BBC broadcasts Humanist Thought for the Day

By staff writers
January 11, 2009

For the first time a Humanist has delievered a 'Thought for the Day' on BBC Radio 4.

The broadcast however did not come as part of the BBC's flagship news programme, Today.

Humanists, atheists, agnostics and those from minor religions are not allowed to deliver the two and a half minute reflection, which is broadcast six days a week at 7.50am.

The monologue, given by Humanist Ariane Sherine was broadcast instead on BBC Radio 4's late afternoon news programme PM.

It followed discussion on the progamme's blog about the merits of the prime time religious slot, and whether it should be expanded to include minor religions - even those who don't have a faith.

Also on the PM programme was Ekklesia’s co-director Jonathan Bartley who was previously a Thought for the Day presenter.

Jonathan Bartley told the PM Programme about how he went on Today to argue that others, beyond those from the five or six major world religions, should be able to deliver Thought for the Day.

Shortly afterwards, he was dropped from the slot by BBC Religion and Ethics, based in Manchester, who had previously warned him not to do it.

Some of those responsible for producing Thought for the Day believe that there is an agenda by the Today Programme to get rid of the slot altogether, and that by broadening it, it will be diluted and eventually done away with.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.