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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.


United Kingdom




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.




How should we react to Caroline Flack’s death?

Since Caroline Flack’s death by suicide last weekend, many people have been trying to make sense of it. Yesterday her family released a previously unpublished Instagram post written by Caroline Flack detailing her ‘shame’ and ‘embarrassment’ at the truth being taken out of her hands and used, she wrote, as ‘entertainment’. Some have pointed the finger at the tabloids for her fragile mental state. Others are blaming a ‘toxic’ social media culture. In this episode, we explore this idea with...


Why is No 10 hiring ‘weirdos’?

At the beginning of the year Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s senior adviser, put out an unusual job advertisement. In a blog post he asked for “super-talented weirdos” and “wild-cards”. One of the people he hired was Andrew Sabisky, a twentysomething “superforecaster”. It was later revealed that Sabisky had previously expressed extreme views on race and eugenics. He subsequently resigned. In this episode we speak to Newsnight’s political editor Nicholas Watt who has been following the...


Why is Trump standing up for religious teenagers?

Donald Trump is trying to shore up his evangelical support before November's presidential election. Ramping up his Christian outreach, he's been helping teenagers who say they’re being bullied for their religious beliefs at school. These students have organised “prayer lockers” and are running a nationwide “Pray Anyway” campaign. BBC reporter Tara Mckelvey visited one of them in Kentucky to find out how the teenager's struggle went all the way to the White House. Presenter: Matthew Price...


How do you track extremists online?

Julia Ebner monitors extremists during her day job as a counter-terrorism expert, where she advises governments and tech companies on how to respond to their activities. Two years ago she decided to go undercover to find out exactly what drives people into these groups. She ended up meeting white supremacists in a Mayfair pub; she befriended female misogynists in America, and she travelled to a Nazi rock festival on the border of Germany and Poland. Julia’s written about her disturbing...


Why can’t we sleep?

Insomnia affects about a third of adults in the UK according to the NHS. It also says adults should be getting between 7 and 9 hours sleep a night, but very few of us actually get that. We speak to Samantha Harvey who has written a book called ‘The Shapeless Unease’ about her year of not sleeping. We also speak to Stephanie Romiszewski, a sleep psychologist and director of The Sleepy Head Clinic in Exeter. She came into the Beyond Today Studio to give us her top 5 tips for a good night’s...


Why are people being deported to Jamaica?

It’s been two years since the Windrush scandal, where at least 164 black British citizens were wrongly deported to countries of their birth or detained in the UK. The scandal has had a lasting impact on the Afro-Caribbean community, with many owed compensation from the government. The Home Office recently approved a flight from London to Jamaica which was deporting convicted offenders who have been here for most of their lives. Once again, many black Brits say they feel targeted and are...


Why would anyone spread lies about coronavirus?

Coronavirus has reached 24 counties outside of China, with 8 confirmed cases in the UK. As the disease is spreading so is a lot of information, some of it misleading. The World Health Organisation has warned that "trolls and conspiracy theories" are undermining their response to the virus. We speak to Mike Wendling from BBC Trending and Vitaly Shevchenko, Russian Editor at BBC Monitoring, about the theories being circulated. Presenter: Tina Daheley Producer: Lucy Hanock Mixed by Emma Crowe...


Why are more young women killing themselves?

Callie Lewis was just 24 years old when she took her own life. Callie had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at a young age and had always struggled with chronic depression and suicidal thoughts, but at the end of her life she fell through the cracks of an overstretched mental health system. She sought solace online and ended up on a suicide forum where she was given detailed advice on how to kill herself. Callie’s death comes at a time when many people are struggling to connect with...


Parasite: what does it say about South Korea?

South Korean film Parasite has been named best picture at this year's Oscars, becoming the first non-English language film to take the top prize. It won four awards in total, including best director for Bong Joon-ho. The film is a vicious social satire about two families from different classes in Seoul - one who live in poverty in a semi-basement, and another rich family residing in a large home. We speak to the BBC’s Seoul correspondent Laura Bicker about how South Koreans have reacted to...


Why are we talking about Michael Barrymore?

It was the celebrity scandal that gripped the nation in an era where tabloids ruled the roost and affairs and addiction dominated front pages. Right in the middle of the drama was one of the biggest entertainment TV presenters of the age - Michael Barrymore. In 2001, when a 31 year old man called Stuart Lubbock was found unconscious in Michael Barrymore’s pool in Essex he was initially believed to have drowned during a party. When a second post-mortem flagged up severe injuries consistent...


Is it all looking good for Trump?

The president sort of won the Iowa Democratic caucus. This week was supposed to be when the race to be the candidate to take on Donald Trump in November’s presidential election really got going. But the Iowa Democratic caucus was a mess: a tech failure meant a delay in getting results, and a lot of red faces in the party hoping to unseat the current Commander in Chief. Nearly all the results are in, and it looks like Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders have come out on top. But, in a week that...


How did a lying breast surgeon destroy so many lives?

Yesterday an inquiry into the harm that breast surgeon Ian Paterson did to his patients finally delivered its results. The inquiry recommended that all of his 11,000 patients should have their treatment reassessed. Paterson, who claimed to be a specialised breast surgeon, performed unnecessary surgeries, misdiagnosed patients with cancer and treated patients incorrectly. Paterson is already serving a 20 year jail term for 17 counts of wounding with intent, but his victims remain deeply...


How do you stop a terror attack?

Sudesh Amman had been released from prisons days before he stabbed two people in a Islamist-related terror incident in London on February 2. Within minutes of the attack armed police shot him dead. In 2018 Amman was charged with spreading extremist material but was released after serving half of his sentence. Since the attack took place the government has announced emergency legislation will be introduced to end the automatic early release from prison of terror offenders. In this episode we...


Why was an Irish teenager’s body found in a bag?

On January 13 a bag containing the dismembered limbs of teenager Keane Mulready-Woods was found on a housing estate in Dublin. Keane is believed to have worked for a drugs gang in the coastal town of Drogheda, just north of Dublin, and his murder is thought to be gang-related. Two rival gangs are feuding in Drogheda over turf and the booming cocaine market. These gangs use social media to taunt each other, often with devastating results. In this episode we speak to Nicola Tallant,...


Veganuary: was it worth it?

With more of us becoming more conscious of our health and the environment, vegans and vegetarians look set to make up a quarter of the British population in 2025. But for those who haven’t completely committed to the cause there’s the national Veganuary campaign. Last year 250,000 people signed up, dedicating themselves to a month of no meat and dairy products for a mixture of health, environmental and ethical reasons. But does the food trend really have an impact on the way we live? We...


Why are so many Vietnamese people trafficked?

The country was shocked when 39 people were found suffocated in the back of a lorry on an industrial park in Essex last October. The discovery that the victims were economic migrants sparked a conversation about the scale of human trafficking in the UK. Vietnamese people are among the most trafficked people in Britain and many of those smuggled here end up in modern slavery; working on cannabis farms, in brothels and nail bars. In this episode we speak to investigative reporter Cat McShane,...


Did Huawei just win a tech war?

This week Huawei was given permission to build parts of the new 5G network in the UK. But, because Huawei is a Chinese company, there’s a lot of concern about it. What if China, which we know spies on its own people, uses Huawei to spy on us? The US has been urging us to reconsider, stressing that it needs to be sure that America’s allies have trusted information networks. Is it to do with the risk of espionage or is there something else going on? We speak to Garrett Graff, a journalist and...


Coronavirus: what’s really happening?

A brand-new virus which causes severe lung disease has been detected in China. More than 100 people are known to have died there, and experts believe the death toll will rise. Coronavirus appeared in the city of Wuhan in December and the 11 million-strong population are being advised to stay indoors at all times. A new virus arriving on the scene is always a worry and health officials around the world are on high alert. In this episode we speak to Xinyan Yu, a journalist from Wuhan. She...


What does Goop get right?

In her new Netflix series The Goop Lab, Gwyneth Paltrow skates the fine line between wellness, pseudoscience and medicine. From orgasms and mushrooms, to ice baths and mediums, Gwyneth and the team tackle wellness methods that sit just outside the mainstream. While some of the scientific claims in the TV show stand up to closer scrutiny, many scientists and journalists worry about the ones that don’t. But why does it matter how scientific they are, when people say the treatments help them?...


What happened when Trump removed the experts?

“We must reject the perennial prophets of doom”. These were Donald Trump’s words at Davos earlier in the week, dismissing those who warn of the dangers of climate change. We know climate change is real, but Trump doesn’t seem to be listening to the experts who tell him this. It’s a tendency the author Michael Lewis noticed in Trump the day after he was elected. Lewis wrote the Big Short, a book that was turned into an Oscar-winning film about the financial crisis, and now he’s written about...