True Stories Uncut

FRIDAY 30th January

In 1923, fashion designer Coco Chanel was accidentally sunburnt on a cruise to Cannes and, unwittingly, started the tanning trend. This documentary explores the lives of Britain’s ‘tanaholics’ and their addiction to maintaining a tan.

Half the UK adult population now say they feel healthier when they have a tan, and the market for sunbeds, sprays, lotions and creams is huge.

The term ‘tanorexic’ has been coined to describe people whose need for a tan has become obsessive. So-called ‘tanorexics’ are obsessed with having a permanent, deep tan and are prepared to risk their health to do so.

Mandy, who’s 34, is one of 3 million people in the UK who use sunbeds frequently. Over the past 20 years, she’s spent nearly £30,000 on maintaining her permatan. 

Meet naturist ‘Solar Sid’ who never goes near a spraytan booth. He wants an all-over tan as nature intended. And then there’s 72-year-old Nora. In the days before fake tan, she liked to glam up for a night out with a coat of gravy browning.

Friday 23rd January

Meet the residents of Andover Village, a retirement community that is home to more than 50 morbidly obese patients who, because of their enormous size and weight, are no longer able to live on their own. With an average weight of 500 pounds, this obese community works together, setting and reaching weight loss goals. 

The ultimate aim is for each patient to lose enough weight that they no longer require assistance and can return to living on their own. Super Obese focuses on three specific patients who share their personal and heartfelt stories of weight gain and weight loss.

FRIDAY 16th January

It’s cheap, highly addictive and ultra-powerful. ‘P’ or crystal methamphetamine, is now more popular than heroin, playing havoc with the minds and the bodies of nearly 50,000 Australians.

P is filling emergency wards with psychotic, dangerous patients, to the alarm of doctors who thought they’d seen everything. “They’re the most out of control, violent human beings I have ever seen in my life – and I’ve been around for a long time,” says one. “It makes heroin seem like the really good old days.”

This documentary goes to the heart of this destructive new epidemic. Reporter Matthew Carney takes his camera into a netherworld inhabited by hardcore P addicts – or skaters as they call themselves – who live for their next hit.

This tribe of junkies roams the inner city, scoring and shooting up. They stay manically high for up to a week, without food or sleep. Finally, they crash and eat, before the welfare cheque arrives and the cycle starts all over again.

“We’re the fringe-dwellers,” says “Mick”, whose veins are so wrecked he can barely find a place to inject. His mate “Mattie” can’t imagine life without P: “It just seems to find me, it’s like everywhere I go, it’s there… who knows what’s gonna happen in 10 years’ time mate?”

“Lenore” boasts 23 personalities, each with its own name. She obsessively sorts through rubbish for days on end when she’s on P. It’s her way of making order out of her chaos. Asked what would stop her from using P, she replies: “Death.”

To prepare this report Matthew Carney followed groups of P users over the summer. His extraordinary degree of access – revealing the participants’ candour and confronting behaviour – will challenge and unsettle viewers.

FRIDAY 9th January

Providing an insight into the lives of some of Britain’s most unique families, who all have one thing in common – at least ten children.

Following several constantly expanding families from diverse backgrounds to discover what drives couples to have so many children and what the children think of their numerous siblings.

Behind every breakthrough drug is a multi-billion dollar research programme. We see the benefits in safe, effective and affordable medicine. But somewhere in the world, a group of patients have had to test the new drug to see if it works, to see if it’s safe. 

For that, India has become the location of choice. It’s cheaper. It’s quicker. But evidence is emerging that some patients don’t even realise when they’re part of a trial. 

Drug Trials – The Dark Side exposes disturbing breaches of human rights, and asks: are we prepared to accept them if it’s helping us to live longer?

Friday 2nd January

Surveillance is everywhere today. This documentary introduces the new surveillance within society and shows how cutting edge technologies are being developed to identify, monitor, and track both people and things.  

It is a world where each technology seems to bring advantages – to make us safer or our lives convenient – but at the same time, as more and more of what we do can be tracked and monitored, these technologies are changing our lives in ways that can be shocking and closer to home than we ever imagined.

Friday 26th December

 

Friday 19th December

Over the last century, more than one hundred people have lost their lives in the most baffling circumstances. Officially, the deaths have been put down to freak accidents in unfortunate circumstances. But unofficially, there’s a chilling theory that links all of them together: Spontaneous Human Combustion. But does the phenomenon really exist?

Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson sets out to solve the mystery. His fearless quest for the truth gets him seriously hot under the collar, but after risking a scorching, he finds some surprising answers to one of history’s hottest questions

 

British born Rick Rescorla helped save thousands of lives on September 11. He predicted that terrorists would use jet planes to destroy the World Trade Center. Incredibly, Rescorla who was head of security for the Morgan Stanley Bank, made these predictions in a filmed interview in his office on the 42nd floor of the WTC’s South Tower In The Man who Predicted 9/11 Rescorla’s extraordinary story is told through the events of the last day of his life.

After the 1993 terrorist bombing of the WTC, Rescorla warned of the imminent danger of another more devastating attack and campaigned for safety improvements, fire drills and evacuation procedures in the event of such an emergency. His evacuation plan was put into effect after the first jet hit the North Tower -even though WTC managers were instructing everyone to stay in the buildings. When the second jet hit the South Tower he averted panic and organised a rapid evacuation of Morgan Stanley staff. Rescorla sang Cornish folk songs to calm nerves- as he had done in Vietnam- while thousands trooped down the stair wells. Rescorla went back inside to help those injured and trapped get out. He was still inside when the building collapsed. His body was never found. In the year before his death he had beaten cancer and found the love of his life.

In this film we hear stories of this extraordinary man from former comrades in arms, his biographer, Pulitzer Prize winning author James Stewart, his much adored wife Susan, and from some of the many men and women whose lives he saved in the Twin Towers. We combine their deeply moving testimony with footage of Rescorla making his predictions and extensive archive of 9/11. This is a dramatic, haunting and thought provoking film – one of the last untold stories from the tragedy of the Twin Towers.

 

 

Friday 21st November 9.30pm

Wan Lao Yang is a 9-year-old girl from China suffering from Xeroderma Pigmentosum, a rare genetic disorder which makes her skin unable to repair itself after exposure to U.V. light. As soon as U.V. hits Wan Lao, her skin reacts dangerously, making it impossible to go outside.
This film documents Wan Lao’s journey to Shanghai, and the treatment she receives from a specialist from the famous Great Ormornd Street Hospital. It also explores the work of NASA’s Sun Protection Team which has created a customised ‘sun suit’ for Wan Lao that blocks out 100% of U.V. rays.

Advanced surgical techniques and cutting-edge technology combine to transform the life of this remarkable little girl.

Friday 14th November 9.30pm

Is it possible that people can commit complex crimes – even murders – while they are sleepwalking?

If science says yes, what does the law say? Is sleepwalking a legitimate defence for murder?