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Beyond Today


News built to last from the BBC. Tina Daheley and Matthew Price ask one big question of one big story every weekday. A space to figure out what’s going on.

News built to last from the BBC. Tina Daheley and Matthew Price ask one big question of one big story every weekday. A space to figure out what’s going on.
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News built to last from the BBC. Tina Daheley and Matthew Price ask one big question of one big story every weekday. A space to figure out what’s going on.




What’s wrong with plastic surgery?

Plastic surgery has never been cheaper or more accessible. The industry is booming: it’s worth an estimated £19 billion. The results of cosmetic self- improvement are readily available on Instagram, and appear in the breaks of Love Island. More people than ever are considering going under the knife. Despite all the moralising about plastic surgery, it doesn’t seem to put people off seeking it. We speak to Mobeen Azhar who made TV programme where people seeking surgery watch procedures live...


Has the royal soap opera lost the plot?

Three days later and the fallout from Prince Andrew’s BBC interview keeps coming: today university students and a big accountancy firm are distancing themselves from the duke. Prince Andrew appeared on Newsnight to address controversy over his ties to the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. But it backfired after critics called the interview a “car crash”. On the same weekend the other royal drama The Crown returned to TV screens after a two year break. In this episode we talk to the...


Why aren’t we talking about Baptista Adjei?

There was a story in October you may have missed: a 15-year-old boy from London was stabbed to death after getting off a bus on his way home from school. Baptista Adjei was one of the youngest people to be murdered in the capital this year. In this episode we speak to BBC London’s Greg McKenzie, who’s been reporting on knife crime in 2019, including the death of Jodie Chesney. She was the 17-year-old girl who was fatally stabbed in an east London park in March. Today two teenagers were...


Does self-care really make you happy?

We know that one in four people will suffer from a mental health problem at some point in their life and that anxiety seems to be on the increase. The latest research suggests that rates of psychological distress and illness are especially high among undergraduates. Dr Laurie Santos wanted to do something about it: she’s professor of psychology and cognitive science at Yale University and was so concerned about the anxiety her students experienced she devised a course that would teach them...


Election memes: are we being played?

The 2019 general election is in full swing and political parties are relying on digital campaigning more than ever before. Targeted marketing has made a profound change in how political parties can reach you and our compulsion to click, like and share can be used against us in surprising ways. We speak to Kirk J. Torrance, a former digital strategist for the SNP, who worked on their landslide 2015 campaign. The BBC’s Maryam Ahmed has built an algorithm to catch all targeted political...


Why did a Chinese row ruin a bake off?

Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have been going on for months now. In the past few days the violence has escalated and schools are being closed for safety reasons. The row centres on a fight for national identity. For Hong Kong protestors this is a fight for freedom from influence from mainland China. For the Chinese authorities it is a fight to protect their nation. In this episode, we meet Maggie Watson, a cake maker from Derby who was surprised to witness the ferocity of this row at a...


Why are bombs going off in Sweden?

Last month in Sodermalm, a gentrified part of Stockholm, an explosion tore through an apartment block. Residents were left shocked and the bomb squad was called out. That night two more explosions happened in two other parts of the city. In fact, since the beginning of 2019 there have been over 100 explosions in Sweden. Right wing commentators have spoken about violence in Sweden before and often say that the stories aren’t being reported on because the media doesn’t want to undermine...


Who killed Jodie Chesney?

On a weekend at the start of March, two murders caused public outcry. Two 17-year-olds were killed in two different attacks in London and Greater Manchester. Politicians said knife crime was out of control and called for urgent action. Last week two teenagers were found guilty of murdering Jodie Chesney, the girl killed in London. For the past few weeks the BBC’s Dan Johnson has been covering the trial of Jodie’s killers at the Old Bailey. In this episode Dan tells us what happened to Jodie...


Do the Peru Two deserve a second chance?

In 2013 two young British women were caught trying to smuggle a haul of cocaine worth £1.5m from Lima, in Peru, to Ibiza. Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid were dubbed the Peru Two after a photograph of the pair being arrested at Lima airport went viral. The duo were sentenced for six years in a Peruvian prison on drug trafficking charges, but were released after serving three. Now back in the UK, Melissa is laying low, but Michaella has written a book about her side of the story. In this...


Caitlyn Jenner: what’s your story?

She’s the most famous transgender woman in the world. Today she’s best known for being part the Kardashian-Jenner dynasty, but at one time she was most famous for being the world’s greatest athlete after winning gold in the decathlon in the 1976 Olympics, competing as Bruce Jenner. In 2015 she transitioned and renamed herself Caitlyn. We may be seeing a lot more of her as it’s rumoured she is this year’s big signing in ITV’s I'm A Celebrity. We speak to Simon Mundie, who presents the BBC...


Death Stranding: more than a game?

Gaming is worth more than all other entertainment combined. At the very top of the industry is a 56 year old Japanese man called Hideo Kojima, a highly respected designer who says his latest game ‘Death Stranding’ is a reaction to what he sees as the selfishness of Donald Trump’s wall and Brexit. The game is designed to make you think carefully about how you interact with others. The industry has proven itself commercially, but can it prove itself culturally? We hear from Radio 1 Newsbeat’s...


What happened to the Taliban?

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks the Taliban were never out of the news when Britain and the US deployed their armies to destroy al Qaeda and the Taliban, the terrorist group who controlled Afghanistan at the time. But the Taliban were never destroyed; they still control parts of the country and they still carry out attacks against the Afghan government. It’s a custom around Eid for the Afghan government and the Taliban to exchange prisoners as a gesture of goodwill. Normally around 10...


What really decides your vote?

With six weeks to go until the general election we know we’re going to get speeches and policy announcements, but what really makes up our minds? In the past we voted along class lines, but that’s all changing. We speak to Rosie Campbell who is professor of politics at Kings College in London. She’s also Director of The Global Institute for Women’s Leadership and made two Radio 4 programmes on How Voters decide. Presenter: Matthew Price Producers: Philly Beaumont, Jessica Beck Mixed by...


Why are millennials obsessed with astrology?

Not so long ago, horoscopes were considered a bit of fun that wasn’t taken too seriously. But in 2019 astrology is booming: there are astrology apps, daily podcasts for each star sign, zodiac-themed clothing and make-up ranges, and lots of viral horoscope memes flooding social media. Trend forecasters price the mystical market at more than $2billion. In this episode we speak to Susan Miller, the world’s most famous astrologer, to find out about the power of star signs and get some...


Lorry deaths: why spend thousands to reach the UK?

Last week 39 people suffocated to death in the back of a lorry in Essex. It was a reminder of a similar case that happened 19 years ago when 58 Chinese nationals were found dead in a lorry in Dover. In fact, the police originally thought that the group in that lorry in Grays last week were from China, until it emerged that they were probably from Vietnam. Police are there now taking DNA samples from families to identify the victims. We know that many Vietnamese people try to get to Britain...


Why are people ‘cured’ by fake science?

Earlier this week top NHS bosses wrote a letter to the Professional Standards Authority expressing serious concerns about homeopathy. They warned of its lack of scientific foundation and anti-science message in an era of misinformation. Homeopathic remedies are proven to be no more effective than a placebo, but for many of its defenders it has real therapeutic effects. In this episode we look at the power of placebo, why so many people swear by it and why its effectiveness is troubling for...


Who are you Jonathan Van Ness?

Jonathan Van Ness is a podcaster, a hairdresser, and host of the Game of Thrones webseries Gay of Thrones. But he’s best known as one of the “Fab Five” on Queer Eye, the incredibly popular Netflix makeover show. He came into talk to us because he’s just written a book. It’s called Over the Top and as well as the fun and bubbly “JVN” that people have come to love, it addresses some very serious, very difficult issues: abuse, addiction and the impact of HIV. In today’s episode we hear about...


Baghdadi: Trump’s movie moment?

Donald Trump announced over the weekend that the fugitive leader of the so-called Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had been killed in a raid in Syria. During the press conference he described the ISIS leader “whimpering and crying and screaming all the way” to the back of a tunnel in his compound, where he detonated a suicide vest as he was surrounded by three of his children. The president also went on to say that “it was just like a movie”, and that this moment is bigger than the death...


Esther Perel: does ‘the one’ exist?

“Love is not a permanent state of enthusiasm.” These are the words of one of the most famous therapists in the world: Esther Perel. She is internationally renowned for creating and presenting ‘Where Should We Begin’, the ground-breaking podcast about love, sex, intimacy and infidelity. She also has two best-selling books and videos of her TED talks have been viewed tens of millions of times online. This month she launched the third season of her podcast, which focuses on marriage by telling...


What happened to the lost boys of Lanarkshire?

Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50 in the UK and Scotland has the highest suicide rate in Britain. Chris Clements and Calum Mckay have looked into the figures for BBC Scotland's Disclosure programme. They travelled to Lanarkshire, in south-central Scotland, where they both grew up and discovered Motherwell Thistle, an amateur football club scarred by suicide. Since 2017 four people connected to the club have killed themselves. Through the pain of their loss, the club has found a...