Episodes

  • Insomnia affects about a third of adults in the UK according to the NHS. It also says adults should be getting between 7 and 9 hours sleep a night, but very few of us actually get that. We speak to Samantha Harvey who has written a book called ‘The Shapeless Unease’ about her year of not sleeping. We also speak to Stephanie Romiszewski, a sleep psychologist and director of The Sleepy Head Clinic in Exeter. She came into the Beyond Today Studio to give us her top 5 tips for a good night’s sleep.

    Presenter: Matthew Price
    Producer: Katie Gunning
    Mixed by Emma Crowe
    Editor: Philly Beaumont

  • It’s been two years since the Windrush scandal, where at least 164 black British citizens were wrongly deported to countries of their birth or detained in the UK. The scandal has had a lasting impact on the Afro-Caribbean community, with many owed compensation from the government.

    The Home Office recently approved a flight from London to Jamaica which was deporting convicted offenders who have been here for most of their lives. Once again, many black Brits say they feel targeted and are being forced to question what it really means to be British.

    We spoke to two BBC reporters: Shamaan Freeman-Powell, who’s been following the story from the beginning, and Greg McKenzie, who followed the flight to Jamaica and has spoken to Brits who say they’ve been forced to leave their home. Maria Thomas, a lawyer at Duncan Lewis Solicitors, explains why a last-minute legal challenge stopped some of the detainees from being deported.

    Presenter: Tina Daheley
    Producers: Seren Jones and Duncan Barber
    Mixed by Emma Crowe
    Editor: Philly Beaumont

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  • Coronavirus has reached 24 counties outside of China, with 8 confirmed cases in the UK. As the disease is spreading so is a lot of information, some of it misleading. The World Health Organisation has warned that "trolls and conspiracy theories" are undermining their response to the virus. We speak to Mike Wendling from BBC Trending and Vitaly Shevchenko, Russian Editor at BBC Monitoring, about the theories being circulated.

    Presenter: Tina Daheley
    Producer: Lucy Hanock
    Mixed by Emma Crowe
    Editor: Philly Beaumont

  • Callie Lewis was just 24 years old when she took her own life. Callie had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at a young age and had always struggled with chronic depression and suicidal thoughts, but at the end of her life she fell through the cracks of an overstretched mental health system. She sought solace online and ended up on a suicide forum where she was given detailed advice on how to kill herself. Callie’s death comes at a time when many people are struggling to connect with the services they need, and the news that growing numbers of young women are taking their own lives.

    In this episode we speak to Ellie Flynn, a reporter for the BBC’s Panorama programme who’s spent the last 16 months getting to know Ellie’s family and friends and trying to unpick what happened in the run up to her death. We also hear from Caroline Herroe, the CEO of a suicide prevention project in Nottingham.

    If you have been affected by the issues raised in this episode, help and support can be found on the BBC Action Line website.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4WLs5NlwrySXJR2n8Snszdg/emotional-distress-information-and-support

    The NHS told us: “Community mental health services for adults are expanding and improving through the NHS Long Term Plan, which is investing almost £1 billion more each year in these services, and is increasing the number of staff working in community-based mental health teams by over 10,000 over the next four years.”

    Presenter: Matthew Price
    Producer: Katie Gunning
    Mixed by Emma Crowe
    Editor: Philly Beaumont

  • South Korean film Parasite has been named best picture at this year's Oscars, becoming the first non-English language film to take the top prize. It won four awards in total, including best director for Bong Joon-ho. The film is a vicious social satire about two families from different classes in Seoul - one who live in poverty in a semi-basement, and another rich family residing in a large home.

    We speak to the BBC’s Seoul correspondent Laura Bicker about how South Koreans have reacted to the film’s success. We also hear from Jean Lee – director of the Korea programme at the Woodrow Wilson Center – about how the country is stepping into the limelight as a pop culture powerhouse.

    Presenter: Matthew Price
    Producer: Duncan Barber
    Mixed by Emma Crowe
    Editor: Philly Beaumont

  • It was the celebrity scandal that gripped the nation in an era where tabloids ruled the roost and affairs and addiction dominated front pages. Right in the middle of the drama was one of the biggest entertainment TV presenters of the age - Michael Barrymore.

    In 2001, when a 31 year old man called Stuart Lubbock was found unconscious in Michael Barrymore’s pool in Essex he was initially believed to have drowned during a party. When a second post-mortem flagged up severe injuries consistent with serious sexual assault, it shocked the country. People close to the TV presenter sold their stories to the press - including Michael Barrymore’s boyfriend.

    An inquest into Stuart’s death saw the coroner record an open verdict, but Essex police now suspect foul play and are calling on the eight party guests to cooperate. In 2007 Michael Barrymore was arrested, but later released without charge. 19 years later the case is still unsolved and a new Channel 4 documentary ‘Barrymore: The Body In The Pool’ has shone a light on the story that never went away

    We discuss some of the ethical issues raised in the documentary with TV critic Scott Bryan and speak to William Mata who covered the story for the Harlow Star. William spent time with Stuart’s father Terry during his campaign for justice.

    Producers: Lucy Hancock and Duncan Barber
    Mixed by Emma Crowe

  • The president sort of won the Iowa Democratic caucus.

    This week was supposed to be when the race to be the candidate to take on Donald Trump in November’s presidential election really got going. But the Iowa Democratic caucus was a mess: a tech failure meant a delay in getting results, and a lot of red faces in the party hoping to unseat the current Commander in Chief. Nearly all the results are in, and it looks like Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders have come out on top. But, in a week that also saw him acquitted in his impeachment trial, did the chaos mean Donald Trump is the real winner? Beyond Today producer Harriet Noble takes us through the Democratic candidates, and Senior North America reporter Anthony Zurcher looks at what it all means for the incumbent president.

    Presenter: Matthew Price
    Producer: Harriet Noble
    Mixed by Emma Crowe
    Editor: Philly Beaumont

  • Yesterday an inquiry into the harm that breast surgeon Ian Paterson did to his patients finally delivered its results. The inquiry recommended that all of his 11,000 patients should have their treatment reassessed. Paterson, who claimed to be a specialised breast surgeon, performed unnecessary surgeries, misdiagnosed patients with cancer and treated patients incorrectly.

    Paterson is already serving a 20 year jail term for 17 counts of wounding with intent, but his victims remain deeply scarred by the damage he inflicted on them.

    In this episode we speak to Jade Edginton, a woman who was repeatedly unnecessarily operated on as a teenager for lumps in her breast, and BBC Midlands reporter Kathryn Stanczyszyn who heard the results of the inquiry from the court room.

    We also hear from John Hynes, whose wife did not survive Paterson’s horrific malpractice, and Emma Doughty, the head of clinical negligence at Slater and Gordon, the firm that brought the civil case against Paterson. She tells us how he was able to get away with what he did for so long and why this sort of thing could happen again.

    You can hear the full Slater and Gordon podcast here

    Presenter: Matthew Price
    Producer: Lucy Hancock
    Mixed by Emma Crowe
    Editor: Philly Beaumont

  • Sudesh Amman had been released from prisons days before he stabbed two people in a Islamist-related terror incident in London on February 2. Within minutes of the attack armed police shot him dead. In 2018 Amman was charged with spreading extremist material but was released after serving half of his sentence. Since the attack took place the government has announced emergency legislation will be introduced to end the automatic early release from prison of terror offenders.

    In this episode we speak to the BBC’s Daniel De Simone who was at the Old Bailey when Amman was charged in 2018. We also talk to Richard Walton, the Met Police’s former head of counter-terrorism, about how to prevent terror attacks.

    Producer: Alicia Burrell
    Mixed by Emma Crowe
    Editor: Philly Beaumont

  • On January 13 a bag containing the dismembered limbs of teenager Keane Mulready-Woods was found on a housing estate in Dublin. Keane is believed to have worked for a drugs gang in the coastal town of Drogheda, just north of Dublin, and his murder is thought to be gang-related. Two rival gangs are feuding in Drogheda over turf and the booming cocaine market. These gangs use social media to taunt each other, often with devastating results.

    In this episode we speak to Nicola Tallant, investigations editor of the Sunday World, who’s been following the story of Ireland’s gangs. We also talk to Joanne O’Dwyer who works in rehabilitation in Drogheda. She tells us about how the murder has affected the town.

    Producers: Alicia Burrell and Duncan Barber
    Mixed by Emma Crowe
    Editor: Philly Beaumont

  • With more of us becoming more conscious of our health and the environment, vegans and vegetarians look set to make up a quarter of the British population in 2025.

    But for those who haven’t completely committed to the cause there’s the national Veganuary campaign. Last year 250,000 people signed up, dedicating themselves to a month of no meat and dairy products for a mixture of health, environmental and ethical reasons. But does the food trend really have an impact on the way we live?

    We spoke to Gala Bailey-Barker, a farmer in Sussex, who believes that knowing where your food comes from is more important than the diet you choose. Dale Vince explains why he decided to take over and transform Forest Green Rovers into the world’s first vegan football club. And the BBC’s environment correspondent Matt McGrath explains whether one month of no meat and no dairy can really help save the planet.

    Presenter: Matthew Price
    Producers: Seren Jones and Harriet Noble
    Mixed by Emma Crowe
    Editor: Philly Beaumont

  • The country was shocked when 39 people were found suffocated in the back of a lorry on an industrial park in Essex last October. The discovery that the victims were economic migrants sparked a conversation about the scale of human trafficking in the UK. Vietnamese people are among the most trafficked people in Britain and many of those smuggled here end up in modern slavery; working on cannabis farms, in brothels and nail bars.

    In this episode we speak to investigative reporter Cat McShane, who introduces us to Ba, a teenager captured, tortured and forced to work in a cannabis farm in the north of England. We also speak to the Guardian’s Amelia Gentleman, who tells us about her experience of going on a police raid of a suspected illegal nail bar.

    Producers: Lucy Hancock and Duncan Barber
    Mixed by Emma Crowe
    Editor: Philly Beaumont

  • This week Huawei was given permission to build parts of the new 5G network in the UK. But, because Huawei is a Chinese company, there’s a lot of concern about it. What if China, which we know spies on its own people, uses Huawei to spy on us? The US has been urging us to reconsider, stressing that it needs to be sure that America’s allies have trusted information networks. Is it to do with the risk of espionage or is there something else going on?

    We speak to Garrett Graff, a journalist and author who writes about national security for Wired Magazine. We also hear from Gordon Corera, the BBC’s Security Correspondent, about the company and whether it really poses a threat to our safety.

    Presenter: Matthew Price
    Producer: Katie Gunning
    Mixed by Emma Crowe
    Editor: Philly Beaumont

  • A brand-new virus which causes severe lung disease has been detected in China. More than 100 people are known to have died there, and experts believe the death toll will rise. Coronavirus appeared in the city of Wuhan in December and the 11 million-strong population are being advised to stay indoors at all times. A new virus arriving on the scene is always a worry and health officials around the world are on high alert.

    In this episode we speak to Xinyan Yu, a journalist from Wuhan. She tells us how people in the city are coping, including her best friend’s mum who was taken ill after visiting the market. We also hear from Dr Josie Golding from the Wellcome Trust, one of the world’s major health research charities. Dr Golding tells us how viruses like the coronavirus spread and how we can prepare for them.

    Presenter: Matthew Price
    Producer: Duncan Barber
    Mixed by Emma Crowe
    Editor: Philly Beaumont

  • In her new Netflix series The Goop Lab, Gwyneth Paltrow skates the fine line between wellness, pseudoscience and medicine. From orgasms and mushrooms, to ice baths and mediums, Gwyneth and the team tackle wellness methods that sit just outside the mainstream. While some of the scientific claims in the TV show stand up to closer scrutiny, many scientists and journalists worry about the ones that don’t. But why does it matter how scientific they are, when people say the treatments help them? In this episode Matthew speaks to science producer and host of ‘The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread’ podcast Greg Foot about why, even when it’s working, it matters if Goop doesn’t check out.

    Presenter: Matthew Price
    Produced by Lucy Hancock and Katie Gunning
    Mixed by Emma Crowe
    Editor: Philly Beaumont

  • “We must reject the perennial prophets of doom”. These were Donald Trump’s words at Davos earlier in the week, dismissing those who warn of the dangers of climate change. We know climate change is real, but Trump doesn’t seem to be listening to the experts who tell him this.

    It’s a tendency the author Michael Lewis noticed in Trump the day after he was elected. Lewis wrote the Big Short, a book that was turned into an Oscar-winning film about the financial crisis, and now he’s written about how Trump operates. He came into the Beyond Today studio to talk about how Trump is changing the way government works in the US, what that’s doing to America and what parallels we’re seeing here.


    Presenter: Matthew Price
    Producers: Harriet Noble and Alicia Burrell
    Mixed by Emma Crowe
    Editor: Philly Beaumont

  • The trial of Harvey Weinstein started in New York this week. Once upon a time he was a Hollywood giant, then in 2017 allegations he sexually harassed a number of women began to surface. Over 80 women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct, only a few of the complaints have led to criminal charges. For many people Weinstein facing justice symbolises the whole point of the #MeToo movement. But, what happens to #MeToo if Weinstein — who denies the charges — is found not guilty?

    In this episode we speak to BBC journalist Nada Tawfik who’s covering the trial, and also to Marisa Carroll, the features editor of New York magazine, about whether #MeToo’s impact equals change.

    Presenter: Matthew Price
    Producers: Alicia Burrell and Katie Gunning
    Mixed by Emma Crowe
    Editor: Philly Beaumont

  • The psychedelic powers of a traditional Amazonian plant medicine called ayahuasca are attracting more and more tourists. It’s becoming big business in countries such as Peru where backpackers and travellers, as well as rich Silicon Valley types are spending weeks and sometimes thousands of dollars to drink an indigenous cocktail. It makes them vomit and hallucinate, but is said to bring spiritual enlightenment and help with addiction, depression and trauma. But a string of allegations suggests there's a darker side to the ayahuasca scene. In this episode we speak to BBC journalists Simon Maybin and Josephine Casserly who travelled to the Amazon to investigate.

    Listen to Simon Maybin and Josephine Casserly's documentary Ayahuasca: Fear and Healing in the Amazon on BBC Sounds.

    Presenter: Matthew Price
    Producers: Duncan Barber and Katie Gunning
    Mixed by Emma Crowe
    Editor: Philly Beaumont

  • It was a pretty grim general election for Labour last year. As a result Jeremy Corbyn announced he would be stepping down. There are now just four MPs in the running to replace him: Jess Phillips dropped out while we were making this episode.

    The ultimate task of any leader of the opposition is to get their party back into power. In this episode Bex Bailey, a producer from the BBC’s politics team, profiles the contenders. We also hear from The Times columnist Rachel Sylvester about where Labour got it wrong, and where they could go wrong again.

    Presenter: Tina Daheley
    Producer: Harriet Noble
    Mixed by Emma Crowe
    Editor: Philly Beaumont

  • Blue Monday is supposedly the saddest day of the year. 15 years ago that idea was debunked, yet every year in the UK #bluemonday trends on Twitter and the internet is flooded with deals for holidays, ‘wellness’ deals and products offering to boost our mood.

    In this episode we look at the discomfort around brands adopting mental health awareness as part of their marketing strategy with psychiatry researcher Melisa Kose. We unpack the mythical origins of the Blue Monday with the BBC’s head of statistics, Robert Cuffe. We also speak to Carmen Papaluca, from University of Notre Dame in Australia, who has studied how the aspirational aspects of Instagram damage the mental wellbeing of young women she teaches.

    Presenter: Tina Daheley
    Producers: Lucy Hancock and Duncan Barber
    Mixed by Emma Crowe
    Editor: Philly Beaumont