BBC Documentaries


An indepth look at stories and issues from around the world. This podcast offers you the chance to access landmark series from our archive.
Daily English United Kingdom Education
60 Episodes
1 – 20

BBC OS Conversations: The floods in Libya

Storm Daniel delivered 300 times more rain than expected onto the north-east coast of Libya, causing two dams to burst and water up to 30 meters high to tear through the coastal city of Derna. The immense power of the flood smashed everything in its path, claiming thousands of lives…
22 Sep 8PM 24 min

Heart and Soul: Poland's nuns lifting the veil

What happens when a Catholic nun in Poland chooses to leave her religious community? Nuns are rejecting their orders after experiencing what they now regard as abuse. Some say they have even been sexually abused by priests. Izabela Moscicka recently made this journey. She stopped being a nun and is…
21 Sep 8PM 28 min

How a war has changed a Norwegian town

Kirkenes, in the far north-east of Norway, once thrived on its close ties with neighbouring Russia. All that changed after the invasion of Ukraine. Now it’s become home to Ukrainian refugees and a safe haven for some Russian journalists escaping President Putin’s media clampdown. For decades this area popularised the…
20 Sep 9PM 30 min

Cricket and the maidens

In March 2023, the first season of the Women’s India Premier League, the world’s second most valuable cricketing league, behind only the men’s IPL, was played. Five teams battled it out to claim the crown, comprised of international teams of women cricketers at the top of their game who earned…
18 Sep 8PM 27 min

In the Studio: Vhils

Alexandre Farto aka Vhils is a Portuguese artist, known for his striking huge murals that have appeared on city walls from Brazil and the US, to Senegal and Vietnam. He uses a bas-relief carving technique, which involves using chisels and even hammer drills to scrape away at the fabric of…
17 Sep 8PM 29 min

The Explanation: What is a war crime?

What is the difference between a war crime, a crime against humanity and genocide? And who holds those responsible to account? Anna Holligan, the BBC's correspondent in The Hague, gives an insight into how the International Criminal Court works. She shares some of the cases of those who have been…
16 Sep 9PM 21 min

Remembering Buthelezi

The BBC's Audrey Brown looks back at the life of South Africa's Zulu leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who died earlier in September aged 95. He played a vital - and controversial - role in the country's history during both the Apartheid era and the transition to multiracial democracy.
16 Sep 8PM 29 min

BBC OS Conversations: The earthquake in Morocco

The earthquake struck in a region of the High Atlas Mountains. Its force destroyed entire villages and could be felt across the country, and even in neighbouring Algeria. Around 3,000 people lost their lives and thousands were injured. It’s described as the worst earthquake in the country in 60 years…
15 Sep 8PM 26 min

Heart and Soul: Faith, terrorists and mercy at Guantanamo Bay

Dr Jennifer Bryson interrogated suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists at the infamous Guantanamo Bay. She worked at the detention centre in Cuba for two years and says that some of the inmates bragged openly about helping to organise the terrorist attacks of 9/11 that killed 3,000 people. Bryson was the first woman…
14 Sep 8PM 27 min

Missing in Syria

There are one hundred thousand missing Syrians, according to the UN, who’ve been detained or have disappeared since the beginning of the uprising in Syria twelve years ago and the civil war that followed. Most of their families have no idea where they are and whether they’re alive or dead…
13 Sep 9PM 27 min

Building power: India’s new parliament

Prime Minister Narendra Modi describes India’s new parliament as a reflection of the “aspirations and dreams” of all Indians. But the huge triangular structure that sits next to its colonial-era predecessor is controversial: some opposition parties boycotted its inauguration. From Delhi, Shalu Yadav reports on a story that is about…
12 Sep 8PM 29 min

In the Studio: Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh

Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh is one of Ireland's leading screen costume designers - working on such productions as The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Jimmy's Hall and the recent, multi award-winning The Banshees of Inisherin. For many years she has also been compiling a collection of iconic items seen on the…
10 Sep 8PM 28 min

Inside an autistic mind

Science journalist Sue Nelson shares her personal journey to better understand a condition that affects millions worldwide. Inside her autistic inner world is a cacophony of brain chatter, anxiety and sensory issues - recreated within a 360 degree soundscape - that impact her life and interactions with others. Sue, who…
9 Sep 8PM 52 min

BBC OS Conversations: Climate change in Africa

Africa causes little damage to the climate but tends to feel the brunt of changing weather patterns. That was the debate in recent days as Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, hosted Africa’s first-ever climate summit. More than a dozen African leaders discussed the continent's increasing exposure to climate change and what that…
8 Sep 8PM 24 min

Izabela in the forest

Hear the marvellous sounds of Europe's last primeval forest, Białoweiza, in an immersive experience rich with all kinds of bird song and animal sounds, including that of the rare European bison. They're recorded by Polish field recordist Izabela Dłużyk. Izabela is unusual as a young woman recordist, in a profession…
6 Sep 5AM 30 min

Surviving Greece's migrant boat disaster

n the early hours of 14th June, a heavily overcrowded, rusty fishing trawler carrying as many as 750 migrants capsized off the coast of Greece. The passengers - men, women and children from countries including Pakistan, Egypt and Syria - were fleeing conflict and poverty, hoping to start safer and…
5 Sep 11AM 28 min

Slovakia divided

Slovakia may be a small country, but its upcoming elections could have a big impact across Europe and beyond. One of the strongest supporters of Ukraine in its war against Russia, Slovakia was the first Nato country to deliver fighter jets to its eastern neighbour. But could that soon change?…
4 Sep 8PM 28 min

In the Studio: Robyn Weintraub

Robyn Weintraub is a leading crossword designer who writes clues and fills in cells for the New York Times, famous for its challenging daily puzzles. She also creates for the New Yorker, People Magazine and the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. Robyn is known for her distinct style, and keen readers…
3 Sep 8PM 28 min

OS Conversations: American voters

The US elections for the next president are not until November 2024, but the campaigning for votes is underway. And it’s two familiar faces who seem to be the ones to beat. Host Lukwesa Barak hears from Democrats and Republicans across the country about what they make of their choices,…
1 Sep 8PM 24 min

Heart and Soul: My sex work and my faith

Aaliyah grew up a devout Muslim but now makes adult content for the online service OnlyFans. She’s often pictured wearing a hijab. Aaliyah is her stage name. She’s had death threats but believes that expressing her sexuality and making her own choices about her body are empowering. She has also…
31 Aug 8PM 29 min
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