The Today Programme

The Today Programme, or ‘Today’, has been broadcast to Radio 4, and before that the BBC Home Service, for as long as I can remember.

Jack di Manio is the first presenter I can remember. He would often get the time wrong, which was a handy excuse if I was ever late for school. Although, with the benefit of hindsight, I don’t think the teachers were fooled.

Today was the early morning show of choice for a period in the late ’70s to early ’80s. I still get goosebumps when I recall the day that Brian Redhead woke me up to inform me that John Lennon had been murdered.

I also remember the experiment of having incidental music during the programme. Not a great success, very unpopular, talented though Barbara Thompson undoubtedly is.

On the whole I don’t listen to this news and current affairs programme any more. Usually I’m at work, so can’t tune in anyway. I heard about ten minutes this morning which was OK, an item about the dangers of shisha smoking and some banter between the two presenters, Evan Davis and John Humphrys.

But I avoid it because I now find it too ‘loud’: there’s too much shouting. And the guests continuously have their answers interrupted by the presenters. Yes, I know, politicians want to say what they want to say, regardless of the questions actually being asked, but the interruptions are such a distraction, I have no idea in the end what the answers, or even the questions, actually were.

Plus, on what day was it decided that every issue is black or white, that every item on the programme has to have equal and opposite points of view?

“Trying to set up an artificial argument about The Ladykillers is typical of the dishonest, binary style of debate pushed by Today” says top writer Graham Linehan in this article.

I think this is my first (whatever the opposite of ‘recommendation’ is).

The Today Programme has its own site.



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