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Society & Culture
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Profile

Updated 1 day ago

Society & Culture
Personal Journals
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An insight into the character of an influential figure making news headlines

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An insight into the character of an influential figure making news headlines

iTunes Ratings

60 Ratings
Average Ratings
39
6
5
5
5

Woke

By Mjpism_VII - Jul 22 2019
Read more
You’ll look back on this and ask yourselves why you chose to highlight 2019’s Hitler—Omar.

2016

By SuckeredByItunes - Feb 10 2016
Read more
Has it been cancelled? No new ones have come out in a month now.

iTunes Ratings

60 Ratings
Average Ratings
39
6
5
5
5

Woke

By Mjpism_VII - Jul 22 2019
Read more
You’ll look back on this and ask yourselves why you chose to highlight 2019’s Hitler—Omar.

2016

By SuckeredByItunes - Feb 10 2016
Read more
Has it been cancelled? No new ones have come out in a month now.
Cover image of Profile

Profile

Latest release on Jan 25, 2020

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An insight into the character of an influential figure making news headlines

Rank #1: Paul Manafort

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He's worked with almost every US President since Gerald Ford. Paul Manafort, a political lobbyist and Trump's former campaign manager, is under house arrest charged with money laundering and fraud, his lavish lifestyle of luxurious mansions, fast cars and antique rugs laid bare by the FBI. Mark Coles profiles this powerbroker who some say may become a key witness for the investigation into Russia's alleged meddling in the US election.

Producers: Beth Sagar-Fenton & Siobhan O'Connell.

Nov 04 2017

14mins

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Rank #2: Bernie Sanders

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Bernie Sanders is a socialist and a grump. But is he also a future US president?

Some 20,000 people recently turned out to hear Sanders speak - the sort of crowd Barack Obama would have been proud of in 2008. He is, it seems, an increasingly viable contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Sanders has spent the last forty years attacking inequality and he is known for giving loud and impassioned speeches. But he can also be prickly with the media and he doesn't do small talk.

So could Bernie Sanders, the self-styled socialist and "grumpy old guy", beat Hillary Clinton - and the Republicans - to become the next President of the United States? Chris Bowlby reports.

Producers: Keith Moore and Ben Crighton

The song "Feel the Bern", used in this programme, was performed by Tony Tig and produced Corbett.

Oct 10 2015

14mins

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Rank #3: Oprah Winfrey

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Following her barn-storming speech about sexual harassment at the Golden Globe awards, Mark Coles charts the rise of talk show host, philanthropist, media proprietor and actress Oprah Winfrey.

With calls urging Winfrey to run for President, close friends and former colleagues recount their favourite moments with her on-set and at home. We learn about the woman behind the screen and her remarkable tale of rags to riches, from clothes made out of potato sacks to one of the richest black women in the world.

Producer: Ben Carter
Editor: Emma Rippon.

Jan 13 2018

14mins

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Rank #4: Vladimir Putin

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Russian president Vladimir Putin's motives and aims are at the heart of the Ukraine crisis.

In this week's Profile, Mary Ann Sieghart speaks to those who've watched him closely to explore how his life has shaped his view of the world, and Russia's place in it.

We hear about his life as KGB agent, his volatile temper, and the role religion now plays in his life and politics.

Producer: Chris Bowlby
Editor: Richard Knight.

Mar 08 2014

13mins

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Rank #5: Maajid Nawaz

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This week saw the surprising exit from the English Defence League of its leaders Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll. Instrumental in their decision to leave was Essex-born Maajid Nawaz, a former activist for the Islamist organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir. Arrested in 2001 for attempting to revive the group in Egypt, he served four years in a Cairo jail. Today, he has renounced his old beliefs and now runs the Quilliam Foundation, a 'counter extremism' think tank run by former activists. He has also been selected by the Liberal Democrats to fight a marginal parliamentary seat in 2015. Mark Coles looks at his life.Producer: Ben Crighton.

Oct 12 2013

14mins

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Rank #6: Phoebe Waller-Bridge

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BBC TV’s ‘Killing Eve’ is all the rage this week - a new drama about an MI5 officer trying to catch a Russian assassin which has earned near unanimous rave reviews .

On Profile, Mark Coles examines the life of the show’s creator – the actor and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

From childhood poetry about frogs to mooning on stage and ‘Fleabag’ - her award winning TV show about a sex obsessed singleton, we find out why Waller-Bridge seems determined to shock her audience.

We hear from her close friend & writing partner, her former English teacher and the author of the book ‘Killing Eve’is based on.

Sep 22 2018

14mins

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Rank #7: Mike Pence

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Becky Milligan profiles the man who could be the next President of America. Mild mannered, disciplined and a seasoned politician, Mike Pence was largely unknown until he was selected by Donald Trump to serve as his Vice-President.

PRODUCERS: Beth Sagar Fenton and Joe Kent
EDITOR Penny Murphy.

Jan 22 2017

13mins

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Rank #8: Serena Williams

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Serena Williams has dominated the tennis scene since 1999 with 23 grand slam titles to her name. Last year she added marriage and motherhood to her achievements.

In September 2017, Serena Williams nearly died in childbirth. Ten months on she's back on Wimbledon's Centre Court hoping for her 8th title at the All England Club.

Becky Milligan speaks to Serena's first tennis coach and hears how tennis has been in her blood since a young age.

But this Williams sister doesn't just put on a performance on the court, as you'll hear she's partial to karaoke.

Presenter: Becky Milligan
Producer: Clare Spencer
Researcher: Bethan Head.

Jul 07 2018

14mins

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Rank #9: Ted Cruz

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Senator Ted Cruz is a hardliner, even by the standards of his native Texas: anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, in favour of the death penalty and fiercely opposed to gun control. But in the race to be the next US president, some believe he has the best chance of beating Donald Trump to the Republican nomination. Son of a Cuban immigrant - and a virtual unknown three years ago - the 'anyone-but-Trump' candidate's ascent through Republican ranks has been as stratospheric as his style is divisive. With the 2016 American election looming, we profile a man who, as a teenager, used to tour the Deep South reciting the US Constitution by heart. Making his name as a hot shot young lawyer, Senator Cruz helped George W. Bush reach the White House by winning a court battle over the infamous Florida election recount. And as a rookie politician, he made headlines with a marathon 21-hour filibuster featuring children's stories by Dr Seuss.

We hear from early backers and political opponents, those who shared Ted Cruz's school days and witnessed his early legal triumphs. With make-or-break Republican primaries coming thick and fast - and Super Tuesday having transformed the competition - how has a politician with almost as many enemies on his own side as among the Democrats come within sight of the White House? What impact has his Christian faith had on his politics? And can Senator Cruz become - as he dreamed as a teenager - the most powerful man in the world?

Mar 12 2016

14mins

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Rank #10: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

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The story of the youngest woman ever elected to the US congress. Five months ago, nobody knew who Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was. Now she’s been dubbed the future of the Democratic Party. When she dared to challenge a long standing Democratic congressman in June’s primaries, she had no money and no experience. But against all odds she won by a staggering 15 points. She was catapulted into the spotlight and in this week's mid term elections she won a place in the House of Representatives, breaking records to become the youngest woman ever to be voted into Congress.

She grew up in the Bronx but her parents worked hard to send her to a good school in the suburbs. Her father died when she was in her twenties, leaving her working at a taco restaurant to help her Puerto Rican mother pay the bills. She didn't let that stop her and campaigned for Bernie Sanders while waiting tables and serving Margaritas. Fast forward a year, this waitress is now billed as the future of the Democratic Party.

Mark Coles follows Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s journey to Congress, speaking to her friends, supporters, critics and those she’s inspired.

Thank you to New York One TV news for the footage of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez winning the Primary.

Nov 10 2018

14mins

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Rank #11: Kendrick Lamar

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Mark Coles profiles Pulitzer Prize winning rapper Kendrick Lamar, whose concepts and ideas are changing hip-hop culture.

Lamar won the award for his latest album Damn, which also collected five Grammy awards in January and is praised for lyrics which reveal the complexity of modern African-American life.

Growing up in the deprived city of Compton, California, Lamar credits his father with keeping him on the right path and providing the balance that some of his peers were missing. His album good kid, m.A.A.d city tells the stories of young black men trying to escape the negative influences surrounding them.

Lamar's lyrical journey explores violence, depression, religion and also the limits of fame and fortune, he's the rapper who says that helping the next generation find positivity and God is where it's at.

Presenter: Mark Coles
Producers: Arlene Gregorius and Diane Richardson
Editor: Emma Rippon.

Apr 21 2018

14mins

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Rank #12: Donald Glover

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You may know him as Childish Gambino, the creator of viral video hit 'This is America' or as the Emmy award winning actor and director of comedy drama Atlanta.

Mark Coles profiles Donald Glover, the multi-talented American comedian, record producer, songwriter, rapper and DJ who is forcing the world to confront racism, violence and societies contradictions.

Presenter: Mark Coles
Producers: Estelle Doyle and Diane Richardson
Editor: Emma Rippon.

May 19 2018

14mins

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Rank #13: Nancy Pelosi

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On Profile this week, Mark Coles looks at the most powerful woman in American politics – the veteran Democratic congresswoman and new Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

It’s a remarkable comeback for her…it puts her third in line to the Presidency itself.

Having first done the job back in 2007 when George W Bush was Commander in Chief – now 78, many thought Pelosi was too old this time round.
But only a week into the role, she’s already engaged in a bitter war of words with President Trump over his demand for Congress to fund his Mexico border wall.
For many, with the Democrats now controlling Congress, Nancy Pelosi is set to become the face of opposition to the President for the next two years.

We hear from childhood friends, former colleagues and those who’ve followed her career down the decades.

From campaigning for her dad when he was Mayor of Baltimore back in the 1940s to helping President Obama reform American health care, we examine Nancy Pelosi’s life and career and – in these turbulent times – look at the challenges that lie ahead for her.
Producer: Smita Patel
Researcher: Darin Graham
Editor: Penny Murphy

Jan 12 2019

14mins

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Rank #14: Dr Dre

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Dr Dre's first album for 16 years is top of the charts and a film charting the rise of NWA - his breakout 90s gangsta rap group - is playing to packed cinemas.

Over the past 25 years Dr Dre has made an indelible mark on popular culture. After NWA he founded a record label and turned producer - making global stars of artists like Snoop Dogg and Eminem.

And he's a hugely successful businessman. His Beats brand - whose headphones have become a ubiquitous fashion accessory - was sold last year to Apple for $3bn (£1.8bn).

It's all a long way from his start in life as a poor child to a teenage mother in Los Angeles. But, as Mark Coles hears, there's a dark side to Dr Dre's story of almost unimaginable success.

Producers: Keith Moore and James Melley.

Aug 22 2015

13mins

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Rank #15: Megan Rapinoe

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The US women’s football team has made it to the World Cup final. One American newspaper has described the team's iconic player - Megan Rapinoe - as the most important athlete on the planet right now. But she isn't only a sensation on the pitch. She's a controversial figure off it.

Presenter: Becky Milligan
Producer: Viv Jones

Jul 06 2019

13mins

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Rank #16: Angela Merkel

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Chris Bowlby profiles German Chancellor Angela Merkel - always underestimated, physicist and ruthless politician, the woman at the centre of the eurozone crisis. What has shaped a figure who grew up under East German communism, came to dominate united German politics and proclaims her love of football and opera? And as her friendship with David Cameron deepens, might she be key to Britain's EU future?

Producer: Chris Bowlby
Editor: Richard Knight.

Sep 07 2013

14mins

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Rank #17: Billy Connolly

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Comedian Billy Connolly has announced new film and touring plans despite facing ill health. Mark Coles explores how Connolly has long used humour to defy serious adversity. Childhood abuse and alcoholism have been countered by a rich musical, comedy and acting career.

In this profile of the Glasgow welder who became a global star, Connolly's own performances and voice are mixed with the thoughts of those who know him well - including singer Barbara Dickson and producer John Lloyd.

Producers: Heba Ayoub, Chris Bowlby.

Sep 21 2013

13mins

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Rank #18: Melania Trump

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Melania Trump is the second foreign-born First Lady and Donald Trump’s third wife; an ex-model, 24 years his junior, who once posed pregnant in a gold bikini on the steps of her husband’s jet. It was modelling that took Melania from small-town Slovenia to New York and her fateful encounter with the future President. But despite being one of the most recognisable woman in the world she remains something an enigma. So who is Melania Trump? What does she believe? And what might she do on the global stage which – however improbably, given her origins in far away Slovenia – she now shares with the President of the United States?

Presenter: Becky Milligan
Producer: Ben Crighton

Photo by Stane Jerko

Dec 29 2018

13mins

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Rank #19: Jose Mourinho

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To many, including himself, Jose Mourinho is the most successful football manager in the world - the 'special one'.

He has won league titles in all of the countries he's worked in. But he is also divisive; famous for igniting rows with opponents and provoking referees.

Mourinho was born into football. His father was a goalkeeper who once played for Portugal. The young Jose wanted to be a player too but after short spells in minor clubs he realised coaching offered him a brighter future.

Fast forward 25 years and this week Mourinho has been named Manchester United's new manager.

Presenter: Mark Coles
Producer: Wesley Stephenson.

May 28 2016

13mins

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Rank #20: Aretha Franklin

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Aretha Franklin has won hearts - and 18 Grammy awards - with her astonishing voice. But this week a bust up with another iconic singer revealed her spikier side. Always a sensation on stage, there have been struggles off it. Mark Coles talks to people who grew up with and have worked with the Queen of Soul.

Apr 29 2017

13mins

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Sheku Kanneh-Mason

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The young, black cellist from Nottingham making chart history.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason was the first ever black winner of the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year. He performed with the eyes of the world looking on at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. And now he's become the first ever cellist to reach the UK’s top 10 album chart. Who is the 20-year-old making classical accessible? Mark Coles finds out from those who know him best.

Producers: Simon Maybin & Diane Richardson
Editor: Penny Murphy

Jan 25 2020

14mins

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Lord Reed

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The judge taking up the presidency of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom as tensions with the government simmer.

British judges have been under attack like never before in recent years, described as “enemies of the people” by one newspaper. The Supreme Court was accused by Downing Street of making “a serious mistake” in its ruling on the prorogation of Parliament.

The Conservative Party’s election manifesto promised ominously to look at “the relationship between the Government, Parliament and the courts”.

The role of the country’s most senior judge has arguably never been more important.

So who is Lord Reed? Mark Coles investigates.

Producers: Simon Maybin & Diane Richardson

Jan 18 2020

14mins

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Scott Morrison

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The Australian prime minister feeling the heat over his response to his country’s bushfire crisis.

Pilloried for holidaying in Hawaii while his homeland burned, then heckled on camera by angry victims, Scott Morrison has been making international headlines for all the wrong reasons. It’s not been good PR for someone with a background in marketing and tourism. Mark Coles unpicks the character of Australia’s man of the moment.

Producers: Simon Maybin & Diane Richardson
Editor: Hugh Levinson

Jan 11 2020

14mins

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Dina Asher-Smith

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Becky Milligan looks at the life of Dina Asher-Smith, the fastest woman in British history. An athlete who's also a keen historian, role model and lover of the glitz. For years she's been winning championships and breaking records. But will the great British hope win gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

Producer: Smita Patel

Jan 04 2020

14mins

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Michael Morpurgo

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On ‘Profile’ this week - one of Britain’s most celebrated storytellers.

Michael Morpurgo has written 180 books over the past half century.

Over Christmas, he narrated a new BBC TV film adaptation of his 2014 children’s story ‘Mimi And The Mountain Dragon’.

Morpurgo is best known for ‘War Horse’ - a book about a horse bought by the British army to serve in the First World War and its young owner’s attempts to bring it home to safety.

Turned into a National Theatre play, then a Hollywood movie – it’s made him a household name.

Mark Coles hears from Morpurgo’s wife, brother, biographer and close friends talk about what inspired his writing - the profound impact war had on him as a child and the father he didn’t know for years.

We hear about his time in the army, the charity he set up to give city children experience of the countryside – and why now in his mid 70s, he’s taken up his love of singing again.
Producer Smita Patel
Editor Penny Murphy

The programme contains music from the BBC TV Film, "Mimi & the Mountain Dragon", composed by Rachel Portman

Dec 28 2019

14mins

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John Boyega

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Leopards, aliens and Songs of Praise. Mark Coles explores the life of actor John Boyega, whose talent and dedication brought him to the attention of Hollywood.

Producers: Linda Pressly and Di Richardson

Dec 21 2019

14mins

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Sanna Marin

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Pink trams, flying squirrels and a taste for rock music. Mark Coles finds out about the life and character of Finland's new Prime Minister, Sanna Marin.

The first to graduate in her family, Sanna Marin entered politics at the age of 20 and rose quickly through the ranks of the Social Democratic (SDP) party becoming an MP in 2015. She now leads a five-party governing coalition.

Mark Coles asks colleagues and friends what drives the world's youngest Prime Minister.

Dec 14 2019

14mins

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Mick Cash

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We’re profiling the relatively little known RMT union leader Mick Cash this week.

Train guards have begun what they say will be 27 days of strike action across the entire South Western Railway region in December.

More than 600,000 journeys a day are being affected.

The aim, says 59 year old Mick Cash, is to prevent SWR introducing new driver-only controlled trains next year.

Mark Coles tries to find out more about the man.

Dec 07 2019

13mins

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Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

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In the headlines this week was Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, Ephraim Mirvis.

Just weeks before the general election he made it clear that he believed Jeremy Corbyn was unfit to become PM because of his record on dealing with anti-Semitism within the Labour party - though Mr Corbyn said the party had taken "rapid and effective" action.

Edward Stourton traces the Chief Rabbi's story, which begins with a childhood in apartheid South Africa. His tenure as Chief Rabbi has been marked by a few liberalising initiatives, which have ruffled feathers and caused some disquiet within the wider Jewish community.

But observers might wonder if the initiatives have gone far enough. He is used to controversy within his own community, but unused to being in the wider public's gaze.

So what persuaded Ephraim Mirvis to enter the political fray and what does his intervention tell us about the man?

Producer: Rosamund Jones

Nov 30 2019

14mins

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Lizzo

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The American rapper and singer nominated for eight Grammy Awards - more than any other artist this year. A global chart-topping success, Lizzo has captivated audiences across the world this year from the Glastonbury festival to America’s Video and Music Awards. A classically trained flautist, her flute even has 250,000 Instagram followers. But she isn’t just celebrated for her music, she’s known for inspiring self-love and acceptance too, earning her icon status in the body positivity movement.

Presenter: Mark Coles
Producer: Phoebe Keane and May Cameron

Nov 23 2019

13mins

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Adam Schiff

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Did Donald Trump ‘bribe’ a foreign power – Ukraine - to try to discredit a political rival ahead of next year’s US Presidential race ?

On Profile this week, we’re looking at Adam Schiff - the man tasked with finding out.

A leading Democrat Congressman and former lawyer, Schiff chairs the House Intelligence Committee and is leading the impeachment investigation.

President Trump calls him biased…a “pencil neck, low life” who’s conducting a “hoax witch-hunt”.

Mark Coles talks to Schiff’s close friends, critics and former colleagues to find out what he’s really like…and why – before getting into politics - he wanted to be a Hollywood movie writer.
Producer: Smita Patel
Researcher: May Cameron

Nov 16 2019

14mins

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Sir Lindsay Hoyle

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Mark Coles profiles the new Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, meeting - among others - his pet parrot, Boris.

Nov 09 2019

14mins

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Eddie Jones

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Becky Milligan explores how a teacher from the Sydney suburbs came to lead England into the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Producer Smita Patel
Researcher May Cameron.

Nov 02 2019

14mins

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Bridget Riley

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We explore the life and career of British artist Bridget Riley as a new retrospective of her work opens at London's Hayward Gallery. She found fame in the sixties with a series of challenging black and white abstract works. Now in her eighties, she's still producing new work - perhaps even her best, according to some critics.

Producer: Smita Patel
Researcher: May Cameron

Oct 26 2019

14mins

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Bernardine Evaristo

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Bernardine Evaristo is the first black British woman to win the Booker Prize. Her novel Girl, Woman, Other shared the 2019 award with Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments. Mark Coles has been finding out about Evaristo's life as an activist, actor and writer.

Producer: Smita Patel
Researcher: May Cameron

Oct 19 2019

14mins

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan

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The president of Turkey has controversially sent troops into northern Syria. The decision has been widely condemned by foreign leaders and at home there are signs that his popularity could be fading. But how did Recep Tayyip Erdogan rise to power? How did the son of a sea captain end up in a palace of a thousand rooms?

Oct 12 2019

13mins

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Rudolph Giuliani

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This week's Profile is the tale of two Rudys: a divisive figure fighting for his - and Donald Trump’s - political life. And a man who united his nation in its darkest hours.

Presenter: Becky Milligan
Producer: Neal Razzell

Oct 05 2019

13mins

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Baroness Hale

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Baroness Hale, President of the Supreme Court, was wearing a giant spider brooch as she delivered this week’s bombshell ruling that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament was unlawful. "Spiderwoman takes down the Hulk" was the headline in one newspaper. Mark Coles looks at the life of the first woman to lead the UK's highest court.

Producers: Smita Patel and Jordan Dundar
Researcher: Darin Graham

Sep 28 2019

14mins

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Gareth Thomas

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The former Wales and British Lions captain, Gareth Thomas, has been headline news this week after announcing he’s living with HIV.

In Wales, Thomas is a legend.

In 2005, he led the national team to its first Six Nations grand slam title for 27 years…became the first Welsh player to be capped 100 times for his country.

Mark Coles talks his friends and former colleagues. We hear about his early days as a postman, his success on the field and how he became one of the first sporting superstars to come out as gay.
Producer Smita Patel
Researcher Darin Graham
Editor Penny Murphy

Sep 21 2019

14mins

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John Bercow

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The life story of Commons Speaker John Bercow. He has announced he will stand down at the end of October after ten highly controversial years in the job. In turbulent political times, he’s proved to be a polarizing figure. For some, he is the backbencher’s champion - the most modernising Speaker in parliament’s history. Others accuse him of bias, and deliberately trying to stop Brexit.

Mark Coles talks to friends, colleagues and critics of Speaker Bercow - hearing about his long political journey which started on the far right - and how he wooed his now wife with feats of rhetoric. And with his thunderous shouts of ‘Order Order’ now mimicked and memed around the world, we hear how for some, he has become an unlikely social media superstar.

Producer Smita Patel
Researcher Darin Graham

Sep 14 2019

14mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

60 Ratings
Average Ratings
39
6
5
5
5

Woke

By Mjpism_VII - Jul 22 2019
Read more
You’ll look back on this and ask yourselves why you chose to highlight 2019’s Hitler—Omar.

2016

By SuckeredByItunes - Feb 10 2016
Read more
Has it been cancelled? No new ones have come out in a month now.