Is there still room for Thought For The Day on Radio 4’s Today programme?
In an interview in the new edition of Radio Times, the five presenters of the show reveal that they have strong opinions on the segment’s suitability.
Thought for the Day – which offers reflections from a faith perspective on issues and people in the news at 7.45am every morning – was described by John Humphrys as “deeply boring”, with the veteran journalist adding that he believes it’s “inappropriate that Today should broadcast nearly three minutes of uninterrupted religion, given that rather more than half our population have no religion at all.”
“If it were secular Thought for The Day, I’d have less of a problem with it,” he concludes. “Why can’t you have an atheist? Or an agnostic?”
Justin Webb says he feels as though the sentiments expressed by the contributors are “all roughly the same” – that ‘If everyone was nicer to everyone else, it would be fine’.
“But from my cursory glance around the world, I think a lot of religious people don’t want to be nice to each other,” he adds.
Mishal Husain and Nick Robinson both tread more lightly.
“I think it’s a bit of punctuation in the programme… for me it’s the time I need to be out of the house, when I’m late,” says Husain.
“Do you know what, when Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi, does it, I listen.” Robinson explains. “There are a few people who are just profound. Profound.”
But what do YOU think? Is there still a place for Thought for The Day? Should it be kept exactly as is? Scrapped entirely? Or incorporate more atheist and agnostic views?
Cast your vote above and have your say.