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  • Ceausescu's Children
    Today, the actor Ionica Adriana lives with her family in the North Yorkshire countryside - but her life could have turned out wildly different. Until the age of two-and-a-half, Ionica lived in an orphanage, in Transylvania, north-western Romania. From 1965-1989, the Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu enforced a strict set of policies to set about vastly increasing the Romanian population. But widespread poverty meant it was impossible for many Romanian parents to look after their newborn children - and so many ended up in state-run institutions, where they received little care and attention, and where they were left in dirty clothes, to feed and fend for themselves. Ionica returns to Romania to uncover her past and the history of Ceaușescu’s barbaric orphanages. She explores what childcare and protection looks like in Romania today, meets someone who grew up in the state system his entire childhood and has an emotional encounter of her own. Producer: Sasha Edye-Lindner A Just Radio production for BBC Radio 4
  • The Virtual World of Sex Education
    In today’s ever-evolving digital world, social media can sometimes feel like a frightening place. But is it all bad? As our online and offline lives are becoming increasingly blurred perhaps it is time we looked at the ways social media can be used for good? Ruby Rare is a sex educator and author who has delivered relationships and sex education workshops to all ages up and down the country. Ruby speaks to a group of teens about the ways they use social media to fill the gaps left by their formal sex education, and parents about their concerns around young people learning about sex and relationships online. We hear from a number of ‘sexperts’ who address some of the dangers of young people not accessing good sex education and professionals who are using online platforms to provide comprehensive and inclusive sex education for the 21st century. With contributions from: Ben Hurst from Beyond Equality, Professor Jessica Ringrose, Eliza Bell from Brook, Genevieve Collister Brown, Dr Tanaya Narendra, Sophia Smith-Galer and Melissa Pintor Carnagey from Sex Positive Families. Presenter: Ruby Rare Producer: Anna de Wolff Evans Sound Design: David Thomas A Pier production for BBC Radio 4
  • Ukraine’s Nuclear Gamble
    It was a night of intense negotiation which would change the world order as Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons. Clive Myrie examines what was at stake in Budapest in 1994, how the deal was finally reached and how it went on to shape the world we face today. Three decades ago, the newly independent country of Ukraine was briefly the third-biggest nuclear power on the planet. Thousands of nuclear arms had been left on Ukrainian soil after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But in the years that followed, Ukraine made the decision to denuclearise. As Ukraine fights for its continued independence and the world hopes to stave off a catastrophic acceleration of nuclear weapons activity, Clive finds out how that agreement was negotiated and interpreted – and what it says about the situation we find ourselves in today. He talks to negotiators and others with an interest in those important diplomatic discussions 28 years ago. Producer: Ashley Byrne A Made in Manchester production for BBC Radio 4
  • Ziggy Stardust at 50
    June 1972 saw the release of David Bowie’s album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars which propelled the South London singer to stardom. Bowie’s creation of the Ziggy Stardust persona was more than just a whimsical costume change, the whole concept had a meticulously planned gestation period and evolved many facets of his creativity. In a Melody Maker interview in January 1972, a few months before the album’s release, Bowie openly discussed his bisexuality. Back then, it was a radical and potentially career harming gesture, but it became a defining moment for many gay people around the world. In this Archive on 4, Tris Penna, who worked alongside Bowie at EMI Records, assesses the origins of the album, artists Michael Weller and George Underwood discuss their schooldays and early friendship with Bowie, and Ziggy Stardust co-producer Ken Scott recalls the studio experience. “Young dude” Wendy Kirby, record plugger Anya Wilson, and former music exec Laurence Myers remember their time with “Ziggy” and singer Marc Almond talks movingly about the profound impact of Ziggy on his life. Singer and actor Toyah Wilcox talks about the creative inspiration Bowie has had for her since the age of 12, and brings the reviews of the time alive. The programme also includes rare archive material including a lost Bowie interview (as Ziggy) recorded in the Top of the Pops dressing room, a 1972 press conference, and insightful reflections from former band members Mick Ronson and Trevor Bolder. We also hear studio outtakes – as well as a lost BBC session version of the title song. Producers: Tris Penna and Sue Clark Executive Producer: David Prest A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.
  • The Hidden History of the Front Door
    Join Rachel Hurdley as she opens the front door to step into a story of security, sociability, style and even the supernatural. The front door may seem to be just a simple way of coming in and out of a house, but it almost always reveals more about the householder than they might expect. The style of door, its colour, the letter box, doorbell, even perhaps the house name, are all chosen to present an image to the outside world. In this programme, Rachel reveals how to interpret a front door and how developments in their design and use over the centuries reflect social changes. Rachel starts at Chepstow Castle, where she admires what’s thought to be the oldest castle door in Europe and finds out why it was built to provide a strong deterrent to intruders; at the moated manor house of Baddesley Clinton she discovers how Medieval and Tudor home owners used their doors to ward off evil spirits; in Bath she goes back to the time of Jane Austen to hear about the social etiquette of paying a visit; moving forward to the 19th century she learns why the Victorians loved to put a house name on their front door; and finally she visits the Becontree Estate in East London and sees how the building boom of the 1920s and 30s meant many families had their own front door for the first time. Interviewees: * Sonia Solicari, Director of The Museum of the Home * Jonathan Glancey, Architectural Writer and Historian * Will Davies, Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Cadw, spoke at Chepstow Castle * James Wright, Buildings Archaeologist, spoke at Baddesley Clinton * Elaine Chalus, Professor of British History at the University of Liverpool, spoke at No. 1 Royal Crescent * Laura Wright, Professor of English Language at the University of Cambridge and author of ‘Sunnyside: A History of British House Names’ * Bill Jennings, former resident and Housing Manager, spoke on the Becontree Estate Presenter: Rachel Hurdley Producer: Louise Adamson Executive Producer: Samir Shah Shah A Juniper Connect production for BBC Radio 4

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