Conflict of Interest | Series Two

In Series 2 of Conflict of Interest, six celebrities ask the simple questions about the world’s most complex conflicts from the Cold War-era. Who was fighting in Vietnam? What was the Malayan Emergency? Why is Korea divided between North and South? Guided by an IWM curator, each celebrity is taken on a journey through IWM London and HMS Belfast, discovering the objects, people and stories which bring a conflict to life.


Listen to hear what's coming up in Series 2 of Conflict of Interest.

The Berlin Wall, with actor Russell Tovey

The Berlin Wall was one of the most important symbols of the Cold War, signifying the division of Europe into communist East and capitalist West. But why was the Wall built? How did it affect the lives of ordinary Berliners? And how did it come crashing down in 1989? 

The Malayan Emergency, with Phil Wang

Few are aware of the secretive conflict that took place in the jungles of Malaysia in the 1940s and 1950s between British colonial forces and communist guerillas. So what tactics were used by both sides? Why was it called an Emergency and not a War? What happened to ordinary civilians caught in the crossfire? And why did this conflict become so important for future counterinsurgency campaigns?

Mau Mau Uprising, with Nikita Gill

The Mau Mau Uprising was another lesser-known conflict that took place during the end of the British Empire between Kenyan insurgents and British forces. We ask questions like, What does Mau Mau actually mean? What happened in Britain’s detention camps? What was decolonisation? And what is the legacy of the conflict today? 

Korean War, with Eddie Izzard

Why is Korea divided between North and South? Who was Kim Jong Un’s grandfather Kim Il Sun, and what did he want? Why did the United Nations intervene in Korea? And did the Korean War really almost go nuclear?

Vietnam War, with Cerys Matthews

The Vietnam War is one of the twentieth century’s most well-known conflicts. But why did America get involved in the first place? Who were the Viet Cong and the Viet Minh? Why were there mass peace protests back in the US? And what lessons, if any, can be learned from the conflict?

The Falklands Conflict, with actor Katherine Parkinson

1982 saw the start of the Falklands Conflict. But why did the United Kingdom, steered by Margaret Thatcher, send its Navy to defend the Falklands, a tiny group of islands over 8,000 miles from Britain? Why were the islands so important to Argentina and its government? And what are the prospects for reconciliation forty years later?

Find out in the episode below.


Our six episode series covers the Berlin Wall with actor Russell Tovey; the Malayan Emergency with comedian Phil Wang; the Korean War with comedian Edidie Izzard; the Mau Mau Uprising with poet Nikita Gill; the Vietnam War with radio DJ Cerys Matthews and the Falklands Conflict with actor Katherine Parkinson.

  • Berlin Wall - Russell Tovey

    Episode 1 - Berlin Wall - Russell Tovey

    Actor Russell Tovey explores the history of the Berlin Wall with IWM curator Paris Agar, conflict expert Dr Katrin Schreiter and eyewitness John Kampfner.

  • Episode 2 - Malayan Emergency - Phil Wang

    Episode 2 - Malayan Emergency - Phil Wang

    Comedian Phil Wang makes sense of the Malayan Emergency with IWM expert Maria Creech and conflict historian Karl Hack.

  • Nikita Gill - Conflict of Interest

    Episode 3 - Mau Mau Uprising - Nikita Gill

    Poet & author Nikita Gill makes sense of the Mau Mau Uprising with IWM expert Niels Boender, historian John Lonsdale & PhD Researcher Rose Miyonga.

  • Episode 4 - Eddie Izzard - Korean War

    Episode 4 - Korean War - Eddie Izzard

    Comedian & activist Eddie Izzard gets to grips with the Korean War, on board HMS Belfast guided by IWM Curator Hilary Roberts, expert Owen Miller and conflict eyewitness Brian Parritt.

  • Episode 5 - Vietnam War - Cerys Matthews

    Singer & radio host Cerys Matthews makes sense of the Vietnam War with activist Phan Thi Kim Phuc, renowned photographer Don McCullin and IWM Curator Hilary Roberts.

  • Katherine Parkinson

    Episode 6 - Falklands Conflict - Katherine Parkinson

    Actor Katherine Parkinson is joined by historian Helen Parr, IWM expert John Beales and Royal Navy veteran Richard Gough to unpack a major conflict since the Second World War.

Kindly supported by the Swire Charitable Trust.

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