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True life stories. Join Matthew Bannister, Monday to Thursday. Includes our daily history programme Witness. Or join us for the best of Outlook on Saturdays.






BBC World Service Bush House Strand London WC2B 4PH


Outlook Weekend: Meeting the Monster

Betty Bigombe came face to face with LRA leader Joseph Kony. Death Row investigator Rene Denfeld found the biggest challenge in her life was meeting the man she called her father. Image: Drawing of girl facing death Credit: sSplajn/GETTY IMAGES

Duration: 00:27:06

The Life of an 'Underground Astronaut'

Archaeologist Becca Peixotto has been called an "underground astronaut" because she squeezes through tiny gaps, some as small as 18 cms, in ancient underground caves. Becca's expeditions into the bowels of the earth have led her to uncover a new human-like species. Image: Becca Peixotto Credit: Marina Elliott

Duration: 00:13:22

From Pussy Riot to Penal Colony

Pussy Riot first came to the world's attention in early 2012 when three of their members, including Maria Alyokhina, were arrested in Moscow for performing a protest song at a cathedral near the Kremlin. Maria, and one other member, were convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" and spent nearly two years in a penal colony in Siberia. She tells Outlook about her experience in prison, the protests and how she took her prison guards to court and won. Image: Maria Alyokhina...

Duration: 00:14:51

My Grandmother, Islamic State, and Me

Yazidi student Aido Khiro had to flee to Mount Sinjar when so-called Islamic State came to his community. Some of his relatives were killed by IS, but Aido survived and has won a scholarship so he can fulfil his grandma's last wish for him to become a doctor. Image: Aido Khiro Credit: United World College/Aurora Prize

Duration: 00:12:21

Searching the Floods for my Missing Wife

In June 2013, heavy rains in northern India left thousands stranded in the mountains by flooding and landslides. Vijendra Singh Rathore's wife Leela was one of those people. He began searching for her and continued to do so even when a death certificate was issued by authorities a month after the floods. Image: Stranded villagers walking across a landslide caused by overnight rains in Govindghat, India Credit: SAJJAD HUSSAIN/Getty Images

Duration: 00:11:46

Outlook Weekend: Tough as Old Boots

It's the tough times that really test what you're made of. Magdeline Makola, Anthony Sosinski and John Aldridge have all had to face this test. Image: Silhouette of a person pushing a large stone uphill Credit: Nastco

Duration: 00:26:55

"Every mission can be your last"

Viggó Sigurðsson is a rescue man in the Icelandic coast guard. It's a treacherous job - facing roaring winds, rolling seas and ferocious blizzards. And it's Viggo's job to go out in this weather - he drops out of the side of a helicopter and attempts to save people from the sea, the top of volcanos and cracks in glaciers. Image: Viggó Sigurðsson. Credit: Saskia Edwards, BBC

Duration: 00:11:42

I was shot by my student

In September 2016, American high school principal Kevin Lein was shot at point-blank range by one of his students. He tells Matthew Bannister why he campaigned to overturn his shooter's prison sentence.

Duration: 00:12:54

The former orphan who turned his life around

Claudio Yanez is a senior manager in the public health service in Chile. He has a successful career but his childhood was exceptionally difficult. He was raised in various orphanages and child care homes, and he says he witnessed physical and emotional abuse. The Chilean government is investigating a number of these centres, and Claudio has finally decided to speak out about his past. He tells Jo Fidgen his story. (Photo credit: Javiera Albarrán.)

Duration: 00:13:29

Fifteen minutes to save a life

British air force pilot Michelle Oulette's dramatic rescue of a badly wounded soldier in Iraq. (Picture courtesy of Michelle Oullette.)

Duration: 00:11:18

Outlook Weekend: No End Of Trouble

Dr Stephen Davis has come face to face with some very dangerous people on his mission to negotiate peace which has taken him from Australia to Nigeria. Image: Graphic of a man in a white coat on a tightrope Credit: wildpixel/Getty Images

Duration: 00:27:16

Mogorosi Motshumi: A Life In Black And White

The South African cartoonist Mogorosi Motshumi witnessed the worst of apartheid, and in the 1970s and 80s, was one of the only black artists using comics to document township life. But now, Mogorosi is slowly going blind. Last year he published his life story as a graphic autobiography, becoming the first black South African cartoonist to do so. He told our reporter Daniel Gross how he first got into comics as a child. Image: Sharpeville Credit: Mogorosi Motshumi

Duration: 00:11:39

Why I Kept a Bullet-ridden Pillow Case

For Revd Canon Guli Francis-Dehqani the pillow case is a grisly souvenir of an attempt on her father's life during the Islamic revolution in Iran. Guli's father was the Anglican Bishop in Iran and was targeted because of his religion. Now Guli is about to become a Church of England Bishop herself. She joined Matthew Bannister to reflect on her journey from Tehran to her new posting in Loughborough in the English Midlands. Image: Guli Francis-Dehgani Credit: Nick Clarke

Duration: 00:14:19

Forced to Bury my Cellmates in Chad

Clement Abaifouta from Chad was imprisoned for four years under the dictator Hissene Habre and endured hardship and cruelty. Image: Clement Abaifouta Credit: Seyllou-AFP-Getty Images

Duration: 00:14:24

Thawing Frozen Climbers on Everest

Ken Kamler was the only doctor high on the slopes of Everest when a sudden storm killed eight climbers and left many others with severe frostbite and hypothermia. His supplies were basic and conditions difficult. But he still managed to save several lives. Ken Kamler told his story in a book called 'Surviving the Extremes'. Image: Dr Ken Kamler on Mount Everest Credit: Dr Ken Kamler

Duration: 00:21:32

A Taxi Driver's Extraordinary Journey

John Yaak grew up in South Sudan, where he was kidnapped at the age of 9 and turned into a child soldier. Later, he started a new life as a refugee in Australia and now drives a taxi in Brisbane. Image: taxi driving through a city at night Credit: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

Duration: 00:15:58

Outlook Weekend: The Baddies

Jasmin Geljo and Luc Bendza both found themselves living a long way from home and with careers playing the baddies in movies. Photo: Luz Bendza performing Kung Fu. Credit: 'Taken from the documentary The African Who Wanted to Fly'

Duration: 00:26:54

Repair Boy: jailed for watching soaps

Ever since he can remember, Hak-Min Kim has been obsessed with electronic gadgets. He would fix appliances for his neighbours in North Korea and they called him 'Repair Boy'. He tells Matthew Bannister how his obsession landed him in jail, but also ultimately saved his life.

Duration: 00:15:59

Six Years as an al-Qaeda Hostage

In 2011, Stephen McGown was an enthusiastic motorbike rider who had just set out on what he thought would be the trip of a lifetime. He was newly married and planned to travel from the UK to his home in South Africa. But when he got to Mali, he fell into the hands of al-Qaeda. His ordeal lasted almost six years and he has only recently been released. (Picture credit: Gulshan Khan.)

Duration: 00:13:55

Convicted of a murder I didn't commit

Christopher Scott was sent to prison for a murder he didn't commit. He was exonerated over a decade later when another inmate confessed to the killing. Christopher tells Outlook's Jo Fidgen how he found himself under arrest and what happened when he met the man who turned his life upside down. (Picture courtesy of Christopher Scott.)

Duration: 00:17:41

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