the dam to the region's people and antiquities.

In July 1970, one of the largest dams in the world - the Aswan High Dam in Egypt - was completed. It had taken ten years to build, and was not without controversy. Louise Hidalgo brings us voices from the archives and from one man who was there, Professor Herman Bell, about the cost of the dam to the region's people and its antiquities.

This programme is a rebroadcast.

(Photo: The Aswan High Dam under construction in southern Egypt in the 1960s. Credit: AFP)

Witness History

Buddhists and death row

BBC World Service
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9 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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How criminals facing the death penalty in the USA found peace

How criminals facing the death penalty in the USA found self-acceptance through Buddhism.

In the 1990s a practising Buddhist called Anna Cox began visiting a murderer called Frankie Parker in jail. After his execution by lethal injection she carried on talking to prisoners on death row in Arkansas. Anna Cox has been speaking to Ibby Caputo for Witness History.

Photo: Anna Cox and Frankie Parker.

Witness History

The destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas

BBC World Service
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9 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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In March 2001 the Taliban destroyed huge ancient statues of Buddha in Afghanistan

In March 2001 the Taliban destroyed huge ancient statues of Buddha in Afghanistan. The statues were carved into the cliffs above the Bamiyan valley.

In March 2001 the Taliban destroyed huge ancient statues of Buddha in Afghanistan. The statues were carved into the cliffs above the Bamiyan valley. Sayid Mirza Hossein, a local farmer, was taken prisoner by the Taliban and forced to pack explosives around the ancient Buddhas. He told Witness History what it felt like to destroy something that he had seen every day of his life.

(Photo: Taliban fighters looking at the Bamiyan cliffs. Credit: Getty Images)

Voices of the First World War

Episode 8: The Trenches 1914

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

The experiences of soldiers in the trenches during the first few months of the war.

Dan Snow examines the experiences of soldiers in the rudimentary trenches of the first few months of the war, looking at what it was like to live in them for days at a time.

There are now no living veterans of WW1, but it is still possible to go back to the First World War through the memories of those who actually took part. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, two sound archive collections featuring survivors of the war are brought together for the first time. The Imperial War Museums' holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. The interviews were done not for immediate use or broadcast, but because it was felt that this diminishing resource that could never be replenished, would be of unique value in the future. Speakers recall in great detail as though it were yesterday the conditions of the trenches, the brutality of the battlefield, the experience of seeing their first casualty and hearing their first shell, their daily and nightly routines as soldiers, pilots or navy members of all ranks, and their psychological state in the face of so much trauma. This series will broadcast many of these recordings for the first time. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict a century ago, are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war.

Dan Snow narrates this new oral history, which will be broadcast in short seasons throughout the commemorative period.

Programme 8 - The Trenches 1914

Dan examines the experiences of men in the trenches during the first few months of the war, when the trenches weren't as elaborate as in later years. In archive drawn from the oral history collection of the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, speakers describe the dangers of looking out over the top, the problems of lice, and bring home the reality of living in clay below the water table for days at a time.

The Long View

The Big Flood of 1953

BBC Radio 4
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28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Jonathan Freedland and his team goes on location to investigate the floods of 1953.

Jonathan Freedland presents and his team go on location to investigate the Big Flood of 1953, the worst natural disaster to affect Britain in the 20th century.

Jonathan Freedland presents the programme which looks at the past behind the present. As storms and floods continue to hit UK, Jonathan and his team go on location to investigate the Big Flood of 1953, the worst natural disaster to affect Britain in the 20th century. The clearest legacy of the 1953 flood was the Thames Barrage, safeguarding London from future inundations. He asks what lessons were learned in 1953 and what the future is for the nation's flood defences when government departments are under pressure to cut budgets.

Producer Neil McCarthy.

The Ideas That Make Us

Series 2 Episode 2: Comedy

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Bettany listens to a rat laughing and giggles at schoolboy jokes from Ancient Mesopotamia.

Bettany Hughes considers changing ideas of comedy by listening to a rat laughing and by giggling at schoolboy jokes from Ancient Mesopotamia. From January 2014.

Bettany Hughes considers changing ideas of comedy by listening to a rat laughing and by giggling at schoolboy jokes from Ancient Mesopotamia.

The Ideas That Make Us is a Radio 4 series which reveals the history of the most influential ideas in the story of civilisation, ideas which continue to affect us all today.

In this 'archaeology of philosophy', the award-winning historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes begins each programme with the first, extant evidence of a single word-idea in Ancient Greek culture and travels both forwards and backwards in time, investigating how these ideas have been moulded by history and have shaped the human experience. In the second programme of this series, Bettany considers changing ideas of comedy with neuroscientist Dr Sophie Scott, Assyriologist Dr. Irving Finkel, Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company Gregory Doran, and comedian John Lloyd.

Other ideas examined in The Ideas that Make Us are idea, desire, agony, fame, justice, wisdom, liberty, hospitality and peace.

Producer: Dixi Stewart.

Making History

28/01/2014

BBC Radio 4
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28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Helen Castor joins guests to discuss the latest historical research from across the UK.

Helen Castor is joined by guests to discuss the latest historical research from across the UK, including how Welsh might originally have been Spanish.

Helen Castor is joined by Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe from Oxford University and the military historian Dr Timothy Bowman from the University of Kent to discuss the latest historical research from across the UK - including how Welsh might originally have been Spanish.

Tom Holland is on the coast of North Wales, just south of Anglesey, with Professor John Koch from the University of Wales whose research on the language of the Celts is changing our understanding of how they arrived in Britain.

Dr Fiona Watson heads for Glasgow and a great fire in 1652 which helps us understand Cromwell's relationship with the city during the Civil War.

And in Connemara on the west coast of Ireland, archaeologist Mike Gibbons explains how the recent storms have destroyed and revealed treasures from the past.

Contact the programme: making.history@bbc.co.uk

Producer: Nick Patrick

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

The Ideas That Make Us

Series 2 Episode 3: Hospitality

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Bettany gazes into outer space and invites poet Ben Okri round to her house for supper.

Bettany Hughes samples changing ideas of hospitality by gazing into outer space and inviting poet and author Ben Okri round to her house for supper. From January 2014.

Bettany Hughes samples changing ideas of hospitality by gazing into outer space and by inviting poet and author Ben Okri 'round to her house for supper.

The Ideas That Make Us is a Radio 4 series which reveals the history of the most influential ideas in the story of civilisation, ideas which continue to affect us all today.

In this 'archaeology of philosophy', the award-winning historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes begins each programme with the first, extant evidence of a single word-idea in Ancient Greek culture and travels both forwards and backwards in time, investigating how these ideas have been moulded by history and shaped the human experience. In the third programme of this series, Bettany samples changing ideas of hospitality with astronomer Professor Didier Queloz, classicist Professor Paul Cartledge, poet and author Ben Okri and former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

Other ideas examined in The Ideas that Make Us are idea, desire, agony, fame, justice, wisdom, comedy, liberty and peace.

Producer: Dixi Stewart.

Pop Goes Northern Ireland

Series 1 Episode 2: 1974

BBC Two Northern Ireland
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30 minutes Available for 5 months First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

1974 - This town ain't big enough for both of us. From power sharing to power cuts.

A key year in the history of Northern Ireland accompanied by the thumping chart hits of the time. 1974 - This town ain't big enough for both of us. From power sharing to power cuts.

Another key year in the history of Northern Ireland accompanied by the thumping chart hits of the time.

1974 - This town ain't big enough for both of us. From power sharing to power cuts.

Credits

Director
Michael McDowell
Series Producer
Damon Quinn

Pop Goes Northern Ireland

Series 1 Episode 3: 1981

BBC Two Northern Ireland
BBC Two Northern Ireland logo
30 minutes Available for 5 months First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

1981 - Whats-a-matter-you? DeLorean, the hunger strike and the Third Force.

Another key year in the history of Northern Ireland accompanied by the thumping chart hits of the time. 1981 - Whats-a-matter-you? DeLorean, the hunger strike and the Third Force.

Credits

Director
Michael McDowell
Series Producer
Damon Quinn

Pop Goes Northern Ireland

Series 1 Episode 4: 1985

BBC Two Northern Ireland
BBC Two Northern Ireland logo
30 minutes Available for 5 months First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

1985 - We're on the road to nowhere. The Anglo-Irish agreement to Ulster Says No.

Another key year in the history of Northern Ireland accompanied by the chart hits of the time. 1985 - We're on the road to nowhere. The Anglo-Irish agreement to Ulster Says No.

Another key year in the history of Northern Ireland accompanied by the thumping chart hits of the time.

1985 - We're on the road to nowhere. From the Anglo-Irish agreement to the Ulster Says No campaign.

Credits

Director
Michael McDowell
Series Producer
Damon Quinn

The Prime Ministers

Series 2 Episode 8: Edward Heath

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Nick Robinson looks at how Edward Heath handled the top job in politics.

Nick Robinson looks at Edward Heath, prime minister from 1970 to 1974, whose enthusiasm for radical reform in Europe and the economy strained his party's loyalties.

Nick Robinson, the BBC Political Editor, concludes his series exploring how different prime ministers have used their power and responded to the challenges of their time.

Sir Edward Heath took Britain into the EEC (now the European Union) in 1973, but this historic achievement still divides opinion and his premiership ended in defeat. When Heath won his party's first leadership election in 1965, he personified a less class-bound and more modern Toryism. He won the 1970 general election promising to modernise Britain's economy, reform the unions and reduce state intervention. However, after unemployment reached one million (then a post-war record) in 1972, he made a 'U-turn', boosting state spending and trying to curb inflation through talks with the unions and industry. When the talks failed, Heath imposed a freeze on pay and prices. In late 1973, his pay controls were challenged by the miners at a time when the economy was hit by a four-fold increase in world oil prices. Heath responded to the miners' overtime ban by putting industry on a three-day week, and when the miners voted to strike in February 1974 he called an early election on the question of ''Who governs?'. Although the Conservatives won most seats, they fell short of an overall majority and Heath failed in his last-ditch attempt to form a coalition with the Liberals and stay in Number 10.

As prime minister, Heath was ahead of his time in seeing the need for radical reform, but entry into Europe and his U-turn strained his party's loyalties. He could ill afford to treat people with apparent disdain and in this respect he brought troubles on himself. His grudging attitude to his Tory successor, Margaret Thatcher, further damaged his reputation, but in some ways he had been an unlucky prime minister.

Making History

31/05/2011

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Tom Holland with your stories that are changing the way we see the past.

Tom Holland presents the programme that reflects listeners' passion for the past. Women in the General Strike, an archaeologist on the loose in Hampshire and the walking postcards.

Tom Holland talks to a listener whose grandmother volunteered to deliver the post during the General Strike much to the disgust of her husband who was a postman. He talks to Dr Sue Bruley from the University of Portsmouth about the role of women in the dispute - as strike-breakers and supporters.

In our game of geographical chance and historical skill, 'Double Top Domesday', Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe - arguably Britain's leading historian - takes aim with a dart at a map of central Southern England and ends up in a farmyard not far from Basingstoke.

Tom Holland considers what that, and the rest of Britain's landscape actually looked like 4,500 years ago in response to a listener's question about what the area around Stonehenge looked like when it was being built. Tom talks to Professor Tom Williamson at the University of East Anglia who explores the current debate about the so-called, pre-historic 'wildwood'.

Finally, in Bridlington, Martin Ellis - Curator at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery - views an exhibition of holiday snaps taken between 1920 and 1960 by a company that employed cameramen to take pictures of holidaymakers. Their legacy is now a fabulous social history resource.

Producer: Nick Patrick

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

Witness

The Battle of the Carmens

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

At the 1988 Winter Olympics, an East German and an American ice dancer were vying for Gold

At the 1988 Winter Olympics an East German, Katarina Witt, and an American, Debi Thomas, were vying for Gold in the ice dance competition. They were both dancing to the same tune.

At the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, an East German, Katarina Witt, and an American, Debi Thomas, were vying for Gold in the ice dance competition. It was portrayed as a clash between East and West. Completely by chance they were both dancing to the same music, Bizet's opera, Carmen.

Brand

Witness
BBC Radio 4 Extra
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Rhona Cameron celebrates the bi-centenary of the earliest known women's golf competition

Rhona Cameron explores the earliest known women's golf competition - between the fishwives of Musselburgh. From 2011.

Marking the bi-centenary of the first ever women's golf tournament, Rhona Cameron plays a round at Musselburgh, both the scene of that historic competition and also her home course.

Records show that during the 19th century a women's golf competition was held annually on New Years Day among the fishwives of Musselburgh. The earliest known reference to an open womens' golf competition at Musselburgh dates from 9th January 1811.

To ensure a bumper entry from the hard-working women of the fishing community the winner's prize was a 'creel' and a 'skull' (the headdress and basket used to carry fish). The consolation prizes were 'two fine silk handkerchiefs from Barcelona'.

Musselburgh Links is the site of the oldest remaining golf course in the world. This nine-hole course is a relic from the 'cradle of golf' and remains as a testimony to what was the centre of Scottish golf during its greatest era. The course itself is fascinating. Unexpectedly it's on the infield of a race course, slap-bang in the middle of a horse racing track.

Born and raised in Musselburgh, keen golfer Rhona Cameron will be playing a round on the famous course, whilst exploring the history of this famous game and considering the origins of women's golf more generally.

Producer: Kevin Dawson

A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 4 first broadcast in August 2011.

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Linda Colley explores Britain's lack of a written constitution.

On September 18th this year, the voters of Scotland will decide in a referendum whether they want their nation henceforth to be independent of the United Kingdom, or remain within the union that has bound Britain together since the Act of Union of 1707.

In "Acts of Union and Disunion", Linda Colley, Professor of History at the University of Princeton, examines the forces that bind together the diverse peoples, customs and loyalties of the United Kingdom. And the often equally powerful movements that from time to time across the centuries threaten to pull Britain apart.

Programme 14: Constitutions

"The absence of a British written constitution has become so familiar that it is easily taken for granted, or treated as a subject for self-congratulation or (increasingly) for mockery. Yet, how did this now eccentric situation come about, and what does it tell us about identities and civic belonging in these islands?"

Producer: Simon Elmes.

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