The Tragic Life, and Death of Timothy Evans

25 year old Timothy Evans from Merthyr Tydfil was hanged in March 1950 after being falsely convicted of the murder of his daughter at their flat in Rillington Place in London's Notting Hill district. Three years after his execution, his downstairs neighbour John Christie was found to be a serial killer who had killed six women in the same house. Criminologist Harriet Pierpoint looks back at the life, trial and execution of Timothy Evans and its subsequent impact. The case generated much controversy and debate and along with that of Derek Bentley and Ruth Ellis, played a major role in the abolition of capital punishment in the United Kingdom for murder in 1965. The documentary includes the dramatic reconstruction of elements of the trial and hears from historians, crime writers and Harold Evans, the former Sunday Times editor who raised the Evans case and campaigned for his conviction to be overturned alongside broadcaster and human rights campaigner Ludovic Kennedy. This programme assesses the case's significance, its role in the abolition of the death penalty and Timothy Evans's place in history. The actors are Dyfan Rees (Timothy Evans), David McClelland (John Christie), Stephanie Turner (Ethel Christie), Christopher Strauli (Mr Justice Lewis), and Jonathan Kydd (Malcolm Morris KC and Christmas Humphreys )
An MIM Production for BBC Radio Wales.

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: Colin McRae - Rally Legend

In 1995, the Scottish driver Colin McRae became the youngest ever winner of the World Rally Championship after a dramatic victory in the last race of the season in North Wales. McRae’s no-holds-barred driving style later inspired a video game that brought rallying to a wider audience. He died in a helicopter crash in 2007. His brother, Alistair McRae, talks to Jonathan Holloway.  An MIM production for the BBC World Service

PHOTO: Colin McRae (Getty Images)

The Day The Sea Came In

Three decades after devastating floods wreaked havoc in North Wales, journalist Tracy Cardwell returns to the epicentre to recall the events of February 26th 1990 with local people. Up to 6,000 residents were forced from their homes in Kinmel Bay and Towyn when the sea flooded the area in a catastrophic combination of high winds and high tides.n this programme Tracy, who worked as a young reporter for a local paper meets some of the people affected as well as a local photographer who captured images of the event close up. Nearly 3000 homes and businesses had to be evacuated and the disaster had a big impact on local people - affecting them economically as well as leaving lasting physical and mental scars. Photographer Bob Hewitt remembers rescuing an elderly woman in a canoe while Elwyn Edwards talks about being trapped in a caravan park for 9 hours when the floods first hit. In Abergele Tracy meets Darren Millar, AM for Clywd West who was a young boy at the time. He recalls being called out of school and the stress and anxiety the events caused his family and others over the long term. Tracy also meets Mike Peters, lead singer of The Alarm who helped to raise money for the victims of the flood and Dr Lynda Yorke, a Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography at Bangor University who discusses the likelihood of a repeat of the events of 1990. An MIM Production for BBC Radio Wales.

Witness History: The Pale Blue Dot

In February 1990, the Nasa space probe Voyager took a famous photo of Earth as it left the Solar System. Seen from six billion kilometres away, our planet appears as a mere dot lit up by the Sun, and the image is credited with giving humanity a sense of our small place in the Universe. Darryll Morris speaks to Nasa planetary scientist, Candice Hansen, who worked on the Voyager programme. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production. An MIM production for the BBC World Service.

Photo: The Earth seen as a pale blue dot in a band of sunlight (Nasa)

The Likely Dads

Former Blue Peter presenter Tim Vincent hosts a new late-night frank and funny conversation programme with several fathers discussing what it's like to be a dad in 21st century Britain. In this pilot episode, comedians Russell Kane, Sean Hegarty and Mick Ferry, as well as voiceover artist and actor Jonathan Kydd, join Tim to talk about everything from sleep (or lack thereof), pregnancy and toilet training, to dealing with children in restaurants, being the only dad at playgroup and whether there's anything that dads do better than mums. An MIM production for BBC Radio 4

Sporting Witness: Nancy Greene - The 'Tiger' of Women's skiing

In February 1968, the Canadian skier Nancy Greene pulled off a flawless performance at the Winter Olympic Games, winning the Giant Slalom by a record-breaking margin of 2.6 seconds. Greene was nicknamed “Tiger” because of her attacking style, and the commanding victory made her one of the most popular Canadian sportswomen of all time. Nancy Greene talks to Freddy Chick.   An MIM production for the BBC World Service

PHOTO: Nancy Greene is cheered by her Canadian team-mates in 1968. Credit: Getty Images

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)

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

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