Best of Today



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


  • Rape investigation review: Sarah shares her experience

    18/06/2021 Duración: 15min

    Justice secretary Robert Buckland has apologised for failing rape victims, following a record fall in prosecutions and convictions in England and Wales in recent years. The government has published a review of the issue, which found that only 3% of reports resulted in somebody being charged in 2019 and 2020 - down from 13% five years ago. The review includes a series of proposals aimed at improving those figures and ensuring that investigations focus more on attackers than victims. Mishal Husain spoke to Sarah, who chose to waive her anonymity and talk about her experience; Jess Phillips, shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding; and Kit Malthouse, crime and policing minister. (Image: Figure of Lady Justice; Credit: BBC)

  • Mark Bullingham on Euro 2020, ESL and taking the knee

    18/06/2021 Duración: 14min

    Following the announcement - and rapid demise - of the new European Super League, the organisational challenge of staging an international sporting tournament during a global pandemic has become a challenging business. And as players who take the knee before matches continues to divide opinion, what else is in store for the beautiful game? Ahead of tonight's match between Scotland and England - the first at a major tournament in 25 years - Amol Rajan spoke to Mark Bullingham, Chief Executive of the FA. (Image: Mark Bullingham, Credit: Football Association.)

  • Care system 'too adversarial'

    17/06/2021 Duración: 16min

    A review of children's social care in England says the system is under significant strain and failing to provide proper support for struggling families. The government-funded review found that, too often, state interventions were doing more harm than good and "setting children on a worse trajectory". Today's Amol Rajan spoke to Briony was 14 when she was in care, 'Jack', who is a father of two and Josh MacAlister, chair of the independent review of children's social care in England Analysis from our correspondent Sanchia Berg. (Image: Child sitting on the floor; Credit: Getty Images)

  • Met Police ‘not institutionally corrupt’ – former chief

    16/06/2021 Duración: 07min

    In 1987, private investigator Danial Morgan was found dead with an axe in his head in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south-east London. The final report into his death has been published. Despite five separate police inquiries, spanning more than two decades, no-one has been convicted of his murder. R4 Today Nick Robinson spoke to Ian Blair, was commissioner of the Met Police until 2008 and oversaw the third investigation. Lord Blair said the allegation the Metropolitan police is institutionally corrupt is just not true. (Image: New Scotland Yard sign; credit: PA)

  • Gabby Logan: My brother and his passion for football

    16/06/2021 Duración: 06min

    Danish football player Christian Eriksen has posted a picture from his hospital bed with a thumbs-up and has made his first comments since suffering a cardiac arrest during the Euros. BBC Sports presenter Gabby Logan’s family went through the tragedy of losing her 15 year old brother Daniel 29 years ago and she has written a post highlighting the importance of raising awareness and how important football was to her brother. Justin Webb spoke to Gabby. (Image: Gabby Logan, Credit: Press Association.)

  • ‘If we are better than the very best case scenario, how much better do we have to be?’

    15/06/2021 Duración: 24min

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that he is confident July 19 will be the “terminus date” for all remaining COVID restrictions. Justin Webb hears how the delay in re-opening is a “disaster” for the hospitality industry from Hugh Osmond, founder of Punch Taverns, and speaks to Graham Medley, Professor of Infectious Disease Modelling at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Also, Mishal Husain questions Cabinet Office Minister, Michael Gove, over the veracity of the new date and speaks to Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, the leader of the Oxford Vaccine Group.

  • 'It is a race between the vaccination and the virus'

    14/06/2021 Duración: 24min

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce today that the government are delaying plans to remove COVID restrictions on June 21. BBC R4’s Martha Kearney speaks to Health Minister Edward Argar, former government scientific advisor Sir Mark Walport, and Professor Devi Sridhar, who is a member of the Scottish government’s COVID-19 Advisory Group, about this delay. Meanwhile, BBC R4’s Nick Robinson and Chris Lord speak to business owners and tourists in Cornwall about the implications of a potential four more weeks under COVID regulations.

  • Why is sexual harassment normal in schools?

    10/06/2021 Duración: 17min

    Mishal Husain hears about how to address sexual harassment and abuse in schools

  • 'I’ve had at least ten therapists but I’m still far, far away from the type of person I feel I have the potential to be'

    25/05/2021 Duración: 07min

    Former Lieutenant Colonel Martin Wade has suffered from complex PTSD since serving in Afghanistan from 2006-2007. He told Martha Kearney that his condition makes life “a daily struggle” and he “jumps at the slightest sound.” Martin is an ambassador for Supporting Wounded Veterans, which is raising funds for a UK clinical trial of MDMA assisted therapy for PTSD. The charity needs to raise a further £725,000 for the trial to go ahead, following a successful trial in America. Martha also heard from Professor Allan Young of Kings College London, who will lead the trial if funding is secured. He says there is a “great unmet need” for effective treatment for severe PTSD. Credit:

  • Adoption: 'They've turned our sons against us'

    12/05/2021 Duración: 15min

    A couple we’re calling Ed and Claire adopted two brothers aged two and three - after they had been taken into care. Their sons are now 15 and 16 but the adoption has broken down. Ed and Claire say in the space of a few months a bombardment of messages from the birth parents and siblings destabilised the boys to the extent that they have dropped out of school, are in trouble with the authorities and they no longer have contact with them. Around a quarter of adopted youngsters are thought to use the internet to make contact with their birth families but no help was available to Ed and Claire because the system is based around contact only being possible after the adopted child is 18. Today's Mishal Husain speaks to the couple and to Charlotte Ramsden, president of the Association of Directors of Children's Services. (Image: Boy and a skateboard; Credit: Getty Images)

  • Bishop Rose Hudson-Wilkin’s Today programme

    01/01/2021 Duración: 47min

    Bishop Rose Hudson-Wilkin, the Bishop of Dover, presents the highlights from her guest edit of Today. The South African concept ‘Ubuntu’ or “I am because you are” is at the heart of her programme, reflecting on our common humanity. She hears from students at a pupil referrals unit, the charity Justice Defenders who work to improve access to justice, and also a Uighur child refugee exiled in Turkey. Including Mishal Husain and Martha Kearney. (Image: Bishop Rose Hudson-Wilkin, credit: Jim Drew)

  • Evan Spiegel’s Today programme

    01/01/2021 Duración: 01h04min

    Snap CEO Evan Spiegel presents all the highlights from his guest edit for Today, on the theme of the future of the USA. He looks at what big ideas have shaped modern America and what will continue to define it, including justice reform, how society can make wiser investments and the balance of power between tech companies and government. Including Mishal Husain and Simon Jack. (Image: Evan Spiegel, credit: Snap Inc)

  • Margaret Atwood’s Today programme

    31/12/2020 Duración: 55min

    Twice Booker Prize-winning author Margaret Atwood guest edits Today, looking at the theme of change. She interviews climate activist (and 2019 Today guest editor) Greta Thunberg and speaks to The Prince of Wales about campaigning for the environment over several decades. Also, Margaret’s Booker Prize co-winner Bernardine Evaristo speaks to gal-dem founder Liv Little and birdwatcher extraordinaire Mya-Rose Craig, aka Birdgirl. Hosted by Margaret Atwood - including Martha Kearney and Mishal Husain. (Image: Margaret Atwood, credit: Luis Mora)

  • Lewis Hamilton’s Today programme

    30/12/2020 Duración: 50min

    Record-breaking Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton guest edits Today, looking at black British history, the environment, and the power of sport. Lewis speaks to historian Professor David Olusoga about the Black Lives Matter movement and black British historical figures who deserve more attention. We also hear from conservationist Dame Jane Goodall on animal extinction, and find out how motor racing is trying to become more environmentally friendly. Presented by Nick Robinson and Justin Webb. (Image: Lewis Hamilton)

  • Sir Jeremy Farrar’s Today programme

    28/12/2020 Duración: 50min

    Sir Jeremy Farrar, the director of the health research foundation Wellcome Trust, guest edits Today along the theme of uncertainty and clarity in complex times. Sir Jeremy speaks to Dr Anthony Fauci about mixing politics and science, and we hear from Erna Solberg, the Prime Minister of Norway, on leading in uncertain times. Author Elif Shafak gives a more literary take on uncertainty, and England cricketers Sir Andrew Strauss and Nat Sciver discuss how elite sport has adapted in 2020. Also, a special performance from the Wellcome Voices choir. With Nick Robinson and Simon Jack. (Image: Sir Jeremy Farrar, credit: Dave Guttridge, Francis Crick Institute)

  • Prue Leith's Today programme

    24/12/2020 Duración: 36min

    Highlights from Prue Leith's guest edit, presented by Prue herself. Including... a discussion of the issue of assisted dying and how hospitals are trying to improve their food. Also - two cherries on top of an already lovely cake - Prue having a singing lesson... and Olympic diver Tom Daley discussing craft and the new swimming trunks he has crocheted! Also featuring Justin Webb and Mishal Husain. Enjoy. (Image: Prue Leith Credit: Clive Holmes Agency)

  • Rory Kinnear: Tribute to my sister Karina

    22/12/2020 Duración: 05min

    Karina, 48, died from the coronavirus in May 2020. As a child, she suffered brain damage and was paralysed from the waist down after an operation she had as a teenager. Her brother the actor, Rory Kinnear, had written an essay reflecting on her life, earlier in the year. Now, he records a new tribute looking back on what's been a difficult year. Image: Rory Kinnear (C), Karina (L), Credit: Rory Kinnear

  • Sir Paul McCartney on the vaccine, lockdown music and fears for Glastonbury 2021

    18/12/2020 Duración: 18min

    Sir Paul McCartney speaks to John Wilson for the Today programme about this new album, McCartney III. He encourages people to take the Covid. vaccine and fears Glastonbury 2021 will be cancelled. Image: Paul McCartney; Credit: Reuters

  • Dr Katie Sanderson: A sense hope

    16/12/2020 Duración: 08min

    Junior doctor Katie Sanderson survived working on Covid ward at the height of the pandemic. Several months later, she sensed hope and less chaos despite the challenges she and her colleagues faced. Radio 4’s Today programme Justin Webb found out more. Credit: PA

  • Michael Blakstad: Spending Christmas Day alone

    15/12/2020 Duración: 06min

    Michael Blakstad, 80, and his wife Tricia, 79, who met in North Yorkshire and have been married for 55 years, with three children. But since the coronavirus pandemic Trisha developed dementia and he was forced to sell his house to pay for the care home fees, while suffering from Parkinson's disease. Today's Nick Robinson caught up with Michael, as he reflects back on 2020 and looks ahead to the Christmas period. Credit: Getty Creative Stock

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