Best of Today-logo

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.




Dame Deborah James 'brought so much joy and hope'

The cancer campaigner, blogger, broadcaster and former teacher, Dame Deborah James, has died aged 40. She had been receiving end-of-life care for bowel cancer at home and had raised millions for cancer research. She hosted the BBC podcast 'You, Me and the Big C' and was given a damehood in May in recognition of her fundraising. Today's Amol Rajan speaks to BBC News presenter George Alagiah, who is living with bowel cancer, about Dame Deborah. (Image: Dame Deborah James, Credit: Getty Images)


“Absolutely everything” going up in price for small businesses

Charge more, offer less or replace workers with machines. That is the unpalatable choice facing many businesses who like their customers are facing soaring prices caused by shortages created by the war in Ukraine and the aftermath of the pandemic. One of the key drivers of inflation at the moment is the increasing price of food. Greenhalgh's Craft Bakery in Bolton which makes bread, cakes, biscuits and its famous pies to sell in its own shops in the North West. Like so many businesses it's...


Russian missile strike on Ukrainian shopping centre a ‘war crime’.

There has been strong international condemnation of the Russian attack on a popular Ukrainian shopping centre in Kremenchuk. President Zelensky said there had been a thousand people inside the complex when the attack took place. Today’s Katie Razzall spoke to Alexander Rodnyansky, an adviser to President Zelensky who gave his assessment of the current situation. Whilst Sir Richard Shirreff, former Deputy Supreme Commander NATO Europe, told Mishal Husain Ukraine needed more weapons. (Image,...


What makes a British beach special?

What’s your favourite beach in the UK and what makes it special? We are inviting Today listeners to nominate their favourite beaches in the UK. Today’s Simon Jack spoke to Simon Barnes, author of Rewild Yourself, about his favourite spot on the coast of Suffolk and Anita Sethi, author of I Belong Here, takes us on a walk along Chesil Beach. (Image, Chesil Beach, Credit, Getty Images)


Johnson: Psychological transformation is not going to happen

The Prime Minister has told BBC Radio 4’s Today a ‘psychological transformation’ in his character ‘is not going to happen.’ Speaking from the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Kigali in Rwanda, Boris Johnson told Mishal Husain he had to distinguish between what he described as ‘criticism that matters and what doesn’t’ after the resignation of his party chairman yesterday and the loss of two by-elections. The only example of a matter of principle over which he’d consider resigning,...


Covid figures are rising again

The rates of Covid are growing rapidly once more. But is it too early to confirm if it is the beginning of a new wave? Mishal Husain spoke to Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, former Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England. (Image, Covid test kit, Credit, Getty)


25 years since the first Harry Potter novel

This week Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone turns 25. It has sold 120 million copies and is the first of 7 books in the bestselling series which also came to life on screen with a string of hit movies. Today's Nick Robinson speaks to Lindsey Fraser, former critic and literary agent at Fraser Ross Associates, and Nigel Newton, Chief Executive of Bloomsbury Publishing who published the book. (Image, Harry Potter first edition, Credit, Reuters Henry Nicholls)


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)


Margaret Atwood’s Today programme

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...


Lewis Hamilton’s Today programme

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...


Sir Jeremy Farrar’s Today programme

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,...