Series of profiles of people who are currently making headlines. Broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Saturdays at 7pm, repeated on Sundays at 5.40pm.

Series of profiles of people who are currently making headlines. Broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Saturdays at 7pm, repeated on Sundays at 5.40pm.
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Series of profiles of people who are currently making headlines. Broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Saturdays at 7pm, repeated on Sundays at 5.40pm.




Margarita Simonyan

As RT's editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan runs a news network described by US intelligence as "the Kremlin's principal international propaganda outlet". Formerly known as Russia Today, RT risks being stripped of its UK broadcast licence in the wake of the Salisbury spy poisoning. So who is the woman at its helm? Born into an Armenian family in Krasnodar in Southern Russia, Simonyan grew up in poverty, but her academic achievements helped her win a place on a prestigious exchange program to...



Cycling hero Bradley Wiggins was accused by MPs this week of "crossing an ethical line" by taking medication that could have enhanced his race performance. Rising from a rocky start to become Great Britain's most decorated Olympian, Wiggins has lived a fascinating life including murder, mods and music. Can his reputation survive this? Presented by Mark Coles Produced by Jordan Dunbar and Beth Sagar-Fenton.


Staffan de Mistura

As the United Nations' Special Envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura is said to have one of the toughest jobs in the world. Edward Stourton talks to the people who know him best to find out what drives him and how he is navigating one of the most complex conflicts in recent history. Born in Stockholm to a Swedish mother and an Italian father, de Mistura went to primary school on the island of Capri, where he was taught by Catholic nuns who instilled in him a strong faith and a desire to help...


Daniel Kaluuya

Black Panther star Daniel Kaluuya has already won BAFTA's Rising Star award and now he's been nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. The 28-year-old Londoner is up against acting giants Daniel Day-Lewis, Gary Oldman and Denzel Washington, having been shortlisted for his role in the satirical horror movie Get Out. Raised by his Ugandan mother, who remains an inspiration, Kaluuya grew up on a council estate in North London. He first came to public attention as a teenager, when he wrote and...


Cyril Ramaphosa

Becky Milligan looks back at the extraordinary life of South Africa's new president. From humble beginnings, he became a lawyer, established the country's most powerful trade union organisation and was a key player in negotiating the end of apartheid. After losing out at an earlier attempt to become president, he turned to business and rapidly became one of South Africa's richest men - while also attracting controversy over allegations about his role during the Marikana massacre of striking...


Oliver Robbins

He's been called the government's "real Mr Brexit", but is little known outside Whitehall. Mark Coles asks who is Oliver Robbins, the Prime Minister's right hand man for the Brexit negotiations? In the last few months Robbins' role has grown, taking the lead on negotiations with Brussels often without the Brexit Secretary, David Davis. This has led some to question whether a senior civil servant should be given so much power. He had a meteoric rise, becoming Tony Blair's Principal Private...


Sara Khan

This week the Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced that Sara Khan will lead the newly created Commission for Countering Extremism - an appointment which was not welcomed with blanket approval, with some sections of the Muslim community calling on her to quit. Sara Khan is the co-founder of Inspire - a counter-extremism and human rights organisation engaging with Muslim women, which has also engaged with the government's Prevent scheme. The counter-extremism programme has proved...


George Weah

The remarkable story of George Weah, footballing legend turned politician, on his journey from the slums of Monrovia to inauguration this week as president of Liberia. Spotted by Arsene Wenger at a young age, Weah became a star striker in the '90s for Paris St Germain, AC Milan and Chelsea. In 1995 he won the Ballon d'Or as the world's best player, the only African ever to win the honour. Back home, Weah became an inspiration to a generation of Liberians. When he retired from football, he...


Jon Lansman

Earlier this week Jon Lansman, founder and leader of left-wing political group Momentum, was elected to the Labour Party's National Executive Committee. A 60-year-old veteran of the hard left, Lansman has been credited with helping get Jeremy Corbyn elected as Labour leader and to successfully rallying thousands of activists behind the Momentum movement. But his critics say he can be a dogmatic, even bullying, leader, quick to crush dissent. On this week's 'Profile', Mark Coles speaks to...


Oprah Winfrey

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...


President Hassan Rouhani

It's been a tumultuous week in Iran. Thousands of protestors in more than twenty towns and cities taking to the streets to demand economic and political change. On the programme this week, we update a profile we did of Hassan Rouhani when he first became President of Iran back in 2013. Regarded as more liberal than some of his predecessors - and now in his second term as President - he faces the unenviable task of trying to balance the demands of the Iranian people who want better living...


Denise Coates

A hunch about Online gambling has made Denise Coates from Bet365 Britain's best paid boss. Chris Bowlby discovers how this elusive figure from Stoke masterminded a global betting revolution. We follow her career from the tough world of 1990s betting shops to today's lucrative round the clock business. But why has hardly anyone - even in her home town - ever heard of her? Producer: Smita Patel Editor: Emma Rippon.


Sarah Mullally

Sarah Mullally, appointed this week as the first woman Bishop of London, the third most senior position in the Anglican Church. A former nurse and senior civil servant, she was ordained in 2001. Her surprise appointment followed a brief spell as Bishop of Devon in Crediton. She's expected to attract criticism from more conservative elements of the Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical elements of the church. Mark Coles profiles the most senior woman in the Anglican Church. Produced by Helen Grady...


The Winklevoss Brothers

The Winklevoss twins - Cameron and Tyler - became famous for suing Mark Zuckerberg, claiming he stole their idea for Facebook. This week it was announced they'd made a fortune from Bitcoin. They're former Olympic rowers, and also rowed for Oxford in the 2010 Boat Race. Becky Milligan explores their early life, including talking to their Dad, to discover what drives their ambition. Producers: Smita Patel and Beth Sagar-Fenton.


Sue Gray

First Secretary of State, Damian Green, is under mounting pressure this week due to allegations of improper behaviour, and claims that pornography was found on a computer in his office back in 2008 - allegations he staunchly denies. Sue Gray, Head of Propriety and Ethics at the Cabinet Office, is leading the inquiry into whether he broke any rules. Gray has been described as "the most powerful person you've never heard of". Mark Coles finds out more about the woman who joined the civil...



At the Lord Mayors banquet a couple of weeks ago the Prime Minister Theresa May didn't mince her words when she waded into the alleged Russian interference in western countries accusing them of sowing disinformation she declared "We know what you are doing and you will not succeed." This week on Profile we look at the man accused of funding the St Petersburg troll factory which has produced so much pro-Russian material online. Yevgeny Prigozhin has moved from jail to restaurateur and close...


Emmerson Mnangagwa

After the Zimbabwean army moved against Robert Mugabe this week, one man has been hotly tipped to succeed him. The former Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, portrays himself to the west as a free-market enthusiast who could change the fortunes of Zimbabwe. But 'The Crocodile', as Mnangagwa is nicknamed, has been at Mugabe's side since the independence struggle, and is associated with some of the regime's most notorious actions. Presenter: Edward Stourton Producers: Kate Lamble and Beth...


Priti Patel

Priti Patel was forced to resign as International Development Secretary this week after holding extra curricular holiday meetings in Israel. Luke Jones profiles this passionate Leave campaigner, the ambitious daughter of Indian newsagents, who wants to follow in the footsteps of Margaret Thatcher. Presenter: Luke Jones Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton Producer: Siobhan O'Connell.


Eniola Aluko

The Football Association's chairman, Greg Clarke, said this week that the FA had "lost the trust of the public" over its handling of discrimination claims against former England women's manager Mark Sampson. Mark Coles profiles England and Chelsea Ladies player - and whistleblower - Eniola Aluko, who made the claims. Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton Researcher: Nick Raikes.


Martin Selmayr

As the EU commission meets to discuss the progress of Brexit negotiations, Mark Coles profiles the man some say really runs Europe, Martin Selmayr - right hand man to the President of the European Commission. Just what impact is the passionate European having on the process of Britain leaving the EU? And does he deserve his reputation as the 'Monster at the Berlaymont'?


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