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3 hours
First broadcast:
Tuesday 05 March 2013

Morning news and current affairs with Justin Webb and John Humphrys, including:

The BBC's arts editor Will Gompertz speaks to Dame Helen Mirren about her role in the new play The Audience that opens at London's Gielgud Theatre tonight.

Ministers are to require primary schools in England to get a higher proportion of 11 year-olds to meet expected standards in English and Maths, or face being taken over by an outside sponsor. Schools Minister David Laws explains the changes and Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, gives his thoughts on the proposals.

From April, reforms removing public funding from legal aid in whole areas of civil law are to be introduced. The president of the UK Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger, speaks to the Today programme's Clive Coleman to explain how cuts to legal aid could undermine the rule of law and Lord Bach, Former legal aid minister, currently shadow justice minister, and Sir Edward Garnier, QC former Solicitor-General discuss the changes.

It emerged over the weekend that the RAF's 617 Squadron - the Dambusters - has been saved from defence cuts. The historian James Holland joins the Today programme to claim that previous historians of WWII have belittled the contribution made by this squadron's famous bombing run in the Ruhr valley.

  • Tuesday's live page

    A rundown of stories from Tuesday 5 March including programme highlights and comment.


The NHS and me

Costing the NHS - live page

Today presenters' personal experiences of the health service. .


  1. Image for Best of Today

    Best of Today

    Insight, analysis and expert debate as key policy makers are challenged on the latest news stories.

Tuesday 5 March

The government says we're spending too much money on legal aid. Primary Schools will now need to make sure 65% of their pupils are reaching the expected level for English and Maths - until now it’s been 60%. And thousands of Britons are dying early because of bad lifestyle habits.

  • 5 Mar 2013 08:51:36


    It's been 100 years since the Ancient Monuments Consolidation and Amendment Act which arguably gave birth to the heritage industry in this country. Dr Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage and Robert Hewison, cultural commentator and author, of The Heritage Industry: Britain in a Climate of Decline discuss whether our idea of heritage has changed in recent years.

  • 5 Mar 2013 08:47:52


    At least 250 children in the UK were helped by a unit set up to tackle forced marriages last year, with the youngest case involving a two-year-old.  The Forced Marriage Unit gave advice or support in 1,485 cases in 2012, although it is believed many other forced marriages go unreported. We hear from Aneeta Prem, the founder of Freedom Charity, which supports people in forced marriages.
  • 5 Mar 2013 08:40:45


    Justin Bieber was almost two hours late on stage at the O2 Arena last night, keeping thousands of young fans and their parents waiting.
  • 5 Mar 2013 08:32:16


    Today is the first day of China's annual NPC - the National People's Congress. The BBC's Beijing correspondent, Damien Grammaticus reports and Editor of China Dialogue, Isabel Hilton gives her thoughts on whether the change in leadership to the next generation make this year more significant.

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