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The Documentary Podcast

BBC World Service, BBC
300 episodes
Download the latest documentaries investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Disclaimer: the content and artwork of this podcast are the property of its owner and are not affiliated with nor endorsed by Audiotrails.

Bob Marley: An extraordinary day

Forty years after the death of reggae singer Bob Marley, British writer and dub poet, Benjamin Zephaniah, remembers the day Jamaica came to a standstill for the singer’s funeral. Bob Marley was laid to rest on the 21 May 1981, 11 days after dying from skin cancer. The extraordinary day saw the isla…

Our story

For the past seven years, Marlo has been making a podcast about life as a single mum raising her transgender daughter. In this programme Marlo reaches out to parents of transgender children and adults from around the world, who she has connected with through her podcast. From the mother of a Fa’afa…

Coronavirus: Pilots and trainee doctors

The pandemic has caused millions of job losses during the past year. The travel industry is one area that has been badly affected as many countries closed their borders or restricted entry. As a result, thousands of pilots are no longer flying and are out of work. Host Nuala McGovern hears from two…

Myanmar: The spring revolution

More than 750 people have been killed by the Myanmar military since they seized power in a coup three months ago. Mass protests demanding a return to democracy and the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi have been met with brutal force. Borders are closed and the internet effectively blocked…

Where is Jack Ma?

On the eve of what would have been the world's largest share listing, Ant Financial founder Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire mysteriously disappeared. Things started to go wrong for Ma after he told a room full of banking regulators that their methods were out of date and not fit for purpose. Short…

Our story

For the past seven years, Marlo has been making a podcast about life as a single mum raising her transgender daughter. In the first programme, Marlo explains why she put her daughter’s story out for the world to hear. She says she felt compelled to tell their story, and to show people that ‘we exis…

Coronavirus: India

A second coronavirus wave is ravaging many parts of India and the health services continue to struggle. Two doctors in Delhi and Mumbai share their experiences of working under increasingly difficult circumstances. They tell us about the hurt they are feeling as they try to do their jobs and save l…

The Battle of Palma

At the end of March, hundreds of militants linked to the Islamic State group overran a small, but strategic coastal town in northern Mozambique. The bloody surprise attack on Palma marked a significant escalation in a shadowy conflict that began in 2017 and has already driven hundreds of thousands …

Don't log off: My life, my world

Alan Dein follows Rohan, a young Jamaican farmer over the past 12 months as he is faced by the twin challenges of drought and the pandemic.

Dance Divas: 1988-1998

Sampling technology created new opportunities for producers but raised questions of authenticity and authorship in the industry. Some of the biggest dance music hits of the early '90s used uncredited vocals belonging to Loleatta Holloway, Jocelyn Brown and Martha Wash. After the Paradise Garage clo…

Coronavirus: Sudan

Sudan has recorded only 32,000 cases of coronavirus infections and just 2,300 Covid-19 related deaths so far. It is also rolling out vaccines. But the numbers are thought to be much higher and host Nuala McGovern hears from three women living in the capital, Khartoum, about how their experiences of…

Prince belong Vanuatu

Villagers believe Prince Philip is returning to his ancestral home on their Pacific island. In a handful of villages on the island of Tanna, in Vanuatu, he has been revered as an ancestral spirit and son of their mountain god, and they have been waiting for him to return to them, either in person d…

America’s solitary inmates

Since the pandemic struck, millions around the world have endured lockdowns, with many finding it hard to tolerate long periods indoors. But what if lockdown meant years on end spent entirely alone, in a single room, sometimes no bigger than a large elevator? In many US states, jails and prisons ro…

Don't log off: My life, my world

Alan Dein hears how the pandemic year has affected the life of 19-year-old student Mursalina in Kabul, Afghanistan. She has been studying at home online, but has become increasingly aware of the impact of Covid-19 on the city's poorest people who come knocking on her door for food donations. She al…

Dance divas: 1978-1988

We meet Yvonne Turner, Rebecca Mackenzie, Carol Cooper, Gail Sky King and Sharon White who were all Paradise Garage regulars from its opening in the late 70s. We follow their first steps in the music business, after the death of disco. But in a cut-throat music industry, many women, including Marth…

Coronavirus: Surviving isolation

The pandemic has caused many people to feel lonely and isolated. For three women, the isolation is as a result of travelling and having to quarantine in hotels on arrival - Michelle in Australia, Amanda in Indonesia and Charlotte in New Zealand. They tell host Nuala McGovern how they are passing th…

The day I met Prince Philip

Over his seven decades of service to Queen Elizabeth the Second, to the United Kingdom, her 15 other realms, and to the Commonwealth, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, met many millions of people. They all have stories to tell about those meetings and in this special programme Winifred Robinson…

Sexual healing in the Israeli military

Soldiers returning from the line of duty with injuries affecting sexual performance are universal to all militaries around the world, but Israeli psychologist Dr Ronit Aloni set about making hers the only nation that offers a unique therapeutic approach to restoring the sexuality of their troops as…

Don't log off: My life, my world

Alan Dein follows 25-year-old entrepreneur Fahad in Dhaka, Bangladesh who has to deal with the pressures of running multiple businesses during the pandemic – and has over 200 employees depending on him for their livelihoods.

Coronavirus: Loss of smell and taste

The loss of smell and taste is now considered one of the major symptoms of Covid-19 and it can have a huge impact on people’s lives - especially when these senses do not return after someone has recovered from the disease. Host Nuala McGovern hears from people in Costa Rica, the US and the UK about…

The other caliphate

For five brutal months in 2017 the black flag of so-called Islamic State fluttered over a captured city, and thousands of lives were destroyed. But rather than Iraq or Syria, this was a reality in Marawi, in the Philippines. Anna Foster travels to the heart of a devastated community - still off-lim…

HRH Prince Philip: A celebration of a life

Buckingham Palace has announced the death of Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. He was 99 years old. Tuppence Middleton presents a celebration of his life, and looks back through the BBC archive to find out more about the projects and causes to which he was dedicated.

HRH Prince Philip: Links with the armed forces

Jonny Dymond looks back at Prince Philip's links with the armed forces, and his time as an officer in the Royal Navy. He tells the story of the Duke of Edinburgh's lifelong love of the sea, and his service during World War Two.

HRH Prince Philip: His work with charity

Kate Humble looks at the impact Prince Philip made on the world through his work with international charities. She learns how the Duke of Edinburgh's Award championed youth achievement, and how he promoted conservation of the environment through his work with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature.

The life of Prince Philip

Buckingham Palace has announced the death of Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. He was 99 years old. Edward Stourton tells the story of his life.

Denmark: Goodbye to mink

Can Denmark's mink industry rise again? Denmark was the world's top producer of mink for the luxury market. Last year a coronavirus variant was found in the animals, and transmitted to people. There was a fear the variant - Cluster 5 - might interfere with the efficacy of any vaccine developed for …

Don't log off

Alan Dein follows Margaret in Uganda, who cares for 11 children orphaned by Aids and who has HIV herself. Told through interviews and her own smartphone recordings, it’s an inspiring story of hope and resilience as Margaret deals with lockdown and the loss of loved ones.

Coronavirus: Brazilian doctors

Brazil's health service has been pushed to the brink as coronavirus cases continue to climb. Some 66,570 people died of Covid-19 in March, more than double the previous monthly record, and the total number of Covid-19 related deaths is over 320,000. Yet President Jair Bolsonaro continues to oppose …

Namibia: The price of genocide

More than a century after its brutal colonisation of Namibia, including what it now accepts was the genocide of the Herero and Nama peoples, Germany is negotiating with the country’s government to heal the wounds of the past. The eventual deal may set a precedent for what other nations expect from …

Women dying for work

Karoshi, or death from overwork, has been common in Japan for decades. It is often seen as part of ‘salary man’ culture where men commit themselves above all else to their employer. However little is ever said about women who die from Karoshi. Now the plight of women is coming more into focus follo…