Saved By a Stranger

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Karl and Emina

Series 1 - Episode 1 Karl and Emina

Saturday 3:30am - 4:30am BBC Two


Anita Rani presents a new series that owes a clear debt to Long Lost Family and the Thank You slot on R4’s Saturday Live. Here too, we see moving human stories culminating in tearful reunions that radiate emotion in ways you would need a heatshield to withstand. 

The difference is, the contributors here are hoping to find not relatives, but strangers who played a role at a defining moment in their lives. Karl was in the London tube carriage where a terrorist bomb exploded on 7 July 2005. In the darkness and confusion, a woman reassured him and they held hands. To his shame, he later edged ahead of her on the way to safety. He would love to meet her again and reflect on the ordeal they shared. 

We also meet Emina, a Birmingham psychologist who was evacuated from Sarajevo when she was four and the city was under siege. She longs to thank the doctor who arranged her family’s escape and gave them new lives. When she does, it’s a heck of a moment.


The stories of ordinary people caught up in the biggest events in living memory, and the person who changed their lives. It begins with Karl, a trainee clinical psychologist who was a passenger on the first carriage of the Piccadilly Line London Underground train - one of the four targets of the 7/7 bombings. After the bomb exploded, Karl was comforted by a woman who held his hand in the smoke-filled carriage as he feared for his life. Cameras also follow Emina, an NHS researcher living in Nottingham. She and her younger sister Edina, who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome as a baby, were born in Sarajevo. Edina is searching for the doctor who helped her family evacuate to safety, and gave Edina the chance of a better life. Anita Rani presents.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Anita Rani
Director Toby Trackman
Executive Producer Justine Kershaw
Series Producer Georgia Braham