Based on a True Story

Discover ordinary people’s incredible stories. This series takes up where fictional adaptations leave off and tells the real events they are based on, using a wealth of archive material.

Everyday folk are all the rage - and they often make excellent fictional characters. Since the 1990s, our interest in true stories has skyrocketed. The shelves of bookshops are lined with them, and they fuel box-office hits. "Based on a true story" has become a favourite advertising hook, with its promise of strong emotions and dramatic events. Over and above its selling power, our fascination with real-life stories says much about the times we live in and our hunger for authenticity. In a world in which traditional moral criteria are becoming blurred, society is desperately searching for something real to hold onto. And people reason that if a story is true, it could easily have happened to them.