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Page last updated at 14:52 GMT, Thursday, 13 May 2004 15:52 UK

Westminster to your ears


BBC Radio 4 has offered essential coverage of the workings of Westminster since 1945.

Today in Parliament continues to fulfil the BBC's obligations to present fair and balanced information about what MPs and peers are saying in debates, questions and committees.

...Radio 4's indispensable Today in Parliament for coverage of debates
Anthony Howard, The Times

Described by The Times as "indispensable", Today in Parliament digests and re-presents the day's proceedings in Westminster every evening from 2330 to 0000.

The sister programme, Yesterday in Parliament, is a more informal view of the preceding day's activities in the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

Yesterday in Parliament [is] witty and invaluable
Paul Donovan, Sunday Times

The programme took bronze at the Sony Radio Awards in May 2004.

Drawing more on the wit and analysis of its presenters Yesterday in Parliament is exclusive to Long Wave and digital radio and airs at 0830 to 0900 each weekday and 0845 to 0900 on Saturdays.

The reporters and correspondents share their time between each programme.


Presenter profiles


Before joining the BBC's parliamentary team Mark spent four years as a producer and reporter on The Westminster Hour, Radio Four's sunday night political programme.

He spent six years as the Local Government correspondent for the BBC in the East Midlands, and before that was the political correspondent on the Leicester Mercury, where he won an award as the UK Press Gazette's Regional Columnist of the Year.

Mark has written two books, Nightmare: the race to become London's Mayor (with Rory Maclean) and Abuse of Trust, Frank Beck and the Leicestershire child abuse scandal.

His early career included spells on local newspapers in London and as a researcher for Weekend World, London Weekend Television's now-defunct current affairs flagship.

  • Susan Hulme
    Susan was born and brought up in Edinburgh and came south to university, where she studied first biology, and then English.

    She trained as a journalist on a weekly magazine for doctors, where she became the science specialist.

    Looking for tighter deadlines, Susan soon moved to the BBC, where she worked as a producer in radio news and learned to run fast, making sure they got breaking stories on air.

    Susan was seconded to Westminster for a while and liked it so much she stayed, as a producer and reporter in the parliamentary unit.

    Not long afterwards Susan became a parliamentary correspondent and programme presenter.

    She is on air two days a week. The rest of the time she does her other job - looking after her three young children.


    After working in local newspapers in Lancashire and Yorkshire and spending three years in commercial radio in Scotland Keith entered the BBC as a local radio News Producer for Radio Lincolnshire

    Keith soon specialised in reporting the county's political debates and controversies.

    He also covered a nasty outbreak of hostilities between the senior clergy at Lincoln Cathedral.

    Keith did brief attachments as a producer on World At One and PM and as a sub in the Network Radio newsroom before arriving at Millbank in 1997.

    He now works on Today In Parliament and Yesterday In Parliament, alternating between reporting and editing both programmes. Keith has also presented The Record on BBC Parliament.


    Robert says life as a BBC Parliamentary Correspondent combines his two main interests: politics and theatre, offering a front-row seat at many of the most dramatic parliamentary events of recent years.

    Most of his career has been in broadcasting but he's also worked in print and, most recently, online journalism: he was invited to edit BBC News Online's general election coverage in 2001.

    Robert has been an Environment Correspondent and spent several years as a network Political Correspondent for BBC News during the eventful final years of Margaret Thatcher's time in power, after a spell in Brussels and Strasbourg setting up a new post of European Reporter for BBC regions.

    Memorable stories he's covered over the years range from the Brighton Bomb to the Heysel Stadium disaster in Brussels, the ousting of Margaret Thatcher, and the election of Tony Blair.

    Robert's early career was spent on the Western Mail newspaper and BBC Wales in Cardiff.

    Before that, he dimly recalls writing and directing student revues with Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis, and getting laughed off the stage at the Edinburgh Fringe.

    Away from parliament, Robert now runs a small pro-am theatre company specialising in open air productions, which reflects his irrational optimism.


    David Wilby was born in former Speaker Betty Boothroyd's home town of Dewsbury in Yorkshire.

    After leaving its grammar school he became a reporter on the nearby local paper, The Ossett Observer.

    Over 30 years he has worked on weekly and evening papers and on Fleet Street. He also had a regular column on the old Titbits magazine where a fellow columnist was Ken Livingstone.

    He joined the BBC in 1983 and has worked in Radio News and the Parliamentary Unit. He edited TIP and YIP before becoming a correspondent in 1995.

    David has an English degree from Warwick University, where he met his wife Jane. They have three children, Laura, Kate and Alex.

    You can hear Today in Parliament at 2330 this evening followed by Yesterday in Parliament at 0830 tomorrow on Radio 4.



  • The team
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