BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.


Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio
BBC Radio 4 - 92 to 94 FM and 198 Long WaveListen to Digital Radio, Digital TV and OnlineListen on Digital Radio, Digital TV and Online

PROGRAMME FINDER:
Programmes
Podcasts
Schedule
Presenters
PROGRAMME GENRES:
News
Drama
Comedy
Science
Religion|Ethics
History
Factual
Messageboards
Radio 4 Tickets
Radio 4 Help

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 

factual
SATURDAY LIVE: Extraordinary Stories Archive
MISSED A PROGRAMME?
Go to the Listen Again page
Saturday Live

Saturday Live Extraordinary Stories are no longer being updated on this page. If you want to read about stories from a recent episode of the programme, visit the new Saturday Live homepage.

Wendy SalisburyWendy Salisbury is an expert on the physical and mental benefits of being with much younger men.
The Toyboy Diaries by Wendy Salisbury is published by Old St Publishing

The Toyboy Diaries (NB: Over 18’s only!)
man with head in handsPaul Craney suffered from autophobia - an intense self-fear, or fear of being alive. He describes how he overcame his condition.

BBC Health - Anxiety, Panic and Phobias
Anxiety UK
Chrissie De RivazChrissie De Rivaz is going to be frozen when she dies so that she can be thawed and brought back to life in the future. Cryonics Europe
Headless LadyHeadless lady Pat Gresham spent her working life losing her head, sitting in a goldfish bowl, or being electrocuted. Sideshow Illusions
Step Right Up: The science and social history of the sideshow
Court artist Julia Quenzler's drawing of Maxine CarrJulia Quenzler may be the most widely viewed portraitist currently working in Britain. For more than 20 years she has provided sketches of those appearing in court.
See more of Julia's court sketches.
Deano Dunbar setting the world record for the time taken to travel around the Isle of Wight in a Thundercat power boat.Deano Dunbar was inspired by a degenerative eye condition to set off on a world wide adventure of extreme sports.
House spiderJan Beccaloni is Curator of Arachnids at the Natural History Museum. Her husband is Curator of Cockroaches.
Some of Jan's favourite eight-legged creatures join her in the studio.
Natural History Museum: Insects and Spiders
We hear from the policemen who went onto a rooftop to investigate the noise and got more than they bargained for.
YouTube: Beatles Rooftop Concert.
Trident submarine HMS TubulentAndrew McKendrick commands HMS Vengeance which contains in its safe the authorisation for launching Trident.
Neil Epstein hasn't had a good night's sleep for 37 years.
spermWill Calder was a regular sperm donor when he was a student back in the late '80s.
 UK DonorLink
Sybil Le Fleur grew up in Burma with her sister Blanche but in 1941 their lives were torn apart by the Japanese invasion. 

Torn Apart by Sybil and Blanche Le Fleur with Derek Flory is published by Mainstream Publishing
Daniel Jubb is one of the world's leading rocket scientists.
Doug and Chris YoungChris & Doug Young are relationship counsellors. Their marriage survived Doug's serial affairs over the course of twelve years. Doug and Chris' relationship advice
Helen McKendry was 15 when her mother, Jean McConville, was abducted by the IRA in December 1972.
Vic Armstrong with Harrison FordAccording to the Guinness Book of Records Vic Armstrong is the world's most prolific stunt double. Vic doubled for Harrison Ford in the first three Indiana Jones films and for Christopher Reeve in Superman II. Vic's website
Lyn Witheridge describes how she was a victim of bullying at work.

Andrea Adams Trust
Susi (left) with her parents88 year old Susi Linton recalls Kristallnacht, 70 years ago.
poppy fieldWe speak to a mother whose son has been addicted to heroin for a number of years. For her son's safety she decided to step in and manage his habit. 

Radio 4 Actionline: 0800 044 044
Chi Rho AmuletQuentin Hutchinson is an archeologist who discovered a silver amulet in a grave that was initially regarded as the earliest evidence of a Christian burial in Britain. It should have marked the highpoint of his career...
SASElaine Higgins married a soldier serving in the SAS, but it was only after his death that Elaine discovered that he'd been lying about his working life...
sex tourismJeannette Belliveau describes herself as an 'accidental sex traveller'. She had flings with local men while on holiday in Greece, the Caribbean and Brazil.
Romance on the Road is published by Beau Monde Press, ISBN-13: 978-0965234412
Nick Pearce was 9 years old in 1968, when his family went on holiday to the USA to help his father recover from a heart attack.
Father Patrick Keegans was the local priest in Lockerbie on 21st December 1988.
20 year old Matthew Ahmet trains with the Shaolin Monks in China and tries to enlighten young people here when he's back home.

UK Smile
Yvonne Craig Inskip grew up in the 1940s with no father, but two mothers.
Prague 1968 - photo AFP/AFP/Getty ImagesAnne Hobbs was on a school exchange visit to Prague in August 1968 & experienced the Russian invasion first hand.
BBC Memoryshare
Roman Halter survived the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp, then late in life began a correspondence with Albert Speer, Hitler’s architect.
Nagasaki after atom bombNobuko Pollock survived the atomic bomb in Nagasaki then fell in love and moved to Belfast.
Kerry Cohen describes how she became a sex addict.


Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity by Kerry Cohen is published by Ebury Press
manJohn describes how he found himself in a long term relationship with a violent woman
 
Mankind website: offers support to men who have experienced domestic abuse or violence
Robert Watson runs the Guild of Professional English Butlers and helps to train modern day butlers. 
Rachel lived as a Jehovah's Witness until 4 years ago, when she made the decision to leave and rebuild her life.
Ben Mee saw an advertisement for a zoo for sale and decided to buy it.
 
Dartmoor Zoological Park
Sam Lesser is now 92 but when he was just 21 he decided to head to Spain to join in the fight against Franco.
Miss World 1970Sally Alexander was one of a number of feminist protestors who stormed the Albert Hall stage during the 1970 Miss World pageant
Dr GrossmanDr Grossman is a neurosurgeon. He was working at the Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas when President Kennedy was assassinated and was one of a handful of doctors trying to save his life.
Danny HuntDanny Hunt has been doing magic tricks since he was 4 years old. A fascination with Harry Houdini then led him to become an escapologist.
Bjorn LengfelderThe Lebensborn Society was the brainchild of Heinrich Himmler. He encouraged liasons between German men and Scandinavian women – in the hope that the result was blond haired and blue eyed. Bjorn Lengfelder is one of them...
Ex Royal Protection Officer, Ken Wharfe, recalls the Grosvenor Square riots of 1968.
Kathryn NutbeamKathryn Nutbeem was only five years old when her father, Major Roger Nutbeem of the Royal Army Medical Corps was one of 48 men killed aboard the Navy ship Sir Galahad.
As a teenager, Kathryn decided to embark on a journey that would help her to deal with losing her dad.
29 Wolverton StreetKevin Firth lived in Wolverton Street (pictured) for 10 years. What he didn’t know when he bought the house was that it was the site of a notorious, unsolved & brutal murder
Natalia Aggiano's mother was killed by her father.  Natalia forgave her father and helped him to come to terms with what he had done.

Unconditional Love  by Natalia Aggiano is published by John Blake Publishing Ltd.
Saran AndersonSarah Anderson developed a rare cancer when she was 10 & had her arm amputated. Her family never spoke about the loss

Halfway to Venus, A One-Armed Journey is published by Umbrella Books ISBN-10: 0954262425
19 year old Fraser Doherty is the creator of SuperJam, an enterprise started in his parents’ kitchen when he was just 14.
Jack Lewis was a Formula 1 driver for a brief period in the late 1950s /early 1960s. Then he gave it all up.
Man CoughingNick Peake has a cough that started in 1993 - he has been coughing for the past 15 years. Examined by countless specialists, he's tried numerous remedies, all to no avail.
Life without a surname? It was 1979 when Margaret Sandra made a Statutory Declaration that from then on she'd be known only by the first two names her parents had given her.
Charlotte donated her eggs, Helen rented out her womb and Alex had her baby.
Sandra LeviSandra Levi's late father was a Rabbi & one of the founders of the Council of Christians & Jews. But he was also an incorrigible womaniser.
 
Rites and Wrongs is published by Melrose Books ISBN-10: 1906050473
Buckingham Palace state roomsIn March 1958, when Fiona MacCarthy was 18, she was among the last 1400 debutantes to be presented to the Queen.

Last Curtsey by Fiona MacCarthy is published by Faber and Faber, ISBN-10: 0571228607
Josephine & Colin Arnold in their home, 2006Colin & Josephine Arnold bought their lovely old house with stunning views over the North Sea 20 years ago, but their home is being eaten away by coastal erosion - see the pictures 
Wibke BruhnsWibke Bruhns is the daughter of a Nazi officer who was executed for his part in the plot to assassinate Hitler.
Imran Rehman was taken to Pakistan for a holiday aged 17 where he found himself forced into marriage.
The Karma Nirvana project.
Pirate flagMichael Briant recalls how he found himself staring down the barrel of an AK47 in deep Somalian waters when pirates began attacking his boat.
Rudolf Beran's family house and all its contents were confiscated by the Nazi’s in 1942 - including a portrait of his mother. See the painting.
Richard Martinez is a private investigator who provides a honeytrap service or ‘integrity testing’ as he prefers to call it.
whiskeyA chance encounter with a bottle of whisky at a wine fair in 1984 led Mark Reynier to decamp to a remote Scottish island, Mark is now the very successful owner of the Bruichladdich whisky distillery on the Hebriddean island if Islay.
Alanna Maltby suffers from prosopagnosia, otherwise known as face blindness.
Buried treasureMax Valentin buried a bejewelled owl worth over £100,000 somewhere in the vastness that is France, but he made the clues so tricky that La Chouette D’or has never been found.
handsDiane & her husband have 10 grandchildren. But for years she has had to fight to see many of them – having been excluded from their lives by their parents. The Grandparents' Association website
Alan Brogan and Irene Kinnear on their wedding dayAlan Brogan & Irene Kinnair were both placed in an orphanage when they were young. But the end to their story proves sometimes good things do happen to good people. See more photos of Alan and Irene
IbuprofenDr Stewart Adams is a man we owe a great deal of thanks to as he was the man behind the development of Ibuprofen
Eddie Batha tells us about life with narcolepsy.

 Narcolepsy Association UK
Reverend Tom Willis has carried out hundreds of exorcisms over the years.
Your ghost stories.
Svetlana Lloyd found herself modelling for Christian Dior in 1950s Paris.
See pictures.
Sami Berik aka the HunSami Berik is a 27 year old cage fighter from North London who fights under the stage name of the Hun
Ben Pridmore has won the World Memory Championship and is currently number two in the world in the memory sports ranking.
Sandra Brown believes her father was involved in the disappearance of a young girl 50 years ago and has spent years trying to prove his guilt.

The Moira Anderson Foundation
Alex Kurzem with SS guardsAlex Kurzem was just five years old when the SS arrived in his Latvian village and, despite being Jewish, he became their mascot
The Mascot:The Extraordinary Story of a Jewish Boy and an SS Extermination Squad  is published by Rider & Co. ISBN-10:1846040361
Private security guards in IraqTony Cross decided to leave the army and take up a contract as a security guard operating in Iraq.
Alan Brogan and Irene Kinnear on their wedding dayAlan Brogan & Irene Kinnair were both placed in an orphanage when they were young. But the end to their story proves sometimes good things do happen to good people. See more photos of Alan and Irene
Patrick Bossert on the rightBack in 1981 Patrick Bossert wrote a bestseller about solving the Rubik's cube and he was just 12 years old.   
Times SquareAs a forensic artist Lois Gibson has helped convict more than 1,000 criminals. See her fascinating reconstructions on Lois' website
Sue Tilley was Lucian Freud’s muse for several years, posing as the subject of his 'Big Sue' works.
The Leaning Tower of PisaProfessor John Burland is Emeritus Professor of Soil Mechanics & he is the man who he saved the Leaning Tower of Pisa - from leaning over
David Elvy's twin Dawn died within minutes of her birth and ever since he has searched for the part of him that is missing.

The Lone Twin Network, PO Box 5653, Birmingham, B29 7JY
Leonie PopeLeonie Pope was brought up in Wales but adopted in Australia. When she traced her birth mother she discovered shocking facts about the circumstances of her adoption. Leonie is a member of what's known as the 'Stolen Generations' of Aboriginal children who were forcibly removed from their birth parents & placed in children's homes.
 
European Network for Indigenous Australian Rights
International Social Services
From the age of twenty two Roger has spent his life in a sexual twilight world as a eunuch.
Wedding StatuesJulia Johns met her future husband on a blind date, New Years Day, 1989. After a whirlwind romance, they married in May of the same year. What she didn't know was her husband still married to another woman, something she didn't discover for 13 years.
www.stopbigamy.co.uk
1975In 1975 Toni Balestra ended up in a coma after a car accident. When Toni emerged, his memory was irreparably damaged. Now Toni can recall his life before the accident in great detail but he can’t remember what happened a few hours ago.
Headway - the brain injury association
The Johnstone familyCheryl and Wyndham Johnstone are two people who you could quite happily chat to all day. They have, between them, two lovely daughters and both share a refreshingly ‘glass half full attitude to life’. They have been married for a couple of years – I’m sure if you met them in the park you would simply think ‘what a super family’.

But they met in circumstances which were far from idyllic, through the WAY Foundation - which stands for Widowed and Young. Both of them had lost their partners in horrible circumstances when they were only just starting out on their lives together. Cheryl was just 17 weeks pregnant when her husband Glen died suddenly.

The WAY Foundation - supporting those who are bereaved and young
Russian PrincessKatya Galitzine is a descendant of Catherine the Great. Does that make her a Russian princess?
Julia Boggio and James Derbyshire on their wedding dayAfter re-enacting the famous final dance scene from the film on their wedding day 18 months ago, Julia Boggio and her husband James Derbyshire decided to put their film on to the popular website YouTube for friends and family to view in the USA and inadvertantly became an internet sensation

Watch Julia and James' wedding dance on YouTube
Alex Prior is a 14 year old composer and conductor. Since his solo debut in December 2002, he has been recognized internationally as a phenomenal young musician.
SchoolJonathan Challinor's day job is as a barrister specialising in criminal law but when his father died last year he inherited Norfolk House Prep School in Edgbaston. 
 
Mr Challinor Sr. took ownership of the school in 1967 after the owner was declared bankrupt and, along with another parent, decided to try and keep it running as long as they could, until more suitable owners were found. But the school developed to the point where Mr Challinor thought he would keep it running full time. The school has become so successful that in a recent Sunday Times poll, it was the 35th best school in Britain.
Ginger plantDr Mark Newman is a Tropical Systematic Botanist at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. In layman’s terms, he’s a plant collector or plant hunter. He’s travelled all over the world looking for new species of plant, especially in his area of speciality, ginger.
Robert lives in London and is studying for a film degree. He is a Kosovan Albanian whose family lived in Macedonia – a place to which he says he can never return. He wants to become a British citizen and is currently waiting to hear if his permission to stay in this country has been extended. But can he demonstrate – as ministers want those coming to this country to do from now on – that he has a willingness to integrate and can he demonstrate good behaviour? And if he can does that make him British?
Sam Sky Wild had a decidedly communal upbringing. In fact his name shouldn’t be Wild at all – but his parents decided to cut the ties that bind through a surname and also allow him to be brought up by everyone in their commune.
Having had her heart broken – and endured some pretty painful relationships - Chloe has decided that her happiness lies in dating married men. She finds them through a website which aims to provide exactly that kind of service. She doesn’t expect any of them to leave their wives for her…and she wanted to tell us why she shouldn’t be condemned.
Listen Live
Audio Help
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Saturday Live

Fi Glover

Get the Newsletter

Sign up for the weekly newsletter to find out what's coming up on the programme & get the inside scoop direct from Fi


About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy