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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London, United Kingdom




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.




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'?

Duration: 00:13:40

Baroness Trumpington

Edward Stourton profiles former minister, and mistress of the deadpan one-liner, Baroness Trumpington, who this week announced she will retire from the House of Lords at the age of 95. He talks to Ian Hislop, Viscount Astor, friends and family about her extraordinary life, which took her from riches, through the Wall Street Crash, code-breaking at Bletchley Park, into politics and finally to unexpected celebrity status after giving a two finger salute to a fellow peer. One of few politicians...

Duration: 00:13:58

Mariano Rajoy

It's Barcelona versus Madrid...and we're not talking football. Spain is facing its biggest political crisis for years....the autonomous region of Catalonia considering breaking away from the rest of the country. Mark Coles profiles Spain's right wing Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, as he goes head to head with the Catalan President to try to stop it happening. The programme examines his Galician roots and his grandfather's role in wresting power from the Spanish state back in the 1930s. We...

Duration: 00:14:01

Gavin Williamson

This week the Chief Whip will deliver a major speech at the Tory party conference, just before the Prime Minister takes the stage. But who is Gavin Williamson? Mark Coles looks at the life and career of the Yorkshire man who knows about pottery, loves hedgehogs and keeps an eight legged pet on his desk in parliament. And some say, has his sights set on higher political office.

Duration: 00:13:38

Antonio Guterres

On Profile this week, we look at the life and career of the world's top diplomat - the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. When he opened the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, the 68 year old former Portuguese Prime Minister warned the world was in danger, "in pieces" and needed putting back together again. So, who is he and how does he plan to go about it ? Mark Coles talks to childhood friends, political colleagues past and present - even Portugal's President - who help...

Duration: 00:13:52

Jake Wood

Edward Stourton looks at Jake Wood, founder of Team Rubicon, the international disaster relief group staffed by veterans as it works in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. He finds out what motivates the former marine and talks to General David Petraeus and General Sir Nick Parker, former UN worker Ben Parker and friends, family and colleagues.

Duration: 00:13:59

Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley is US ambassador to the UN and one of the most intriguing figures in the Trump administration. Chris Bowlby discovers how an Indian family background and life in the US deep South shaped her. How has she mixed Sikh heritage with a meteoric rise in South Carolina conservative politics? What's her relationship with Donald Trump really like? Is she aiming for the presidency? Producers: Smita Patel & Bob Howard Editor: Emma Rippon.

Duration: 00:14:00

Michelle O'Neill

Profile this week looks at the life and a career of a politician at the centre of political deadlock in Northern Ireland. 40 year old Michelle O'Neill is Sinn Fein's new leader in the north. She was appointed in January after Martin McGuinness stood down, but has yet to make her debut leading her party in the Northern Ireland Assembly because power sharing has been suspended. This week, Sinn Fein and the rival DUP both blamed each other for the impasse - rejecting each others terms for...

Duration: 00:14:00

Crawford Falconer

Mark Coles profiles Crawford Falconer, the New Zealander who could prove key to Britain's post-Brexit future. Falconer is a 63 year old former Kiwi trade negotiator. This week, he started a new job at the Department for International charge of negotiating UK trade deals with the rest of the world once Britain leaves the EU. Friends and former colleagues shed light on his government career in New Zealand as well as his time chairing talks at the World Trade Organisation. We also...

Duration: 00:13:44

Taylor Swift

Becky Milligan profiles the pop superstar, Taylor Swift who has recently won a case against an ex-DJ over her claim that she was sexually assaulted when he groped her during a pre-concert photo opportunity in 2013. Taylor Swift is a multi award winning, platinum selling American singer-songwriter. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, before moving to Nashville, Tennessee at age 14 to pursue a career in country music. There, she was signed by an independent record label. Her second album...

Duration: 00:14:04

Moeen Ali

This summer, Moeen Ali has broken several cricketing records. He's become the first player ever to score more than 250 runs and take 25 wickets in a four match Test Series Mark Coles profiles the spin-bowler and batsman - who grew up in the Midlands, started playing the sport at a young age, and who has inspired today's England fans to chant about his facial hair. Producers: Nina Robinson and Hannah Sander.

Duration: 00:13:14

Lady Brenda Hale

Lady Brenda Hale has been announced as the new president of the UK Supreme Court - the first woman to hold the post. Lady Hale has a long track record as a female pioneer in the legal profession and has been critical of the lack of diversity within the judicial system. Born in Yorkshire, she was an outstanding student, passing the 11 plus exam a year early. She took a different route into the judiciary, having pursued a career as a legal academic first, rather than spend years working as a...

Duration: 00:13:45

Chris Evans

Mark Coles profiles the broadcaster Chris Evans, who this week made headlines after his 2.2 million pound salary was revealed in the BBC's Annual Report.

Duration: 00:13:55

Rob Goldstone

Mark Coles profiles Rob Goldstone, the man at the centre of the Donald Trump junior/Russia saga. This week it emerged that Rob Goldstone fixed a meeting between Donald Trump junior and a Russian lawyer. Goldstone had reportedly sent an email to Trump junior before the meeting saying that the Russian lawyer could offer damaging information about Hillary Clinton - and that the material was part of a Russian government attempt to boost his father's presidential campaign. So how did this...

Duration: 00:14:00

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

The Gulf region is in crisis this weekend after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt condemned Qatar's response to a series of demands they've made. Qatar's four Arab neighbours broke links with the Gulf emirate a month ago accusing it of supporting terrorism. On this week's Profile, Mark Coles looks at one of the key players in the dispute....Saudi Arabia's new Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Producer Smita Patel Researcher Kate Lamble Editor Richard Vadon.

Duration: 00:13:49

Sir Martin Moore-Bick

Mark Coles profiles Sir Martin Moore-Bick, the retired judge leading the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire Sir Martin was born in Wales and educated at Cambridge. His career has spanned nearly five decades after being called to the Bar in 1969. As a lawyer, he specialised in commercial law which involved dealing with disputes relating to maritime and land transport of goods. He was a judge for more than twenty years in the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal until his retirement...

Duration: 00:13:56

Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron has become France's youngest-ever President at the age of 39. He created a new political movement out of nothing and defeated the populist Marine Le Pen of the Front National. But who is the former banker and civil servant and how did he rise so far so fast? The BBC's Paris Correspondent Lucy Williamson speaks to his old friends, his biographer, his voice coach and his political colleagues to find out how this son of two provincial doctors - who once dreamed of being a...

Duration: 00:14:16

Leo Varadkar

Mark Coles looks at the life of Leo Varadkar, head of Fine Gail, the country's governing centre right party and the newly appointed Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland. Varadkar has made history in Irish politics. The country's first openly gay leader and at 38, its youngest ever. He's the son of an Indian GP and Irish nurse, who followed in family footsteps to become a doctor. Aged just eight, he expressed his desire to become health minister, a position he would come to hold in his early...

Duration: 00:13:41

Arlene Foster

Arlene Foster's Democratic Unionist Party now holds the balance of power, after elections this week. Some people have suggested that all the parties lost - but across the Irish Sea one party definitely won. Only with their votes can the Conservatives get things through the House of Commons. Which makes Arlene Foster possibly the most powerful woman in Britain. Mark Coles takes an updated look at the former first minister of Northern Ireland. Producer Smita Patel Editor Richard Vadon...

Duration: 00:13:43

Cornelia Parker

Mark Coles profiles sculptor and installation artist Cornelia Parker, this year's official election artist. Parker's work has involved spectacular acts of destruction, from flattening brass band instruments, to dismantling old barns and blowing up sheds. As Parker roams the country observing the election campaign, Coles speaks to her friends and peers about how she went from a childhood spent in rural Cheshire where she struggled to fit in, to Turner Prize-nominated artist.

Duration: 00:13:29

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