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Inter-racial marriage became legal in South Africa in June 1985

Made in Manchester has produced an edition of the BBC World Service documentary strand Witness about the first inter-racial wedding in South Africa.

It took place in the small black township of St Wendolin’s in Natal in June 1985 and saw white American Suzanne LeClerc marry black South African Protas Madlala.

Producer Ashley Byrne says: ‘The Apartheid Government at the time had signaled its decision to change the law to allow people to tie the knot across the racial divide in April that year but by early June the law still hadn’t changed and the couple were unsure whether they’d be breaking the rules by holding their service.’

Ashley adds: ‘it’s a really interesting story and Suzanne and Protas are very candid about how they were determined to get married but also about the prejudice they faced in not only getting wed but also in forging a life together afterwards. It certainly wasn’t easy.’

The edition of BBC Witness can be heard here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02t8tlt

Made in Manchester has made an edition of the long running BBC World Service history strand Sporting Witness about the life and times of transgender tennis star Renee Richards.

Born Richard Raskind in 1934, Renee changed sex in the 1970s only to be told that she wouldn’t be able to compete professionally in the US Open. Renee challenged the US authorities with the support of tennis great Billie Jean King and won a landmark legal case in 1977.

Producer and MIM Creative Director Ashley Byrne says: ‘At the age of 40, she embarked on a career she’d never really planned for. Had no one challenged her right to play at professional level, she’d have happily carried on as an amateur player and focussed on her career as an eye surgeon.

‘As Renee tells us in the programme, she suffered a lot of prejudice including death threats.’

Ashley adds: ‘She went on to compete against some of the greats of women’s tennis and after retiring from the competitive game she coached Martina Navaratilova for several years. It’s a remarkable story and Renee certainly blazed a trail for other transgender people campaigning for their rights.’

Sporting Witness – Renee Richards was researched by Andrew Edwards and Liam Starkey and edited by Iain Mackness. It can be heard on the BBC World Service this Tuesday morning (June 16th 2015( at 9.50 am or via BBC iplayer radio.

Made in Manchester has been commissioned to make a 26 part series for CBeebies Radio which brings the phonic alphabet to life for young children.
Sounds Like This is the brainchild of writer and author Robert Rigby whose other children’s writing credits include Thomas The Tank Engine and Byker Grove.
Each episode is around 5 minutes long [...]

Jean Darling, one of the few people still alive who worked with Laurel and Hardy, has been speaking to Made in Manchester about her role in the premiere on Broadway of the legendary musical Carousel.
Jean, who is now 92, was just 22 when she got her big theatre break in April 1945.
She’d been working [...]

Made in Manchester has made an edition of the BBC World Service strand Sporting Witness looking back at a pivotal moment in Australian sporting history – when their part time soccer side clinched their first piece of silverware in an international tournament.
It happened in Saigon in November 1967 and it took place in the middle [...]

What’s it like to work with or for an independent production company?
Made in Manchester is one of the leading producers of radio in the UK and makes programmes for a variety of international broadcasters.
Following the success of our previous advice seminars, MIM will be holding another one in March about what [...]