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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.

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.




Head of the regulator Ofwat, says water companies need to 'up their game'.

The head of the water regulator, Ofwat, has insisted the watchdog is committed to holding water companies to account. David Black told this programme he would not hesitate to take enforcement action if providers failed to fix leaks. He added that some companies needed to 'up their game'. Water companies have faced mounting anger over failure to keep up with demand during the recent heatwave. Today’s Mishal Husain spoke to David Black and asked him if the targets set for water companies are...


Keir Starmer on plans to freeze energy cap

Sir Keir Starmer has said families would "not pay a penny more" on their energy bills this winter under Labour's plans to tackle rising living costs. The Labour leader claimed his proposals would save the average household £1,000 a year. The package would be paid for, in part, by a big increase in tax on oil and gas company profits. But critics said the plan would cost as much as the Covid furlough scheme and was not a long-term solution. Today’s Martha Kearney spoke to Sir Keir Starmer...


One year since Taliban fighters took control of Afghanistan

It is one year since Taliban fighters swept into the Afghan capital Kabul. Of all the issues which symbolise Taliban rule it is the treatment of Afghan women and girls. The Taliban has said it's trying to find a solution to the issue of girls attending secondary school. The Today programme’s Lyse Doucet reflects on how life has changed here, especially for women living with rules about where they can’t work, what they must wear… (Image, Taliban fighters with flag, Reuters, Ali Khara)


Salman Rushdie Attack

It has been 33 years since the fatwa from Iran that meant author, Salman Rushdie, had to go into hiding. In recent years, be began resuming his life but, as we saw in a violent demonstration in New York state yesterday, the threat never went away. Today’s Mishal Husain spoke with crossbench peer and close friend of Salman Rushdie, Baroness Frances D’Souza, who led his defence after the Fatwa in 1989, working with the Human Rights group ‘Article 19’ at the time. Mishal also spoke with writer...


What is the solution to diminishing water supply?

Why on earth are we in such a mess over water supply? A new hosepipe ban begins today in some parts of the UK, with some complaining that the bans are an outrage given the level of wastage from the companies but others suggesting that there ought to be wider bans to protect our rivers which they say are dying as we drain them dry. There's also going to be a meeting of the water firms and Natural England and the Environment Agency to discuss declaring a drought in some parts of England -- the...


Reasons to stay optimistic

Given the amount of crises facing us at the moment with the horrors war and threat of war from Russia and China, climate change, political dysfunction, even the news that polio is back, we thought it was about time we speak with someone who has a very positive outlook in these circumstances. Cognitive Psychologist Professor Steven Pinker, author of ‘Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters’, writes optimistically about the world, human beings and our capacity for...


CEO of Ryanair Group, Michael O’Leary

Michael O’Leary has been Chief Executive of Ryanair since 1994, and was appointed CEO of Ryanair Holdings, Europe’s largest airline group, in 2019. He’s been speaking to Today’s business presenter Sean Farrington about his unhappiness with post-Brexit Britain, the impact of inflation on his business, and why we’ve probably seen the last of the €10 flight. (Image, Michael O'Leary; Credit, Getty Images)


The Snowman illustrator Raymond Briggs dies at 88

The author and illustrator of the classic children’s book The Snowman, Raymond Briggs, has died at the age of 88. The wordless children's picture book published in 1978 has gone on to sell more than 5.5m copies in various formats around the world. The Snowman was turned into a Bafta TV Award-winning animated TV film in 1982. Today’s Martha Kearney spoke to author and former Children's Laureate Michael Rosen and Raymond Briggs’ publisher at Penguin Random House Francesca Dow. (Image, Raymond...


Founder and CEO of Octopus Energy, Greg Jackson

Established in 2016, Octopus Energy has grown to become the UK’s fourth largest energy retailer, with more than three million customers. Its CEO, Greg Jackson, has been speaking to Today’s business presenter Sean Farrington about the challenge facing customers this winter, and why he feels the government needs to act urgently to help. (Image, Greg Jackson, Credit, Octopus Energy)


Chairman of John Lewis Partnership, Dame Sharon White

Dame Sharon White is the Chairman of John Lewis Partnership. Overseeing a team of 80,000 partners working at branches and offices of supermarket Waitrose and department store John Lewis around the country, White took over the retailer in February 2020. She talks to Today’s business presenter Sean Farrington about the number of people who have left the labour market since covid and the impact she believes it could have on the economy. (Image, Dame Sharon White, Credit, John Lewis Partnership)


Jacky Wright’s Today Programme

Jacky Wright is the Chief Digital Officer and Corporate Vice President at Microsoft US. For her Today guest edit, she asked whether young people are being taught the skills they need for the workplaces and jobs of the future. She grew up in Tottenham, North London, and went back for the programme, asking A level students at a school there what they thought would make them employable. She also used the programme to explore what everyday life was like for the generation of multiracial children...


Mina Smallman’s Today programme

Mina Smallman, guest edited our first Today programme of 2022. Mina is a former Church of England archdeacon and school principal, who began campaigning on violence against women and equity in how victims are seen after two of her daughters were murdered. Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry were murdered in a London park in 2020. For her programme Mina invited Mishal Husain to accompany her and her family and friends on a difficult visit back to the place where Nicole and Bibaa died, where a...


Dr Jane Goodall’s Today Programme

Dr Jane Goodall is a primatologist, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and a UN Messenger of Peace. She is best known for revolutionising the world's understanding of chimpanzees. She used her Today guest edit to explore some of the ways we can inspire change to protect animals and our environment. She asked the BBC’s Climate Editor, Justin Rowlatt, to look at the links between poverty and climate change. The programme featured reporting from Tanzania where 30 years ago Jane challenged a...


General Sir Nick Carter’s Today Programme

General Sir Nick Carter is a retired senior army officer who served as the UK’s Chief of Defence Staff until November this year. He used his Today guest edit to focus on the fallout from the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan. He spoke to former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, the man in charge of the country before the Taliban takeover. He also chatted with retired racing legend AP McCoy about what his own retirement might have in store for him. Finally, Sir Nick explored his deep love...


Raheem Sterling’s Today Programme

The England and Manchester City footballer, Raheem Sterling used his Today programme guest edit to look at the issue of social mobility, after launching his own foundation earlier this year. His programme featured reporting from Jamaica where he was born and North London where he grew up. For his programme he also sat down with England manager, Gareth Southgate, the man he credits for his transition from being a target for a hostile press to a young man now trying to be the role model which...


Raheem Sterling and Gareth Southgate in conversation

Today programme guest editor, the England and Manchester City player, Raheem Sterling wanted discuss what he, his team mates and the country had learned following the Euros this summer. For his programme he sat down with England manager, Gareth Southgate, the man he credits for his transition from being a target for a hostile press to a young man now trying to be the role model which so many call on footballers to become. Nick Robinson travelled to St George’s Park to meet them both.


James Rebanks’ Today Programme

James Rebanks is a Cumbrian sheep farmer and bestselling author. He used his Today programme guest edit to focus on the government's changes to farm subsidies and to look at whether urban farms can create healthy and happy communities. He discussed whether the British countryside is diverse enough and asked how it can attract a workforce that better reflects modern Britain. Finally, indoctrinated by his father who took him to his first game at Anfield when he was ten, James Rebanks wanted us...


Michael Dobbs’ Today Programme

Lord Dobbs, Michael Dobbs, is a Conservative Peer and author. He has written more than 20 books, but is best known for his political thriller House of Cards. He used his Today Programme guest edit to look at prostate cancer, after his diagnosis earlier this year. It’s a disease which killed his father and brother. His programme also featured a conversation with the Duchess of Cornwall about the importance of reading and a special retelling of the Christmas story from Joseph’s perspective,...


Bishop Rose Hudson-Wilkin’s Today programme

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...


Evan Spiegel’s Today programme

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)