Today: Saturday 26th January


Hundreds of motorists have been stranded and planes grounded by heavy snow in the north of England. An armed robber has died after being pinned down by customers at a bookmakers in Plymouth. What is Labour's view on holding an in-out referendum on Europe? We speak to the shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander. And was Michael Winner right to say the British are pathetic at complaining... and is that such a bad thing?

0709 Heavy snow has left hundreds of motorists stranded on the M6 in Lancashire during the night. David Morris, Conservative MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, was one of them and joins us to describe the conditions.

0712 An armed man broke into a betting shop in Plymouth last night, the customers overpowered him and took his gun away. He later died. Edd Moore is the Chief Reporter of the Plymouth Herald newspaper explains the events.

0714 The BBC's Europe correspondent Chris Morris reflects on a week in Euro politics.

0718 The second most senior judge in England and Wales has made a forthright call for the system of criminal records checks to be reformed. Corinna Ferguson, legal officer with the campaign group Liberty, explains why changes need to be made.

0722 The Commons has heard that new laws are needed to regulate offshore bookmakers and force them to pay a levy to support horse racing, but the Offshore Gambling Bill failed to make progress yesterday. Our Parliamentary Correspondent, Mark D'Arcy reports.

0726 Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

0732 The Green MP Caroline Lucas has put forward a bill calling on the Treasury to look into the practicalities of replacing Business Rates and Council Tax with a Land Value tax. She joins the Today programme to discuss the bill with John Stewart from Home Builders' Federation.

0738 Following the latest growth figures being published yesterday, Boris Johnson criticised the way the government is handling the economy. One economic commentator, Jim O'Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, tells the Today programme why he thinks the deficit isn't coming down, and how it is time for the Government to think again.

0742 The newspaper review.

0745 It's now eight weeks since Lord Justice Leveson published his recommendations on the future of press regulation in the wake of the phone-hacking affair. Our media correspondent Torin Douglas has been following developments.

0749 Thought for the Day with The Reverend Andrew Martlew.

media captionPeter Horrocks: The Persian service is as impartial as any other BBC service

0752 Staff at the BBC's Persian television channel in London and journalists' family members in Tehran say the government in Iran has stepped up a campaign to intimidate them. Peter Horrocks, director of BBC Global News, explains the situation.

media captionMichael Wolkind QC: Everything people did to restrain him was lawful

0809 An armed man broke into a betting shop in Plymouth last night, the customers overpowered him and took his gun away, he later died. Chief Inspector Ian Drummond Smith from Devon and Cornwall Police describes the incident. And Michael Wolkind QC, who acted as defence counsel for Tony Martin, the Norfolk farmer who killed one burglar and wounded another man who had both entered his home in 1999, comments on legal ramifications of the incident.

0812 Sir Bruce Keogh, the former heart surgeon, said yesterday that failing to embrace change in the NHS, including hospital closures, would inhibit excellence. Former Labour Health Minister and heart surgeon Lord Darzi and MP for Lewisham, Joan Ruddock discuss the comments.

0820 Are artists liberated or shackled by their religious faith? Composer James Macmillan and Scottish national poet Liz Lochhead discuss.

0827 Rob Bonnet with the latest sports news.

media captionDouglas Alexander is not convinced the case has been made

0833 Following David Cameron's speech this week, shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander explains what Labour's policy is on an in-out referendum to determine our future in Europe.

0839 The paper review.

0842 US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has lifted the military's ban on women serving in combat roles, potentially opening hundreds of thousands of frontline positions up to women. Brigadier Nicky Moffat gives her thoughts on the decision.

0848 The latest on the wintry weather affecting Scotland and the north of England.

media captionJonathan Shalit: If you don't get a service you want you should say so

0852 The film director Michael Winner died earlier this week following a long illness. Celebrity agent, Jonathan Shalit and Mary Killen of the Spectator join us to remember his life, and his contribution to the art of complaining.