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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.




No easy answers on driverless cars

A new report on self-driving cars is warning that many drivers may not accept they're safe, even if they are. The research, from the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation seeks to address questions about the possible moral and legal framework around autonomous vehicles. It comes as the government sets out its plans for laws governing the technology. Today's Justin Webb talks to Professor Jack Stilgoe, who was an advisor on the report, and Paul Newman, founder and chief technology officer for...


Journalist's killer to be sentenced in US court on Friday

One of the British members of a terror group known as the 'Beatles' linked to so-called Islamic State is to be sentenced in an American court tomorrow. El Shafee Elsheikh was linked to the abduction, torture and beheading of several IS hostages in Syria, including journalists and aid workers. On the eve of the sentencing, Today's Justin Webb spoke to Diane Foley, whose son James, an American journalist, was murdered by IS in 2014. (Image: James Foley, Image Credit: AP)


Monkeypox has plateaued but some vaccine shortages possible.

The head of the UK Health Security Agency says there are early signs that the monkeypox outbreak in the UK has plateaued. Speaking to Today’s Mishal Husain, Dame Jenny Harries said cases over the past four weeks had started to steadily decrease, but officials were staying vigilant. However, she added vaccines may run out in some areas for a short period. Officials previously estimated that some 40,000 people in at-risk groups would require the jab, but Harries told Today this may have been...


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...


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)


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)


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...