Journalist Jamie Bartlett is set to host a new investigative podcast for BBC Studios, the organisation has announced, investigating the mysterious death of teenage activist Megan Bhari.
The seven-part series, titled Believe in Magic, looks into the children’s cancer charity, from which the podcast takes its name, that Bhari launched in 2012 when she was 16 years old. It went on to gain backing from a number of celebrities including One Direction. The teenager was then accused of faking a brain tumour after fans hired a private investigator when she started a fundraising campaign for life-saving treatment. She later died under mysterious circumstances.
Bartlett, alongside his producer Ruth Mayer, conducted his own investigation into Bhari’s death, and the podcast will see him speaking to a number of Bhari's old friends and supporters as well as medical professionals. The podcast also touches on themes of celebrity obsession and deception, and will, according to the press release, reach a shocking conclusion.
“The story of Believe in Magic shows the lengths people will go to be noticed - and how unprepared the health system is to handle deception and lies," said Bartlett. “Believe in Magic took me into a surreal and tragic world I never knew existed. Even today people are still searching for the truth about Megan Bhari, and we wanted to finally get them answers.”
Believe in Magic is launching on 8 May as a boxset on BBC Sounds for UK listeners, and on the BBC Podcasts Premium channel in the US, or will be available bi-weekly from that date on other podcast platforms.
Bartlett has previously hosted another investigative podcast for BBC Radio 5 live titled The Missing Cryptoqueen on the disappearance of Dr Ruja Ignatova, founder of the fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme OneCoin. The BBC runs a number of investigative podcast series, including its most recent series from BBC Studios on the disappearance of Vishal Mehrotra which launched on 17 April.