BBC's 'Today' bowled out by live cricket

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The BBC confirmed last night that Radio Four's early morning Today programme, scourge of the politician without fear or favour, is being pushed aside from its long-wave home to make room for live international cricket.

A BBC spokesman said that broadcasts of Today during coverage of World Cup matches on 14 February will go out on FM only, with long wave being devoted to the cricket.

The change is likely to provoke angry responses from listeners. Plans to turn Radio Four long wave over to a 24-hour news programme were scuppered three years ago by angry Archers fans.

Today is a national institution, providing breakfast and commuter audiences with a strong diet of news and current affairs. It has been attacked by the Government for bias, although Labour and Tory politicians alike are frequently cornered by the programme's interviewers.