Thu 05 May, 2024

National Prison Radio meets Louis Theroux

The award-winning documentary producer and presenter Louis Theroux recently visited National Prison Radio and we had the rare opportunity, to interview him.

Louis is known for his unique documentary style. He uses a gentle questioning approach to shine a light on what he describes as “intriguing beliefs, behaviours and institutions, by getting to know people at the heart of them”.  

This month, however, the tables have been turned after Louis agreed to go under the spotlight himself and do an interview for National Prison Radio.  

He tells National Prison Radio about producing a documentary with the Ku-Klux Klan, filming with an extreme religious group and filming in the notorious San Quentin State Prison.  

But when he was in the National Prison Radio studio, he found it difficult to resist the temptation to turn back into the interviewer.  

National Prison Radio presenter ‘M’ had to work hard to keep the interview on track and when Louis started asking questions himself, ‘M’ stepped in.  

He told fellow-presenter ‘J’, “I do want to point something out. Louis is finessing us! We’re meant to be finding out about him!”  

And they did. From music to micro blading, from winning awards to being woke, the National Prison Radio interview is wide-ranging and unexpected – and includes his thoughts about prison and what it’s like visiting as a journalist. 

Louis talks openly about his early days in TV and working in the United States. He talks about how he developed as a presenter and found his own unique style.  

But what did he think of his time in HMP Brixton?  

Louis says these are the places he’s most interested in: “Life takes place in the margins, life is a little bit hidden away from the main-stream.” 

Although Louis Theroux is a multi-award winning TV personality, he also knows about coping with setbacks.  

He told National Prison Radio: “I don’t want to sound like a fortune-cookie or a Hallmark card. I genuinely think that a setback is often the springboard to a comeback. The things I look back on with most pride in my life, have been times of adversity, things that felt difficult and hopeless but I came out the other side”.  

In true National Prison Radio style, the interview ended with ‘M’ asking for Louis’ song request.  

He chose a song he holds close to his heart and says it’s a guaranteed dance-floor filler.  

Prisoners will get to listen to Louis’ song choice when the show is broadcast on NPR Talk, Wednesday 15 May 2024.

National Prison Radio is the world’s first national radio station for people in prison. It’s available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on in-cell TV.

NPR Talk is our talk show helping listeners find their future. The show focuses on issues in prison and features news, interviews and banter. NPR Talk broadcasts every Wednesday at 12:00 and 18:00 on National Prison Radio and reaches over 80,000 people behind bars across England and Wales.

National Prison Radio was founded by the Prison Radio Association – a registered charity. Shows like NPR Talk help people to cope with life inside prison and thrive on release. If you would like to support our work, and enhance the futures of people in prison across the UK you can make a donation at