OUR PROGRAMMES

Witness History: The story of George Stinney Jr

How a 14-year-old boy became the youngest person to be executed in the USA during the 20th century. George Stinney Jr was sent to the electric chair in 1944. He had been tried for the murder of two young girls, but when the case was reviewed by a court in South Carolina in 2014 his conviction was annulled. Ashley Byrne has been speaking to George Stinney Jr's sister Katherine Robinson, and to Matt Burgess who was one of the team of lawyers who fought to clear his name. An MIM production for the BBC World Service

Photo: George Stinney Jr in 1944. Credit Alamy

Sporting Witness: Togo Bus Attack

In January 2010, a guerrilla group in Angola opened fire on the buses carrying the Togo football team as they travelled to the Africa Cup of Nations tournament. The machine-gun fire lasted 30 minutes and killed two members of the Togolese delegation. Ashley Byrne talks to Kodjo Lanou Elitsa, the Togo team’s technical director about a day that changed football in Africa.   An MIM production for the BBC World Service

PHOTO: Togolese soldiers carrying the coffin of a victim of the attack (AFP/Getty Images)

From Ivor to Sam: The Art of Kids TV

Former Blue Peter presenter Tim Vincent who was born and grew up in North Wales takes a nostalgic look back at 60 years of children's TV - from shows set in Wales like Ivor the Engine to those made in Wales like Fireman Sam and Super Ted. Tim travels back six decades to remember the very first outing for the animation series Ivor the Engine, then in black and white, which was first broadcast on ITV in 1959. Programme creator Oliver Postgate's son Daniel tells us where the inspiration for Ivor first came from. The series was updated for 70s and 80s viewers and produced in colour on the BBC. And Daniel tells us how he's really keen to revive Ivor the Engine for 21st Century kids.  Growing up as a kid in the 70s, Tim couldn't escape the BBC's school holidays offering 'Why Don't You?'. The series which encouraged children to switch the TV off and do other things was loved and loathed by kids in equal measure. Cities around the UK would take it in turns to host the show and it provided early experimental turf for celebrated Welsh TV writer and the man who revived Dr Who, Russell T Davies. Russell and Tim worked on Granada TV show Children's Ward and are reunited for this programme which also looks at the birth of shows like Fireman Sam and Super Ted which sprang from the arrival of S4C in 1982. We hear how Sam became a runaway hit in both English and Welsh. Tim hears how HTV blazed a trail for kids TV and kept the BBC on its toes for many years while we recall other Welsh characters which emerged in shows not produced in Wales - like Fenela the witch and her 'headaches' in Cosgrove Hall's popular Chorlton and the Wheelies series. And the programme is on location at the Cloth Cat Studios in Cardiff as we look ahead to the future of children's TV production in Wales.
An MIM production for BBC Radio Wales.

Sporting Witness: The Shot Heard Around The World

In November 1989, the USA qualified for the football World Cup for the first time in the modern era with a nail-biting 1-0 away win in Trinidad and Tobago. The winning goal was a 30-yard screamer scored by Paul Caligiuri, one of the few professionals in the American team. It is credited with boosting the popularity of the game in the US, and was nicknamed “The Shot Around the World”. Paul Caligiuri talks to Ashley Byrne.  An MIM production for the BBC World Service

PHOTO: The US team at the 1990 World Cup (Getty Images)

Giving Peace a Chance

Francine Jones was a young attaché at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal when John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their week-long bed in for peace there 50 years ago. She was one of dozens of young people who were inspired by the bed in protest and here she hears from several who joined John and Yoko for that week in spring 1969. She returns to the actual bedroom suite and reunites with others in the very room where the now famous peace anthem Give Peace a Chance was penned and first performed. The protest happened during the height of the Vietnam War and followed a replica event at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam two months earlier. We hear the voices of John and Yoko recalling their earliest musical memories in a lost and only recently re-discovered interview with young Radio Quebec reporter Gilles Gougeon who managed to record an extra-long discussion with the couple during the bed in. Francine hears from Andre Perry who explains how, as a young 20-something, he ended up recording Give Peace a Chance. Legendary British singer Petula Clark tells of her role in the recording too. Then 20 year old Allan Rock describes the surreal moment, having met John and Yoko at the bed in, he finds himself driving them around Canada's capital, Ottawa, singing Beatles’ songs and stopping off to pin a note on the door of flamboyant Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's official residence at 24 Sussex Drive. An MIM production for the BBC World Service

Photo: John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "bed-in for peace" protest, at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, 1969. Credit: Queen Elizabeth Hotel

Sporting Witness: The Cold War's Strangest Sport

The end of the Cold War in 1989 spelt the demise of a little-known, but surprisingly popular sport behind the Iron Curtain – high-speed telegraphy competitions. With the help of two of Czechoslovakia’s best former Morse-coders, we revisit the inaugural World Championship in Moscow in 1983 when the Soviet Union rolled out the red carpet for teams from across the Communist bloc. Ashley Byrne reports.  An MIM production for the BBC World Service

PHOTO: A Morse code machine in action (Getty Images)

WorldLink: Speaking French in Louisiana

In Louisiana, home to Cajun and Creole culture and cuisine, schools are fighting to keep the French language alive. The dialect emerged in the late 1700s, but today only about 5% of the state speak it. Without it, they say, a vibrant part of Louisiana's identity will be lost. Freddy Chick spoke to a French teacher in New Orleans. An MIM production for DW

PHOTO: © picture-alliance/blickwinkel/McPHOTO

WorldLink: Remembering the struggle for women's international soccer

It's exactly 50 years in November since the first international tournament for women's football was played in Italy. Although it was an unofficial event that only featured four competing teams, its success helped push the governing bodies of football to finally embrace the women's game. Ashley Byrne talked to two women who remember those early years. An MIM production for DW

PHOTO: © picture-alliance/United Archives/TopFoto

Witness History: The first Indian to win Miss World

Reita Faria was the first Indian to win the Miss World beauty competition in 1966. She was studying medicine in Mumbai when a spur of the moment decision to take part in the contest turned her life upside down. Orna Merchant has been speaking to Reita Faria about her win, and whether she believes there is still a place for beauty contests in the 21st Century. An MIM production for the BBC World Service

Photo: Reita Faria wearing the Miss World crown in November 1966. Credit: Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

WorldLink: Fifty years of Sesame Street

This month marks the 50th anniversary of one of the longest running children's TV shows in the world. Sesame Street has delighted generations of kids, with colourful puppets teaching them about numbers and letters in songs many remember all their lives. Iain Mackness met two of the artists who helped make the show a global success. An MIM production for DW

PHOTO: © picture-alliance/United Archives

When Carry On Came to Wales

In 1968, the Carry On gang took a rare trip away from Pinewood to film the outside scenes of Carry On Up the Khyber. And in this special programme, Welsh actor Steve Speirs, who played Bernard Bresslaw in the TV film Cor Blimey tells the story of When Carry On Came To Wales. The Watkin Path in Snowdonia became the Khyber Pass in India for the purposes of the Carry On antics which involved stars like Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Bernard Bresslaw, Roy Castle and Terry Scott descending on North Wales. The movie which pokes fun at British pomposity and excess in the days of Empire also stars Sid James and Joan Sims. The cast who came to Wales stayed at the Old Goat in Beddgelert and as part of this programme Carry On actors Angela Douglas, who had a leading role in the film and former Bond girl Valerie Leon return to Snowdonia to reminisce about the shoot and to meet those who took part in the events 50 years ago. We hear about locals who appeared as extras, from waiters and others - and Angela is reunited with the man assigned to drive her around at the time. Others Remembering this, one of the most successful in the Carry On cannon include historian Robert Ross and Carry On regular Alexandra Dane who played Busti in ....Up the Khyber. The programme is produced by Ashley Byrne and Iain Mackness and is an MIM Production for BBC Radio Wales

WorldLink: No longer welcome in Brexit Britain

An estimated 3.6 million EU-born migrants live in the UK. But as Britain prepares for BREXIT, EU citizens must apply for a new legal lifeline to remain, known as settled status. A growing number of EU nationals who ought to qualify automatically are being refused for bureaucratic reasons. Like 55-year old Anna Amato, who has lived in England since she was two years old. An MIM production for DW

PHOTO: © AFP / T.Akmen

Sporting Witness: Muhammad Ali - The 'Last Hurrah'

In October 1980, Muhammad Ali came out of retirement in an attempt to regain a world heavyweight title at the age of 38. Ali’s opponent in a fight dubbed “The Last Hurrah” was his former sparring partner, Larry Holmes. To the horror of the crowd and the dismay of Holmes himself, an aging, unfit Ali was pummelled for 10 rounds until his trainer belatedly stopped the fight. Larry Holmes speaks to Ashley Byrne. An MIM production for the BBC World Service

PHOTO: Muhammad Ali in the ring in October 1980. Credit: Getty Images

WorldLink: Canada’s liberals fight for survival in election battle

Despite the rise of extremism and nationalism around the world, Canada has so far managed to buck the trend and is often seen as a beacon of liberalism. But on the brink of a federal election, it seems even Canada can't escape the reactionary trend. Will the country’s reputation as a defender of liberal values survive? An MIM production for DW

PHOTO: © picture-alliance/empics/The Canadian Press/D. Dyck

Sporting Witness: Eamonn Coghlan and the four-minute mile at forty

In 1994, the legendary Irish middle-distance runner Eamonn Coghlan came out of retirement in a bid to become the first person over forty to run a sub-four minute mile. He talks to Ashley Byrne.  An MIM production for the BBC World Service

PHOTO: Eamonn Coghlan, centre (Getty Images)

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