Best of Today

Best of Today

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

Episodes

Monday's business with Rob Young  

It would have been the largest acquisition of a UK company in history - but talk of a possible deal between Kraft Heinz and Unilever is over. (Image : Marmite spread on toast, a well known Unilever product Credit: Reuters)

Social care: Not just for the elderly  

Spending on social care is going down, yet demand is rising. Much of the recent debate has focused on older people but a third of all social care users are working-age people with disabilities. Carole Ross, mother to 18-year-old Nelly who is severely autistic, discusses her and her daughter's experience of social care provision and Liz Sayce, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, says that the "ethos of independent living is at risk". (Image: Nelly and her family. Credit: Carole Ross)

Could France bring the next big shake up of the establishment?  

The presidential campaigns have shown the established parties of right and left are beset by internal problems. Meanwhile Marine le Pen's National Front is reaping the benefit. Today's special correspondent, James Naughtie, reports from France. (Image: Marine le Pen. Credit: Getty Images)

The real Lady and the Tramp  

Two 89-year-olds, Joan Neininger and Ken Selway, are to marry at a registry office in Gloucestershire. They first met nearly five decades ago when he was sleeping on the streets and were nicknamed the Lady and the Tramp. The BBC's Jon Kay has been to meet them. (Image: Joan and Ken. Credit: BBC)

The door-to-door poet  

Rowan McCabe travels the streets, knocking on doors, asking if people would like a poem written about them. It started as a way of passing the time and now he's been given an Arts Council grant to continue his work as Britain's only door-to-door poet. The BBC's arts correspondent David Sillito reports from one of Mr McCabe's rounds in Gateshead and Stockton. (Image: Rowan McCabe waiting outside a house. Credit: BBC)

Is Trump trying to emulate Putin?  

President Trump has accused the US intelligence services of leaking information about his administration. Mr Trump has described claims of contact with the Russians during the election campaign as nonsense. Former US ambassador to Moscow, Michael McFaul, says he fears that Mr Trump may not simply admire President Putin but may be trying to emulate him. (Image: Trump and Putin. Credit: AFP)

What does Brexit mean for Cornwall?  

What will the UK be like as a place to live and to work when we leave the EU? Matthew Price reports from Cornwall, an area that receives millions of pounds in EU funding but also voted to leave. (Image: Cornish pasty. Credit: Getty Images)

Thursday's business with Dominic O'Connell  

Workers at Tata Steel have voted to cut their pension benefits - will that be enough? Photo credit: AFP

The female Dr Frankenstein  

For the first time in the UK, Dr Frankenstein will be played as a woman. Dr Victoria Frankenstein is the gender-switched protagonist of Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein, which is being showcased at Newcastle's Northern Stage. Selma Dimitrijevic, who wrote the adaptation, and Fiona Stafford, an English professor at the University of Oxford, discuss the play's history and the lack of strong female protagonists in the arts. (Image: The monster in Frankenstein. Credit: AP)

Can heading a football cause dementia?  

A new study shows that repeatedly heading a football can be linked to developing dementia - what does this mean for football and other contact sports? Dawn Astle is the daughter of the former England striker Jeff Astle, who died in 2002 at the age of 59 after living with dementia and Barry O'Driscoll is a former medical adviser to World Rugby and member of their concussion committee. They discuss the potential damage that has been caused in football and what this means for contact sports as a whole. (Image: Cameron Carter-Vickers heading a ball. Credit: AFP)

The 'equel' to His Dark Materials  

22 years after publishing His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman has revealed the story for The Book of Dust, the follow up trilogy that comes out later this year. He speaks to Today's Nicola Stanbridge and says the book is not a sequel or a prequel, but is an 'equel'. (Image: Philip Pullman. Credit: Michael Leckie)

Wednesday's business with Dominic O'Connell  

Trump v. Yellen marks the end of the super central banker Photo credit: AP

The nine-year-old IS supporter  

Prevent is the government's controversial programme designed to stop home grown terrorism. We often hear arguments made for and against it but not the individual stories from people who are referred. Matthew Price talks to a curious ten-year-old boy, who at the age of nine had questions which led him to some of the darkest places on the internet, and eventually to stand up in front of his class in London and declare his support for the terrorists of so-called Islamic State. (Image: Anonymous boy. Credit: BBC)

Is the UK protecting itself against cyber attacks?  

The Queen will today launch a new national centre to protect the UK against cyber attacks. The centre says the UK is facing on average 60 serious attacks a month - with Russia a growing concern. What kind of hacking is going on, what is it affecting and how are we planning to stop it? The BBC's Gordon Corera reports. Ciaran Martin, head of the GCHQ's new cyber security centre, says it needs to be made easier for people to stay safe online as the current guidelines to follow are unfeasible. Speaking about the relationship between the UK and Russia, Andrey Kortunov, director general of the Russian International Affairs Council, says there is "suspicion on both sides". How will the UK react if there is a cyber attack? Keir Giles specialises in Russian information at Chatham House and Margaret MacMillan is a professor of international history at Oxford University. (Image: Computer screen. Credit: PA)

Tuesday's business with Dominic O'Connell  

Aero-engine company Rolls-Royce reports the biggest headline loss in its history on the back of the recent fall in sterling and fines from a bribery and corruption scandal (Image: Singapore Airlines A380. Credit:AFP/Getty Images)

Can John Bercow still be seen as impartial?  

John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, could soon face a vote of no confidence after this weekend's revelation he'd voted to Remain in the EU. Mr Bercow’s opponents say this affects his impartiality. James Duddridge is the MP who proposed a vote of no confidence in Bercow and Tom Brake is a Liberal Democrat MP who seats in the House of Commons Commission. (Image: John Bercow. Credit: PA)

Open letter to Bishops says CoE failing to reflect views of gay Christians  

As church leaders gather in London for the start of a four day General Synod, one of the issues on the agenda will be the Church of England’s stance on homosexuality. Fourteen retired bishops have written an open letter to the Church of England leaders accusing them of failing to reflect fully the views of gay Christians in their same sex marriage report that will be debated during the Synod. Simon Sarmiento is one of the founders of Thinking Anglicans and is chairman of the LGBT Mission group. Susie Leafe is a General Synod member and director of the conservative Anglican group Reform. (Image: Hands shaking with a rainbow and a cross bracelet. Credit:Getty Images)

‘Old-age is not a medical problem, death is not a medical problem’  

What is the best way for society and the individual to approach the issue of preparing for old age and potentially declining health? Dr Seamus O'Mahony is a Consultant physician at Cork University Hospital and Ann Munro is an Ethicist and palliative care psychologist.

Raymond Briggs: I could do more work  

Author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, the creator of The Snowman, has been recognised with a lifetime achievement award by the charity BookTrust. Briggs spoke to Nick Robinson about his low regard for Christmas and continuing to work, providing he has the energy and the time. (Image: Raymond Briggs. Credit: Getty Images)

A trapped man’s survival story  

An Australian man has survived spending hours struggling to keep his nose above water after his excavator rolled into a waterhole. Daniel Miller, 45, had been riding the machine at his remote property 300km (180 miles) north of Sydney. When the edge of the dam gave way, the farmer was pinned down by a bar on the three-tonne excavator. Mr Miller explained to Nick Robinson the extraordinary story of how he survived. (Image: Daniel Miller in waterhole. Credit: BBC/9NEWS.COM.AU)

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