The Man Who Squeezes Muscles: Searching for Purple Aki is a short documentary on BBC Three that was first shown on 12th September 2016. The documentary shows a hunt for the infamous and mysterious Akinwale Arobieke, also known as Purple Aki (BBC, 2016).

The programme opens with the presenter ominously narrating as he walks through an underpass. The choice of opening here sets a tone of mystery and enigma for the programme. The area around him could be perceived as a rough urban area, with the graffiti and low lighting also helps set this mysterious tone for the audience.

BBC Three’s commisioning guide states that their programmes”resonate with younger people”( n.d)  because it tackles a subject that “stimulates strong emotions and provokes reactions.” ( n.d) due to Purple Aki being a well known “Urban Legend” (Digital Spy. 2016) in North West England, more specifically for youngsters in Liverpool. This is shown in the programme when the presenter says “Purple Aki, a name that’s whispered in the parks and playgrounds of Merseyside.” (BBC, 2016)

When Creating content, thinking about who, what, when, where, why and how, helps to create a compelling and fully rounded story, especially with factual programmes (Journalistics. 2010). Who: Benjamin Zand presents the documentary about Purple Aki and meets some of his victims/family of victims. What: A search for the truth behind one of the UK’s strangest stories.(BBC, 2016) Where: the documentary takes place in Merseyside. When: When: both day and night in the present day. Why: To bring to light and explain the mystery surrounding Purple Aki. How: by talking to victims, people who have seen him and friends/family of victims, the audience is given a wider picture of who he is and what he is really like.

In conclusion, I think the programme was successful due to the absurdness of this story, I did already know about Purple Aki as I live very close to Liverpool, but this documentary helped me get more insight into this urban legend.



(BBC, 2016). The Man Who Squeezes Muscles: Searching for Purple Aki. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].

( n.d) BBC – Documentaries on BBC Three – Commissioning. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].

(Digital Spy. 2016). Watch BBC Three’s new Purple Aki documentary. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].

(Journalistics. 2010). Five Ws and One H: The Secret to Complete News Stories. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].



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