The Culturewise Podcast

Diverse stories on history, society and culture from former BBC documentary maker Mukti Jain Campion

1: Shockwaves from Tiananmen Square

London, June 1989. Patrick Lau is a successful television director whose credits include popular TV drama such as The Return of Sherlock Holmes and Len Deighton’s spy series Game, Set & Match. But one day, shortly after the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing, he receives an unexpected phone call asking him to help two Chinese diplomats - and a real-life drama begins to unfold on his own doorstep.

30 years on, Patrick recalls the tumultuous events of that summer in a new 6 part podcast series.

Producer: Mukti Jain Campion

Picture credit: Dessa Ely


2: The Red Suitcase

Patrick Lau discovers that, for two high ranking Chinese officials whose lives have been so intertwined with China’s tumultuous history, the path to defection is not easy.


Producer: Mukti Jain Campion


3: The Defectors

Lai Suk and Lai Sum finally flee the Chinese embassy to evade forcible repatriation. Patrick finds himself hiding two Chinese strangers in his suburban terraced house in south London. But how can he help them gain legal asylum?


Producer: Mukti Jain Campion

4: Frozen in Suburbia

As Patrick’s visitors from Maida Vale await the response to their asylum applications, he tries to set some ground rules for living together. It’s hard when your guests don’t speak the same language, eat different food and are too afraid to venture out of the house. And all the harder when you don’t know how long your strange cohabitation will last.

Producer: Mukti Jain Campion

5: Don’t Look a Gift Chicken in the Mouth

Lai Suk and Lai Sum are subjected to exhaustive interviews by British intelligence services. Meanwhile at home the tension mounts as Patrick considers what he must do to keep his secret house guests safe during his impending 2 month absence.

Producer: Mukti Jain Campion

6: Flying the Coop

 A suspicious burglary, covert meetings with a mysterious man from British Telecom and attempts by former colleagues to lure Lai Suk and Lai Sum back to the Chinese Embassy  – the news of what has happened in his absence fill Patrick with alarm. Last episode.

Producer: Mukti Jain Campion

Play this podcast on Podbean App