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Life Reports.

What would you write about your life if you could be entirely frank and you didn't have that much longer on earth?

Inspired by the Hospice Biographers project, which is an initiative to record the stories of people's lives in their final months, we asked listeners of the Today Programme to contact us with their life stories in 400 words. Amol Rajan introduces a collection of what people told us.

(Image Credit:GETTY IMAGES)

UK inflation hits 40-year high at 9%

UK inflation – the rate at which prices rise – has hit a 40-year high of 9%. The hike comes as millions of people saw an unprecedented increase in energy costs last month. Higher fuel and food prices, driven by the Ukraine war, are also pushing the cost of living up, with experts warning that inflation could continue to rise this year. Amol Rajan reports from West Yorkshire, where the most recent figures show almost 18% of people were living fuel poverty – that’s nearly 1 in 5 – before the cost-of-living crisis.

(Image Credit: Getty Images)

Schools face tough decisions as food prices continue to soar

Soaring food inflation could mean that schools have to choose between serving smaller portions and using cheaper ingredients, warns the boss of one of the UK’s largest food wholesalers. “This is going to lead to some difficult decisions for school caterers: either they are going to serve smaller portions or use cheaper ingredients, which isn’t going to be good for the children,” Chief Executive of Bidfood Andrew Selley told Today’s Justin Webb. He’s also urging the government to extend the availability of free school meals, aimed at children from low-income families, to secondary schools. Selley’s comments come a day after the Bank of England’s Andrew Bailey blamed the war in Ukraine for UK inflation reaching its highest level in almost three decades. Justin also speaks to Chairman of Marks & Spencer Archie Norman about his expectations of food inflation over the coming years, and the British retailer’s approach to pay.

(Image Credit: Press Association/Gareth Fuller)

Energy regulator announces quarterly review of prices

The cost-of-living crisis, in which millions of people - especially the old and the poor - are facing extreme hardship, is above all the consequence of inflation in energy costs.

This increase in energy prices is caused by global factors – from the post-pandemic pressure on supply chains to Russia's invasion of Ukraine – which have caused wholesale prices to soar.

Ofgem has changed how they will run the energy price-cap so that it can be revised more than just every six months. They say this will make the companies more responsive, and fair.

Amol Rajan spoke to Jonathan Brearley, the CEO of OFGEM who told him how the new system would work.

(Image, Smart meter, Credit, PA Images)

The countryside's rising cost of living

The Norfolk countryside may be blossoming in the sunshine this weekend but like many rural areas, it is feeling the impact of the rising cost of living.

Today's Martha Kearney meets some of those Norfolk residents worrying about their bills and also examines another big issue in eastern England - planned new electricity pylons.

(Photo: Martha Kearney with livery manager Harley Moon. Credit: Joel Moors/BBC)

Rees-Mogg defends civil service cuts plan

The government wants to cut up to 91,000 civil service jobs to save money. Today’s Justin Webb speaks to the head of the civil service union and to Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency.

(Image Credit: Oli Scarff/PA Wire)

‘Even though the iPod might be gone, it’ll never be forgotten,’ says inventor

Apple announced it was going to discontinue the iPod after 21 years which brings an end to the device widely praised for revolutionising how people listen to music. Amol Rajan spoke to its inventor Tony Fadell about the iPod’s legacy, recent technological developments and his new book ‘Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making things worth Making.’

(Image Credit: Press Association)

Interview: Jimmy McGovern

At the BAFTAS last weekend another hit from Jimmy McGovern was honoured. The prison drama Time won best mini-series and best actor for Sean Bean. For the programme which was broadcast from Liverpool, Mishal Husain speaks to screenwriter Jimmy McGovern about his work and how the city’s changed over his life.

(Image Credit: BBC)

Teacher: 'This is the year I've seen the most tears, it’s the year I've seen the most panic'.

Throughout the pandemic ‘Today’ followed Wales High School near Rotherham, as they struggled with remote learning, Covid absences and teacher assessed grades. As students there prepare to take the first public exams for two years, Mishal Husain went back to the school to meet with headteacher Pepe Di'Lasio. This summer will be the first exam experience for 17 and 18-year-olds as their GCSEs and National 5s were affected in 2020. Grades are being awarded in the usual way using external marking but the grade boundaries will be more lenient. Mishal also spoke to Ian Bauckham the Chair of Ofqual, England's exam regulator.

(Image Credits: BBC)

Ukraine: 'I left my town to protect my daughter’s life'

Today's Lyse Doucet reports from Dnipro in the east of central Ukraine on the families sheltering from the war, and reaction to Vladimir Putin’s speech at the annual Victory Day parade to celebrate the Soviet Union’s part in World War Two.

(Image credit: BBC)

Gregory Doran on leaving the Royal Shakespeare Company and grief

Gregory Doran is stepping down as Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company after a decade. He is completing his final production, Richard III, starring disabled actor Arthur Hughes - a first for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

During his time at the RSC, Gregory has worked with everyone from Patrick Stewart and Harriet Walter to David Tennant, as well as his late husband Sir Anthony Sher, who died last year of terminal cancer. Gregory sat down with Today's Mishal Husain to talk about loss, Shakespeare, and the prospect of retiring.

(Image Credit: Press Association)

The Hospice Biographers: A life report of the dying

Have you ever thought about writing a brief autobiography? The Hospice Biographers is a charity which sends specialist volunteers into hospices to record the life stories of those in their final days.

Amol Rajan sits down with the founder and trustee of The Hospice Biographers Barbara Altounyan and supporter of the charity Robert Peston to talk about how such life reports can offer an opportunity to remember, reflect, and leave some wisdom for relatives and friends.

We want to hear from you. Send in your 400 word life report by emailing and put Life Report in the subject line to have the chance to record your own life report for the Today programme.

(Image Credit: GETTY images)

23 episodes

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