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Insight, analysis and expert debate as key policy makers are challenged on the latest news stories. From BBC Radio 4's Today programme

BBC Radio 4


    • Feb 3, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
    • daily NEW EPISODES
    • 14m AVG DURATION
    • 864 EPISODES

    4.3 from 190 ratings Listeners of Best of Today that love the show mention: living in the us, elected, bbc, uk, reporters, politicians, interviewers, press, journalism, american, answer, happened, mean, subject, fact, style, radio, important, questions, nothing.



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    Latest episodes from Best of Today

    Griff Rhys Jones on saving heritage buildings

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 3, 2023 8:42


    Comedian and broadcaster Griff Rhys Jones, who is president of the Victorian Society, helping to spearhead a new campaign to stop development plans for Grade II listed Liverpool Street Station in London. He spoke to Today's Amol Rajan about protecting the nation's heritage – and Justin Webb reveals how Griff encouraged his teenage attempts at comedy back in 1980. (Image Credit: Alex Segre/BBC)

    British Gas boss 'horrified' by force-fitted meters

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 2, 2023 24:15


    British Gas has suspended the forced installation of pre-payment meters following a report that debt collectors employed by the company have been fitting them in the homes of vulnerable customers. Energy regulator Ofgem has begun an investigation. Companies can apply to the courts for a warrant, authorising the fitting of a pre-payment meter if a customer hasn't paid their bills. Today's Mishal Husain spoke to Chris O'Shea, Chief Executive of Centrica which owns British Gas, and Paul Morgan-Bently, Head of Investigations at The Times who went undercover for the investigation. Today's Nick Robinson also spoke to Labour shadow minister Ed Miliband. (Image: Smart Meter with prepayment tariff, Credit: DANIEL LEAL/ AFP/ Getty Images)

    Government haven't engaged in 'serious negotiation', says education union boss

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 1, 2023 21:13


    Hundreds of thousands of workers are taking part in what unions say is the largest day of industrial action for more than a decade. School teachers, university staff, train drivers and civil servants are taking coordinated action in their disputes over pay and conditions. It is expected to be the biggest day of industrial action in a decade. Today's Justin Webb spoke to Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, and Nick Robinson spoke to Gillian Keegan, Education Secretary. They also heard from two head teachers. (Image: Striking teachers on the Tube in London, Credit: Kevin Coombs/ Reuters)

    The blueprint for our natural spaces

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 31, 2023 10:58


    Everyone will live within 15 minutes' walk of a green space or water under new government plans to restore nature. The "blueprint" sets out how ministers intend to clean up air and water, boost nature and reduce waste over the next five years in England. Today's Martha Kearney spoke to Joan Edwards, director of policy at the Wildlife Trust, and Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England, about how it'll work and what more could be done. (Image: Hedgehog, Credit: Ola Jennersten /WWF-Sweden/ PA)

    The Nadhim Zahawi sacking

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 30, 2023 17:10


    Rishi Sunak is facing questions over his sacking of Nadhim Zahawi. An inquiry found the Conservative chairman had failed to disclose a tax investigation, and this was a "serious" breach of the code of conduct for ministers. Today's Martha Kearney spoke to the BBC's Political Editor Chris Mason, while Mishal Husain examined the government's defence with Health Minister Helen Whately. (Image credit: PA)

    Police bodycam footage shows abuse of Tyre Nichols

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 28, 2023 12:11


    Bodycam footage released last night shows Tyre Nichols, a 29 year black man being repeatedly kicked, punched and pepper sprayed by police officers while lying on the ground. Five officers, themselves black, have been fired from the force. The BBC's Barbara Plett-Usher speaks to the mother of Tyre Nichols and Today's Martha Kearney interviews local politician Steve Cohen about what he felt watching the video (IMAGE CREDIT: Facebook/Deandre Nichols/via REUTERS)

    Pinocchio: Interview with Guillermo del Toro

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 27, 2023 17:03


    In his first full length interview since Pinocchio was nominated for an Oscar, Guillermo Del Toro and his co-director Mark Gustafson came into the Today Programme studio - bringing in two of the puppets. They discussed with Martha Kearney the painstaking process of using stop motion animation which uses physical puppets, as well as the film's setting in Mussolini's fascist Italy. (IMAGE CREDIT: Roy Rochlin / Stringer / Getty Images)

    Zelensky urges speedy delivery of Western tanks

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 26, 2023 13:39


    America's 30 tanks, Britain's 14, and Germany's pledge of another 14 in addition to commitments from Poland and possibly from France still leave Ukraine well short of the 300 it asked for. Today's Mishal Husain and Nick Robinson spoke to the NATO Secretary General and former Norwegian prime minister Jens Stollenberg and advisor to Ukranie's defence minister Yuri Sak about what difference the tanks would make to the war. (IMAGE CREDIT: Photo by Sgt Anthony Prater/DVIDS/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (13741081a))

    Oscar nominees speak to Today

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 25, 2023 32:04


    Here on Today we have heard from a variety of Oscar nominees over the last few weeks. They include: Cate Blanchett on her role in Tár; Brendan Fraser on his role in The Whale; Tony Kushner on co-writing The Fabelmans; novelist Sir Kazuo Ishiguro on Living; John Landau who produced Avatar: The Way of Water; and Angie Marchese who advised on Elvis. Hear all of those interviews in full. (Image: Oscar statue, Credit: CAROLINE BREHMAN/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

    Should Tory chairman stand aside over tax questions?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 24, 2023 21:21


    Five days ago the Prime minister said the issues around Nadhim Zahawi “had been addressed in full” but has now called an his ethics advisor to look into the former chancellor and current Conservative chairman. There are also questions about BBC Chairman Richard Sharp's links with former PM Boris Johnson prior to his appointment. Today's Mishal Husain spoke to to Policing Minister Chris Philp about both issues. Amol Rajan spoke to former acting chair of the BBC Trust, Professor Diane Coyle & former Culture Minister Lord Vaizey. (By:Peter Nicholls - Credit : Reuters)

    NHS England boss on a service under pressure, strikes and the future

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 21, 2023 34:36


    The NHS is under great pressure, with record waiting times, ambulances queuing outside crowded hospitals and more nurse and paramedic strikes to come. Today's Martha Kearney went with Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of NHS England, to an NHS hospital in Warwick to see efforts to stop patients being in hospital unnecessarily. (Photo: Martha Kearney and Amanda Pritchard. Credit: BBC)

    When will inflation come down?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 20, 2023 6:53


    The Bank of England Governor says there are early signs “a corner has been turned on inflation". However, there was negative economic news as new figures showed retail sales fell by 1% in December - a really crucial month for shops. Today's Martha Kearney spoke to John Allan, chairman of the supermarket chain Tesco, about food prices, which are still rising sharply; and the need for a long-term growth strategy.

    Chuck D on new doc ‘Fight The Power'

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 19, 2023 8:20


    Public Enemy frontman, Carlton Douglas Ridenhour, better known as Chuck D, spoke to Today's Amol Rajan about his new documentary “Fight the Power” explores the relationship between the Hip-hop movement, US politics and the struggles of black people in America. Chuck D also gave his take on the controversial rapper Kanye West. He talked about what motivated him to become an artist and what music means to black history.

    Train cancellations and delays

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 18, 2023 14:41


    There were no train strikes today, but all over the North of England people were wondering whether the train they rely on to go to work, get to school or college would run at all. A quarter of services were cancelled on Wednesday on TransPennine Express, the rail company which runs inter-city services between Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Hull. In the past, train companies relied on drivers working overtime on their rest days, but a breakdown in goodwill between management and the unions has meant there is now no agreement to do this. Today's Nick Robinson has been in Manchester looking at the disruption and he speaks to the head of Aslef, the train drivers' union, Mick Whelan.

    Met Chief: We have failed. And I'm sorry.

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 17, 2023 22:59


    The Metropolitan Police is investigating 1,000 sexual and domestic abuse claims involving about 800 of its officers. Its Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley made the announcement after PC David Carrick pleaded guilty to 49 offences, including dozens of rapes. Today's Mishal Husain spoke to Sir Mark who apologised to Carrick's victims for the force's failings. She also spoke to former Superintendent Del Babu and the former Victims' Commissioner for England and Wales Dame Vera Baird. Justin Webb also discussed the case with criminologist Professor Betsy Stanko. (IMAGE CREDIT: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire)

    Bret Easton Ellis on censorship

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 16, 2023 6:44


    In the 1990s Bret Easton Ellis shot to fame after the release of his novel American Psycho but has not released a book in more than a decade. His new book Shards is a mix of autobiography and imaginings set in the Los Angeles of Easton Ellis's youth. He spoke to Today's Justin Webb about free speech and how the literary industry has changed over his time writing. Credit :GettyImages/NurPhoto

    New powers to stop Protest

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 16, 2023 10:47


    Under new government plans, the police will have the right to stop a protest before they can cause serious disruption. Today's Mishal Husain spoke to Conservative MP and former Justice Secretary Robert Buckland, along with Labour peer and former director of the civil liberties organisation Liberty Baroness Chakrabarti about the potential damage to protest rights and whether these powers are proportional to the problem. By: Henry NichollsCredit: Reuters Location :London, United Kingdom

    Has modern man lost his way?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 14, 2023 10:40


    How does masculinity turn toxic? What does it actually mean to be a man? Is the remarkable appeal of a figure like Andrew Tate - the social media influencer - the product of a male malaise in liberal democracies? His TikTok videos have been condemned as deeply misogynistic but have been viewed billions of times. He has tens of millions of followers globally - most of them male, many of them very young. The Today programme's Amol Rajan spoke to Mike Thompson, a former English teacher who now runs workshops about masculinity in Lancashire and Richard Reeves, the author of Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male is Struggling, Why It Matters, and What To Do About It.. (Image, boy and shadow, Credit Getty Images)

    Eric Cantona: On football, society and art

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 13, 2023 10:41


    Is football in danger of losing its soul to commerce? Former Manchester United footballer Eric Cantona says he would rather watch a second division team today than follow a Premier League side. He says, “I think we live in a big circus. Everybody knows that.” The Today programme's Nick Robinson spoke to Eric Cantona and the fine artist Michael Browne about how both art and football can reflect and change society. (Image, Eric Cantona and Nick Robinson, Credit, BBC)

    Interview: Cate Blanchett

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 12, 2023 12:39


    Cate Blanchett has just won a Golden Globe for her role as a virtuoso conductor in new film Tar. The fictional musician, who runs a major German orchestra, faces accusations of bullying and predatory behaviour. But Today's Martha Kearney speaks to Blanchett about playing a character corrupted by power, and what acting awards mean to her. (IMAGE CREDIT: BBC)

    Scale of raw sewage discharges into rivers revealed

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 11, 2023 7:27


    The scale of raw sewage discharges into rivers by England's biggest privatised water company has been revealed in a new interactive map that shows discharges in real time. It comes from Thames Water, which says it has voluntarily published the data ahead of companies having to do so under law. (IMAGE CREDIT: Thames Water)

    Anti-strike bill to be introduced to Parliament

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 10, 2023 11:56


    The government is to introduce legislation which would ensure public sector services maintain minimum service levels during strike action. Under the proposals some trade union members would be required to continue working during a strike. Unions have condemned the proposals, while the Labour party says the plans "won't work". The move comes amid a wave of industrial action across the public sector as workers seek pay rises in the face of the rising cost of living. The Today programme's Mishal Husain spoke to Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy about the proposed legislation. (Image, striking ambulance workers, Credit, Henry Nicholls/ Reuters)

    Storming of Brazilian Congress condemned

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 9, 2023 13:00


    Hundreds of rioters have been arrested after supporters of former far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro invaded key democratic institutions. The security breach at the heart of Brazilian democracy has drawn comparison with the 6th January 2021 attack on the US Capitol by followers of Donald Trump. There has been international condemnation of the scenes in Brasilia. The Today programme's Justin Webb spoke to Oliver Stuenkel who teaches international relations at the Vargas Foundation in Sao Paulo, the BBC's international editor Jeremey Bowen and Marianna Spring, the BBC's disinformation & social media correspondent. (Image, Brasilia riot, Credit, Adriano Machado/ Reuters)

    How do we fix the NHS?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 6, 2023 18:46


    Amid the current extreme pressure on hospitals -another ambulance strike in England is due next week followed by a further one later in the month and another two nurses strikes. How do we make the NHS better is a question we are going to try and answer - both with listener and expert contributions. The aim is to identify some immediate achievable changes that can make a difference. Today's Mishal Husain and Martha Kearney hear from a medical company has designed technology to create a virtual ward, allowing hospitals to discharge some patients but still monitor their condition while they are recovering at home, and from Richard Murray, Chief Executive of the health think tank the King's Fund. (IMAGE CREDIT: James Manning/PA Wire)

    How should we talk to children about grief?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 5, 2023 7:36


    The National Association of Funeral Directors, which says its members often have to act as counsellors, is organising a petition to get the matter debated in Parliament. It wants one age-appropriate lesson taught to children during PSHE - that's Personal, Social, Health and Economic - classes. Today's Amol Rajan spoke to children's author Michael Rosen and Head of Development and Education at Child Bereavement UK Tracey Boseley about the support available for children. (IMAGE CREDIT: Getty Images / Mark Gibson)

    How do we cut childcare costs?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 4, 2023 14:36


    Rishi Sunak has been criticised for dropping Liz Truss's plans to expand and deregulate childcare. Today's Nick Robinson discusses how childcare can be made more affordable with Christine Farquharson, Senior Research Economist at the IFS, Justine Roberts, founder and chief executive of Mumsnet, and Robin Walker, MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee. (IMAGE CREDIT: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

    Steven Moffat on moving from TV to theatre

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 3, 2023 7:12


    Steven Moffat joined Today's Nick Robinson to talk about his new play, the Unfriend, and the differences between writing for stage and screen. They also discuss the futures of his most recent TV offering, Inside Man, the and hit show Sherlock. (Image: Steven Moffat, Credit: Sarah Louise Bennett/BBC)

    Dame Sharon White Guest Edits Today

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 2, 2023 74:39


    Today's final Christmas guest editor this year is Dame Sharon White, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership and former head of telecoms regulator Ofcom. She was named as the most powerful black person in the country in the 2023 Power List. One of the key issues for her programme is how society can help more people who have been in care get into employment – and includes a report from the BBC's Ashley John-Baptiste, who grew up in care. She also speaks to world renown choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne about how to attract a wider audience to ballet, and she interviews England rugby star Maro Itoje about his activism off the field.

    Anne-Marie Imafidon Guest Edits Today

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 31, 2022 64:30


    Today's sixth Christmas guest editor is Anne-Marie Imafidon – computer scientist, CEO and co-presenter of Countdown. Hear highlights of her programme, whose central theme is opportunity. She looks at how we work, how we fund science, and how we recognise the achievements of women which have been lost to history, such as Dr Gladys Mae West, whose maths work paved the way for GPS navigation. We also explore two of Anne-Marie's big passions – Nigerian food and trainers.

    Björn from ABBA's Eurovision highlights

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 30, 2022 23:40


    Björn Ulvaeus has guest edited BBC Radio 4's Today and his programme included a lot of insights and encounters about Eurovision. Hear him talk to one of the British jurors who in 1974 gave ABBA's Waterloo "nul points" - and doesn't regret it! He also discusses with Erasure's Andy Bell, Radio 1's Adele Roberts and UK Eurovision presenter Rylan Clark the appeal of the contest and ABBA itself to the LGBT+ community. Bjorn also speaks to Martin Österdahl, executive supervisor of Eurovision, about whether it can move to be a fully global competition. (Photo: ABBA triumph at 1974 Eurovision. Credit: BBC)

    Björn Ulvaeus Guest Edits Today

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 30, 2022 79:12


    Today's fifth Christmas guest editor is Björn Ulvaeus from ABBA. Hear highlights from his programme, which looks at the impact of Artificial Intelligence and technology on music, the future of democracy and of course Eurovision - the contest which launched Abba's global success nearly 50 years ago. Guests include Dave Stewart from the Eurythmics, the historian Noah Yuval Harari, Andy Bell from Erasure, the boss of Eurovision, as well as its UK presenter Rylan Clark, and former culture minister Lord Vaizey.

    Sir Jeremy Fleming Guest Edits Today

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 29, 2022 38:07


    Today's fourth Christmas guest editor this year is Sir Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ, the UK's largest but probably least known intelligence agency. Hear highlights from his programme which centres on the theme of data and trust, including how we all share our own personal information and how intelligence agencies across the world handle that data. Guests include Avril Haines, the United States director of national intelligence, Vint Cerf, one of the founding fathers of the internet, and multiple Olympic champion Sir Ben Ainslie, who discusses the use of data in his sport of sailing.

    Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe Guest Edits Today

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 28, 2022 72:40


    Today's third guest editor this Christmas is Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was detained for six years in Iran - before being freed and coming home nine months ago. Hear highlights from her programme including the voices of families of current political prisoners in Iran and Nazanin speaking to chef Yotam Ottolenghi about why one of his recipes has a special resonance for her - and about the solidarity that can be found in food and cooking. Nazanin also has an emotional encounter with tennis ace Andy Murray - she tells him how, while in solitary confinement, she was able to watch him win Wimbledon in 2016 and the joy that brought her. With her husband Richard, she also reflects on trying to get back to normal life against the backdrop of the current uprising and arrests in Iran.

    Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe Guest Edits Today

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 28, 2022 72:40


    Today's third guest editor this Christmas is Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was detained for six years in Iran - before being freed and coming home nine months ago. Hear highlights from her programme including the voices of families of current political prisoners in Iran and Nazanin speaking to chef Yotam Ottolenghi about why one of his recipes has a special resonance for her - and about the solidarity that can be found in food and cooking. Nazanin also has an emotional encounter with tennis ace Andy Murray - she tells him how, while in solitary confinement, she was able to watch him win Wimbledon in 2016 and the joy that brought her. With her husband Richard, she also reflects on trying to get back to normal life against the backdrop of the current uprising and arrests in Iran.

    Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe speaks to Andy Murray

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 28, 2022 13:52


    Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been in solitary confinement for months, separated from her husband and daughter, when her Iranian jailors provided a rare glimmer of joy. In July 2016, after months without books or newspapers, she was granted access to a TV with two channels - one showing Iranian soaps, the other Wimbledon tennis matches. She watched as Andy Murray secured his second Wimbledon title on Centre Court - more than 3,000 miles from her prison cell, but just a little over an hour on the Tube from her home in north London. Earlier this month the pair met at the National Tennis Centre.

    Jamie Oliver Guest Edits Today

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 27, 2022 41:12


    Today's second guest editor this Christmas is Jamie Oliver, the chef, entrepreneur and campaigner. Hear highlights from his programme in our Best of Today podcast, including interviews with former Prime Minister Tony Blair, and former Conservative Chancellor George Osborne about expanding free lunches in schools and providing a healthy array of options for students. Jamie Oliver has been open about his struggles in school with dyslexia. He says he was told he was taught alongside those with special needs. Jamie wanted to speak to the rapper Loyle Carner, who has ADHD about his struggles at school and what food means to him.

    Jamie Oliver Guest Edits Today

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 27, 2022 41:12


    Today's second guest editor this Christmas is Jamie Oliver, the chef, entrepreneur and campaigner. Hear highlights from his programme in our Best of Today podcast, including interviews with former Prime Minister Tony Blair, and former Conservative Chancellor George Osborne about expanding free lunches in schools and providing a healthy array of options for students. Jamie Oliver has been open about his struggles in school with dyslexia. He says he was told he was taught alongside those with special needs. Jamie wanted to speak to the rapper Loyle Carner, who has ADHD about his struggles at school and what food means to him.

    Lord Botham Guest Edits Today

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 26, 2022 40:21


    Today's first guest editor this Christmas is Lord Botham, Ian "Beefy" Botham, former England all-rounder, now crossbench peer and UK Trade Envoy to Australia. Hear highlights from his programme in our Best of Today podcast, including an interview with the current England Cricket captain Ben Stokes, about the future of the Test format of the game. It was a chance meeting after a freak injury in 1977 which first put Lord Botham on the path to nearly four decades of fundraising. He reflects on that moment and looks at advances in the treatment of childhood leukaemia, a cause for which he has raised millions of pounds, with the BBC's medical editor Fergus Walsh.

    Fiona Hill on Putin and Ukraine War

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 23, 2022 8:22


    Most mornings on the programme this year we've been talking to our correspondents in Ukraine about the progress of the war- about cities being pummelled by Russian artillery, war crimes, people driven from their homes, and military stalemate in a conflict which has lasted far longer than Vladimir Putin anticipated in February. Today's Martha Kearney spoke to Fiona Hill, one of the world's leading experts on Russia, about what Putin might do next in the Russia-Ukraine War. (IMAGE CREDIT: REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)

    Ukraine war: Zelensky urges US help

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2022 16:46


    President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed US lawmakers on his first foreign trip since Russia's invasion. Mr Zelensky said US military aid to Ukraine was not charity, but an investment in security for the future. His appeal comes amid signs US support is likely to face greater scrutiny by Republican lawmakers in Congress. But President Joe Biden vowed to stick by Ukraine. Today's Martha Kearney spoke to Ben Rhodes, Former US Deputy National Security Adviser under President Obama, and Alexander Rodnyansky, Adviser to President Zelensky. (Image: President Volodymyr Zelensky, Image Credit: Shutterstock, Michael Reynolds)

    Eddie Jones: No regrets

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 21, 2022 12:32


    In his first interview since being sacked as England rugby coach, Eddie Jones tells the Today programme he wouldn't have done anything differently. Speaking to Today's Garry Richardson, Jones says he sensed his sacking by England was imminent. Jones, who led England to the rugby World Cup final in 2019, was dismissed earlier this month after a poor run of form. Jones also spoke to Garry about the messages he's received from players and who he might coach next. (Image: Eddie Jones, Image Credit: EPA, Andy Rain)

    The choir inside a prison

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 21, 2022 9:34


    The Liberty Choir sees volunteers go into prisons for weekly singing sessions with inmates, aiming to teach confidence skills and stay in touch once they're out. Covid brought all such contact to an end. Now the choir has re-started, Today's Mishal Husain went to see it again and speak to a prison governor about its work – this time at HMP Coldingley in Surrey. (Image: Singer with choir book; Credit: Getty Images/Sonja Filitz)

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