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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 April 2007, 11:14 GMT 12:14 UK
Global Perspective
First broadcast April 2007

Person with their hands covering their face

In the Global Perspective series, BBC World Service and seven of its partner stations around the world bring a global perspective on a given theme.

This year, each partner has been examining belief.

Whether a clash between traditional and contemporary beliefs, beliefs that sustain identity, belief in religious entitlement to riches or the absence of belief, the series offers a range of vivid insights.

Programme Two: Belief Beyond the Mirror

In October 2006, the UK granted permission for Peter Butler and his team at the Royal Free Hospital in London to carry out the world's first full facial transplants, the first of which should take place in 2007.

Kati Whitaker talks to three people about the impact of severe facial disfigurement on their lives.

Simon Weston suffered 49% burns to his face and body as a young soldier in the Falklands war; Michele Simms had her face destroyed when her costume caught fire at a Halloween party when she was eight years old, and Diana Whybrew had half her face removed with a malignant tumour in her 60s.

Simon, Michele and Diana have all had many operations - Michele has had 60 and Simon over 80 - to create new outer selves that have to be adapted to again and again.

Their belief in themselves has been challenged to its limits, testing the very notion of who they really are.


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