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The Oxford Outside Broadcast


Statue of Jesus ChristHarmony between religions was one of the topics discussed.
Where to spend Easter? With the family or in-laws? Doing DIY? Eating chocolate?

Listen back to a specific item, or all of that day's programme.
The Today Multi-denominational Hot Cross Bun

The Today programme Multi-denominational Hot Cross Bun, made by Tim Bennet.

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Stuart Gibb and Colin Dexter

The Secret to Morse? Stuart Gibb and Colin Dexter.
Garry with Adam Hollioake.

Garry Richardson with Adam Hollioake.
The auditorium

The lecture theatre at Oxford Brookes University.
Richard Knight and Pete Sudworth.

Today producer Richard Knight, plus studio manager Pete Sudworth, hard a work over a makeshift studio control board.

No such difficult choices for those keen Today listeners who joined the programme for our live Outside Broadcast (or OB) at Oxford Brookes University on Saturday morning (10/04/04).

We wanted to get the programme out and about over the Easter weekend, not least because it's usually a quiet news day and gives us the chance to cover things that don't normally get on the Today radar in a more relaxed fashion, and meet some of the listeners as well.

As it turned out, with Iraq's troubles filling the news we weren't short of things to talk about … but our eminent guests down at the main lecture theatre in Brookes were able to have their say on the big issues of the day, as well as the more vexed question of Garry's racing tips.

We couldn't have an OB in the Thames Valley without making a nod to the area's most famous copper - Oxford has become something of a Morse theme park it seems. Our hotel had renamed its main bar after him and you can’t drive past the Sheldonian Theatre now without visualising the Morse car swooping by. In fact thanks to Oxford's baffling one way system, you can't drive past the Sheldonian at all. So it was great to have Morse creator Colin Dexter and a real-life Thames Valley copper Inspector Stuart Gibb with us to talk about the changing face of crime in the area.

A dimly remembered row about hot cross buns from last Easter gave rise to the Today Multi-denominational Hot Cross Bun, expertly prepared for us by Tim Bennet at Palace Cuisine in Witney. It came in at about a foot across and fed most of the audience in one go.

Garry Richardson as ever was the star of the show, providing an excellent warm-up, and getting the audience involved in preparing the racing tip, including the 4.55 at Kempton Number 4 'Morse'! He's pictured here with Surrey and sometime England captain Adam Hollioake.

For the weightier parts of the programme, presenter Ed Stourton discussed harmony between the religions with the Bishop of Oxford and the leader of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. We also featured a Q&A segment with a panel of experts at the close of the programme to discuss whether the troubles we were hearing about in the news were the fault of organised religion, and how the world religions could work closer together to bring them to an end.

Ed also bravely sat the new Oxford Cycling Proficiency test which you may have heard about on the programme a few weeks ago.

Thanks very much to all of you who turned up, and to Oxford Brookes University for allowing to use their lecture hall over the weekend. There'll be more Outside Broadcasts coming up through the summer, so keep listening for more details.

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