Radio 4's flagship news and current affairs programme; including religious reflections from Thought for the Day at 0748

Radio 4's flagship news and current affairs programme; including religious reflections from Thought for the Day at 0748


London, United Kingdom




Radio 4's flagship news and current affairs programme; including religious reflections from Thought for the Day at 0748




GPs struggling with the health care system

The health care system has been in the news all week. Particularly the long ambulance waits outside A&E departments and delays releasing patients into social care. The President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Andrew Boyle, told the Today programme: “These problems we’re seeing with hospitals and ambulance emergency services are markers of a whole system problem.” The GP is often a patient’s first contact with the health care system - how are these issues affecting one of the...


My winter walk

The Today programme has asked some well-known voices to tell us about their favourite walks at this time of year. Stephen Moss, naturalist, author and birdwatcher, describes his 'walk with a difference' along the Somerset coast since suffering a stroke three weeks earlier. (Image credit: Stephen Moss)


Leicester, in the aftermath of violence

For many years Leicester has been upheld as an example of social cohesion and tolerance. However this year there has been large scale unrest, with clashes breaking out between sections of the Hindu and Muslim communities. Dozens of people were arrested and several police officers hurt in September. And what can the police and community leaders do to stop the escalation? But what's really behind the violence and why is it happening now? The Today programme’s Mishal Husain spoke to the mayor...


Ngozi Fulani: Palace race incident was ‘abuse’

Ngozi Fulani, who founded domestic violence charity Sistah Space, was questioned about her background by Lady Susan Hussey, Prince William's godmother, at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday. Ms Fulani was at the reception representing her London-based charity, which supports women of African and Caribbean heritage across the UK who have faced domestic and sexual abuse. The late Queen's lady-in-waiting has since resigned. The palace described the remarks as unacceptable and deeply regrettable, and...


Your life in their hands

Amid the immense strain on the NHS today, with nurses going on strike, and more than 7 million people waiting for routine hospital operations, there is a paradox of sorts. Even as we face severe staff shortages, we have a lot more students wanting to be doctors than medical school places to accommodate them. According to the Medical Schools Council, last year there were over three times more applications than places available. The University of Newcastle has one of the top medical schools in...


Historic moment for treatment of Alzheimer's

A major trial of an experimental dementia drug has shown - for the first time - that the progression of early stage Alzheimer’s disease can be slowed down. Nearly two thousand patients took part in the study, including some in the UK. The effects of the treatment – called lecanemab – were small, but the Alzheimer's Society said they had the potential to be game-changing. The Today programme’s Amol Rajan spoke to Professor Sir John Hardy, who is credited with creating the major theory of the...


Interview: Olena Zelenska

Ukraine's First Lady, Olena Zelenska, has urged people in the UK not to "get used to" the tragedy of what is happening in her country, saying she hoped Britain would continue to offer political, financial and humanitarian help. On a visit to London, where she will meet Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and MPs, Ms Zelenska spoke to Today’s Mishal Husain through an interpreter. (Image: Olena Zelenska in the Radio 4 Today Programme studio, Image credit: Anton Kulakovskyi)


Changes to online safety bill no longer force platforms to remove legal but harmful content

Today the government published the latest version of the Online Harms Bill. Companies could face huge fines if they don't ban under age children, but ministers have dropped plans for restrictions on content described as legal but harmful. Instead, because of concerns about freedom of speech, people can filter out that kind of content for themselves. Today’s Martha Kearney spoke to Molly Russell’s father, Ian Russell, and Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan about the changes. (IMAGE CREDIT:...


Today Guest Editors are announced

Today has announced this year’s Guest Editors, with seven taking over the programme during the festive period, including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus and Jamie Oliver. For the past 19 years, the programme has handed over the editorial reins to high-profile public figures during the week between Christmas and New Year. This year’s line-up includes: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe – British-Iranian national who was detained in Iran Björn Ulvaeus – ABBA legend Jamie Oliver – Chef...


Misogyny, racism and bullying found in fire service

The London Fire Brigade is "institutionally” misogynist and racist, according a report into its culture. The review, conducted by the former Chief Crown Prosecutor for north-west England, Nazir Afzal, concludes that unless the "toxic culture" is tackled other firefighters will take their own lives. The independent review was established by the London Fire Commissioner after a trainee firefighter took his own life in August 2020. Today’s Martha Kearney spoke to Mr Afzal, who told her that he...


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)


Nurses to strike in biggest walkout in the NHS's history

The Royal College of Nursing has announced strikes on 15 and 20 December in its pay dispute with the government. Nurses will still provide emergency care, but routine services will be hit. It is set to be the biggest walkout by nurses in the NHS's history and will take place in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Today's Mishal Husain speaks to Pat Cullen, General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, and Nick Hulme, CEO of East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust. Today's...


Social Housing Tragedies: “How does this happen?”

How does this happen? That was the question asked by the coroner investigating the death of 2 year old Awaab Ishak who died from exposure to mould on the walls of his parents’ one bed flat. The government has now stripped the association involved, Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH), of £1m in expected funding. Housing charity Shelter says there’s “absolutely no excuse” for housing associations to be failing tenants. Today's Nick Robinson spoke to Shelter’s chief executive Polly Neate, as...


Home Office Asylum cases delayed

Delays in the time taken to process asylum claims have been compounded as inexperienced and low-paid staff have been hired to handle applications, several insiders have told BBC Two's Newsnight. Local councils are complaining about the number of asylum seekers - 37,000 - they’re having to house in hotels, and most recent figure for the backlog of people waiting for decisions, from June, came to 122,000. Home Office staff told Newsnight’s UK Editor, Sima Kotecha, that this was slowing down...


The Today Debate: Channel crossings and the asylum system. Can we fix it?

Joining Mishal for the Today Debate were the Conservative Leader of Kent County Council, Roger Gough; the Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, the Bishop of Dover; the Daily Telegraph Columnist, Sherelle Jacobs; former head of the UK Border Force, Tony Smith and the Labour Peer and former Director of the human rights organisation Liberty, Baroness Shami Chakrabati.


Nasa spacecraft arrives at Moon’s orbit

Nasa's Artemis spacecraft has arrived at the Moon – sending back selfies as it orbited the lunar surface. It marks a crucial milestone in Nasa’s first crew-capable moon mission for 50 years. The space agency hopes it will eventually lead to the Moon becoming a base for long-term space exploration. Today’s Nick Robinson spoke to Catherine Heyman, Scotland’s Astronomer Royal, and Sian Cleaver, who’s worked on a key component of the Artemis Orion spacecraft for Airbus. (Image, Artemis' Orion...


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)


Social care system in crisis

The promised change to social care in England - billed as fixing the system by capping people's costs - has been delayed by the government for a further two years - until October 2025. Today's Mishal Husain spoke to Anne, whose husband has Parkinson's and dementia. He’s been in hospital for two weeks, because they are struggling to find him a place at a nursing home with the suitable level of care. Anne says their savings have 'got a limited life span' as they’re facing potential costs of...


The Syrian swimmer who saved 20 other refugees

A new film portrays swimmer Yusra Mardini’s journey out of Syria. Yusra and her sister Sarah swam for over three hours in the Aegean Sea, pulling a dinghy with 20 fellow refugees to safety when the engine cut out. She went on to compete for the Refugee Olympic Athletes Team at Rio 2016. Yusra, and Nathalie Issa, the actor who played her, spoke to Today about the new film ‘The Swimmers’ that tells her story. (IMAGE CREDIT: THE SWIMMERS is in select UK cinemas now and on Netflix globally from...


Autumn Statement: Chancellor Jeremy Hunt

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt acknowledged that there were "very difficult times ahead" for people, but said his plans gave people "certainty" on how the government would help them through the recession. This comes after he outlined his plan for stabilising the UK economy in Thursday's Autumn Statement. He spoke to Today's Mishal Husain. (IMAGE CREDIT: Aaron Chown/PA Wire)