As a documentary maker and news correspondent, James Brown specialises in all things Russian. He was one of the RT’s first employees and was the host and writer of 'Englishman vs Russia', a series looking at some of Russia's more extreme, and quirky, places and professions. ‘Discovering Russia’ was another of James’ documentary series looking at life and culture throughout the world’s biggest country. The programme won the Yury Senkevich National Tourism Prize for Best Russian Tourism programme of 2011. His new documentary series, "Tested on Mr. Brown" explores various lifestyles in Russia.
Hands on in all his shows, James’s journeys have seen him working with coal miners in Siberia, training with the Russian Paratroop regiment and sailing to the North Pole with the Sochi 2014 Olympic flame. As a news correspondent he has reported on stories throughout Russia, the CIS and Europe, including live coverage of Russia and Kyrgyzstan’s Presidential elections, Ukraine’s worst post-Soviet mining disaster and anti-US demonstrations from the Czech capital, Prague.
Born and raised in the UK, James is a graduate of Bristol University and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Broadcast Journalism from the London College of Communication
Lake Baikal in Russian Siberia is the oldest and deepest lake on the planet. It contains 20% of the world’s fresh water. Its incredibly clear and clean water is home to hundreds of unique animal and plant species. Biologists, however, are increasingly concerned about the region’s ecology. James Brown goes back to Baikal 7 years after his last visit to see how the lake has changed.
18-year-old Esteban Quispe Churata became world-famous as the “Bolivian Wall-E”. He is a self-taught robot maker who scours municipal dumps and flea markets to recycles e-waste for his inventive creations, many of which are inspired by movies.
If you want to stay, you have to pay. Non-EU spouses of British citizens have no automatic right to live in the UK. The British spouse must earn £18,600 a year for their other half to receive a working visa. Less than half of Britain’s population earns this much. It means thousands of loving families are forced apart every year.
Around 2 million refugees have entered Europe since 2015. One of the countries was the Netherlands. Boasting a liberal culture, Dutch society presented the newcomers with an environment strikingly different from what they were used to. However, despite the challenges, Holland seems to be making the integration work. We travel there to find out how the refugees are adapting to their new realities and who is helping them.
Recently, the German city of Cologne made the news for a string of attacks against women that many blamed on migrants. The deepening refugee crisis is polarising German society. Still, no social tensions can stop the sweet celebration of Cologne’s famous Carnival, even if this year’s also came with a bitter pill.
What secrets lie at the bottom of the Barents Sea, north of the Arctic Circle? On learning many WWII ships found their final resting place here, James Brown's taste for adventure brings him to the Russian city of Murmansk and Norway's fjords on a wreck-hunt. He discovers more than he bargained for.
James Brown explores what it’s like to be homeless on the streets of the UK. Christmas is all about being with the people you love and enjoying life but this time, James joins thousands from all round the country who are forced to sleep rough and beg for money.
Cyberbullying has caused teenage suicides all over the world. It knows no physical or moral boundaries and can even reach out to terrorise victims in the apparent safety of their own homes. No punch is too low for the anonymous trolls who use the internet to threaten, insult and intimidate.
James Brown joins the crew of a fishing trawler to learn what working at sea is like. He spends three weeks on the open seas and has a go at various jobs and tasks of a seaman’s life. With his fiancée waiting for him ashore, he has to work very hard to fill the ship’s hold and come back in time for his own wedding.
All waste has consequences and the more conscientious we are, the more we want to reduce the amount we throw out. In this 2 week experiment RT’s James Brown tries to live without generating any waste at all. It’s not as easy as it sounds!
Inspired by Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace and its opulent ball portrayals, James Brown decides to delve into the Russian ballroom culture. He learns the dress code of a traditional ball, its etiquette and even a fan language: a code that female ball-regulars used to communicate with their admirers.
In the shadow of an active volcano, crushing poverty, and sporadic wars, Charlie Makongo founded a cycling club in the Congolese city of Goma to give its youth a beacon of hope. Concentrating on training distracts the boys from their harsh everyday lives and keeps them from joining armed groups. But a menacing cloud hangs over the project: Nyiragono is due for another eruption.
For more than 2,000 years they've been making wine along Russia's Black Sea coast and it's still big business today. Join James Brown as he tries to find out what makes a great Russian wine, meets the men growing the grapes and looks into a legend that's very much close to home.
It's dirty, demanding and highly dangerous, but in Russia coal mining is a multi-billion dollar business. Join James Brown as he travels to the Kuzbass, Russia's coal basin to see what it takes to work in an industry that employs more than 100,000 people, but which still claims lives every year.
How would you cope if you were suddenly deprived of your eyesight? In his latest experiment, James Brown signs up to experience life as a blind person for two weeks, gaining important insights both into himself and those around him.
As the city of Sochi prepares for the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympic Games, volunteers across the country are preparing to help the city greet the world. Join RTDoc’s James Brown as he meets the people volunteering their time for an event of international significance.