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BBC World Service - Documentary Archive

The Documentary Podcast

Download the latest documentaries Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

The Documentary Podcast

  • The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: National International
    Editor David Cannadine delves into stories about some of the colourful figures who lurk in the holdings of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, from Archibald Stansfeld Belaney, alias Grey Owl, the impostor conservationist of the early 20th century, to Alice Lucas, the earliest female UK parliamentary candidate, and recent figures from popular culture like Amy Winehouse.

  • The Changing Face of Procreation: Assisted Reproduction
    How humans make babies could be about to change, thanks to advances in IVF and reproductive technology. Krupa Padhy meets the new kinds of families that could become the norm, and explores how reproductive technology may soon alter the way all of us make babies.

  • Iceland: What Happened Next?
    Iceland is a small island nation of just 340,000 people, but at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008, it was the scene of one of the biggest banking collapses in history. Ten years on the economy has recovered, thanks to the millions of tourists who now visit every year. But what scars have been left on this close-knit island nation’s collective psyche? Edwin Lane speaks to the Icelanders hit hardest by the crisis, the small-town chief of police charged with pursuing the errant bankers, the new wave of Icelandic politicians agitating for change, and the Icelanders who fear that the lessons of the past haven’t been learned.

  • Chile - Sexual Abuse, Secrets and Lies
    Dark secrets of Chile's Catholic Church - one of South America's devout congregations

  • The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Lasting Fame
    Editor David Cannadine takes us behind the scenes at the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) to examine why this late Victorian institution, with thousands upon thousands of detailed and vivid entries about the great and the good, is still relevant in the internet age. We hear the processes by which candidates are selected for inclusion, how the style and content have changed over the years, and why, in a period which tries to look beyond the praise of famous men and women, there is still a place for a publication that unashamedly does just that.