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Page last updated at 07:37 GMT, Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Today: Wednesday 31 December 2008

PLEASE NOTE: We are unable to offer transcripts for our programme interviews. Today is broadcast live and the running order is subject to change.

As the violence in Gaza and southern Israel continues, the Israelis are being urged to consider a 48-hour lull in hostilities. Britain's Olympic gold medallists feature prominently in the New Year's honours list. And guest editor Jarvis Cocker speaks to rugby star Jonny Wilkinson about quantum physics.

Is drinking an art form? At the Frieze Art Fair in London, guest editor Jarvis Cocker came across a reconstructed bar from Reykjavik. Members of the Icelandic art collective Kling og Bang explain why they decided to reconstruct the bar with 100% accuracy at art fairs around the world.

Guest editor Jarvis Cocker wanted to commission an alternative thought for the day. The man he wanted to deliver it however - the philosopher and interpreter of Zen Buddhism Alan Watts - is dead. Not to be deterred, he found a recording of one of Alan Watts' speeches.

Money (That's What I Want) by the Flying Lizards could be used as an anthem for 2008's economic turmoil. Guest editor Jarvis Cocker asks the band's singer Deborah Evans-Strickland to read the weather forecast for Greenland. She obliges with the help of her husky.

What is it like living with the daily threat of rocket attack? Mechia Fendel, who lives in the Israeli town of Sderot, and Professor Shai Feldman, director of the Crown Centre for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University in the US, discuss the possibility of a ceasefire.

The list of New Year Honours has been published, with medal-winning Olympians featuring prominently. Correspondent Collette Hume peruses the list of 966 names.

Business news with Adam Shaw.

For rock musicians, unconventional ways of life are often accepted as normal. But how far can prominent figures in other fields lead an alternative lifestyle? Political correspondent Norman Smith reports on the economist John Maynard Keynes, the economic genius with a decidedly colourful private life.

Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

Two paramedics have been arrested in Brighton for allegedly failing to resuscitate a man they were attending. Roland Furber, chief executive of the British Paramedic Association, explains the guidance for crews on whether to resuscitate or not.

Two British missionaries, David and Fiona Fulton, have been sentenced to a year in prison with hard labour in Gambia after pleading guilty to charges of sedition. One of their friends Karen Hill discusses why they sent a letter criticising Gambia's government.

Today's papers.

Guest editor Jarvis Cocker wanted to ask a host of interesting people to tell us their resolutions for 2009. Brian Eno, "the father of ambient music", explains what he is hoping for the year ahead.

Thought for the day with Brian Draper, associate lecturer at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity.

Is there a link between the global economic crisis and climate change? Guest editor Jarvis Cocker makes the trip to the Arctic to discover why a "meltdown" could occur both environmentally and economically.

A concerted diplomatic drive is under way to try to end Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip and Palestinian militant rocket attacks. Correspondent Christian Fraser, Iyad Nasr, spokesman for the Red Cross in Gaza, and Secretary of State for International Development Douglas Alexander, discuss calls for an immediate ceasefire.

Rugby star Jonny Wilkinson - perhaps surprisingly - has an interest in quantum physics, a subject that also fascinates guest editor Jarvis Cocker. They discuss how quantum physics combines with sport.

There is more to hope for in 2009 than loosing weight and saving money. Prominent figures have been giving their New Year's resolutions. Bill Drummond, co-founder of the band The KLF and the K Foundation for Arts, calls on listeners to join his imaginary choir.

Rob Bonnet talks to Olympic gold medal winner Christine Ohuruogu about the award of her MBE and gives the rest of the sports news.

As the 10th anniversary of Hugo Chavez becoming president of Venezuela approaches, guest editor Jarvis Cocker would like to consider if key figures of the left still have the same influence as Che Guevara and Fidel Castro once had. Victor Bulmer-Thomas, associate fellow and former director of the think tank Chatham House, and Ken Livingstone, former mayor of London who welcomed Hugo Chavez to City Hall, discuss the influence of the left.

Business update with Adam Shaw.

Terry Pratchett has been awarded a knighthood for services to literature in the New Year Honours list. He describes what it is like to become a Sir.

Prominent figures have been giving their New Year wishes for 2009. Music group Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip say they would like to see a more honest media.

Following guest editor Jarvis Cocker's report on climate change and the financial crisis, he spoke to Lord Stern, author of the 2003 report which drew the links between climate change and the economy. He discusses whether the way governments are trying to deal with our current financial crisis offers lessons for dealing with climate change.

Guest editor Jarvis Cocker was shocked to learn that when an interviewee appears on the Today programme, a brief has already been written on what they are likely to say. Jarvis says it "tampers with reality". Presenter Evan Davis - in a bid to "retain originality" - interviews a mystery guest.

Throughout the morning, a host of prominent figures are giving their resolutions for 2009. Guardian columnist Marina Hyde asks for - only during lunchtimes - the Bureau de Change man in the bank "sat twiddling his thumbs" to actually cash some cheques.

After a morning of mystery guests, globe-trotting public houses and the weather in Greenland, guest editor Jarvis Cocker explains some of the thinking behind today's programme.


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