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My Secret Wig
Lots of people wear wigs, and go to great lengths to keep them secret - but why? Perhaps it's because the hair on top of our heads means so much to us. It's a crucial part of our identity, the person we see when we look in the mirror, so what happens when it's not there? It's a question Brian Kernohan has asked himself. Yes, his hair's thinning a bit on top, but it's his secret - until his hairdresser points it out. Brian wouldn't dare suggest a wig - even though he's always wondered if he could try one? Brian investigates the secret world of wigs with the help of alopecia sufferer Geraldine, who runs a secret wig shop which ensures discretion for all her customers. He explores the stigma attached to wig wearing, and finds out how tastes have changed since the 17thcentury when Louis XIV put wigs at the cutting edge of fashion. He meets cancer patients who have learnt to "embrace your inner bald", as 16-year-old Sophie puts it, the wig shop owner who surprises customers by wearing her own stock, and meets the opera singer who loves to wear wigs on stage. But still, Brian is nervous when he is fitted for a wig, and is even more terrified when he has to wear it in public. What if someone realises he's wearing a secret wig - and why does he care so much? Producer: Freya McClements.
With more than 30 million presentations being given around the world every day, PowerPoint has become the single most ubiquitous tool for presenting ideas. Yet it's the software many of us love to hate - vilified for simplifying the complex and complicating the simple. 30 years on from its commercial launch, Ian Sansom asks, 'What's the real point of PowerPoint?' as he embarks on what surely must be a world first - a PowerPoint presentation for the radio. How do I move this on to the next slide? There we are. Thanks. Armed only with an auto-content wizard, some zippy graphics and a hefty set of bullet points, Ian ventures forth to assess the true impact of this revolution in communication. He speaks with the software's pioneers, meets some of its notable detractors and asks how PowerPoint has influenced corporate life and spilled out into some improbable areas of our culture. As he discovers how science-fiction is helping to inform the next generation of presentation technology, Ian asks if PowerPoint has empowered the individual - or if our boardrooms, lecture halls and even our spiritual affairs are to be forever condemned to the fate that has come to be known as 'Death By PowerPoint.' What do I do now? Press escape? No, I want to bring it back to the start. F6 I think. Where's the remote thingy..? Producer: Conor Garrett.
This summer's spate of acid attacks have caused concern for both the public and authorities. The seemingly random selection of victims by perpetrators, and the suspected use of acid by criminal gangs, seems to be a new twist in a story which has previously seen acid used in more targeted crimes against a specific person. And the ease with which perpetrators seem to be throwing acid is breeding a fear of what some have called an epidemic. But while acid attacks may capture public attention for their shocking effect, they remain far from the norm. And they are not easily categorised or reduced to a simple narrative. Journalist Ayshea Buksh explores the complexity of acid attacks and the wide range of motivations behind the use of acid as a weapon. From hate crime and domestic violence to a fight that escalates, a mugging or a gang-related attack, the weapon may be the same but the reasoning can be wildly different - posing some tough questions for those trying to prevent or sentence acid attackers. What is always the same is the outcome. It's a crime that can take just seconds to commit, but acid attacks can have a life-long impact on survivors - not just physically, but mentally. Some survivors speaking to Ayshea are just going through their first surgery after the physical impact of the attack, while others are now living their lives at a distance from their attack but with a constant physical reminder. For some survivors, the question 'why?' can play constantly on their minds, while others try not to ask it as they attempt to move on with their lives. Presenter: Ayshea Buksh Producers: Ayshea Buksh and Katherine Godfrey A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.
Little Shop of Colours
What stories are hiding among the paints and pigments in an art supplies shop? L Cornelissen & Son has been supplying artists since the 19th century. Based in a little shop near the British Museum, it's a Victorian throwback - all dark wood, high shelves and creaky floorboards. Jars of pigment 'glint like jewels in the semi-dark' (as Derek Jarman put it), full of vibrant powders with mysterious names and long, strange histories - Lapis Lazuli, Rose Madder, Naples Yellow, Potters Pink, Egyptian Blue, Caput Mortuum. Cathy FitzGerald holes up in the shop for a week to hear its customers' stories. What are they buying? What are they making? Presented and produced by Cathy FitzGerald Original music by Stephen Coates A White Stiletto production for BBC Radio 4
Queens of Chapeltown
After the violence directed at black people in Nottingham and Notting Hill in the 1950s, and the naked racism expressed in Smethwick during the 1964 general election, a group of pioneering West Indians came up with a simple and defiant riposte: Carnival. In Queens of Chapeltown, Colin Grant goes behind the scenes of Carnival to its Leeds West Indian HQ in Chapeltown - amidst the glue guns, sequins and feathers - to capture that moment of extraordinary transformation, 50 years on: the birth of a tradition which, for one weekend in August, would wash away the bad taste of anti immigrant sentiment with a burst of colour and flash of exuberance that would forever change Britain. Grant travels to Leeds to talk with the pioneers and celebrate the endurance and growth of Carnival. Produced and presented by Colin Grant.