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


  • COP26: Should Glasgow climate summit be postponed again?

    COP26: Should Glasgow climate summit be postponed again?

    16/04/2021 Duration: 11min

    The COP26, or the 26th Conference of the Parties, is the key forum for world leaders to plan an agreement to tackle climate change. The meeting due to take place in Glasgow last year but was postponed because of the pandemic. Radio 4 Today's Mishal Husain spoke to Tom Rivett-Carnac, chief political strategist for the UN Climate Convention where the Paris Agreement was signed and co-founder of the Global Optimism social enterprise; and David Shukman, BBC science editor, about the likelihood of the event taking place this year. (Image: The Scottish Events Campus in Glasgow; Credit: SEC)

  • Jonathan Drori: Ode to the pot plant

    Jonathan Drori: Ode to the pot plant

    15/04/2021 Duration: 04min

    Since lockdown many people across the nation have developed a green thumb and began nurturing the flora in their homes, and now that some restrictions are easing across the UK, how have people’s relationship towards the pot plant changed? Jonathan Drori, author of Around the World in 80 Plants, paid tribute. (Image: Pot plant on a table; Credit: Getty Creative)

  • Covid surge testing extended outside London

    Covid surge testing extended outside London

    15/04/2021 Duration: 10min

    Residents in certain postcodes in Smethwick are being urged to get tested for coronavirus after a case of the South Africa variant was detected. It comes as surge testing is deployed in four London boroughs in a bid to halt its spread. Today programme's Justin Webb spoke to Dr Jeff Barrett, director of the Covid-19 Genomics Initiative at the Wellcome Sanger Institute; and Professor Kevin Fenton, London Regional Director for Public Health England. (Image: Surge testing for coronavirus disease in Lambeth and Clapham areas of London; Credit: Reuters)

  • Will Tokyo Olympics 2021 be cancelled?

    Will Tokyo Olympics 2021 be cancelled?

    14/04/2021 Duration: 15min

    The countdown to the delayed Tokyo Olympics has begun with only 100 days until the opening ceremony on 23 July. However, as for plans for how the Games might look like are drawn out, various public opinion polls in Japan have revealed that the majority of its citizens are not in favour of the event going ahead. R4 Today's Nick Robinson heard from World Athletics president Sebastian Coe, Lord Coe; chairman of the British Olympic Association Sir Hugh Robertson; and double Olympic Taekwondo champion Jade Jones. With news report from BBC's Tokyo correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes. (Image: Statues of Miraitowa (L) and Someity (R), the official mascots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics; credit: Reuters)

  • Vaccine vs the virus

    Vaccine vs the virus

    13/04/2021 Duration: 18min

    Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden, Dr Anthony Fauci, has said that the world is in a race between vaccinations and another surge of the virus. He tells Today that we should be careful not to "prematurely declare victory" despite good progress on the vaccination programme. We also get the UK view from Professor Jeremy Brown, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, and Professor James Naismith, director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute and professor of structural biology at Oxford University. Presented by Nick Robinson. (Image: doctor using vaccine, credit: Getty)

  • The Today Programme Choir

    The Today Programme Choir

    13/04/2021 Duration: 06min

    How choirmaster, Carrie Grant, conducted a choir of 150 people singing remotely.

  • Hunter Biden opens up about drug and alcohol addiction to the Today Programme

    Hunter Biden opens up about drug and alcohol addiction to the Today Programme

    06/04/2021 Duration: 34min

    Hunter Biden's business dealings and personal life were frequently used by the Trump campaign against his father US President Joe Biden. To mark the publication of his memoir 'Beautiful Things', he spoke to the Today Programme's Mishal Husain about business, politics and the trauma he says led to his battle with drug and alcohol addiction.

  • Bishop Rose Hudson-Wilkin’s Today programme

    Bishop Rose Hudson-Wilkin’s Today programme

    01/01/2021 Duration: 47min

    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 Drew)

  • Evan Spiegel’s Today programme

    Evan Spiegel’s Today programme

    01/01/2021 Duration: 01h04min

    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

    Margaret Atwood’s Today programme

    31/12/2020 Duration: 55min

    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 Husain. (Image: Margaret Atwood, credit: Luis Mora)

  • Lewis Hamilton’s Today programme

    Lewis Hamilton’s Today programme

    30/12/2020 Duration: 50min

    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 Webb. (Image: Lewis Hamilton)

  • Sir Jeremy Farrar’s Today programme

    Sir Jeremy Farrar’s Today programme

    28/12/2020 Duration: 50min

    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, a special performance from the Wellcome Voices choir. With Nick Robinson and Simon Jack. (Image: Sir Jeremy Farrar, credit: Dave Guttridge, Francis Crick Institute)

  • Prue Leiths Today programme

    Prue Leith's Today programme

    24/12/2020 Duration: 36min

    Highlights from Prue Leith's guest edit, presented by Prue herself. Including... a discussion of the issue of assisted dying and how hospitals are trying to improve their food. Also - two cherries on top of an already lovely cake - Prue having a singing lesson... and Olympic diver Tom Daley discussing craft and the new swimming trunks he has crocheted! Also featuring Justin Webb and Mishal Husain. Enjoy. (Image: Prue Leith Credit: Clive Holmes Agency)

  • Rory Kinnear: Tribute to my sister Karina

    Rory Kinnear: Tribute to my sister Karina

    22/12/2020 Duration: 05min

    Karina, 48, died from the coronavirus in May 2020. As a child, she suffered brain damage and was paralysed from the waist down after an operation she had as a teenager. Her brother the actor, Rory Kinnear, had written an essay reflecting on her life, earlier in the year. Now, he records a new tribute looking back on what's been a difficult year. Image: Rory Kinnear (C), Karina (L), Credit: Rory Kinnear

  • Sir Paul McCartney on the vaccine, lockdown music and fears for Glastonbury 2021

    Sir Paul McCartney on the vaccine, lockdown music and fears for Glastonbury 2021

    18/12/2020 Duration: 18min

    Sir Paul McCartney speaks to John Wilson for the Today programme about this new album, McCartney III. He encourages people to take the Covid. vaccine and fears Glastonbury 2021 will be cancelled. Image: Paul McCartney; Credit: Reuters

  • Dr Katie Sanderson: A sense hope

    Dr Katie Sanderson: A sense hope

    16/12/2020 Duration: 08min

    Junior doctor Katie Sanderson survived working on Covid ward at the height of the pandemic. Several months later, she sensed hope and less chaos despite the challenges she and her colleagues faced. Radio 4’s Today programme Justin Webb found out more. Credit: PA

  • Michael Blakstad: Spending Christmas Day alone

    Michael Blakstad: Spending Christmas Day alone

    15/12/2020 Duration: 06min

    Michael Blakstad, 80, and his wife Tricia, 79, who met in North Yorkshire and have been married for 55 years, with three children. But since the coronavirus pandemic Trisha developed dementia and he was forced to sell his house to pay for the care home fees, while suffering from Parkinson's disease. Today's Nick Robinson caught up with Michael, as he reflects back on 2020 and looks ahead to the Christmas period. Credit: Getty Creative Stock

  • Today guest edits: George the Poet

    Today guest edits: George the Poet

    31/12/2019 Duration: 01h04min

    All the highlights from podcaster and spoken word artist George the Poet's guest edited programme, including a reflection of identity in Uganda, DJ Target on the development of grime music, Ziggy Marley on legalising marijuana, economist Mariana Mazzucato on how society thinks about value, and are video games good for your brain? Presented by Martha Kearney and Sarah Smith, and additional sound design by Benbrick. (Image: George the Poet, credit: BBC)

  • Today guest edits: Greta Thunberg

    Today guest edits: Greta Thunberg

    30/12/2019 Duration: 01h09min

    All the highlights from climate activist Greta Thunberg's guest edited programme, including Mishal Husain interviewing her father Svante Thunberg and Greta speaking to Sir David Attenborough for the first time. Also, outgoing Bank of England chief Mark Carney on how the financial sector can tackle climate change, Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja on reducing the music industry’s carbon blueprint, and Shell’s Maarten Wetselaar on big energy’s environmental impact. Presented by Mishal Husain and Sarah Smith. (Image: Greta Thunberg, credit: BBC)

  • Today guest edits: Charles Moore

    Today guest edits: Charles Moore

    28/12/2019 Duration: 01h01min

    All the highlights from Margaret Thatcher biographer and former Telegraph editor Charles Moore's guest edited programme. It includes US Special Representative on Iran Brian Hook on violent protests in the country, Charles' nephew Felix on being autistic and transgender, former Conservative leader Lord Michael Howard on why the judiciary needs to change, and Charles sets out the case against the BBC's funding model. Presented by Justin Webb and Nick Robinson. (Image: Charles Moore, credit: The Telegraph)

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