BBC Documentaries


An indepth look at stories and issues from around the world. This podcast offers you the chance to access landmark series from our archive.
Daily English United Kingdom Education
60 Episodes
1 – 20

The poker parent

An eight-year-old girl holds two cards in her hand. She places several plastic poker chips into the middle of the dining room table and makes a bet. Science writer Alex O’Brien has been teaching her daughter how to play poker for three years. She believes that the game will give…
17 Apr 8PM 29 min

The poker parent

An eight-year-old girl holds two cards in her hand. She places several plastic poker chips into the middle of the dining room table and makes a bet. Science writer Alex O’Brien has been teaching her daughter how to play poker for three years. She believes that the game will give…
17 Apr 7PM 30 min

Forward Thinking: Veganism

Could going vegan help feed the world and save the planet? While industry and energy production are often singled out as the main drivers of climate change, the global meat production industry is a bigger polluter. Veganism advocate Gary Francione and nutritionist Dr Ron Weiss join Nuala McGovern to discuss…
16 Apr 8PM 53 min

Assignment: Reggaeton - the pride of Puerto Rico?

Reggaeton’s the soundtrack to Puerto Rico. The globally popular music reflects what’s going on in the cultural and political scene of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean Island.It started out as underground music in marginalised communities but was criticised for allegedly promoting violence and being too sexually explicit. Reggaeton has since been used…
15 Apr 7PM 28 min

Bonus: The Global Story

A bonus episode from The Global Story podcast. Israel says 99% of the missiles and drones fired by Iran on Saturday night were intercepted without hitting their targets. Iran said the assault was in response to a deadly attack on an Iranian diplomatic compound in Syria two weeks ago. Now…
15 Apr 8AM 26 min

In the Studio: Helle Nebelong

Danish landscape architect Helle Nebelong is a pioneer of the natural playground movement. Natural playgrounds are made of natural materials, rather than plastics, but they also encourage creativity and independence rather than rule-based games. In The Studio follows Helle as she faces her biggest challenge yet - designing one of…
14 Apr 8PM 28 min

His and hers medicine

Dr Zoe Williams talks to researchers and clinicians around the world as she investigates how and why the care of women has been so neglected, and what moves are afoot to change that. She examines the historical inequalities in the diagnosis and treatment of women, particularly in the area of…
13 Apr 7PM 51 min

The Fifth Floor: A journalist's life in Israel

What is it like to work in Jerusalem right now? BBC journalist Shaina Oppenheimer shares her experience of living in Israel and monitoring the conflicting narratives published on Israeli and Palestinian media. Plus, BBC Mundo's Alicia Hernandez explains why Equatorial Guinea is the only African country which has Spanish as…
13 Apr 7AM 27 min

BBC OS Conversations: Sudan's war - One year on

Sudan has experienced a year of civil war. It’s been described by the United Nations as “one of the worst humanitarian nightmares in recent history”. Over the past 12 months, we’ve heard from people in Sudan living through the violence and destruction. More than 14,000 people have died and more…
12 Apr 8PM 25 min

Bonus: The Global Story

A bonus episode from The Global Story podcast: Washington’s antitrust cases against Amazon, Apple, Google and Meta The US government is suing some of the biggest tech companies on the planet – Amazon, Apple, Google and Meta – in antitrust cases. The face of Washington’s crackdown is Federal Trade Commission…
12 Apr 7AM 27 min

From the Archive: Heart and Soul - Faith, terrorists and mercy at Guantanamo

An episode of Heart and Soul from our Archive. Dr Jennifer Bryson interrogated suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists at the infamous Guantanamo Bay. She worked at the detention centre in Cuba for two years and says that some of the inmates bragged openly about helping to organise the terrorist attacks of 9/11…
11 Apr 7PM 27 min

Bonus: What in the World

A bonus episode from the What in the World podcast. When it comes to elephant conservation, Botswana is the world leader. It is now home to more than 130,000 elephants — or around a third of the world's elephant population. But this growing number poses major problems for humans: the…
10 Apr 8PM 18 min

Assignment: New Caledonia - new agreement needed

New Caledonia is an island archipelago in the south Pacific. It has an incredible diversity of birds and plants. Its history includes a period serving as a 19th century penal colony for the French colonisers and being an allied naval base during World War Two. An agreement signed 26 years…
8 Apr 8PM 30 min

In the Studio: Ellie Simmonds

Public swimming pools are more than just concrete and water. Often, they are the heart of a community, a place to exercise, to meet people and connect. Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Simmonds explores what it takes to design and build a swimming pool, and asks why they are so important…
7 Apr 8PM 29 min

El Salvador's missing children

During El Salvador’s brutal civil war hundreds of children were separated from their families. Some were seized by soldiers during military operations against left-wing rebels, and later found living with new families in Europe and North America. Others were given up for adoption by mothers forced into poverty or displaced…
6 Apr 8PM 56 min

The Fifth Floor: My Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It’s a period of prayer, celebrations and community gatherings and Muslims worldwide observe it by fasting from dawn to sunset. As this year’s Ramadan draws to a close, Faranak Amidi is joined by three BBC World Service colleagues who share their…
6 Apr 7AM 29 min

BBC OS Conversations: Living with cancer

The world was shocked to hear the news that the Princess of Wales is being treated for cancer. In her video message, Catherine encouraged everyone facing the disease not to lose hope. Presenter James Reynolds, speaks to young women around the world who talk candidly about their diagnosis; how it…
5 Apr 8PM 25 min

Heart and Soul: The caste faultlines in Modi’s India

As India completes 10 years of being governed by the Hindu nationalist BJP, Divya Arya explores the divergent political and religious views of different castes in modern day India. Despite government-led programmes to increase job opportunities and reduced caste based discrimination, inequalities still exist particularly in smaller towns and villages…
4 Apr 8PM 29 min

Azovstal: The 80 Day Siege

Imagine for a moment what it would be like to live in darkness underground for 80 days, while bombs and missile strikes rain down from above and rations are so tight you can only eat once a day. Next, imagine having to choose between feeding yourself and feeding your baby…
4 Apr 1AM 27 min

Forward Thinking 1/4

The Nobel prize winning scientist Venki Ramakrishnan considers both why we might live longer and also the dilemmas this raises. In the last few years medical advance had led to treatments that really do offer the potential to tackle life threatening cancers and debilitating diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s…
3 Apr 3AM 50 min
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