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Page last updated at 06:17 GMT, Saturday, 11 August 2012 07:17 UK
Today: Saturday 11th August

James Naughtie presents from the BBC tent at the Edinburgh Fringe in front of a live audience, talking about some of the things that are going on at the festivals, but also looking at some of the issues that are going to matter so much if, as expected, Scotland holds a referendum on independence in 2014: defence, the economy and cultural identity. Also on the programme, why did it take the police so long to discover a body at missing girl Tia Sharpe's grandmother's house?

We are no longer providing clips of every part of the programme but you will be able to listen via the BBC iPlayer .

Questions have been raised as to why it apparently took the metropolitan police so long to discover a body in the house of missing 12 year-old girl Tia Sharpe's grandmother. Alexandra MacKenzie, reports from the scene.

What would be Scotland's relationship with the rest of the European Union if it became independent? John Edward, former head of the European Parliament, shares his thoughts.

A ship will set off from Southampton this weekend on a scientific mission to the Antarctic where it will launch an exploration of a sub-glacial lake. Dr Matt Mowlem, from the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton and who developed the main probe which is being shipped out, explains the significance of the expedition.


A significant number of shows at the Edinburgh Festivals are funding thanks to what is known as "crowdfunding", a system whereby people pledge money via the internet to support an idea or project. Michael Troughton, founder of WeFund an online crowd-funding platform, and Francesca Roberts, who has raised money to take her show to this year's festival through WeFund, discuss whether the system could work on a larger scale.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.


Lt Col Stuart Crawford, a consultant on military affairs, and Prof Hew Strachan, military historian at Oxford University, debate what would happen in terms of defence if Scotland were to become independent.

The paper review.

Mark Watson, who is taking part in Edinborolympics and whose own stand up show is on at the Assembly, and Jo Caulfield, who is performing at The Stand comedy club in Edinburgh, review shows and emerging themes this year at Edinburgh.

Thought for the day with Anna Magnusson, a writer and broadcaster.

The Conservatives rejected House of Lords reform and, as revenge, the Lib Dems are rejecting reform of House of Commons constituency boundaries which is likely to cost the Conservatives a number of seats at the next election and even deny them a win, according to many blogger and strategists. John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, and Conservative blogger Tim Montgomerie debate the health of the Tories.


After a week of investigation, massive community involvement and four searches of her grandmother's house, police looking for the missing twelve-year-old Tia Sharp found a body yesterday at her grandmother's home, and there has been surprise that it took so long for the police to uncover it. Colin Sutton, former senior investigating officer at metropolitan police, shares his thoughts on the case.

Sir George Mathewson, former chairman and chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Jo Armstrong, economist from the Centre for Public Policy for the Regions, and Alan Cochrane, Scotland editor for the Daily Telegraph, debate what an independent Scotland would look like, and how it would pay for itself.

Sport news with Garry Richardson.


David Cameron is set to announce today that competitive sport will be at the heart of a new primary school curriculum in England. Philip Collins, who writes for the Times and used to work in Downing Street for Tony Blair, Damian Hinds, Conservative MP for East Hampshire, debate the role of sport in schools.

The paper review.


In the aftermath of the riots shopkeepers have been calling for more flexibility in planning regulations to install security shutters to protect premises, and one parade of shops has decided to decorate their grey shutters with images designed to be a feature as well as actively discourage anti social behaviour. Nicola Stanbridge reports from Woolwich in South London.

Author Simon Callow talks about his forthcoming biography of Charles Dickens and reads from some of Dickens' work.


Amongst the various historical achievements during the London Olympics, there was one for Saudi Arabian women, as it is the first time that females have been allowed to represent the Kingdom in the games. In her first broadcast interview, Sarah Attar, who ran the 800 metres wearing a kit that included the hijab, speaks to the Today programme's Zubeida Malik.

How do you go about restoring a greater and richer Scottish cultural identity both within Scotland and with the rest of the world? Liz Lochhead, the Scots Makar, and Carol Craig, author of The Scot's Crisis of Confidence, debate the issue.

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