BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme will once again welcome seven Guest Editors who will take over the programme during the festive period from Monday, 27 December.
For the past 18 years, the programme has handed over the editorial reins to high-profile public figures during the week between Christmas and New Year. This year’s line-up includes:
- Raheem Sterling – England and Manchester City professional footballer
- General Sir Nick Carter – Outgoing Chief of Defence Staff
- Mina Smallman – Former Secondary School Principal and Church of England archdeacon, Mother of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry
- James Rebanks – Cumbrian farmer and bestselling author
- Dr Jane Goodall – Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace
- Jacky Wright – Chief Digital Officer and Corporate Vice President at Microsoft US
- Lord Dobbs – Conservative peer and author of House of Cards
England and Manchester City footballer, Raheem Sterling, recently launched the Raheem Sterling 1692 Charitable Foundation, to support children and young people in need. Details of Raheem’s programme will be announced in the coming weeks.
General Sir Nick Carter is the outgoing Chief of Defence Staff. Sir Nick’s programme will ask how one moves on from such a huge career role and will include reports on Afghanistan, as well as alternative ways to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among ex-service personnel.
Mina Smallman, former Church of England archdeacon whose daughters Nicole and Bibaa were murdered in a London Park, will highlight the role of chaplaincy in times of need, examine support for victims of crime and look into the Reclaim These Streets movement. After experiencing the tragic deaths of her daughters, Mina will share where she found support, strength and comfort during this time. Finally, she’ll share a story of how a card with a poem inside has been an ever-present reminder of overcoming adversity.
The Cumbrian farmer and bestselling author, James Rebanks, will work with the Today team to look at the role urban farms can play in creating healthier communities.
Dr Jane Goodall will use her programme to explore the links between poverty and climate change, discuss the interaction of science and faith, and our search for hope. Dr Goodall’s research into the lives of wild chimpanzees living in Gombe, Tanzania continues today more than 60 years since her early discovery that chimpanzees make and use tools.
Chief Digital Officer and Corporate Vice President at Microsoft US, Jacky Wright, will be looking forward. She will ask whether we are equipping young people with the skills they need for the jobs of the future.
Finally, Lord Dobbs wants listeners of Today to learn more about how to beat prostate cancer. Lord Dobbs was diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier this year. It has devastated his family, having killed his father and brother, but his own disease was caught early. His programme will also include a reappraisal of the Christmas story from the perspective of Joseph.
Each editor will have the support of Today producers and reporters to bring their ideas to air and to make sure they adhere to BBC Editorial guidelines.
The Today programme has welcomed a variety of Guest Editors over the years, including Prince Harry, Greta Thunberg, David Hockney, Angelina Jolie, Lord Mervyn King, Baroness Trumpington, Benjamin Zephaniah, Melinda Gates, George the Poet and Professor Stephen Hawking.
Owenna Griffiths, Editor of the Today Programme, said: “Each year on Today the guest editors bring novel ideas, surprising perspectives and, on occasion, a little sparkle to the programme. This year is no exception and I’m absolutely thrilled these guest editors have agreed to spend some time with us to help illuminate and make sense of the world we live in”.