Natasha Lance Rogoff’s daunting task of making Sesame Street in post-Soviet Russia.
In the early 90s, American journalist Natasha Lance Rogoff was covering the collapse of the Soviet Union – until the Muppets came calling, and she was tasked with bringing Sesame Street to Moscow. After decades of communism a new Russia was emerging, but could it embrace a US TV show?
Creating Ulitsa Sezam was a daunting challenge for Natasha. She would have to overcome a huge culture clash and, along the way, face mobsters with shark tanks, bankruptcy, and the kidnapping of Elmo. Natasha has written a book called Muppets in Moscow: The unexpected crazy true story of making Sesame Street in Russia.
Presenter: Asya Fouks
Producer: Maryam Maruf
Editor: Munazza Khan
Introducing: Love, Janessa
All episodes of our catfishing podcast are now available. You meet someone online. It turns out many others think they have fallen for the same person. It’s the story of the scammers and the unwitting face of a digital con. With host, Hannah Ajala.
Search for Love, Janessa wherever you get your podcasts.
My life in seven swimming pools
Amjed Tantesh is determined to teach kids in Gaza to swim no matter how many pools he has to build.
Finding freedom in the water as a child, Amjed wanted to train the next generation of Gazans for Olympic swimming glory – not easy when he had to keep abandoning his pools. Yet through relentlessly rebuilding and restarting, over decades of war, Amjed’s swimming initiative found its true purpose.
This episode contains upsetting moments involving children.
Presenter: Jo Fidgen
Producer: Louise Morris
Interpreter: Youssef Taha
The Ukrainian opera singer nearly silenced by a bullet
Sergiy Ivanchuk dreamed of stardom, before he was shot in the chest by Russian soldiers.
He was a volunteer helping refugees escape Eastern Ukraine during the early days of the 2022 invasion, when his car was attacked. He was hit in the legs, hand and back, and he was lucky to survive a punctured lung. When Sergiy woke up in hospital, he could barely talk, let alone sing, but he refused to give up his ambitions of being a world famous baritone.
Presenter: Asya Fouks
Producer: Harry Graham
Editor: Andrea Kennedy
Sound design: Joel Cox
I didn’t know I was part of an experiment
When Greenlander Helene Thiesen was just seven, two Danish men came to take her away.
In 1951, Greenland native Helene Thiesen was just seven years old when two Danish men knocked at the family home. That moment would shape the rest of her life. These men, acting at the invitation of the Danish colonial government were rounding up the brightest Inuit children and sending them to live in Denmark to be re-educated as model Danish citizens or ‘little Danes’. Helene suffered terribly from being separated from her mother and siblings and it would take her many decades to discover the horrible truth behind it all: she was part of an experiment. Of the 22 children that were taken, Helene is now one of the few survivors.
Presenter: Mobeen Azhar
Producer: Edgar Maddicott
Translator: Alette Rye Scales
Voice: Julia Holden