From Profile on April 20, 2019, 7:15 p.m.
As Libya edges towards civil war, Becky Milligan looks at the life of the man behind the most recent conflict, which began with his military assault on the city of Tripoli. Known as "The Strongman", Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar comes from a family of soldiers and as a young man admired his fellow army student Muammar Gaddafi, who would later denounce him after their disastrous defeat in a war in Chad. He was given refuge by the Americans and ended up living for twenty years in Langley, Virginia, home of the CIA, before returning to Libya, with the self-proclaimed aim of saving the country from extremists. Producers Smita Patel & Tural Ahmedzade Editor Andrew Smith
From Profile on April 13, 2019, 7:15 p.m.
The England and Tottenham Hotspur defender Danny Rose says he’s had enough of being on the end of racist abuse at matches and “can’t wait to leave football behind”. On Profile this week, Mark Coles tries to find out why. Friends and colleagues talk about the footballer’s formative years, his remarkable premiership debut against arch-rivals Arsenal and how a knee injury sparked depression and introspection. But it’s racism that dominates his story. A black player representing England in international matches, he’s been subjected to racist chanting and abuse. After last month’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Montenegro, he said , enough is enough… it’s time for football’s governing bodies to stamp it out. Producer Smita Patel Researcher Tural Ahmedzade Editor Emma Rippon
From Profile on April 6, 2019, 7:15 p.m.
The primary school teacher at the centre of a row over LGBT rights has said he's received threats. Pupils have been pulled out of Parkfield School in Birmingham and parents have protested outside the school gates, chanting 'Say no to No Outsiders'. No Outsiders is the programme Andrew Moffat designed to teach pupils to be accepting of different types of people - despite their race, religion or sexuality. Some story books he uses feature families with two mothers or two fathers. He says he designed the programme so that no child has to hide who they are as he did when he was young. Thanks to the Varkey Foundation for footage of the Global Teacher Prize. Producers: Viv Jones, Phoebe Keane
From Profile on March 30, 2019, 7:15 p.m.
The Conservative MP Sir Oliver Letwin made headlines this week when he persuaded the Commons to try to agree an alternative plan for Brexit. Mark Coles profiles the member for West Dorset, who has previously been in the news for - among other things - accidentally letting burglars into his home.
From Profile on March 23, 2019, 7:15 p.m.
The New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has received international attention for her response to the Christchurch attacks. Her call for unity was followed by swift action to tighten the country’s gun laws. Edward Stourton looks at the rise of this young leader. Producer: Phoebe Keane (Jacinda Ardern DJing audio courtesy of Marty Duda and The 13th Floor)
From Profile on March 16, 2019, 7:15 p.m.
The inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, is celebrating 30 years of his creation. He's also issued a warning that the Web could plunge towards a "dysfunctional future". Mark Coles looks at the life of the pioneering computer scientist. Producer: Phoebe Keane
From Profile on March 9, 2019, 7:15 p.m.
Nan Goldin is a cultural icon and pioneer of art photography celebrated for her provocative and intimate photos of drag queens, drug addicts and sex. But recently she has been generating headlines not for her art but for her activism. The photographer has been fighting the US opioid epidemic after battling her own addiction to prescription painkillers. Producers: Viv Jones and Tural Ahmedzade Protest audio courtesy of Mike Quinn
From Profile on March 2, 2019, 7:15 p.m.
CRISPR Cas9 has been described as the greatest biological breakthrough in decades. The hopes resting on this gene editing technology are immense - this week a Swiss drug company announced it is beginning a landmark clinical trial using CRISPR on a patient with a dangerous blood disease. Mark Coles profiles one of the creators of the technology, the American biochemist Jennifer Doudna. Presenter: Mark Coles Producers: Viv Jones, Tural Ahmedzade
From Profile on Feb. 23, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
MP Luciana Berger resigned from the Labour Party this week to join the newly-formed Independent Group. For years she has been the target of sustained anti-Semitic abuse, and has criticised the Labour Party's handling of the issue. One of the reasons she gave for leaving the party is that she has come to view it as "institutionally anti-Semitic”. Her resignation comes within days of her facing a vote of no-confidence in her Liverpool Wavertree constituency, which was withdrawn after a bitter row. Presenter: Becky Milligan Producer: Viv Jones, Tural Ahmedzade Editor: Penny Murphy
From Profile on Feb. 16, 2019, 7:15 p.m.
The transport secretary's critics call him “failing Grayling" - an unkind nickname, perhaps, but one made more likely to stick by his infamous decision to award a valuable contract to a Brexit ferry company with no ferries. He cancelled the contract this week amid much derision in Parliament. Presenter: Mark Coles Producer; Sally Abrahams
From Profile on Feb. 9, 2019, 7:15 p.m.
We’re talking buildings and monuments on Profile this week – looking at the life and career of Sir David Adjaye. The 52-year-old British-Ghanaian architect shot to fame in the US for his 2016 Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC. An exhibition featuring his work has just opened in London. Producer: Sally Abrahams Presenter: Mark Coles
From Profile on Feb. 2, 2019, 7:15 p.m.
Juan Guaidó - who recently declared himself Venezuela’s president - was elected to the National Assembly in 2011 and won the seat of his home state in 2016. But he only really came to prominence more recently when he was picked to head Venezuela's parliament, the National Assembly. US President Donald Trump has recognised Guaidó as the country’s legitimate leader - as has Canada, Brazil, Australia and the European parliament - but, for now, Nicolás Maduro is showing no signs of giving way. In this edition of Profile Edward Stourton traces Guaidó’s life and hears from his family, friends and those who have followed his career. Guaidó grew up in the beachside state of Vargas where his family survived the horrendous 1999 mudslide tragedy. Juan’s mother, Norka Marquez, tells Edward how her family lost everything in that disaster. Producer: Darin Graham
From Profile on Jan. 26, 2019, 7:22 p.m.
Conservative MP Nick Boles has hatched a plan with Labour's Yvette Cooper to reduce the chances of a 'no deal' Brexit. Their amendment - with cross party support - will be put to the Commons next week. Becky Milligan profiles a rebel who has survived cancer twice and has spent a surprising amount of time throwing shapes on Ibiza dance floors. Researcher: Darin Graham Producer: Smita Patel Editor: Richard Knight
From Profile on Jan. 19, 2019, 7:15 p.m.
There’s only one story this week. People up and down the country are bitterly divided. Yes, it’s the vegan sausage roll. The latest PR-friendly innovation from bakery-turned-fast food chain Greggs. But the success of this faux meat pastry product is just the latest chapter in what is one of the retail turnaround stories of the past decade. Down in the doldrums five years ago these days Greggs is on a – ahem – roll. And it’s largely down to one man, apparently: Roger Whiteside, our subject this week. Presenter: Mark Coles Producer: Smita Patel
From Profile on Jan. 12, 2019, 7:15 p.m.
On Profile this week, Mark Coles looks at the most powerful woman in American politics – the veteran Democratic congresswoman and new Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. It’s a remarkable comeback for her…it puts her third in line to the Presidency itself. Having first done the job back in 2007 when George W Bush was Commander in Chief – now 78, many thought Pelosi was too old this time round. But only a week into the role, she’s already engaged in a bitter war of words with President Trump over his demand for Congress to fund his Mexico border wall. For many, with the Democrats now controlling Congress, Nancy Pelosi is set to become the face of opposition to the President for the next two years. We hear from childhood friends, former colleagues and those who’ve followed her career down the decades. From campaigning for her dad when he was Mayor of Baltimore back in the 1940s to helping President Obama reform American health care, we examine Nancy Pelosi’s life and career and – in these turbulent times – look at the challenges that lie ahead for her. Producer: Smita Patel Researcher: Darin Graham Editor: Penny Murphy
From Profile on Jan. 5, 2019, 7:15 p.m.
Grime music's biggest star, Stormzy, says he's from a place "where success doesn't happen". But he's had a remarkable rise to fame. Six years ago Stormzy, real name Michael Omari, was working at an oil refinery in Southampton. Now, he's a millionaire. His success began with his debut album Gang Signs & Prayer, the first grime record to reach number one. It's not just his music that has made him a household name in the UK. During the 2017 General Election, he lent his support to Jeremy Corbyn and at the Brit Awards last year he used his fame to speak out against the Government's response to Grenfell. This summer Stormzy will be the first grime act to headline at Glastonbury, his performance to beamed to million across the world. Producer: Oliver Jones Presenter: Mark Coles
From Profile on Dec. 29, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
Melania Trump is the second foreign-born First Lady and Donald Trump’s third wife; an ex-model, 24 years his junior, who once posed pregnant in a gold bikini on the steps of her husband’s jet. It was modelling that took Melania from small-town Slovenia to New York and her fateful encounter with the future President. But despite being one of the most recognisable woman in the world she remains something an enigma. So who is Melania Trump? What does she believe? And what might she do on the global stage which – however improbably, given her origins in far away Slovenia – she now shares with the President of the United States? Presenter: Becky Milligan Producer: Ben Crighton Photo by Stane Jerko
From Profile on Dec. 22, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
The founder of Netflix, the streaming service that’s turned us all into binge watchers. It's Christmas and for many that means settling in to watch seasonal TV. But traditional broadcasters have a big rival: Netflix. With 125 million subscribers worldwide it's changed television. So who is Reed Hastings, the man behind the seismic shift in broadcasting, and how did he do it? Thanks to CBS/60 Minutes for audio of Reed Hastings. Presenter: Mark Coles Producer: Phoebe Keane
From Profile on Dec. 15, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
Gail Bradbrook is one of the founders of a radical and rapidly-growing environmental protest group called Extinction Rebellion. Its aim: using non-violent direct action to force governments to tackle climate change. It’s energised a lot of people who’re fed up with what they see as the slow pace of change. And it’s won support from the great and good of the environmental world. One hundred leading academics, authors, politicians and religious leaders have endorsed it. But critics have likened the group to a watermelon; green on the outside, red on the inside. So who is Gail Bradbrook? And where is she leading Extinction Rebellion? Presenter: Mark Coles Producer: Arlene Gregorius Photo Credit: Martin Lever/Core Periphery
From Profile on Dec. 8, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
He's the Attorney General who this week told MPs to 'grow up' and 'get real.' Becky Milligan profiles Geoffrey Cox QC, whose rousing Parliamentary performance lost the argument but won admirers. Becky meets a former teacher who recollects a young poet, colleagues who recall flamboyant courtroom appearances and a clerk whose mission was to deliver forbidden treats. Producers: Phoebe Keane and Diane Richardson Editor: Richard Knight
From Profile on Dec. 1, 2018, 7:20 p.m.
It's almost crunch time for Theresa May as she prepares for the Commons vote on her Brexit withdrawal agreement. The numbers do not appear to be on her side. It's thought as many 100 Conservative MPs are planning to vote against it. The government's chief whip is Julian Smith. It's his rather daunting job to persuade rebel Tory MPs to vote with the PM. Can he do it? We look for clues in his life story so far. Producer: Oliver Jones Presenter: Mark Coles
From Profile on Nov. 24, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
The new chair of the Parole Board, the body that decides when and if the most serious prisoners can be released into the community. The Parole Board was thrust into the spotlight when it ruled that John Worboys, the "black cab rapist," could be released from jail. Worboys' victims launched a legal challenge and The High Court ruled in their favour, forcing the parole board to perform a u-turn. The head stepped down and the new chair of the Parole Board is Caroline Corby. She'll have to oversee major changes, but she hasn't had a traditional route into criminal justice. She's written children's books and worked in the city. Mark Coles finds out how she travelled this unusual path.
From Profile on Nov. 17, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
There were extraordinary scenes in New York this week when the Brooklyn Bridge was closed to all traffic apart from a motorcade of heavily-armored cars. They were taking Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán to court. For the US authorities, this moment was a long time coming. And they had every reason to expect trouble. El Chapo - the infamous Mexican drug lord - is one of the most brutal, feared and powerful men in the world. He has slipped through the fingers of justice several times before. Becky Milligan tells the remarkable story of El Chapo's improbable life. The programme contains reference to some violent and distressing acts. Producer: Phoebe Keane
From Profile on Nov. 10, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
The story of the youngest woman ever elected to the US congress. Five months ago, nobody knew who Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was. Now she’s been dubbed the future of the Democratic Party. When she dared to challenge a long standing Democratic congressman in June’s primaries, she had no money and no experience. But against all odds she won by a staggering 15 points. She was catapulted into the spotlight and in this week's mid term elections she won a place in the House of Representatives, breaking records to become the youngest woman ever to be voted into Congress. She grew up in the Bronx but her parents worked hard to send her to a good school in the suburbs. Her father died when she was in her twenties, leaving her working at a taco restaurant to help her Puerto Rican mother pay the bills. She didn't let that stop her and campaigned for Bernie Sanders while waiting tables and serving Margaritas. Fast forward a year, this waitress is now billed as the future of the Democratic Party. Mark Coles follows Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s journey to Congress, speaking to her friends, supporters, critics and those she’s inspired. Thank you to New York One TV news for the footage of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez winning the Primary.
From Profile on Nov. 3, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
Brazil's new President-elect has a reputation for speaking his mind regardless of who he offends, earning him the nickname 'Trump of the Tropics'. He's suggested gay neighbours would decrease the value of his home, told a female politician "I would never rape you, because you don't deserve it" and declared his support for torture. Jair Bolsonaro grew up in a poor village in Sao Paolo and came of age during Brazil's long military dictatorship. He paid his way through school by selling fish he caught with friends in the local river then joined the army, where he made a name for himself as a campaigner for better pay. After leaving the military, he entered politics, winning a seat in Congress. There, he moved between nine different political parties before standing as a candidate for the Presidency. Edward Stourton traces Jair Bolsonaro's journey to the top of Brazilian politics, speaking to his supporters, to those who have studied his rise and to one of his many critics. Producer: Oliver Jones Research and translation: Laura Gozzi Editor: Richard Vadon
From Profile on Oct. 27, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, is at the centre of a storm over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. This week the Crown Prince broke his silence and denounced the killing. But with Donald Trump calling it “the worst cover up ever” and Western leaders threatening sanctions, will his path to the Saudi throne be blocked? Helen Grady finds out how the young prince – now aged 33 – came to power so quickly. A Washington-based analyst tells us why he’d argue the Crown Prince is a reformer, but not the kind the West thought he’d be. And we talk to a Middle East expert about whether she thinks the Khashoggi killing has damaged Mohammed bin Salman’s reputation. Producers Smita Patel & Oliver Jones Editor Penny Murphy
From Profile on Oct. 20, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
Government minister Esther McVey has become a lightening rod for anger about benefit cuts and welfare reform. The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions knows all about financial struggle, starting out in life as a foster child. Mark Coles finds out how the former presenter has gone from a breakfast TV sofa to the front benches of the House of Commons. In a rare interview, Esther’s father Jim tells us why he decided to put his daughter into care, and how he helped kick-start her on-screen career. We find out what a former producer really thinks of her, and her partner Conservative MP Philip Davies reveals what made him fall for Esther.
From Profile on Oct. 13, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
British blogger Eliot Higgins and his investigative website Bellingcat have been making headlines around the world this week with claims that they’ve uncovered the true identities of two Russian men suspected of carrying out a nerve agent attack in Salisbury. Not tourists as the Kremlin maintains – but highly decorated members of Russia’s military intelligence service, the GRU. Higgins – isn’t your typical journalist. A former video gamer, in the past he’s worked for a bank, an oil rig company even a lingerie firm. Unlike old-school foreign correspondents, he uses ‘armchair analytics’ – what he calls ‘open source’ materials like Facebook, twitter and Google earth to try to uncover what’s really going on in far away conflicts. Chemical weapons in Syria, the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine and most recently the attempted poisoning of Sergei and Julia Skripal in Salisbury, he’s had one scoop after another. On Profile this week, Mark Coles tries to discover more about the man. His brother Ross Higgins, gives us his first ever broadcast interview. Guardian journalist Luke Harding explains why he thinks Higgins is a pioneer, in digital investigative journalism. And we hear from those who suspect Eliot Higgins is being used as a front Producer Smita Patel Researcher Oliver Jones Editor Emma Rippon
From Profile on Oct. 6, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
As the new series of Dr Who launches, Mark Coles profiles the life of new Dr Who script writer and distinguished children's author Malorie Blackman. The former Children's Laureate has been called a “phenomenal author and a childhood hero” by rapper Stormzy and name checked on Tiny Tempah's hit Written In The Stars. She has written over 60 books for children and young adults, plays the drums, speaks several languages and apparently Klingon. Producers: Diane Richardson, Smita Patel and Jade Thompson. Editor: Emma Rippon
From Profile on Sept. 29, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
“One of the greatest comebacks in sporting history”. That’s how US journalists reacted to golfer Tiger Woods winning the PGA Tour Championship in Atlanta last weekend. Having struggled with injury and the fall-out from marital infidelity, Woods hadn’t won for five years. Many thought he was finished. This weekend, as the comeback kid joins the US Ryder Cup team in Paris, Mark Coles looks back on Tiger Woods’ life and career. We hear from former friends and associates, his first ever golf coach as well as the man who taught him to dive. There’s archive of the young Tiger Woods making his first ever TV appearance age two and his late father, Earl – the man credited with turning his son into one of golf’s greatest ever players. And ‘the Voice of Golf’ - the veteran BBC commentator and player Peter Alliss gives us his unique take on the man many call the greatest athlete of the early twenty first century. Producers Smita Patel & Darin Graham Editor Emma Rippon
From Profile on Sept. 22, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
BBC TV’s ‘Killing Eve’ is all the rage this week - a new drama about an MI5 officer trying to catch a Russian assassin which has earned near unanimous rave reviews . On Profile, Mark Coles examines the life of the show’s creator – the actor and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge. From childhood poetry about frogs to mooning on stage and ‘Fleabag’ - her award winning TV show about a sex obsessed singleton, we find out why Waller-Bridge seems determined to shock her audience. We hear from her close friend & writing partner, her former English teacher and the author of the book ‘Killing Eve’is based on.
From Profile on Sept. 15, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
America is bitterly divided. Should conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh be given a seat on the US Supreme Court ? Opponents fear his appointment - if confirmed later this month - will shift the country's most powerful legislative body further right and turn the clock back on decades of civil and human rights reforms. Others argue he's only been nominated by President Trump to ensure he can't be prosecuted for any perceived wrongdoing in the Russia collusion investigation. Nonsense, say his supporters. Kavanaugh, they insist, is a fair and decent man driven by law rather than politics. On Profile this week, Mark Coles looks at Kavanaugh's life and career. . We hear from former college friends, colleagues who worked with him trying to get President Clinton impeached in the 1990s as well as young law students he mentors today. From abortion to gun ownership, basketball, rap and spaghetti with ketchup... we get the lowdown on why Brett Kavanaugh is such a polarising figure. Producers Smita Patel & Darin Graham Editor Penny Murphy.
From Profile on Sept. 8, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
As political rebrands go, it's an unlikely one - say his critics. The shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell - former hard man of the left this week playing peacemaker in a row between Jewish groups and Labour over the party's stance on anti-Semitism. On Profile this week, Mark Coles goes in search of the real John McDonnell. A journey which takes us from his working class Liverpudlian roots, his time fighting Thatcher at the GLC and into parliament where his hard left politics reviled New Labour and where two decades on he's got his revenge...reshaping the party in his own image after he helped elect Jeremy Corbyn as leader. From bingo to making marmalade....we get the lowdown on John McDonnell. Producers Smita Patel & Darin Graham Editor Emma Rippon.
From Profile on Sept. 1, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
It's been a long time coming. A sticker on the cover of Jamaican born writer Victor Headley's 1992 novel 'Yardie' said "soon to be made into a major movie". A quarter of a century on, it finally has. Directed by British actor Idris Elba, the film - about violent Jamaican drug gangs operating in London in the 1980s - opens this weekend. On Profile this week, Mark Coles finds out more about the man who wrote the original story. Described by a friend, as an 'enigma wrapped in a mystery'. We hear from friends who grew up with him in Jamaica, from his daughter Sol - who was just eight when her father wrote the book. And we find out why at the height of his success he fled to Africa for ten years. And what he makes of the new movie. Producer Smita Patel Researcher Darin Graham.
From Profile on July 28, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
In 2014, one of the oldest financial institutions in the City of London, Lloyd's, appointed its first ever female chief executive, Inga Beale. Next year, she will step down from the role. A champion for diversity in the workplace, Beale has overseen big cultural and technological changes at the insurance market - some controversial. A drinking ban for Lloyd's employees during working hours made the headlines in 2017, as did a loosening of the famously conservative dress code. She has faced other challenges during her leadership, notably Brexit and a "disastrous" 2017, which was one of the worst ever years for natural disasters globally. Big insurance pay-outs led to Lloyd's reporting a £2bn loss that year. Inga Beale, one of the UK's few openly bisexual senior business leaders, did not follow a typical route to the top. She dropped out of financial services for a year to go back-packing in Asia and Australia, and is a former competitive rugby player. Presenter: Mark Coles Producers: Clare Spencer, Elisabeth Mahy and Bethan Head.
From Profile on July 21, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
The vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and YouTube star Jacob Collier has some very famous fans. Music industry titan Quincy Jones described him as an absolute genius and asked to work with him. But Jacob declined his invitation and suggested instead if they could just be friends. He wanted to make his first album on his own terms. The gamble paid off as he went on to win two Grammy awards. And now, at just 23 years old, he is performing his own Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. Presenter: Mark Coles Producers: Ben Crighton and Clare Spencer.
From Profile on July 14, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
Dominic Raab has been thrust into the key government role of Brexit secretary following the resignation David Davis. The 44-year-old was tipped for high office from the moment he was elected to the safe Conservative seat of Esher and Walton in 2010. His rise through the ministerial ranks has not been without controversy, with Theresa May accusing him of fuelling gender warfare by describing some feminists as "obnoxious bigots". With just months to go to broker a deal with EU negotiators, not to mention steering Brexit through a divided Commons, the amateur boxer and karate black belt has got a real fight on his hands. Presenter: Mark Coles Producers: Ben Crighton, Clare Spencer.
From Profile on July 7, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
Serena Williams has dominated the tennis scene since 1999 with 23 grand slam titles to her name. Last year she added marriage and motherhood to her achievements. In September 2017, Serena Williams nearly died in childbirth. Ten months on she's back on Wimbledon's Centre Court hoping for her 8th title at the All England Club. Becky Milligan speaks to Serena's first tennis coach and hears how tennis has been in her blood since a young age. But this Williams sister doesn't just put on a performance on the court, as you'll hear she's partial to karaoke. Presenter: Becky Milligan Producer: Clare Spencer Researcher: Bethan Head.
From Profile on June 30, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
Since Matteo Salvini was sworn in as Italy's Interior Minister, his controversial stance on immigration, Roma people and the European Union has made the headlines. The press have dubbed him the European Donald Trump and commentators say he could pose a threat to the existence of the European Union as we know it. This week he was in the news again, for refusing to allow another migrant rescue ship to dock in Italy and for his radical proposals to crack down on migration. But his perfect day would be a much quieter one, in the Italian mountains with his TV host partner and a fishing rod in hand. Presenter: Helen Grady Producer: Clare Spencer Researchers: Bethan Head and Francesca Marchese Editor: Emma Rippon.
From Profile on June 23, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
Labelled 'the rebel who forgot to rebel', who is Dominic Grieve? Some political commentators thought the Conservative MP, and former Attorney General, could inflict a significant parliamentary defeat on the government. He wanted the Commons to have more of a say over the final outcome of Brexit negotiations. But he called off his own rebellion on Wednesday. Grieve was called the modern day grand old Duke of York - accused of marching the troops to the top of the hill, only to march them down again. His wife Caroline tells Mark Coles he has been misunderstood, and describes how he agonised over this week's vote. She also outlines some of the quirkier aspects of her husband's character. Producer: Smita Patel and Clare Spencer Researcher: Bethan Head Editor: Penny Murphy.
From Profile on June 16, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
Footballer Gareth Southgate's career has been haunted by a decisive penalty he missed against Germany in the semi-final of Euro '96. Even when he went on honeymoon to Bali a Buddhist monk reminded him of that miss. Now he has a chance to make amends - this time as England manager at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. His path to the top job has not followed the conventional route, being sacked from his only other management role. But commentators say he has the attributes of a great leader. Presenter: Mark Coles Producers: Smita Patel and Clare Spencer Editor: Emma Rippon.
From Profile on June 9, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
Characterised as both a benevolent philanthropist and as a meddling influence, George Soros has been present at some of the most defining moments in modern history. Soros was born into a Hungarian Jewish family, and later took on a false identity to survive the Nazi occupation in 1944. It was an experience that shaped his life and his outlook and he went on to escape to the West via his knowledge of the international language Esperanto. Beginning his career as a tobacco salesman, Soros went on to fund one of the most successful hedge funds in US history. Known for his high risk and brazen approach, he is infamous for his involvement in the devaluation of the British pound, known as Black Wednesday. But his career as a financial investor was not limited to the markets - he went on to use his money to promote non-violent democratisation in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond. More recently he has proved a controversial figure, providing funding for the pro-Remain campaign in the UK Brexit debate and is now the subject of vilification by the leaders of his native Hungary. Presenter: Ed Stourton Producer: Clare Spencer and Serena Tarling.
From Profile on June 2, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
The leader of Sinn Féin, Mary Lou McDonald has been a face of the campaign to scrap a ban on abortions. In a referendum, voters in the Republic of Ireland voted overwhelmingly to overturn the abortion ban. The campaign also increased the profile of Ms McDonald who took over as the leader of Sinn Féin in February. Her personal story is very different from other leading Sinn Féin politicians. Growing up in a middle class suburb of Dublin - a world away from the tough areas of Northern Ireland most Sinn Féin leaders knew during the years of the Troubles - insiders asked whether her untypical background would work for or against her. Presenter: Ed Stourton Producers: Estelle Doyle, Clare Spencer.
From Profile on May 26, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
Few Italians had heard of Giuseppe Conte when they found out he would most probably become their new prime minister. President Sergio Mattarella approved his nomination as prime minister after a deadlock which had seen Italy without a government for 11 weeks. The surprise candidate is a law professor in Florence and has no political experience. Even people close to him said he had never mentioned politics. In the first few days of new-found fame he was accused of embellishing his CV, which he denied. But as PM he could now become a key player influencing the future of the European Union. Presenter: Mark Coles Producers: Estelle Doyle, Clare Spencer Editor: Emma Rippon.
From Profile on May 19, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
You may know him as Childish Gambino, the creator of viral video hit 'This is America' or as the Emmy award winning actor and director of comedy drama Atlanta. Mark Coles profiles Donald Glover, the multi-talented American comedian, record producer, songwriter, rapper and DJ who is forcing the world to confront racism, violence and societies contradictions. Presenter: Mark Coles Producers: Estelle Doyle and Diane Richardson Editor: Emma Rippon.
From Profile on May 12, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
Donald Trump's choice for CIA director, Gina Haspel. Mark Coles profiles the controversial figure whose nomination has forced her out of the shadows to face difficult questions. Gina Haspel describes herself as a typical middle-class American but the testimony of former colleagues reveals a skilled intelligence operative with an empirical mind, a taste for adventure and a talent for infiltrating terrorist cells. At her confirmation hearing this week she was commended as an intelligence professional with unwavering honesty but was also grilled about the use of "enhanced interrogation" techniques, the waterboarding of terrorist suspects at a CIA base she ran and the subsequent destruction of evidence. The interrogation issue could block her confirmation by the Senate. Mark Coles talks to former colleagues and security experts about the agent who's spent 30 years trying not to be noticed but who now needs to convince US Senators that she's right for the top job. Presenter: Mark Coles Producers: Estelle Doyle and Diane Richardson Editor: Helen Grady.
From Profile on May 5, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
Born in Rochdale to Pakistani parents, the new Home Secretary Sajid Javid had a modest start in life. His father worked as a bus driver before moving to Bristol to open a women's clothes shop - the family of seven squeezing into a two-bed flat above it. Despite these humble beginnings, Javid quickly achieved success, wealth and power. After studying at Exeter University, where he gained a reputation as a committed Thatcherite, he became an investment banker and a multi-millionaire. Javid then moved into politics, becoming a Minister in just four years. His journey to the top of British politics has not always been smooth - as Business Secretary he was criticised for appearing to be caught unawares by Tata Steel's plans to close its Port Talbot plant at the cost of thousands of jobs. He now faces his biggest challenge yet as, in the wake of the Windrush controversy, he takes over a Home Office that has been accused of institutional racism. Mark Coles speaks to friends, colleagues and opponents to find out more about this driven high-flyer. Producers: Arlene Gregorius and Diane Richardson Editor: Helen Grady.
From Profile on April 28, 2018, 7:45 p.m.
Tottenham MP David Lammy has been leading the parliamentary charge for the Windrush generation as they fight for their residency rights. Mark Coles charts the life and career of one of parliament's most formidable campaigners. Born in North London to Guyanese parents, Lammy grew up in Tottenham but moved to Peterborough aged 11 after winning a council scholarship to the city's cathedral boarding school. He went on to study law in London and at Harvard. Then, after a brief spell as a barrister, he became MP for his home borough of Tottenham at the age of just 27. His political career soon took off, with Tony Blair making him a minister in the New Labour government and Lammy was quickly hailed as 'the Black Blair' or 'Britain's Obama'. But not everything went smoothly for the junior minister. Since Labour went into opposition, Lammy has spent his time on the back benches. There, he's found his political voice and passion as a defender of those he feels have been failed by the system - from the Grenfell fire victims, to working-class young people struggling to get into top universities, and now the Windrush immigrants. Alastair Campbell calls him "a good old-fashioned class warrior, in the best possible sense". Mark Coles meets some of the people who know Lammy best - from childhood friends, former teachers and his beloved 'Aunty May' who firmly believes that, one day, her godson will be Britain's first black Prime Minister. Presenter: Mark Coles. Producers: Diane Richardson and Arlene Gregorius Editor: Helen Grady.
From Profile on April 21, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
Mark Coles profiles Pulitzer Prize winning rapper Kendrick Lamar, whose concepts and ideas are changing hip-hop culture. Lamar won the award for his latest album Damn, which also collected five Grammy awards in January and is praised for lyrics which reveal the complexity of modern African-American life. Growing up in the deprived city of Compton, California, Lamar credits his father with keeping him on the right path and providing the balance that some of his peers were missing. His album good kid, m.A.A.d city tells the stories of young black men trying to escape the negative influences surrounding them. Lamar's lyrical journey explores violence, depression, religion and also the limits of fame and fortune, he's the rapper who says that helping the next generation find positivity and God is where it's at. Presenter: Mark Coles Producers: Arlene Gregorius and Diane Richardson Editor: Emma Rippon.
From Profile on April 14, 2018, 7 p.m.
Karen Pierce is the UK's new Permanent Representative at the UN in New York, Britain's most senior ambassadorial post. She only started in the role three weeks ago and has been thrown in at the deep end with the chemical weapons attack in Syria. Friends and colleagues alike are struck by her glamorous and colourful sense of style. This includes high heels, to the dismay of her security detail in places like Afghanistan, who fear her footwear could impede a swift exit. We hear how she tackles meetings fearlessly, and has been known to reduce a roomful of shouting men to silence, without raising her voice. Becky Milligan looks at the life of an unusual diplomat, who may now be facing her biggest challenge yet. Producers: Arlene Gregorius and Ros Jones.
From Profile on April 7, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
Daniel Ek, co-founder and CEO of music streaming service Spotify. Mark Coles tracks the life of the shy Swede transforming the music industry. This week 35-year-old Daniel Ek became very, very rich when his company Spotify floated on the New York Stock Exchange - with an initial value of more than $26 billion. It's a long way from his home in a working-class suburb of Stockholm where Daniel's interest in both music and computers was piqued at an early age. He started his first businesses while a teenager, in between starring in school musicals, and earned his first fortune in his early 20s. He launched Spotify in 2006 with business partner Martin Lorentzon, with a goal to 'save the music industry' at a time when illegal downloads were eating into profits. Today Spotify has revolutionised the way we listen to music and last year Daniel Ek was named the most-powerful person in the music industry by Billboard magazine - but what does the future hold in store for the tech industry's latest billionaire? CONTRIBUTORS Tony Kinberg, Daniel Ek's former music teacher Kina Zeidler, journalist and author of Det Svenska Techundret (The Swedish Tech Miracle) Jonas Nordlander, co-founder & CEO of Avito and founder and former owner of Tradera. Pelle Lidell, founder of EKKO Music Rights Europe and former executive at Universal Music D.A. Wallach - musician, tech investor and former artists services lead at Spotify Diego Planas, former Spotify employee.
From Profile on March 31, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
Taking on Trump, horse trials and dancing dogs. Presenter Mark Coles explores the life of Stormy Daniels, the award winning adult film actress who's revolutionising the porn industry and has previously considered a career in politics. Presenter Mark Coles Producers: Jordan Dunbar and Diane Richardson.
From Profile on March 24, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
Nigel Oakes was a pioneer of 'behaviour dynamics', the art of influencing people. He set up a successful company, Strategic Communications Limited, which boasts clients from NATO to the UK government. But now he finds himself caught up in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. He was born in 1962 into a world of privilege. Schooled at Eton, his father was a Major in the Irish Guards and once captained the British Ski Team at the Winter Olympics. Once Nigel hit London he began a music career even releasing a single. But it was the move into marketing that set him on the path to success, we hear how mobile discos, the Royal Family and the smell of golf all played a part in the story of the man who can allegedly help win elections and end wars.
From Profile on March 17, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
As RT's editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan runs a news network described by US intelligence as "the Kremlin's principal international propaganda outlet". Formerly known as Russia Today, RT risks being stripped of its UK broadcast licence in the wake of the Salisbury spy poisoning. So who is the woman at its helm? Born into an Armenian family in Krasnodar in Southern Russia, Simonyan grew up in poverty, but her academic achievements helped her win a place on a prestigious exchange program to the United States. Arriving in New Hampshire just four years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the experience changed her life. Initially shocked by the excesses of Western capitalism, Simonyan soon found her feet and was even crowned 'Carnival Queen' of her All-American high school. After returning to Russia, Simonyan started a career in journalism, becoming a household name after reporting from the carnage of the Beslan school siege. Shortly after, when she was just 25, she was handpicked to create the new Kremlin-funded international news network Russia Today. Controversy has dogged the channel, with allegations of pro-Kremlin propaganda and biased reporting, but all agree that under Simonyan's leadership the channel has given Russia a far bigger - and stronger - voice abroad. Married with two children, Simonyan is known by her friends for her love of disco, Cossack folk music and traditional cooking - including boiled beaver's head. Mark Coles asks some of those who know her best what drives her - including her best friend and the American woman who offered to adopt her as a teenager. Presenter: Mark Coles Producers: Beth Sagar-Fenton & Jordan Dunbar Researcher: Sylvie Carlos.
From Profile on March 10, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
Cycling hero Bradley Wiggins was accused by MPs this week of "crossing an ethical line" by taking medication that could have enhanced his race performance. Rising from a rocky start to become Great Britain's most decorated Olympian, Wiggins has lived a fascinating life including murder, mods and music. Can his reputation survive this? Presented by Mark Coles Produced by Jordan Dunbar and Beth Sagar-Fenton.
From Profile on March 3, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
As the United Nations' Special Envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura is said to have one of the toughest jobs in the world. Edward Stourton talks to the people who know him best to find out what drives him and how he is navigating one of the most complex conflicts in recent history. Born in Stockholm to a Swedish mother and an Italian father, de Mistura went to primary school on the island of Capri, where he was taught by Catholic nuns who instilled in him a strong faith and a desire to help other people. Growing up in a privileged and aristocratic family, he went on to attend a prestigious Catholic secondary school in Rome, where friends say he knew from an early age that he wanted to work for the United Nations. His diplomatic career includes stints in some of the world's trickiest war zones - from Sudan to Kosovo, Iraq to Afghanistan, and now Syria. He has a distinctive sense of style and is known for his charm and love of the finer things of life. We also hear about the 'linguistic acrobatics' and the wry sense of humour that have helped him survive in hostile situations. Producer: Arlene Gregorius.
From Profile on Feb. 24, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
Black Panther star Daniel Kaluuya has already won BAFTA's Rising Star award and now he's been nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. The 28-year-old Londoner is up against acting giants Daniel Day-Lewis, Gary Oldman and Denzel Washington, having been shortlisted for his role in the satirical horror movie Get Out. Raised by his Ugandan mother, who remains an inspiration, Kaluuya grew up on a council estate in North London. He first came to public attention as a teenager, when he wrote and performed in the hit television series, Skins. But he's been acting and writing from an early age, having won a play-writing competition when he was nine and impressed talent spotters when he was still at school. Mark Coles talks to those who recognised and nurtured the young Kaluuya's talents, including his A level drama teacher Jo Fenton, the co-creator of Skins Bryan Elsley, playwright Roy Williams and the director of his forthcoming film Widows, Steve McQueen. Producer: Arlene Gregorius.
From Profile on Feb. 17, 2018, 9:15 p.m.
Becky Milligan looks back at the extraordinary life of South Africa's new president. From humble beginnings, he became a lawyer, established the country's most powerful trade union organisation and was a key player in negotiating the end of apartheid. After losing out at an earlier attempt to become president, he turned to business and rapidly became one of South Africa's richest men - while also attracting controversy over allegations about his role during the Marikana massacre of striking miners. As he takes power, what really makes him tick? Producer: Smita Patel Researcher: Darin Graham Editor Hugh Levinson.
From Profile on Feb. 10, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
He's been called the government's "real Mr Brexit", but is little known outside Whitehall. Mark Coles asks who is Oliver Robbins, the Prime Minister's right hand man for the Brexit negotiations? In the last few months Robbins' role has grown, taking the lead on negotiations with Brussels often without the Brexit Secretary, David Davis. This has led some to question whether a senior civil servant should be given so much power. He had a meteoric rise, becoming Tony Blair's Principal Private Secretary, the most senior civil servant at Number 10, aged only 31. He is almost universally admired by those who've come across him for being able to distil huge amounts of information quickly, keeping calm under pressure, and having a sense of humour. He is popular in Brussels, where his interlocutors appreciate that he is straight with them, and that he "doesn't lie". The consummate mandarin and public servant, not even long-term friends know where he actually stands on politics or Brexit. And he's managed to keep a low profile, despite his role. Producer: Arlene Gregorius.
From Profile on Feb. 3, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
This week the Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced that Sara Khan will lead the newly created Commission for Countering Extremism - an appointment which was not welcomed with blanket approval, with some sections of the Muslim community calling on her to quit. Sara Khan is the co-founder of Inspire - a counter-extremism and human rights organisation engaging with Muslim women, which has also engaged with the government's Prevent scheme. The counter-extremism programme has proved controversial, with critics claiming it unfairly 'spies' on the Muslim community - but Sara Khan has been a vocal supporter, saying it is vital tool in tackling terrorism at its root. This has put her at odds with some British Muslim organisations, and has also led to vicious online abuse and accusations that she is a 'house Muslim' and a government stooge. This criticism has re-emerged in light of her new appointment, with questions about her experience and whether she really qualifies for the role. Becky Milligan charts Sara Khan's life growing up in Bradford, speaking to old friends who worked alongside her in her early advocacy work as a leader in a prominent British Muslim youth group and charts the road which has taken her to a prominent role in central government.
From Profile on Jan. 27, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
The remarkable story of George Weah, footballing legend turned politician, on his journey from the slums of Monrovia to inauguration this week as president of Liberia. Spotted by Arsene Wenger at a young age, Weah became a star striker in the '90s for Paris St Germain, AC Milan and Chelsea. In 1995 he won the Ballon d'Or as the world's best player, the only African ever to win the honour. Back home, Weah became an inspiration to a generation of Liberians. When he retired from football, he returned to a country devastated by two civil wars and the outbreak of Ebola, with the aim of becoming president. Two decades and two attempts later he has made it. But has he got the experience to succeed in government? Edward Stourton talks to his cousin, Arsenal legend Chris Wreh, along with friends and colleagues about his extraordinary determination and asks whether he can meet the expectations of a generation. Producer: Ben Carter Researcher: Siobhan O'Connell.
From Profile on Jan. 20, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
Earlier this week Jon Lansman, founder and leader of left-wing political group Momentum, was elected to the Labour Party's National Executive Committee. A 60-year-old veteran of the hard left, Lansman has been credited with helping get Jeremy Corbyn elected as Labour leader and to successfully rallying thousands of activists behind the Momentum movement. But his critics say he can be a dogmatic, even bullying, leader, quick to crush dissent. On this week's 'Profile', Mark Coles speaks to relatives, friends, colleagues and analysts about Lansman's triumphs and tragedies. Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Emma Rippon.
From Profile on Jan. 13, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
Following her barn-storming speech about sexual harassment at the Golden Globe awards, Mark Coles charts the rise of talk show host, philanthropist, media proprietor and actress Oprah Winfrey. With calls urging Winfrey to run for President, close friends and former colleagues recount their favourite moments with her on-set and at home. We learn about the woman behind the screen and her remarkable tale of rags to riches, from clothes made out of potato sacks to one of the richest black women in the world. Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Emma Rippon.
From Profile on Jan. 6, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
It's been a tumultuous week in Iran. Thousands of protestors in more than twenty towns and cities taking to the streets to demand economic and political change. On the programme this week, we update a profile we did of Hassan Rouhani when he first became President of Iran back in 2013. Regarded as more liberal than some of his predecessors - and now in his second term as President - he faces the unenviable task of trying to balance the demands of the Iranian people who want better living conditions with the religious establishment which still wields ultimate power. Meanwhile, lurking in the wings, is US President Donald Trump - threatening to tear up a 2015 deal that waived sanctions in return for Iran reigning in its nuclear programme. Mark Coles hears from Iranian journalists, political analysts and some of the President's former colleagues as we get to grips with where he's come from and what his future may be. Producer Smita Patel Editor Emma Rippon.
From Profile on Dec. 30, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
A hunch about Online gambling has made Denise Coates from Bet365 Britain's best paid boss. Chris Bowlby discovers how this elusive figure from Stoke masterminded a global betting revolution. We follow her career from the tough world of 1990s betting shops to today's lucrative round the clock business. But why has hardly anyone - even in her home town - ever heard of her? Producer: Smita Patel Editor: Emma Rippon.
From Profile on Dec. 23, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
Sarah Mullally, appointed this week as the first woman Bishop of London, the third most senior position in the Anglican Church. A former nurse and senior civil servant, she was ordained in 2001. Her surprise appointment followed a brief spell as Bishop of Devon in Crediton. She's expected to attract criticism from more conservative elements of the Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical elements of the church. Mark Coles profiles the most senior woman in the Anglican Church. Produced by Helen Grady and Siobhan O'Connell.
From Profile on Dec. 9, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
The Winklevoss twins - Cameron and Tyler - became famous for suing Mark Zuckerberg, claiming he stole their idea for Facebook. This week it was announced they'd made a fortune from Bitcoin. They're former Olympic rowers, and also rowed for Oxford in the 2010 Boat Race. Becky Milligan explores their early life, including talking to their Dad, to discover what drives their ambition. Producers: Smita Patel and Beth Sagar-Fenton.
From Profile on Dec. 2, 2017, 7:17 p.m.
First Secretary of State, Damian Green, is under mounting pressure this week due to allegations of improper behaviour, and claims that pornography was found on a computer in his office back in 2008 - allegations he staunchly denies. Sue Gray, Head of Propriety and Ethics at the Cabinet Office, is leading the inquiry into whether he broke any rules. Gray has been described as "the most powerful person you've never heard of". Mark Coles finds out more about the woman who joined the civil service straight from school, and has risen to occupy a pivotal position right at the heart of government. Presenter: Mark Coles Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton.
From Profile on Nov. 25, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
At the Lord Mayors banquet a couple of weeks ago the Prime Minister Theresa May didn't mince her words when she waded into the alleged Russian interference in western countries accusing them of sowing disinformation she declared "We know what you are doing and you will not succeed." This week on Profile we look at the man accused of funding the St Petersburg troll factory which has produced so much pro-Russian material online. Yevgeny Prigozhin has moved from jail to restaurateur and close friend of President Putin, but precious little is known about his personal life.
From Profile on Nov. 18, 2017, 7:26 p.m.
After the Zimbabwean army moved against Robert Mugabe this week, one man has been hotly tipped to succeed him. The former Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, portrays himself to the west as a free-market enthusiast who could change the fortunes of Zimbabwe. But 'The Crocodile', as Mnangagwa is nicknamed, has been at Mugabe's side since the independence struggle, and is associated with some of the regime's most notorious actions. Presenter: Edward Stourton Producers: Kate Lamble and Beth Sagar-Fenton.
From Profile on Nov. 11, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
Priti Patel was forced to resign as International Development Secretary this week after holding extra curricular holiday meetings in Israel. Luke Jones profiles this passionate Leave campaigner, the ambitious daughter of Indian newsagents, who wants to follow in the footsteps of Margaret Thatcher. Presenter: Luke Jones Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton Producer: Siobhan O'Connell.
From Profile on Nov. 4, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
He's worked with almost every US President since Gerald Ford. Paul Manafort, a political lobbyist and Trump's former campaign manager, is under house arrest charged with money laundering and fraud, his lavish lifestyle of luxurious mansions, fast cars and antique rugs laid bare by the FBI. Mark Coles profiles this powerbroker who some say may become a key witness for the investigation into Russia's alleged meddling in the US election. Producers: Beth Sagar-Fenton & Siobhan O'Connell.
From Profile on Oct. 28, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
The Football Association's chairman, Greg Clarke, said this week that the FA had "lost the trust of the public" over its handling of discrimination claims against former England women's manager Mark Sampson. Mark Coles profiles England and Chelsea Ladies player - and whistleblower - Eniola Aluko, who made the claims. Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton Researcher: Nick Raikes.
From Profile on Oct. 21, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
As the EU commission meets to discuss the progress of Brexit negotiations, Mark Coles profiles the man some say really runs Europe, Martin Selmayr - right hand man to the President of the European Commission. Just what impact is the passionate European having on the process of Britain leaving the EU? And does he deserve his reputation as the 'Monster at the Berlaymont'?
From Profile on Oct. 14, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
Edward Stourton profiles former minister, and mistress of the deadpan one-liner, Baroness Trumpington, who this week announced she will retire from the House of Lords at the age of 95. He talks to Ian Hislop, Viscount Astor, friends and family about her extraordinary life, which took her from riches, through the Wall Street Crash, code-breaking at Bletchley Park, into politics and finally to unexpected celebrity status after giving a two finger salute to a fellow peer. One of few politicians with the guts to stand up to Margaret Thatcher, some have even called her an unlikely feminist icon. Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton.
From Profile on Oct. 7, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
It's Barcelona versus Madrid...and we're not talking football. Spain is facing its biggest political crisis for years....the autonomous region of Catalonia considering breaking away from the rest of the country. Mark Coles profiles Spain's right wing Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, as he goes head to head with the Catalan President to try to stop it happening. The programme examines his Galician roots and his grandfather's role in wresting power from the Spanish state back in the 1930s. We follow Rajoy's rise to power, hear about the setbacks - two accidents that nearly that nearly claimed his life - and why the 2004 Madrid terror attacks came close to ending his political career. Producer Smita Patel. Researcher Beth Sagar-Fenton Editor Penny Murphy.
From Profile on Sept. 30, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
This week the Chief Whip will deliver a major speech at the Tory party conference, just before the Prime Minister takes the stage. But who is Gavin Williamson? Mark Coles looks at the life and career of the Yorkshire man who knows about pottery, loves hedgehogs and keeps an eight legged pet on his desk in parliament. And some say, has his sights set on higher political office.
From Profile on Sept. 23, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
On Profile this week, we look at the life and career of the world's top diplomat - the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. When he opened the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, the 68 year old former Portuguese Prime Minister warned the world was in danger, "in pieces" and needed putting back together again. So, who is he and how does he plan to go about it ? Mark Coles talks to childhood friends, political colleagues past and present - even Portugal's President - who help explain the events and personal tragedies that have shaped Guterres and led him to take on arguably the most difficult job on the planet. Floods, cancer, Catholicism, chocolate and cheese...everything you need to know about new UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, on Profile this week.
From Profile on Sept. 16, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Edward Stourton looks at Jake Wood, founder of Team Rubicon, the international disaster relief group staffed by veterans as it works in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. He finds out what motivates the former marine and talks to General David Petraeus and General Sir Nick Parker, former UN worker Ben Parker and friends, family and colleagues.
From Profile on Sept. 9, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
Nikki Haley is US ambassador to the UN and one of the most intriguing figures in the Trump administration. Chris Bowlby discovers how an Indian family background and life in the US deep South shaped her. How has she mixed Sikh heritage with a meteoric rise in South Carolina conservative politics? What's her relationship with Donald Trump really like? Is she aiming for the presidency? Producers: Smita Patel & Bob Howard Editor: Emma Rippon.
From Profile on Sept. 2, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
Profile this week looks at the life and a career of a politician at the centre of political deadlock in Northern Ireland. 40 year old Michelle O'Neill is Sinn Fein's new leader in the north. She was appointed in January after Martin McGuinness stood down, but has yet to make her debut leading her party in the Northern Ireland Assembly because power sharing has been suspended. This week, Sinn Fein and the rival DUP both blamed each other for the impasse - rejecting each others terms for getting talks re-started. Mark Coles hears from Michelle O'Neill's friends, colleagues and the occasional political foe to try to understand what makes her tick. And discovers why, in a new play about her and DUP leader Arlene Foster, they're really good friends who enjoy clubbing and drinking in Ibiza. Producers Smita Patel & Sandie Kanthal Editor Richard Vadon.
From Profile on Aug. 26, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
Mark Coles profiles Crawford Falconer, the New Zealander who could prove key to Britain's post-Brexit future. Falconer is a 63 year old former Kiwi trade negotiator. This week, he started a new job at the Department for International Trade....in charge of negotiating UK trade deals with the rest of the world once Britain leaves the EU. Friends and former colleagues shed light on his government career in New Zealand as well as his time chairing talks at the World Trade Organisation. We also hear why he can't drive, loves running, rugby and rummaging for cardoons in French fields. And why he once tried to sell his younger sister to some South Korean fishermen. Producer Smita Patel Researcher Beth Sagar-Fenton Editor Emma Rippon.
From Profile on Aug. 19, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
Becky Milligan profiles the pop superstar, Taylor Swift who has recently won a case against an ex-DJ over her claim that she was sexually assaulted when he groped her during a pre-concert photo opportunity in 2013. Taylor Swift is a multi award winning, platinum selling American singer-songwriter. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, before moving to Nashville, Tennessee at age 14 to pursue a career in country music. There, she was signed by an independent record label. Her second album released in 2008 when she was just 19 years of age, became the best-selling album of 2009 in the United States. The album won four Grammy Awards, cementing Taylor Swift's success which continues to go from strength to strength. Produced by Nina Robinson and Beth Sagar-Fenton.
From Profile on Aug. 12, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
This summer, Moeen Ali has broken several cricketing records. He's become the first player ever to score more than 250 runs and take 25 wickets in a four match Test Series Mark Coles profiles the spin-bowler and batsman - who grew up in the Midlands, started playing the sport at a young age, and who has inspired today's England fans to chant about his facial hair. Producers: Nina Robinson and Hannah Sander.
From Profile on Aug. 5, 2017, 7:17 p.m.
General John Kelly is the man they hope can bring order to Trump's office. We follow his journey from a working class Boston neighbourhood to the White House. A decorated Marine General, an Iraq war veteran, who is adored by his troops and known for making tough decisions, General John Francis Kelly has come a long way from his beginnings born to an Irish Catholic family in the working class Brighton neighbourhood of Boston. From his first mission delivering 10'000 tonnes of beer to troops in Vietnam to overseeing President Trump's controversial immigration policies as head of Homeland Security, he's described as being a straight talker who isn't afraid to 'speak truth to power'. Mark Coles talks to friends and colleagues about about his distinguished career - and how he might fare in Trump's White House.
From Profile on July 29, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
Lady Brenda Hale has been announced as the new president of the UK Supreme Court - the first woman to hold the post. Lady Hale has a long track record as a female pioneer in the legal profession and has been critical of the lack of diversity within the judicial system. Born in Yorkshire, she was an outstanding student, passing the 11 plus exam a year early. She took a different route into the judiciary, having pursued a career as a legal academic first, rather than spend years working as a barrister. After becoming a part time judge while working for the Law Commission - the body which promotes law reform - she then went quickly through the ranks sitting in the Court of Appeal and then the House of Lords. She became the first female justice at the Supreme Court and then its first female deputy president - and will take on role of President in October. Mark Coles talks to friends, family and colleagues about about her distinguished career - and early love for Cliff Richard. Producer: Jordan Dunbar.
From Profile on July 22, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
Mark Coles profiles the broadcaster Chris Evans, who this week made headlines after his 2.2 million pound salary was revealed in the BBC's Annual Report.
From Profile on July 15, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
Mark Coles profiles Rob Goldstone, the man at the centre of the Donald Trump junior/Russia saga. This week it emerged that Rob Goldstone fixed a meeting between Donald Trump junior and a Russian lawyer. Goldstone had reportedly sent an email to Trump junior before the meeting saying that the Russian lawyer could offer damaging information about Hillary Clinton - and that the material was part of a Russian government attempt to boost his father's presidential campaign. So how did this tabloid journalist turned music PR from Manchester gain access to the inner circle of the Trump family and the Russians? Producers: Smita Patel and Kate Lamble.
From Profile on July 8, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
The Gulf region is in crisis this weekend after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt condemned Qatar's response to a series of demands they've made. Qatar's four Arab neighbours broke links with the Gulf emirate a month ago accusing it of supporting terrorism. On this week's Profile, Mark Coles looks at one of the key players in the dispute....Saudi Arabia's new Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Producer Smita Patel Researcher Kate Lamble Editor Richard Vadon.
From Profile on July 1, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
Mark Coles profiles Sir Martin Moore-Bick, the retired judge leading the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire Sir Martin was born in Wales and educated at Cambridge. His career has spanned nearly five decades after being called to the Bar in 1969. As a lawyer, he specialised in commercial law which involved dealing with disputes relating to maritime and land transport of goods. He was a judge for more than twenty years in the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal until his retirement in 2016. Producers: Smita Patel and Jordan Dunbar.
From Profile on June 24, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Emmanuel Macron has become France's youngest-ever President at the age of 39. He created a new political movement out of nothing and defeated the populist Marine Le Pen of the Front National. But who is the former banker and civil servant and how did he rise so far so fast? The BBC's Paris Correspondent Lucy Williamson speaks to his old friends, his biographer, his voice coach and his political colleagues to find out how this son of two provincial doctors - who once dreamed of being a novelist or actor - has made it to the top of French politics.
From Profile on June 19, 2017, 10:09 a.m.
Mark Coles looks at the life of Leo Varadkar, head of Fine Gail, the country's governing centre right party and the newly appointed Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland. Varadkar has made history in Irish politics. The country's first openly gay leader and at 38, its youngest ever. He's the son of an Indian GP and Irish nurse, who followed in family footsteps to become a doctor. Aged just eight, he expressed his desire to become health minister, a position he would come to hold in his early political career. Interviews include: his oldest friend Andy Garvey, close friend Nollaig Crowley, former teacher John Rafter, Noel Whelan, a political columnist with the Irish Times & the Irish politician Paschal Donohoe. Producer Smita Patel Researcher Sarah Shebbeare Editor Penny Murphy.
From Profile on June 10, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
Arlene Foster's Democratic Unionist Party now holds the balance of power, after elections this week. Some people have suggested that all the parties lost - but across the Irish Sea one party definitely won. Only with their votes can the Conservatives get things through the House of Commons. Which makes Arlene Foster possibly the most powerful woman in Britain. Mark Coles takes an updated look at the former first minister of Northern Ireland. Producer Smita Patel Editor Richard Vadon Researcher Jordan Dunbar.
From Profile on June 3, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
Mark Coles profiles sculptor and installation artist Cornelia Parker, this year's official election artist. Parker's work has involved spectacular acts of destruction, from flattening brass band instruments, to dismantling old barns and blowing up sheds. As Parker roams the country observing the election campaign, Coles speaks to her friends and peers about how she went from a childhood spent in rural Cheshire where she struggled to fit in, to Turner Prize-nominated artist.
From Profile on May 27, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
Mark Coles profiles the director David Lynch, whose classic TV series Twin Peaks has just returned to the screen after 25 years. Obsessed with drawing and painting from an early age, Lynch's mother didn't even allow him colouring books in case they halted his artistic development. Despite dropping out of art school, Lynch first made his name with surreal short films before directing the cult hit Eraserhead. There was further success with The Elephant Man and Blue Velvet before Twin Peaks brought his work to a mainstream TV audience. Alongside his film work, Lynch has also produced paintings, photographs of abandoned factories, musical collaborations, and even designed nightclubs. A continual stream of creative output fuelled by Transcendental Meditation.
From Profile on May 20, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
Mark Coles profiles Robert Mueller who's just been appointed as special counsel to oversee the investigation into Russian interference in the US election. Mueller retired as director of the FBI four years ago, but now finds himself centre stage again. The squared-jawed Princeton graduate was decorated for bravery during the Vietnam War before training as a lawyer. Dissatisfied with private practice, he found a government job as assistant US attorney in San Francisco - a move which marked the beginning of a steady climb to the top of law enforcement in America. Robert Mueller became FBI director one week before the 2001 World Trade Center attacks and over the next twelve years transformed the organisation, moving thousands of staff from criminal investigations into counter terrorism and security. Yet surprisingly little is known about him personally.
From Profile on May 13, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
Former editor and columnist of The Sun Kelvin MacKenzie is to leave the paper after comparing Everton footballer Ross Barkley to a gorilla. It's not the first time MacKenzie has attracted controversy. In 1989, under his editorship, The Sun published a story claiming that Liverpool fans urinated on police, pick-pocketed the dead and prevented policemen giving the kiss of life to some of the victims at Hillsborough. It proved to be, as the paper later admitted, the "most terrible blunder" in The Sun's history and one for which Kelvin Mackenzie would be personally blamed. There have been allegations of bullying in the workplace and humiliating colleagues. But, as Becky Milligan hears, he's also considered to be a brilliant editor with an instinct for knowing exactly what his readers want. So is there a softer, more sensitive side to the abrasive newspaper man?
From Profile on May 6, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has been called 'the chief Eurocrat' by the British press and accused of looking to bully Britain during the Brexit negotiations. But what do we know about the man Theresa May has promised to be 'a bloody difficult woman' to? One of the longest serving democratically elected leaders in the world, Juncker was Prime Minister of Luxembourg for eighteen years. A workaholic, with a famously informal greeting style that sometimes involves affectionately slapping world leaders, Juncker has developed a political reputation as a negotiator, skilled at finding compromises between two sides. But in his spare time, he's a pinball wizard.
From Profile on April 29, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
Aretha Franklin has won hearts - and 18 Grammy awards - with her astonishing voice. But this week a bust up with another iconic singer revealed her spikier side. Always a sensation on stage, there have been struggles off it. Mark Coles talks to people who grew up with and have worked with the Queen of Soul.
From Profile on April 22, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
Welsh rugby union star Sam Warburton has been given perhaps the game's most prestigious role - captain of the British & Irish Lions - for a second time. Mark Coles talks to those who know him, as he prepares to lead the team against the mighty All Blacks.