The man who squeezes muscles/A mix tape for Gus

This weeks blogs consists of two documentaries that although differ in their conception of storytelling via an emphasis on either visual or audio components,both undeniably however focus on presenting an engaging real world narrative through their respective media format.

“The man who squeezes muscles” first broadcast on the online exclusive platform of BBC Three,first released in September  2016 the documentary   focuses in on the now notroious but bizzare story of “Purple Aki”.This convicted offender of manslaughter has terrified the residents of Merseyside for years with his obsession with following young men due to an obsession with muscles.The mysterious man has been called ” a modern-day bogeyman and an internet sensation”(Boltonnews,2016) which the documentary aims to explore via the numerous accounts of Purple Aki’s victims.

The BBC hopes to “stimulate strong emotions and provoke reactions” (BBC,2017) with its factual content and to an extent it achieves this.The documentary’s subject matter is by nature intriguing due to the mystique of this indidual and his unexplained actions.The production composes this story via a tense style, with long duration shots that linger on shadowy streets accompanied with the foreboding inclusion of subtle music elements to assure a suspenseful and partly horric style to the production. The factual programme also ascertains a variety of accounts from the locals on their experiences with Purple Aki which provides an extra layer of informative content to culminate in a production that keeps the audiences on edge while undoubtably informing the viewer.

It must be mentioned however where this show fails is its lack of impartiality,immediately painting this allusive figure as a monster from the start without exploring both sides of the story which could of been ascertained via interviews or research on the real man behind the iconic British horror story of Purple Aki.


“A mixtape for Gus” first broadcast on the radio airwaves on BBC radio 4 back in October of 2014 at 11:30am tells the story in the producers own words about the brother she knew “about his eclectic music collection and how he and I exchanged musical loves from childhood onwards, as he did with all who knew him, and how much this legacy has influenced and inspired me” (Emilylevy,2014).

Unlike the primarily visual focused BBC Three documentary on Purple Aki,this production being grounded in the sound exlusive output of radio relies on the creative constrution of sound and music elements.Throughout the 30 minute documentary what is overtly apparent as the strongest aspect of the programme to tell the story is the succesful implementation of sound to really bring the production to life.As the presenter is discussing the life of her brother and his passion for mixtapes, music featured on said mixtapes is interwoven throughout.Not only does this achieve a sense of longing nostalgia for the listener due to the classic timeless essense of the music on show but also sustains a clear sense of pace for the radio production which is creatively implemented throughout, illustrating and envisioned the life and times of the once living idol for the producer of the programme.Ensuring a very personal story which also does not fail to meet the focus of Radio 4 to “appeal to listeners seeking intelligent programmes in many genres which inform, educate and entertain”  (BBC,2017) via its insight into a musical fanatic and his love for all music.

References: (2017). BBC – BBC Radio 4 – BBC Trust. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Feb. 2017]. (2017). BBC – BBC Three – Commissioning. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Feb. 2017]. (2017). ‘A Mix-Tape for Gus’ Music Documentary | Emily Levy. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Feb. 2017].

The Bolton News. (2017). Documentary on ‘Purple Aki’ – the man who squeezes muscles. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Feb. 2017].


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