Press Centre

On Assignment

  • Episode: 

    1 of

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Mon 14 May 2018
  • TX Confirmed: 

  • Time: 

    10.45pm - 11.20pm
  • Week: 

    Week 20 2018 : Sat 12 May - Fri 18 May
  • Channel: 

The information contained herein is embargoed from all Press, online, social media, non-commercial publication or syndication - in the public domain - until Tuesday 8 May 2018.
ITV’s award-winning international current affairs series returns with powerful and thought-provoking stories from around the world.  
This time, John Ray explores the sensitive issue of post-apartheid land redistribution in South Africa, which has sparked an outpouring of hope and fear. Debi Edward speaks to families torn apart during the Korean war, now desperately hoping to be reunited with their loved ones in the North. And Penny Marshall travels to rural Albania to meet the last remaining ‘sworn virgins’ - women who have agreed to live their whole lives as men.
Twenty-five years after the end of apartheid in South Africa the country is still struggling with its legacy of inequality. One radical solution has been suggested - changing the country's constitution to allow the redistribution of land owned by white farmers, without compensation and returning it, some argue, to the black communities from whom it was originally seized. It has sparked a wildfire of hope and fear. Reporter John Ray meets white farmers learning armed self-defence to protect themselves against the land invasions they believe will get worse as tensions rise, and visits a new generation of black farmers trying to overcome the problems of inadequate finance and expertise.
In an unprecedented turn of events, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un recently extended the hand of friendship to his South Korean neighbours, ending decades of bitter discontent. Thousands of families torn apart during the Korean War will be desperately hoping this new dawn in diplomatic relations will mean they are reunited with their loved ones on both sides of the border. Reporter Debi Edward speaks to divided families about the pain they have had to live through, meets passionate young people hoping for reunification and travels to the border villages to find out how it feels to live in the constant shadow of conflict. 
Albania’s rigidly structured society has made progress on women’s rights, but in some villages in the rural north of the country, some women have traditionally believed the only way to escape the limitations of their lives was to choose not to live as female. This little-understood practice blossomed when Albanian society was still ruled by ancient Kanun law. Women with limited options in life either chose to or were forced to live and dress as men to escape the strict patriarchal system. Their motives were purely social - as ‘sworn virgins’, these women could live a life with all the privileges and status a man would traditionally be afforded. But the cost of taking the oath of the ‘sworn virgin’ was a lifetime of virginity and chastity. Reporter Penny Marshall travels to rural Albania to meet the last remaining few.
Presenter/ Reporter:  Rageh Omaar
Correspondents:  John Ray, Debi Edward, Penny Marshall
Producer/ Directors: Sonia Pavlovic and Chris Hackett 
Series Producer:  Delilah Jeary
Executive Producer:  Natalie Fay