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SATURDAY LIVE: Topical Stories Archive
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Saturday Live

Saturday Live Topical Stories are no longer being updated on this page.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.

Old Bailey - Scales of justiceNick Castree shares his experience of re-building his life knowing that his father was serving life in jail for the murder of a schoolgirl in 1975.
BBC News: Relief of Molseed killer's family
children in playgroundColm Cavanagh helped start the first non-denominational school in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education
Black September terroristShaul Ladany was one of the Israeli athletes who avoided being taken hostage by terrorists at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
Perico RodriguezPerico Rodriguez cheated death at the hands of his torturers in Argentina thirty years ago – he recently returned there to give evidence which finally put them behind bars.
BabyDavid Morrison was 14 years old when his girlfriend got pregnant. He tells Saturday Live how the experience transformed his life.
WhistleblowerGCHQ whistleblower Katharine Gun ended up in court after a secret email was forwarded to a Sunday newspaper.
Bernard AsherIn 1952 the great smog brought London to a standstill. Bernard Asher was a student in London at the time. He shares his memories of the toxic fog which enveloped the capital for four days.
River DeeBill Bleasdale's brother drowned in the River Dee when Bill was 4. We examine how memory suppresses our most painful experiences.
tape measureTony Glenville has worked on market stalls and in Paris couture, so brings a unique insight into argy-bargy in the the fashion world.
The Yom Kippur RarArchitect Michael Pearson went to Syria to pitch his plans for a teaching hospital and found himself caught up in a war.

The Power of Process - the architecture of Michael Pearson by Chris Rogers will be published by Black Dog later this year
George and Dorothy Leigh on their wedding day in 1949George and Dorothy Leigh were the first mixed-race couple in Long Eaton. We celebrate their Diamond Wedding anniversary.
Emma Spiegler  shares her experiences of living with an alcoholic parent.
Missing Mummy: Emma's poems
Kathryn SzrodeckiIn an age when eating disorders are a major concern, Kathryn Szrodecki (pictured) is a full-figured woman who is firm in her belief that to be big is not to be bad.
Jude Redmond failed in his own suicide attempt and despite injuries is glad to be alive.
Barbara Weed's son cut himself off from the family after getting involved in an online community.
Kirsty StrainKirsty Strain is one of an estimated 250,000 people in Britain who lives with M.E.
Action on M.E.
Rossiter's of Paignton is to close after 150 years, Nigel Rossiter describes how he feels to be the one to close the family business.
Pan Am planeMike Thexton was caught up in the Pan Am hijacking at Karachi Airport in 1986 and he was selected to be the next hostage to die.
What Happened to the Hippy Man is published by Lanista, ISBN: 0-9553185-0-5
Joshua and Anne Marie describe how computer gaming has affected their relationship.
Hannah Pudsey was 13 when she faced having a heart transplant.
cash moneyScott has been a High Court Enforcement Officer for the past five years and collects money or goods on behalf of creditors
Caravan at Menwith Hill Women's Peace campInspired by protestors at Greenham Common, Finn Mackay was just 17 when she got on a train to join the women's peace camp at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire.
Reclaim the Night
YetiCryptozoologist Richard Freeman has hunted the elusive yeti through the jungles of Sumatra.
BondHarry Ferguson worked in the security service for almost twenty years, much of that time with MI6, during the Cold War, working against the drugs trade and battling global terrorism.

SPY: A Handbook is published by Bloomsbury, ISBN-13: 978-0747575238
James Brett tasted pomegranate juice on a trip to Pakistan in 1999 - and it changed his life.
POM 354
Mark Gardiner won £11m on the lottery but has ended up falling out with most of his family and friends.
Diane Mundy recalls what attitudes to abortion were like in the UK over 40 years ago.
The Wilkins family in 1974Marian Hodder was just 19 when a camera crew moved into her family home & millions watched her on TV. Marian reflects on the experience and the popularity of 'Reality TV'  
David McGough was in the Royal Army Medical Corps & went to Iraq in 2003. Ever since he has suffered the psychological fallout from his experiences. The Gulf Veterans Association
Sheila Clark's husband died from Alzheimer's. She tells us how she's trying to safeguard the future of her grandchildren.
Alzheimer's Research Trust
the Twin Towers in NYC on September 11 2001Shiya Ribowsky was in charge of Special Projects for the New York Medical Examiner's Office in the aftermath of 9/11
On his stag night Ian Manners was joined by the brother of his wife to be. Only her brother happened to be Barack Obama.
Ronnie HowardRonnie Howard spent 23 years as an undercover policeman & his work involved snaring paedophiles. Ronnie's Looking for Trouble is published by Mainstream ISBN-10: 1845963512
Peter Shaw was held captive in Georgia for five months.
Tommy Godwin, OlympianTommy Godwin is a double Olympic medal winner & one of the few remaining survivors of the 1948 London Olympics.
Back in the early 1980s Robert Schifreen hacked his way into the Duke of Edinburgh’s Prestel account.
During the war in Bosnia, Kemal Pervanic was rounded up by Karadjic’s Bosnian-Serb army & sent to a concentration camp.
American cyclist Matt DeCanio has admitted using performance enhancing drugs.
In 1988 Wayne Anthony was at the forefront of the second summer of love.

Class of 88: The True Acid House Experience by Wayne Anthony is published by Virgin Books.
Colin ParryColin Parry's son Tim was 12 when he was killed when the IRA bombed Warrington in 1993. Since then Colin has dedicated himself to the peace process. Foundation for Peace
Steve has not seen his daughter in two years.
Fraser DohertyFraser Doherty started making jam in his kitchen, using his Gran's secret recipe. He's now the CEO of a jam making company which sells its wares to the very best of the high street supermarkets – he even does jam jar signings across the country now.
Frank ‘El Ingles’ Evans photo by Bob RuleFrank ‘El Ingles’ Evans is a veteran Matador, originally from Salford. He has achieved the rank of “matador de toros” (a full matador who fights full sized bulls); the only native Englishman to achieve such a level
Richard Hamblyn is a cloud expert – what he doesn’t know about a lenticular and a cirrus isn’t worth knowing.
Types of cloud.

The Cloud Book  by Richard Hamblyn is published by David & Charles Publishers
The invisible manFrank Ahearn is a 'skip tracer', who works to locate an individual's whereabouts. But he’s also makes people disappear (legally)
Duwayne Brooks was a friend of Stephen Lawrence and was with him the night he died.
Marion Dante spent 32 years serving as a Salesian nun before finally leaving in 1991.

Dropping the Habit by Marion Dante is published by Poolbeg. ISBN 978-1-84223-297-2
Brother and sisterNick Cameron & Danielle Heaney are half brother and sister. Nick, the older of the pair, was put into foster care before his sister was born, and they had only seen each other once before the summer of 2006. Then in their twenties, they met and felt an instant mutual attraction.
Murat Kurnaz was held for 5 years without trial in Guantanamo Bay. He says he was tortured & maltreated during that time – although the US Defense Department refutes those claims.

Five Years: An Innocent man in Guantanemo by Murat Kurnaz is published by Palgrave. ISBN: 0-230-60374-2
Tommy Cloherty lost his home when he found he couldn't keep up with the payments. Tommy now works with Hope Worldwide.
Darren CrowdyLast month Prof. Darren Crowdy published his solution to a formula which has remained incomplete for 140 years - the Schwarz-Christoffel equation
Lesley Close and her brother JohnLesley Close's brother John was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2001. When he decided he would take his own life Lesley supported him. Lesley's tribute to her brother
City workersMuch is made of pressure in the City – especially when the markets go berserk. Jonathan Naess talks about getting through his own troubled times in the Square Mile.

The Stand to Reason website.
Anna and sonsAnna Kennedy has two sons with autism & faced with few prospects for their education, she set up a school to cater for their needs.

Anna's book is called Not Stupid & is published by John Blake Publishing, ISBN: 9781844545070

The National Autistic Society website.
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 
Rainbow FlagTwo women called Judith share their tales of coming out and falling in love.
accident and emergencyA recent report suggested almost 1000 emergency workers are being assaulted every week. Who’d be a paramedic on a busy night shift in London? One such man is Stuart Gray. Stuart's blog
Sarah Burge has been described as a real life Barbie. She has spent over 200 thousand pounds altering her appearance. See Sarah's pictures.
Alison Davies was born with severe physical difficulties. Over many years she tried to take her own life and had euthanasia been legal in the UK she would have taken that option. But Alison has now changed her mind and is thankful that none of her suicide attempts worked.
Muslim British soldiersZeeshan Hashmi was born in Pakistan, before migrating to Britain where he fulfilled a lifelong ambition to join the armed forces. One of only 340 Muslim men & women in the British Army, he served two tours of duty in post 9/11 Afghanistan & one in Kosovo.
Jason was once hooked on internet pornography but now offers advice for those who are addicted.
Jason's website.
polling stationMichael Meadowcroft is an International Election Observer who has witnessed 48 missions to 35 different countries, assisting in the development of multi-party democracy.
Nick Yarris spent 22 years (8057 days) on death row until his conviction was overturned following new DNA testing.
ice stormAndrew Stairs is a farmer who lives outside Montreal in Canada & he lived through an ice storm which cut power to 4 million homes. Watch video of the ice storm on YouTube
Paul Blackburn spent 25 years in jail for the assault and attempted murder of a nine-year-old boy. He was 14 when he was arrested. He was released on licence in 2003 and in May 2005 the Court of Appeal accepted that Paul didn’t receive a fair trial and quashed his conviction.
car stuck in snowMick Jackson left Daventry one cold, frosty night to get home to his family in Kent. It should have taken him a couple of hours, but it didn’t
As an undercover agent, Terry Spamer has dedicated his life to exposing animal cruelty.
Bob's wife Lena went out to get fish and chips one night and didn’t come back for 27 years.
Alex Wheatle was 18 in 1981. He tells us how he got caught up in the Brixton Riots of that year.
British passportJody Doe discovered the man she had been married to for 14 years had been living under an assumed identity
Les Hewitt describes how a caving expedition into Sleets Gill in Yorkshire turned into a disaster.
Colin Anson and his wife AliceColin Anson was born Claus Ascher in Germany in 1922 but by the time he was 18 he was signing up to join the British Army
Gary Frank made a million and then lost a million and then he turned to muffins.
winterClare Allan is delighted winter is coming, for her this is the season of new beginnings. Her Seasonal Affective Disorder works the other way round; winter brings her joy & summer, the blues
Private security guards in IraqTony Cross decided to leave the army and take up a contract as a security guard operating in Iraq.
wineNew figures reveal surprising facts about the nature of drinking across the country. Liz is middle class and used to drink heavily. 
Jack Ludlam's photo of Nicole Kidman and Tom CruiseJack Ludlam makes his living as a paparazzo. Of all of the professions ‘papping’ is considered pretty low. Yet these photos fill papers & magazines that sell very well. Jack's official website
Audrey SmithFelicie Oake’s mother was so extravagant in the years before her death that by the time she died she had nothing to leave to her children.
war protestors in the UK in the 1930sAlbert Beale is a lifelong pacifist. He came to pacifism through ideas of logic - 'an eye for an eye' just didn't make sense to him.
The Peace Pledge Union
Tanya is a 20 year old British Asian who was living a happy and fulfilling life in the West Midlands until things began to turn sour.
BBC Action Line number - 0800 044 044
Woman's Hour
Forest fireElizabeth Green's house is at the base of Ringwood Forest in Dorset. In 2003, she was planning to have a normal Saturday – until she smelt smoke coming from the direction of the forest
Twin TowersClaudia Gerbasi lost her husband in the attacks of 9/11. Afterwards, she became with friends with 3 other women who'd also been widowed when the World Trade Centre was hit; they called themselves The Widow's Club. They've written a book about rebuilding their lives and their friendship; 'Love You, Mean It'.
cocaineMargaret had no idea her daughter was smuggling drugs; not until she got a phone call in 2001 saying her daughter, was in jail in Brazil where she had been arrested in possession of carrying 3KG of cocaine.
James Sutton describes how he has tried to come to terms with having been responsible for a road death. 
NessieAdrian Shine has been working at Loch Ness since 1973 and is currently head of the Loch Ness Project. He uses sonar technology to examine the waters of the loch and collects data about the biology of the fish and plant life. ...And he has had an interest in the Loch Ness Monster since his school days.

Loch Ness Project
Former Charlton player Andy Hunt describes how he coped when his football career came to an end.
Shark's TeethIn November 2000, retired doctor Colin Shadforth was holidaying with his wife in Florida. He was taking his morning swim when he felt something grip his leg...
Cattle being incineratedIn 2001 Les Armstrong was running a farm near Penrith. There were 500 cattle & 1300 sheep. But that was before the arrival of foot and mouth disease that year.
IRA SupergrassMartin McGartland was one of the most successful Special Branch spies. From 1987 to 1991, McGartland first passed information to SB about who and what he saw, before infiltrating the IRA in 1989 and working as a double agent. To the IRA he was a trusted intelligence officer. To the British government he was Agent Carol.

But the more IRA operations he thwarted, the more the spotlight of suspicion began to fall on him. It culminated in him being kidnapped by an IRA hit squad and taken to a flat in a Republican part of Belfast. Bound and gagged, he managed to hop the length of the lounge and lunge through the 4th floor window whilst the men were in the kitchen. He survived, but continues to live in fear of reprisal, somewhere in Britain.
Nick PettitNick Pettit worked in Explosive Ordnance Disposal and was Regimental Sergeant Major of the UK Bomb Disposal Forces.
Tony LagouranisTony Lagouranis is a former U.S. Army Interrogator who worked at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq
Kirsty was on a London tube train on July 7th 2005 when the bombs went off. She wasn’t injured but had to walk through smoke filled tunnels and past unspeakable sights and all of that left her with some pretty serious post traumatic stress disorder, for which she was prescribed an SSRI form of anti depressant. Her story is one of a battle to get off the drugs that were meant to help her.

BBC Action Line number - 0800 044 044
The Watkins family before the floodDoris Watkins and her family were tragically involved in the East Coast Floods of 1953 in which over 300 people lost their lives. The floods have been repeatedly described as the worst national peacetime disaster to hit the UK.
TBA second outbreak of TB in Wales this week has led to calls for an urgent review into the spread of the disease there.
The best way to stop TB is to find those who have it, treat it and prevent it from being passed on – but some people slip through the net….

One of those was Carl Liebel. If you have an image your head of the type of person who gets TB then I’d be prepared to bet my own BCG on it that you aren’t picturing a fit and healthy young man in his 20’s who works at a highly prestigious law firm in the City of London and goes to the gym four times a week.
Wendy Watson had a history of breast cancer in her family. Rather than wait for cancer to appear she had double mastectomy in 1993, the first woman in the UK to do so. She talks to Fi about making her decision...

Contact the The Hereditary breast cancer helpline
Laurence McKeown was arrested in August 1976 for alleged IRA activities and in April 1977 was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Maze prison.
He spent the next four and a half years on the Blanket and the No Wash Protest in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh and in 1981 embarked on hunger strike with the desired aim of achieving the status of political prisoner for those being held there – something vehemently opposed by the British government of the time. 4 men had already died when Lawrence started to refuse food at the end of June.
Lee BoxellLee Boxell was 15 when he went missing. He and a friend, Russell, decided to go to shopping and then on to East Croydon to watch Millwall play Charlton on September 10th 1988.  After meeting on Sutton High street, Russell said that he couldn’t go and so they went their separate ways. Lee was never seen again.

Christine and Pete Boxell have spent twenty years hoping that Lee will walk back through the door but none of the sightings of him have ever come to anything and his bedroom remains as it was that day he left for the match.

If you think you may have seen Lee you can call the Missing People's confidential, freephone number: 0500 700 700 or email:
Missing People website
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