Inheritable conditions and having children; bobsleigh skeleton; female entrepreneurs

The dilemma facing people who may have an inheritable condition and want to have a family. To consider the debate around this and Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis, we hear from disabled actress Julie Fernandez, who fronted the recent Radio 4 documentary Disabled And Broody, from Juliet Tizzard - Director of Strategy at the HFEA, Dr David King from Human Genetics Alert, and from Colleen Lynch of Care Fertility.

Plus skeleton bobsleigh - we meet gold medallist Lizzy Yarnold, and the daring young women at a recruiting event to encourage them to take up the sport.

American crime writer Rachel Howzell Hall talks about her debut UK novel, Land of the Shadows - the first in a series lead by a black female homicide detective.

And why are there so few wealthy women entrepreneurs? Kate Lester and Deb Leary both run their own companies and describe what it takes to be a successful female entrepreneur.

Release date:

Available now

58 minutes

Last on

Wed 21 May 2014 10:00

Disabled and Broody

Should you have children if it means passing on disabilities?  That was the question that actress Julie Fernandez explored in last night’s documentary on Radio 4. She has brittle bone disease and has decided she won’t have children as they’d have a 50/50 chance of inheriting it. It was a painful choice – at odds with Julie’s strongly-felt beliefs about disability equality.  Other disabled people decide they do want a child who will not inherit their condition and some undergo Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis, a type of IVF. It offers many disabled parents their only chance of having the healthy baby they long for.  What are the rules and regulations surrounding the treatment? Is it right to eradicate certain disabilities or is technology moving too fast and too far?

Jenni talks to Juliet Tizzard the Director of Strategy at the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) who regulate treatments and clinics. Dr. David King from Human Genetics Alert and Colleen Lynch from Care Fertility.

Olympian Lizzy Yarnold

One of the most memorable moments of this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi was Lizzy Yarnold’s gold medal in the skeleton bobsleigh event. Lizzy had only taken up the sport six years earlier, when she was selected through a talent programme run by UK Sport called Girls4Gold which identified women who had the potential to do well in the sport. Now UK Sport have launched another programme – Power to Podium – which is looking for male and female athletes who are uniquely suited to take up skeleton. The selection process is underway now and reporter Louise Adamson has been to the latest session at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre in East London. Lizzy Yarnold was there to encourage the athletes taking part and pass on some of her experience. Louise speaks to her and to Dr Stewart Laing of UK Sport and some of the women hoping that one day they too might win gold.

UK Sport Talent


Author Rachel Howzell Hall

Rachel Howzell Hall knows Los Angeles like the back of her hand and she wants to show a side of the city which doesn’t often make it to the silver screen. Rachel grew up in southwest LA, the backdrop for her new book, ‘Land of Shadows’. This is a place known locally as “The Jungle” where drugs and gang crime are rife. In this novel homicide detective Elouise Norton returns to her old neighbourhood to investigate the murder of a young girl. Along the way Elouise uncovers links with the unsolved disappearance of her sister 30 years ago.

Jenni talks to Rachel about how the book was inspired by her own experiences of growing up in the gang lands of LA.

'Land of the Shadows' is published by Titan Books on 23 May.

Women Entrepreneurs

More than 100 women have been named on the Sunday Times Rich List of Britain’s wealthiest 1,000 people – but just two of those made their own fortunes: Tamara Mellon co-founder of Jimmy Choo Shoes, and author JK Rowling.  So why so few?   Is it that women are reluctant entrepreneurs or is it that they are just not making enough money to appear on the list? Kate Lester and Deb Leary both run their own companies. They tell Jenni what it takes to be a successful female entrepreneur.


Role Contributor
PresenterJenni Murray
Interviewed GuestJulie Fernandez
Interviewed GuestJuliet Tizzard
Interviewed GuestDavid King
Interviewed GuestColleen Lynch
Interviewed GuestLizzy Yarnold
Interviewed GuestRachel Howzell Hall
Interviewed GuestKate Lester
Interviewed GuestDeb Leary
ReporterLouise Adamson
ProducerEmma Wallace

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