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


  • ‘You think it’s not worth ringing the police because they won’t do anything.’

    17/09/2021 Duration: 15min

    A major review of policing has concluded that violence against women and girls should be considered as much of a priority as counter terrorism. Following a spike in reports of domestic abuse during lockdown, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services found a "staggering variation" in how forces dealt with the issue across England and Wales. It is now six months since the murder of Sarah Everard, the fallout of which saw thousands of women reveal their own stories of rape and sexual assault that had gone unprosecuted. One woman shares her experience of abuse with Nick Robinson, who then speaks to the author of the report, Zoe Billingham, and the Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Louisa Rolfe. Nick also asks the Labour MP Harriet Harman, who is chair of parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights and a former Secretary of State for Equalities and Minister for Women, for her views on how much impact this report will have.

  • The UK, US and Australia announce historic security pact

    16/09/2021 Duration: 16min

    The defence partnership between Australia, the UK & the UK, known as Aukus, will cover AI and other technologies. It will let Australia build nuclear-powered submarines for the first time, using technology provided by the US. Today's Martha Kearney speaks to Ben Wallace, UK Defence Secretary. Nick Robinson also speaks to Dr Henry Wang, President of the Centre for China and Globalization, a think tank in Beijing, and advisor to the Chinese government.

  • Answering children's questions about the Covid jab

    15/09/2021 Duration: 15min

    All children aged 12 to 15 in the UK will soon be offered one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid jab. We invited three 12-year-old pupils from Wales High in South Yorkshire, which we've been following for the last year, to ask questions they have about the vaccine to Professor Calum Semple, a government advisor based at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool.

  • Stewart Copeland's 'Electric Saint' opera

    15/09/2021 Duration: 06min

    The story of two great pioneers of electricity, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, has become an opera. 'Electric Saint' is the latest work from Stewart Copeland, who first made his name as the drummer with The Police. He worked on it with theatre director, Jonathan Moore. Today's special correspondent James Naughtie spoke to Stewart Copeland and Jonathan Moore to find out more. (Image: Stewart Copeland, Credit: Mark Mainz/ Getty Images)

  • How will we deal with Covid in winter?

    15/09/2021 Duration: 17min

    Measures to deal with rising Covid cases in England over the winter have been announced - with a contingency "Plan B" if things get worse. Mishal Husain speaks to Professor Andrew Hayward from University College London's Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care. Nick Robinson speaks to Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary as well as Dr Dale Gardiner, intensive care doctor in the midlands and representing the faculty of intensive care medicine. (Image: Covid-19 vaccination centre opposite parliament in London, Credit:EPA/ ANDY RAIN)

  • Does my child need the vaccine if they've recently recovered from Covid?

    14/09/2021 Duration: 09min

    In the next week, 12 to 15-year-olds in England will begin receiving their vaccine invitations, and booster jabs for over-50s are expected to be announced soon. Today's Justin Webb and Mishal Husain put listeners' questions about the latest stage of the Covid-19 vaccination programme to Dr Liz Whittaker, infectious disease lead at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and Professor Peter Openshaw, immunologist at Imperial College London & member of the UK Vaccine Network. (Image: 14 year old receives his first dose of the vaccine in Dublin, Credit: Damien Storan/PA Wire)

  • Emma Raducanu wins Grand Slam

    13/09/2021 Duration: 06min

    The fairy tale of New York, as the papers have been saying, is the story of Emma Raducanu who at the weekend became the first British woman in 44 years to win a Grand Slam singles title - and did it without dropping a set - when she became the US Open champion aged just 18.  Martha Kearney speaks to Tim Henman who has been personally credited by Emma for being 'an inspiration' during the tournament. (Image: Emma Randucanu Credit: EPA/ John G. Mabanglo)

  • Bishop Rose Hudson-Wilkin’s Today programme

    01/01/2021 Duration: 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 Duration: 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 Duration: 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 Duration: 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 Duration: 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 Duration: 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)

  • Today guest edits: George the Poet

    31/12/2019 Duration: 01h04min

    All the highlights from podcaster and spoken word artist George the Poet's guest edited programme, including a reflection of identity in Uganda, DJ Target on the development of grime music, Ziggy Marley on legalising marijuana, economist Mariana Mazzucato on how society thinks about value, and are video games good for your brain? Presented by Martha Kearney and Sarah Smith, and additional sound design by Benbrick. (Image: George the Poet, credit: BBC)

  • Today guest edits: Greta Thunberg

    30/12/2019 Duration: 01h09min

    All the highlights from climate activist Greta Thunberg's guest edited programme, including Mishal Husain interviewing her father Svante Thunberg and Greta speaking to Sir David Attenborough for the first time. Also, outgoing Bank of England chief Mark Carney on how the financial sector can tackle climate change, Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja on reducing the music industry’s carbon blueprint, and Shell’s Maarten Wetselaar on big energy’s environmental impact. Presented by Mishal Husain and Sarah Smith. (Image: Greta Thunberg, credit: BBC)

  • Today guest edits: Charles Moore

    28/12/2019 Duration: 01h01min

    All the highlights from Margaret Thatcher biographer and former Telegraph editor Charles Moore's guest edited programme. It includes US Special Representative on Iran Brian Hook on violent protests in the country, Charles' nephew Felix on being autistic and transgender, former Conservative leader Lord Michael Howard on why the judiciary needs to change, and Charles sets out the case against the BBC's funding model. Presented by Justin Webb and Nick Robinson. (Image: Charles Moore, credit: The Telegraph)

  • Today guest edits: Baroness Hale

    27/12/2019 Duration: 01h13min

    All the highlights from Supreme Court President Baroness Hale's guest edited programme, including Baroness Hale in conversation with US Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Clive Coleman going on a tour of the Supreme Court, a report on coercive control, a discussion about justice in opera with Sir Simon Keenlyside and Ian Bostridge and a Vogue editor on what your jewellery says about you. Presented by Nick Robinson and Justin Webb. (Image: Baroness Hale. Credit: BBC)

  • Today guest edits: Grayson Perry

    26/12/2019 Duration: 45min

    All the highlights from artist Grayson Perry's guest edited programme, including the former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams on faith and political myths, how tinnitus affects singer-songwriter KT Tunstall's life and work, political satire with Guardian columnist Marina Hyde, and if there's a link between sexual fantasies and how you vote with Joe Twyman from Deltapoll. Presented by Justin Webb and Nick Robinson. (Image: Grayson Perry, credit: BBC)