Cover

The Untold

Grace Dent presents a series documenting the untold dramas of 21st-century Britain.

Tous les épisodes

  • 19.10.2020
    26 MB
    27:52
    Cover

    Goodbye, Hong Kong?

    Grace Dent follows two young Hong Kongers over a crucial two weeks in their bid to make the UK home.Friends and housemates Chris and Louise have been living in the UK for the past two years. After the recent turmoil in Hong Kong, they now want to settle in the UK permanently. There's just one problem - Chris's visa is about to expire.The Untold follows them over a critical couple of weeks which will determine their future forever.Producer: Laurence Grissell

    ...plus
  • 05.10.2020
    26 MB
    27:40
    Cover

    The Perfect Bench

    A year ago, when Sam graduated with a masters in Modern History, and headed back to his hometown near Bristol, he had no idea what the year would bring. But it wasn’t this.Suddenly, something Sam’s done has become an international news story. As he finished his degree, his friends convinced him to start up an Instagram page – rating public benches. It was a joke. But in the gloomy days of readjusting to life at home without a job, back sharing his childhood bedroom with his brother, it became a lifeline – something he bonded with his Dad over, and eventually, a hobby which got him a girlfriend. 180 benches later, he's never awarded a 10/10, but through the international trauma of 2020, his quest for the perfect bench has captured the imagination of the news cycle.With this unexpected fame, he’s been faced with a dilemma. One of the marking criteria is whether the bench is dedicated to anyone. The page has become a touching tribute to deceased strangers he has never met. Now, bereaved relatives have begun contacting him, asking him to rate their loved one’s bench. To Sam, it would undermine the integrity of the page, and he would never want to upset anyone by writing something which might disappoint. Yet, as a consequence of his principles, something remarkable happens.Presented by Grace Dent Produced in Bristol by Polly Weston

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:54
    Cover

    The Virus Between Us

    In the first of a new series, we hear the stories of people on different sides of isolation in the midst of the Coronavirus. OnHand is an app set up not long ago. Its purpose was to match older adults who needed help with verified volunteers in their local area. A way find someone to fetch the shopping, walk the dog or just come round for a chat.Then in March 2020, in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, everything changed. OnHand went from a source of help to a lifeline for vulnerable people. This episode follows its CEO Sanjay as he and his team adjust to taking on this challenge.Two users of OnHand offer different perspectives on our new world, from either side of isolation. Annie is 73 year old woman now required to isolate at all times and Nathan is a young volunteer in London looking to help those in need.Produced by Sam Peach

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:44
    Cover

    Help for the Helpline

    In Autumn last year AMIS, an organisation and helpline for Abused Men in Scotland based in Edinburgh, faced the prospect of closure. In spite of being busier than it had ever been in almost a decade of operation, a crucial element of their funding had been cut. It left them unable to pay for the office, phones and staff required to keep even the most basic Helpline service available.In the run up to Christmas Producer Joel Cox follows Iris, Alison and Elizabeth as they face the crisis while knowing that the service they provide is vital and not being covered by any other organisation in Scotland. Will crowd funding, grant applications and a raffle be enough to keep the lines open, and what does it mean to the women who strive to keep this unfashionable branch of victim abuse support running.Producers: Joel Cox and Tom Alban

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:51
    Cover

    Game Over in Dover?

    Grace Dent follows the story - through the autumn - of the owner of a family business at the crossroads over Brexit uncertainty. For John Shirley the stakes are high: he's put his house up for sale because he believes leaving the EU Customs Union will ruin his Dover based freight agency company.We follow the Shirley's - who have different views about leaving the EU - through Brexit deadlines and the General Election as John works out what to do.Producer Neil McCarthy

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:46
    Cover

    Four Months for Niyi

    Niyi's eating disorder has stopped him coming home for Christmas. This year, after nearly losing his mother to a brain tumour, he wants to change that.Niyi is a young, successful Cambridge student with a bright future ahead of him. But for the past few years, he has struggled with an eating disorder. It has made him very conscious of eating with others and the pressure of being around the family dinner table at Christmas has been too much. So he stayed away.But this year is different. When his mother was taken to hospital with a brain tumour she nearly lost her life. Niyi was there for her when she was ill and he knows how much it would mean to her for him to make it home. He's starting a new course of therapy to help him work through his eating issues, it might give him the help he needs.Amidst it all Niyi is trying to keep up with the rest of his life. He's deciding the next step in his academic career and attempting to negotiate the dating scene.Produced by Sam Peach

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:50
    Cover

    Alabama 3

    The Alabama 3 singer and co-founder Jake Black died in May: as the next tour date draws near band members must decide whether they can continue without him and how they mark his absence on stage.The decisions on a way forward started within days of Jake's unexpected death and whilst his body was still in the mortuary - moulds were taken of his face and hands in the hope that a death mask might help recreate his presence on stage.In addition of the death mask, sound experts have painstakingly resurrected early out takes of Jake - otherwise known as the Very Reverend D Wayne Love. As preparations gather for the new tour, the forgotten tapes of the talented singer are a constant reminder of his huge talent.The mask is made from the moulds taken by band member Nick Reynolds. He’s the son of Bruce, the great train robber and as well as playing harmonica he’s also a sculptor specialising in death masks. He's convinced that immortalising him in this way will be cathartic for all of them:During the grieving process band members travel to a huge Sopranos Convention in New Jersey, with thousands of fans eager to meet the musicians behind the Sopranos theme tune, 'Woke up this Morning.' It is a bitter sweet experience for Rob Spragg, otherwise known as Larry Love, who formed Alabama 3 with Jake in 1996:"Jake was larger than life, a real fusion of what we stood for and being in America without him is very hard." Rob has made big changes in his own life following Jake's death, largely giving up drugs and alcohol: "It's so hard - he should be here with us and hearing him during rehearsals and performances is bringing so many tears."Produced by Sue Mitchell

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:52
    Cover

    Phoenix from the Airwaves

    In a community centre in inner city Bristol, next to the nursery, and the café and the hall for local meet-ups and yoga, sits a very special place. The BCfm – Bristol Community FM – radio station. From their studio next to Easton community centre’s reception, 204 volunteer radio presenters broadcast to the city of Bristol and beyond. Dezzi Rankin (the resident Sunday morning reggae host), Shout Out (LGBTQ+), Silver Sound (for the older listener), Mid-Week Sports bar, Real Women – they’re all here.Pat Hart has been the station manager for ten years – and also the station’s breakfast presenter. “I don’t think there’s a single part of life in Bristol we don’t represent.”It is always a struggle, but with grants drying up, the station has found itself living more and more of a hand to mouth existence. At the beginning of 2019 he found himself asking the council for more support, but nothing could prepare him for what was around the corner. “If I’d have had a crystal ball, I might have run away at the beginning of 2019.”One fateful day in August at 11am, Tony Johnson launched his 50th Anniversary of the Moon landings special with Telstar. “I plugged my MP3 stick into the usual slot… and then I smelt something strange. Looked to my left, and saw the smoke coming from somewhere behind the desk.” He did his next link, alerted the receptionist to the need for a fire engine, and then as the studio filled with acrid smoke, he queued up an hour’s worth of music. “The radio host’s worst nightmare is dead air.”Pat arrived to find the studio completely destroyed, the insurance documents illegible from fire damage, and his thoughts turned to the listeners. The longer the station is off air, the more perilous their situation becomes.Can Pat get the station back on air - and fast?Produced by Polly Weston

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:51
    Cover

    Voice of an Angel

    This Christmas Eve, for the first time, Croydon Minster's midnight mass is being broadcast to millions. But when you're a choirboy whose voice is about to break, there's no guarantee you'll make it.In the edition of The Untold, two boys are coming to the end of their time in Croydon Minster Boy's choir. They're desperate to hold on until Christmas Eve, when they will have the chance to sing for the nation at BBC One's Midnight Mass.If they can hit the notes there's the chance of a solo, but with a voice deepening every day, only time will tell.Produced by Sam Peach with Andy Fallon

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:55
    Cover

    Jay-Z and Me Part II

    In 2017 Jay-Z phoned Hannah… three times… and she missed the calls because she was surrounded by fifty of her music students on a coach back from Leeds. For a decade, Hannah had been making soul music – juggling being head of music at the University of Winchester, fronting a soul band and being a mum to Leo. Her little known nine piece band, Hannah Williams and the Affirmations, had recently released an album.It turned out Jay-Z had stumbled on a song from her album, Late Nights and Heartbreak, and had written his public apology to Beyoncé for cheating on her around Hannah’s voice.After fourteen years at the University of Winchester, Hannah decided to quit her job to pursue music full time. Offers to play around the world started to fly in, and the press suddenly took an interest in what they were doing – yet Hannah quickly realised this was no fairy tale.The track was one of the few songs from the album which the band hadn’t actually authored. Their friend Kanan had written it. Two years ago, in the episode Jay-Z and Me, we followed Kanan as the revelation turned his world upside down – the song went platinum selling over a million copies, he was nominated for a Grammy, and the royalties began to roll in.But for Hannah, as a sampled voice – not a feature, and not a songwriter, this was no cash cow. The story was only just beginning. After putting everything on the line for her music career, can the band make it work? And what does it mean for the most important things in her life - her son Leo and her husband Dave?Produced by Polly Weston.

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:45
    Cover

    Expectations

    Hazel loves her job. She is very good at. But there is pressure on her to leave. An impressive career has led Hazel to a perfect job at The University of Chichester: it’s stimulating, she loves the students and she is widely respected. With no age discrimination, Hazel could continue forever. And she would like to. Work is her very identity and the idea of pootling around the garden and joining a choir fills her with horror. But Hazel suspects friends, family and colleagues think it is time to go. “The expectation seems to be, from a lot of people, that I will give it all up, that my right job is to look after the grandchildren a bit, do a bit of painting and care for Phil, but that isn’t me, it isn’t me at all.” When her husband, Phil, is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, the pressure escalates but Hazel doesn't see her future as just his carer. “The joy of Phil’s and my relationship is that we’ve always been independent of each other. I don’t want to rush off and leave him, but I don’t want the burden of having the life sucked out of both of us.” She feels judged for thinking this, for not abandoning her career to look after Phil, but if she were a man, would expectations be different?Hazel has always been a clear-headed decision maker. She knew within 10 minutes of meeting her husband she should marry him. She even wants to write her PhD on decision-making. But this choice is proving impossible to make. What should she and what will she decide?Producer: Sarah Bowen

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:35
    Cover

    The Drag Queen and the Dictionary

    Lacey is a drag queen. Her drag persona is Lacey-Lou, a pink, over the top, ultra fem with lots of feathers, pearls and lace. Lacey is also a woman and although she's been doing drag for seven years, she's been dogged by critics who screen-shot the dictionary definition to prove that drag is for men only. So Lacey approaches the Oxford English Dictionary in an attempt to get the dictionary definition changed, to remove its gender specificity and to give her detractors one less thing to throw at her and the many other female, trans and non-binary queens. But will she succeed?Producer: Sara Conkey

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    13 MB
    14:18
    Cover

    NewStorytellers 5. A Young Sel in a Small Town

    Selina Medford grew up in Port Talbot, South Wales, where people of West Indian heritage were in a minority. Now she takes her daughter back to relive her experiences. Touring around the town, they delve into the good, the bad and the ugly struggles that Selina and her family faced growing up during the 1960s. On the way, her daughter Sian, who was born and raised in Birmingham, begins to understand her mother’s experience and how the multi-cultural world she grew up in, and often took for granted, was denied to her mother.A Young Sel in a Small Town paints a retrospective picture that highlights the musical and cultural life of the time, navigating through Selina’s early years of growing up in a harsh household with her Jamaican father, step mother and four other siblings - yet trying to fit in with the everyday European white world around her. A trip down memory lane, meeting old friends and faces in a collage of sounds and music, bringing back hard memories and hope for the future.New Storytellers presents the work of radio and audio producers new to BBC Radio 4 and this first series features the five winners of this year's Charles Parker Prize for the Best Student Radio Feature. A Young Sel in a Small Town won the top award, the Gold Charles Parker Prize, for its producer Sian Medford in Parker's centenary year. Sian has just graduated from the University of West London and the Judges thought her colourfully creative feature was “such a lovely simple idea. An important piece of social history mixed with modern reaction as the family reunites – a rich, dynamic production, with its rich sense of hard lives lived to the full – a really worthy Gold Charles Parker winner.”Producer: Sian Medford A Soundscape production for BBC Radio 4

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    13 MB
    14:05
    Cover

    NewStorytellers 4. My Life After Grenfell

    Three survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire - Alison Moses, Emma O’Connor and Antonio Roncolato - recount the hardships they have endured since that fateful night in June 2017.Starting with memories of the disaster, the survivors then describe what has happened to them since - from being re-housed in temporary accommodation to their feelings about the immediate and long-term political responses to the fire. How do you cope with losing friends and family and still living in the charred shadow of Grenfell Tower itself?New Storytellers presents the work of radio and audio producers new to BBC Radio 4 and this first series features the five winners of this year's Charles Parker Prize for the Best Student Radio Feature. The award is presented every year in memory of pioneering radio producer Charles Parker who produced the famous series of Radio Ballads with Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger.My Life After Grenfell was produced by Rhys Gunter who has just graduated from the University of Westminster. The Charles Parker Award judges said, “although Grenfell is a well-known story, this chilling retelling of the fire and its aftermath brings a new authentic perspective – a very high-level achievement.”Producer: Rhys Gunter A Soundscape production for BBC Radio 4

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    13 MB
    13:49
    Cover

    NewStorytellers 3. Beyond the Ballot

    Fran De’ath is a retired UN Election Organiser who now lives on a houseboat in Bristol, but the voyage of her life is extraordinary - a true story of an ordinary person rising to meet extraordinary circumstances. She was a peacekeeper in 1990s South Africa and, in the 2000s, she de facto wrote the election law in Afghanistan, despite a suicide bomber in her office. But the work Fran is most proud of is what she did in East Timor’s independence referendum. Along mountain passes and into a besieged UN-Compound, she tells the story of how she put herself in harm's way to help bring freedom to the region, the toll it took on her mental health and the road she walked back to wellness.New Storytellers presents the work of radio and audio producers new to BBC Radio 4 and this first series features the five winners of this year's Charles Parker Prize for the Best Student Radio Feature. The award is presented every year in memory of pioneering radio producer Charles Parker who produced the famous series of Radio Ballads with Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger.Beyond the Ballot was produced by Rosa Eaton who is studying for a Masters in Radio Documentary at the University of the West of England. This winning feature was praised by the Charles Parker Award judges as a “beautifully layered, well told and edited story, with a great talker at its heart - a worthy winner.”Producer: Rosa Eaton A Soundscape production for BBC Radio 4

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    13 MB
    14:01
    Cover

    NewStorytellers 2. Kidnapped

    This documentary-drama presents a binaural experience which follows two very different true stories of abduction - one without long-lasting consequences, the other, devastatingly fatal. The feature asks if we are we blind to the possible risks in our everyday lives as, through the power of binaural surround sound,Kidnapped places you in the victim’s place giving the listener the experience of being abducted. For the best listening experience - put your headphones on, close your eyes, and allow the 3D binaural audio to immerse you in a kidnapping.New Storytellers presents the work of radio and audio producers new to BBC Radio 4 and this first series features the five winners of this year's Charles Parker Prize for the Best Student Radio Feature. The award is presented every year in memory of pioneering radio producer Charles Parker who produced the famous series of Radio Ballads with Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger. Kidnapped was produced by Harry Stokoe who has just graduated from the University of Salford. The Charles Parker Award judges were struck by the “great, direct interviews; it’s a well-crafted feature with interesting stories and is technically mature.”Producer: Harry Stokoe A Soundscape production for BBC Radio 4

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    13 MB
    14:06
    Cover

    NewStorytellers 1. The Flapper

    While Grace and The Untold team are busy prepping the next series, we’ve got a treat for you. Five fantastic short documentaries from five fantastic new audio producers.The story of one family told through one object - a memorial to a much-missed matriarch as her family celebrate the life and cookery of Audrie Guthrie, an idiosyncratic and creative mother.Malcolm Guthrie was 94 when his youngest son Bruce returned to live with him in their family home after 31 years away. This is the story of one of the untold heroes of domestic life - the daily use of something seemingly inconsequential but full of memory, meaning and symbolism to their family. Documenting the ways in which the spirits of people can so often be captured within domestic objects. New Storytellers presents the work of radio and audio producers new to BBC Radio 4 and this first series features the five winners of this year's Charles Parker Prize for the Best Student Radio Feature.The award is presented every year in memory of pioneering radio producer Charles Parker who produced the famous series of Radio Ballads with Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger. The Flapper was produced by Bruce Guthrie, an MA student in Radio Documentary Production at the University of the West of England, who recorded his father and older siblings, Fiona and Tim, during the second Christmas after the death of their mother. It’s a celebration of what the Charles Parker Award judges called her “idiosyncratic, matriarchal ways – a radio feature which acts as a way of dealing with loss as well as containing quiet joy.”Producer: Bruce Guthrie A Soundscape production for BBC Radio 4

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:23
    Cover

    The Last Printer

    As Stanley Lane approaches his 81st birthday he's looking for someone to take over his letterpress printing company. After a small article appears about his search in The Telegraph newspaper, applications start pouring in from all over the world. Grace follows Stan's search for someone to take on the company; will he be able to step down from the business he's run for almost 40 years and hand over the reins to someone new?Produced by Mair Bosworth

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:45
    Cover

    Fifteen Years Later

    Fifteen years ago Anna was diagnosed with cancer, and eventually had to have a double mastectomy. Now, as she turns 50, she returns to hospital for full reconstructive surgery.Presented by Grace Dent Produced in Bristol by Polly WestonFor support with the issues in the programme, you can visit:Breast Cancer Care provides emotional support and tailored information to anyone affected by the disease. Phone: 0808 800 6000 www.breastcancercare.org.ukBreast Cancer Now provides information on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and how it is treated. www.breastcancernow.orgMacmillan Cancer Support provides medical, practical, emotional and financial support to cancer patients, their carers friends and family. Phone: 0808 808 0000 www.macmillan.org.ukCancer Research UK provides easy to understand information to anyone affected or concerned about cancer. Phone: 0808 800 4040 (weekdays 9am-5pm) www.cancerresearchuk.org

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:50
    Cover

    Worth Her Weight

    Growing up, Georgia was always the fiery one. Independent, determined and committed, she was the kind of student who gave everything her all, and achieved whatever she put her mind to. When she set her sights on Oxford University she taught herself A-level Classics from the kitchen table to get there.In just one month’s time she’ll be competing in her first Strong Man competition. She’ll be pushing her body to its limits, running with 10 stone barrels, deadlifting 18 stone bars and pulling 20 stone sleds.But this is not just a story about getting physically strong. This is a story of pushing through mental and emotional challenges, it is about leaving the past behind and gaining strength after things go wrong.As we follow Georgia in the lead up to the competition, we get a rare glimpse into the Strong Man world: a male-dominated world that’s starting to open its doors to women.They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but will weightlifting really help Georgia regain control of her life?Presented by Grace Dent Produced by Alice Homewood

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:52
    Cover

    Ellie and Ollie

    Ellie and Ollie were once a lesbian couple. Then Ollie began the process of transitioning from female to male. Grace Dent follows the story, as the couple negotiate the change.Presented by Grace Dent Produced in Bristol by Polly Weston

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:36
    Cover

    Followed by Thousands

    Katie is 17 and a rising star of social media, followed by thousands. She's also a grade A student but is not sure she can do both. Will this mean dropping out of A-levels in Year 12? Grace Dent presents.Producer: JP Devlin

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:36
    Cover

    A Trip to Death Row

    Laura from London visits a death row inmate in Florida to seek answers about her late father's final years.Laura's dad John was an alcoholic. He spent the last ten years of his life writing to Michael, a man condemned to death for murder.John confided things in Michael which he didn't share with his own daughter.29 year old Laura enters a maximum security prison in Florida to find out what Michael knows.Producer: Laurence Grissell

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:25
    Cover

    Diary of a Surrogate

    Having already helped one couple become parents by being a surrogate, Linder wants to do it again. The joy of seeing new parents hold their baby for the first time was so wonderful, she wants to give that to someone else. This time, Linder is trying to get pregnant for gay couple Nick and Karl. But although she conceives very quickly, the path ahead is fraught with difficulties. Linder records an intimate and painfully honest diary as the pregnancy continues.

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:49
    Cover

    The Two Sides of Silver Street

    In many ways Silver Street in Halifax is a street like any other. Yet it also contains a scene you probably won't find anywhere else in the country.At the end of the street is Calderdale Women's Centre. It provides support to female victims of abuse, facing financial difficulties or suffering from health problems. Just a few yards across the road from the Centre is La Salsa, a lap dancing bar.Representatives from the Women's Centre have decided to mount an opposition to La Salsa's licence, and they are not alone. They're being support by White Ribbon UK, an international charity committed to ending male violence against women. White Ribbon's UK headquarters are just a few miles away from Silver Street. They believe the club forms part of a culture that leads to harmful behaviour toward women and a venue such as this directly opposite a haven for vulnerable women is unacceptable.La Salsa's owner, Eduardo, sees things differently. In his eyes he's running a legitimate business which is above the law and staffed by people who are happy and content to work there. The dancers agree, for them, its their choice.The objection will be heard by a meeting of the local authority, where the club will either close immediately or be permitted to remain open. Both parties will have their chance to make their case, but no one can be certain of the verdict.Produced by Sam Peach

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    28:06
    Cover

    Innocent

    Matt is attractive, dynamic and funny, but he has never had a girlfriend. As a blond 8-year-old, he was repeatedly abused by paedophiles and has resisted intimacy ever since. But is he now ready to date? A smiling and playful prep school boy, Matt loved life. Racing around town on his bike, playing hide and seek in the sand dunes, with professional parents and a gang of good friends, he wanted for nothing. But one hot summer's day, playing football in the park, a group of predatory paedophiles ensnared and assaulted him. And for 18 months he was subjected to horrific sexual abuse. “Nothing prepares a child for the experiences of three grown men threatening, blaming coercing; there is such a horrible atmosphere, it is like a presence of evil. You are so scared they might kill you. You feel so complicit and the manipulation forces your silence, so you don't tell people - you go out of your way to hide it.” Through his teenage years he pushed girls away and rejected relationships, “I remember saying to myself I am never, ever, ever going to let anyone hurt me again - and I kind of shut down.” Thrown out of university for drinking, his life was out of control. With unique access to his therapy sessions, to his fears about intimacy and sex, Grace Dent follows this powerful and poignant story as Matt fights for back to build a steady life, a successful career and family. So far love and intimacy have evaded him. Can he now make the huge step of finding someone to love? Producer: Sarah Bowen

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:54
    Cover

    Leaving the Party

    Grace Dent presents the story of two councillors who've quit their parties to run as independents in the local elections.Rowan has left Labour over antisemitism, while Brian has quit the Conservatives over Brexit.Will their gamble pay off?Producer: Laurence Grissell

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:50
    Cover

    What Happened Next?

    Grace Dent revisits four powerful stories recently featured in The Untold, to find out where life took them next.Will was a victim of the Westminster Bridge attack, now tasked with putting his life back together and managing serious injuries. Kanan's life was turned upside down when the song he wrote in a Bristol flatshare was picked up by Jay-Z and became an international hit. Other stories revisited are the case of two GPs fighting to save their practice and the mother whose child was separated from her and taken to live abroad, without her consent.

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:56
    Cover

    Don't Take My Masala

    Shaish Alam's restaurant was once the top rated take away and curry restaurant in Wales. He'd won loads of awards, and appeared on national telly, demonstrating his home grown approach to cooking curry. In September 2017, everything changed, when he was found to be employing four staff who did not have the right to work in in the UK. It wasn't the first time - but with unpaid fines amounting to more than £70,000, this time the authorities came down much harder.Now, he says he can't get more staff to help in the kitchen and he would have to pay a salary of £30,000 to bring anyone over - which he says he can't afford. He comes up with another solution. He decides to slash his menu to make it possible for him to do the cooking himself. His team are up in arms - they think you can't say no to customers, and they say curry menus must be extensive because that's what British people want. Shaish says they've been catering to the public's every demand for too long, and things must change. But how will this Welsh town respond to the prospect of having their favourite curries taken away?

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    28:01
    Cover

    High Street Blues

    Grace Dent presents the story of a Hastings high street in the run-up to Christmas, and three shops fighting for survival.For many years, businesses on Queens Road came and went. Many windows were boarded up, shop faces were rundown. So a few years ago it was seen as a sign of successful regeneration when new independent businesses began to move in and shop fronts were repainted. It became known as a destination for people wanting independent shops, run by people with a passion for what they're selling. But in the last year, the retail environment has become subdued. It has been an uncertain and difficult twelve months, and the final weeks of the year are looking no easier.This is the story of three shops on one street, in the run down to a vital shopping period which they need to go well to survive into 2019.Vicky opened White Rhino in 2014, and used to specialise in furniture from independent designers. But demand dropped and now she must earn a living from smaller, less lucrative products like loose leaf tea and trinkets.Lee opened Printed Matter bookshop in 2017. Hastings was set to be a university town but as soon as he opened the shop, that fell through. He hopes to get 1% of the town's population as regular customers, but he's got tough competition.Jez opened Queen's Deli in 2017. He's taken a big risk in opening on this street, and has everything on the line for it.By the time their shop doors shut on Christmas Eve, Jez, Vicky and Lee need to know there is enough money in the till to see them into the new year. And it's looking very uncertain.Presenter: Grace Dent Producer: Georgia Catt

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:45
    Cover

    Should I study at Cambridge?

    The recordings follow Anoushka as she tours the Cambridge colleges and debates what she should do. It's a difficult choice and one that is made all the harder by the University's poor record in relation to black students, who make up just 2.2 per cent of the under-graduate population.In talking to her friends she discovers that some of the more able students are clearly put off from even applying to Oxbridge because of the compromises they would have to make. They talk to her about concerns over what they say is a lack of racial diversity and worries about so many students coming from fee paying schools.Anoushka's parents, Anjula and Roy, are patient and supportive as she debates the merits of her top choices, including the London School of Economics, Queens’ College Cambridge and Kings College London. They feel that an Oxbridge degree would set her up for life and that she would also flourish within the small teaching groups offered in the history department. But this is her decision and it's one she's determined to get right.Producer: Sue Mitchell

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:44
    Cover

    Searching For My Birth Family

    For Steph, family comes first. As a self-described 'dance mum' she frequently drives the youngest of her three children around the country for classes and competitions. Steph was adopted, and although her own upbringing was a happy one she has always wanted to know more about her birth mother and blood relatives. Now for the first time she has decided to try to find them and contact them. She has no idea whether her mother's relatives know of her existence, and what effect her search for them may have on their lives - or her own. Presented by Grace Dent.Producer: Viv Jones

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:49
    Cover

    Like Riding a Bike

    Roni never got to learn to ride a bike as a child. Her dad died when she was nearly six years old, and her Mum was left to bring up five children on her own so there was no-one to teach Roni or help her. As Roni grew older, it just became embarrassing to talk about it, and it made her feel inadequate, so she stopped even mentioning it to anyone. But the longing for the freedom and independence she thought cycling would bring has never left her. So, when her friend Clare bought her a second-hand pink bike, she decided it was time to turn her dream into action. Producer: Sara Conkey

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:53
    Cover

    Field of Dreams

    James is 24 and dreams of being a farmer. He’s got sheep, but nowhere to keep them. A sought-after farm in Cornwall is open for applicants. Will he find a home for his flock?But if you’re a first-time farmer without the money to buy, even finding a farm is difficult. James has been trying for years and has applied to 6 farms. He’s recently heard about a farm to rent in Cornwall. He and his fiancé, Isobel, have visited it and fallen in love with it. So they’ve decided to throw their heart into this one last application and if they don’t get it, they’re going to sell their 400 sheep and their sheep dogs and buy a house. They'll stop chasing their dream.And there’s one more complication: alongside tending to his sheep, James is also running a family business with his brother and father. He’s farming insects to feed fish. It’s a business with international growth potential and great career prospects but James has found that spending all day in a workshop doing experiments is not what he wants to do for the rest of his life.James’ Dad Andrew isn’t very enthusiastic about James dream to be a livestock farmer. He wonders what will happen to the family business. And he worries that there’s not much money in farming. James’ Dad worked in the oil and gas industry for 40 years and has helped James set up the insect-farming venture. He feels that farming livestock on a small scale in Cornwall is not a viable business for his son. James meanwhile is determined to pursue the outdoor farming life. "If it pays off, our children will have an amazing life. We’ve got one chance and we have to make the most of it.”

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:51
    Cover

    Van Life

    When Kirsty's youngest son goes to university, she decides to go in search of adventure. At the age of 47 she buys an old plasterer's van, and moves into it - knowing nothing about vehicles or DIY, and with a fear of heights so strong she gets scared of big hills.She starts a Youtube channel to record her journey, and over the next eighteen months goes through a radical change. But through the story of this change, we hear about her past - and what she's left behind.Produced in Bristol by Polly Weston.

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:45
    Cover

    Sikh-ing Mr Right

    Min is determined to only marry a Sikh who wears a turban. But after a decade of looking her family and friends want her to widen her search by the time she turns 38. As the only daughter, her mum and dad just want her to be happy but also married and settled with her own family and they don’t mind who she marries. Min’s mum thinks not only should her daughter abandon her search for a turban-wearing Sikh but she should widen her search further to include non–Sikhs. With only three months to go before Min turns 38 the clock is ticking. Will Min consider someone without a turban, let alone out of faith? The producer is Perminder Khatkar

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:31
    Cover

    Me, Dad and Dementia

    Grace Dent presents the story of Amanda and her fight to get 24 hour care for her 96 year old dad who has dementia - before it's too late.Alan calls his daughter Amanda up to twenty times a day, confused and paranoid. But he's adamant he doesn't want to go into a care home.We follow Amanda's struggle to get him the care she feels he needs.Producer: Laurence Grissell

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:52
    Cover

    The Unidentified Woman

    This is the 100th episode of The Untold.Grace Dent follows the story of an unidentified woman found washed up on a beach in East Sussex in 2017. Who was she? And why has no one come forward to claim her body? Despite the best efforts of the police and a long-running missing persons appeal, she has never been identified.A year on, Christina, an employee of the Rother District Council’s Environmental Health team has been given the task of organising a funeral for the woman. She is determined to solve the mystery of the woman's identity and to track down her relatives. And to ensure that, even though no loved ones have come forward, her passing will not go unmarked.Produced by Mair BosworthOffice Ambience Copyright 2013 Iwan Gabovitch, CC-BY3 license.

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:50
    Cover

    No Place for the Homeless

    The town of Corby faces a rough-sleeping crisis, but the community is strongly divided over a proposed solution. Does a homeless shelter belong by the side of a care home?Nicola is the manager of Corby's homelessness charity Nightlight. For several years they have been helping the growing number of homeless people in the small town by arranging temporary night shelters and paying visits to the homeless community in the woods.The volunteers believe they have found what they need: an unused public building big enough for 35 guests. A permanent home and a warm place for the coming winter. Yet in other ways the site is not ideal, it lies just feet away from a care home and sheltered housing complex.Despite this, Nicola and the other volunteers have decided to push on with obtaining planning permission to develop the building. They have faced stern opposition from a community of residents and relatives who fear a rise in crime, anti-social behaviour and a risk to their security.Nicola has given up paid work in order focus full time succeeding in this application. If approved, they will be a considerable step closer to obtaining funding and employing full time staff, including herself, at the shelter. After months of consultation, the decision comes down to one council meeting and a vote of 8 councillors.Both sides are seeking to protect the vulnerable, but whose voice will the council listen to?Produced by Sam Peach

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:23
    Cover

    Fighting For My Niece

    38-year-old entrepreneur Simon fights to become his teenage niece's legal guardian after she was placed in care.Until last year, Simon was a highly successful businessman with a city lifestyle to match. Then his business went under - and with it his sense of purpose in life. At around the same time his 13-year-old niece was placed into local authority care because of her mother's drug use. Simon resolves to get his niece out of care and become her legal guardian - but it involves a fraught legal process and a massive life change.Presenter: Grace Dent Producer: Laurence Grissell

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    352 MB
    00:22
    Cover

    The Untold - Get it First on BBC Sounds

    From this week, you can find brand new episodes of The Untold first on the BBC Sounds app

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:21
    Cover

    Fernando's vs Nando's

    On a busy street in Reading - at the front of the shopping centre - you might catch the distinctive smell of peri peri chicken. This is Fernando's. Opened in Autumn 2017, it's a halal restaurant, belonging to Asam Aziz.A huge fan of the ITV dating show, Take Me Out, Asam says he named his restaurant after the fictional island where couples are sent : "the isle of Fernando's". Some customers did wonder whether Nando's might take issue with the name - but "I just couldn't see that. Why would Nando's have a problem with that?", he says.This is Asam's first venture of his own. His Dad arrived in Reading in 1965 from Pakistan "with nothing but 50p in his pocket and the trousers he was wearing", and Asam moved here in the 70s when he was one. His Dad saved and saved until he could afford their first convenience store in 2000 and now, with Fernando's, Asam is branching out on his own.200 people came to their opening in September, as the local Imam blessed the restaurant. The restaurant was a huge success in the community. Busy all the time, Asam seemed to be succeeding in his first year in business. But then, in March, a letter arrived from Nandos' lawyers - it stated that Fernando's was in breach of the company's copyright. Not only with the name, but with the Portuguese Chicken Barcelos symbol he'd chosen as his logo, and other branding inside. Now he faces a dilemma that could bring him down: should he totally re-brand, or refuse to make changes and be taken to court. Clearly, as a small business, the risk in fighting a huge global chain is enormous, but there's a problem - Asam isn't the sort of person who backs down easily: "I can't just hang my gloves up".But, it's still early days in the life of his restaurant. What choice does he have?Produced in Bristol by Polly Weston.

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:55
    Cover

    Weathering Windrush

    Lloyd Grant came to the UK when he was eleven, joining his parents, who had found jobs and set up home here. As a victim of the unfolding Windrush scandal he has suffered greatly.Having worked for London Transport and had four children here, Lloyd was completely unprepared to find himself on the wrong side of what was to become an unfolding immigration nightmare. Within weeks he lost his job, was told that he was ineligible for benefits or even health care: eventually he was forced out of his home through mounting debt and started sleeping in hospital waiting rooms and in the foyer of the local YMCA. He feared that he would be deported back to Jamaica - a country he left at eleven, when he came to join parents who had made a new life in London.The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, last week announced the launch of a consultation so that people can have their say on how compensation for victims like Lloyd should work. The process is being overseen by Martin Forde, QC, who is himself the son of Windrush parents and in the programme he meets Lloyd and considers some of the aspects raised by his story. He is keen to understand both the financial and the psychological impact on the 5,000 or so victims of the scandal and although he is unable to put a figure on likely payments, he thinks there will be a cap on the amount people receive.Lloyd is one of many who have suffered through the Government's 'hostile environment policy,' which requires employers and other bodies to demand evidence of citizenship. Although he had held a British passport, he had lost it and his original landing card proving his legitimate entry into the country had been destroyed. The result was that he could not even return to the Caribbean for his mother's funeral and he has lost everything he built up in this country. Now he is starting from scratch, with a temporary place in a hotel and a promise that he will be given citizenship. The Untold follows his efforts to rebuild his life.Produced by Sue Mitchell and Viv Jones.

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:34
    Cover

    Jade's World

    Grace Dent follows Jade, a games designer with autism. She's heading to a world famous games festival in New York. Can she navigate her condition and make the trip a success?Coming to the end of University, Jade is determined to build herself a career in the gaming industry. In the games she designs, players are immersed in a simulation of Jade's experience, they must manage some of the effects of autism to advance to the next level.An opportunity has arisen for her that might be the opportunity she is looking for... a major convention in New York and a platform to share her work so far. It's a chance she just can't miss, so Jade has spent her savings on a ticket to the Big Apple. Jade's autism presents challenges to her daily life. It sometimes makes busy spaces problematic, and can create a lot of anxiety in social situations. A bustling convention, in the middle of one of the world's busiest cities, could present a lot of difficulty for Jade, and she will be travelling there alone.As the flight draws closer, Jade must manage her nerves and prepare for what could be the trip of a lifetime. She will need to face an environment she has never encountered before in order to follow her dream.Producer: Sara Parker.

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:32
    Cover

    The Island Man

    One man believes the Isle of Sheppey needs a new town council, but there are many who disagree. Grace Dent follows his campaign to restore an island identity, beyond the mainland.Brian is a retired businessman and coastguard. He's dedicated his life to improving the town of Sheerness, his home for 40 years. He's felt the town he loves had become neglected, and wanted to breathe new life back into the community. So he began a campaign to get a new voice for Sheerness, a Town Council elected separately from the Borough Council across the water.It's a divisive issue however, and there are many who disagree that a new council is the answer to the problems of an old Kent seaside town. The tension is heating up on both sides of the debate, ahead of a decisive Borough Council vote: whether to give more control to an island community, or to keep power on the mainland.Produced by Sam Peach.

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:39
    Cover

    In the Driving Seat

    Beth has vision in just one eye. Gary is her driving instructor. Can she pass her test?Gary is a former medical rep turned driving instructor who became bored teaching 'ordinary' pupils. He now specialises in lessons for people with particular challenges, whether they have autism, or a missing limb, or - in Beth's case - just one useful eye.Beth's in her early 20s and has Stickler syndrome, a condition which led to the retina in her right eye detaching when she was 11 years old. That eye has almost no useful vision, certainly nothing that helps when it comes to driving. Beth first took lessons when she was 18, but her instructor made her feeling too nervous to continue. She thought she would never drive. But then she found Gary. With his vast well of patience, not to mention his car which is kitted out with all kinds of accessories including a huge panoramic mirror, her confidence has improved to the point where she can take her test. Beth's life is about to completely change: she's starting university in a new city and her partner works away from home, so she needs the independence that driving bring. But will she pass?Producer: Karen Gregor.

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:49
    Cover

    If the Dress Fits

    Down a side street in Weston-super-Mare, a tailor is working at his sewing machine. This is Vaughan. "I'm alright, it's everyone else that's the problem." Born in Lancashire, he doesn't mince his words. And he's the go-to for any alteration you might need - particularly prom dresses. He works with the dress shop across the road, making any dress work for any girl. Last year he altered and modified 130 dresses for prom season - but it landed him in hospital with a heart attack, so this year he's afraid of the sequin busts as they start to come through the door.He's disparaging of many of the dresses on the rail - "females have no taste" - except one. The black dress. "That... Is this season's challenge. It'll take a brave girl to carry that off."As prom fast approaches, no one has chosen the black dress. Until Carmen walks in...Produced in Bristol by Polly Weston.

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:48
    Cover

    After the Bridge

    On 22nd March 2017, 25 year old Will Dyson was walking along Westminster Bridge, when a vehicle mounted the pavement and hit him from behind. The Terror Attack left 5 people dead and more than 50 injured. Will was one of the injured. In the lead up to the year anniversary, Will faces up to his changing views of the incident.

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:48
    Cover

    Child of Mine

    The Untold follows an international child custody case which has caused enormous stress and pain to the Bradford born mother, Tracy, who has not seen her daughter for sixteen months.Grace Dent follows what happens as Tracy seeks access to her little girl, who was taken to the Czech Republic by her former partner during an access visit. He was within his rights to petition the courts there under the Hague Convention, which considers residency based on the length of time spent in an area and the roots put down there.The recordings follow Tracy's fight to see her daughter and the legal obstacles in her way, from language barriers in proceedings to the contested factors at the heart of the relationship break-down. She has enlisted the help of her MP, Philip Davies, who wants the Foreign Office to consider helping the increasing number of parents in similar situations.Tracy is heartbroken without her daughter and wonders how she will cope - they last saw each other as she kissed the little girl goodbye. That was over a year ago and just before her ex-partner took her for what was meant to be a sleep-over in Bradford. The next day he phoned from his village in the Czech Republic to say they were there and wouldn't be returning as planned."It was the worst moment of my life, I think I collapsed and can't really remember what happened next. It was like everything collapsed and the nightmare that's been my life since had begun. I want to be with my daughter and know that she feels the same, to separate us like this is cruel beyond belief."Producer: Sue Mitchell.

    ...plus
  • 09.09.2020
    26 MB
    27:38
    Cover

    Cutting It Straight

    After meeting in prison, two men want to make a fresh start as barbers in a Welsh village. Grace Dent follows them as they strive to make life outside a success in a small community.Tom and Leon met on a prison barbering course in the middle of their prison sentences. They had always shared 'jail talk' of opening a shop together but after being released they decided to make it a reality. Together they invested their money in a barber shop nestled in the Welsh Valleys, new arrivals in small village.Can they convince potential customers to give them a chance - and make a return on their investment?Produced by Sam Peach.

    ...plus