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.


London, United Kingdom




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




Death toll rises to 5,000 in Turkey and Syria

An international aid effort is being stepped up in southern Turkey and northern Syria following a huge earthquake that has killed more than 5,000 people. Rescuers are racing to save people trapped beneath the rubble after thousands of buildings collapsed in both countries. The 7.8 magnitude quake struck near Gaziantep in the early hours of Monday while people were asleep. The Today programme’s Justin Webb spoke to Sherine Ibrahim, the Turkey Country Director for CARE International who is in...


Driverless cars: A loss of human autonomy?

The prospect of fully self-driving cars is still some way off, but are we thinking enough about whether it should happen? Today’s Justin Webb spoke to American philosopher Matthew Crawford - author of 'Why we drive' - about the impact that driverless cars could have on humanity and society. They explore questions like: Are we becoming too dependent on technology? Is 'agency' a key part of what it means to be human? And how does driving a car reflect the way people interact with others?...


Death toll rises as huge quake rocks Turkey and Syria

A major earthquake has struck south-eastern Turkey, near the city of Gaziantep. The quake measured 7.8 magnitude on the US Geological Survey and occurred around a region of instability called the East Anatolian fault, which runs close to the border. A rescue operation is underway across much of southern Turkey and northern Syria following amid concerns that 1,000 people have died. The Today programme’s Mishal Husain spoke to Ismail Al Abdullah, from the White Helmets civil defence...


US and China row

The US Secretary of state's trip to China was cancelled over the Chinese spy balloon incident, creating tensions between the US and China. Mike Pompeo, the former secretary of state under Donald Trump and former director of the CIA, spoke with Today's Nick Robinson. (Image Credit:Chase Doak/Reuters)


Griff Rhys Jones on saving heritage buildings

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

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...


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

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,...


Björn from ABBA's Eurovision highlights

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,...


Oscar nominees speak to Today

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)


Sir Jeremy Fleming Guest Edits Today

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...


Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe Guest Edits Today

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...


Jamie Oliver Guest Edits Today

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...


Dame Sharon White Guest Edits Today

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...


Anne-Marie Imafidon Guest Edits Today

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 Ulvaeus Guest Edits Today

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...


Lord Botham Guest Edits Today

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...


Joanne Harris: My winter walk

The Today programme has asked some well-known faces to talk about the walks they do and why they’re so important to them at this time of year. Author Joanne Harris, best known for her novel Chocolat, describes her favourite walk from Almondbury, near Huddersfield, and up to Castle Hill. (Image credit: Simone Padovani/Awakening/Getty Images)


Hunter Davies: My winter walk

The Today programme has asked some well-known faces to talk about the walks they do and why they’re so important to them as part of a winter walks series. Author Hunter Davies, best known for the only authorised biography of the Beatles, describes his favourite walk along Ryde Sands on the Isle of Wight. (Image Credit: Laura Palmer/BBC)


Jojo Moyes: My winter walk

The Today programme has asked some well-known voices to tell us about their favourite walks at this time of year. Novelist and journalist Jojo Moyes - best known for 'Me Before You' - describes a walk where she is often accompanied by her dogs in Essex, and how it’s helped her when life is challenging. (Image Credit: Jojo Moyes)


Michelle Gallen: My winter walk

The Today programme has asked some well-known faces to talk about the walks they do and why they’re so important to them as part of a winter walks series. Author Michelle Gallen, who wrote 'Big Girl, Small Town' and 'Factory Girls', describes her favourite walk near her childhood home in Castlederg, West Tyrone. (Image Credit: Deci Gallen)