BBC Radio 4 announces Today Christmas guest editorson November 28, 2022 at 5:25 am

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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus and Jamie Oliver are among the seven names taking over.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe at a press conference in Portcullis HouseImage source, PA Media

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus and Jamie Oliver will be among seven guests to edit BBC Radio 4’s Today programme over Christmas.

The show gives the editorial reins to high-profile names every Christmas.

Ex-cricketer Lord Ian Botham, Sir Jeremy Fleming, head of GCHQ, Dame Sharon White, chair of the John Lewis Partnership, and technologist Anne-Marie Imafidon will also guest edit.

Episodes will run from 26 December to 2 January.

On Boxing Day, Lord Botham, whose Beefy’s Charity Foundation supports a range of causes, will discuss the advances in the treatment and diagnosis of childhood leukaemia.

Chef and campaigner Oliver will use his time to look at ideas to improve children’s health, talking to some of the politicians he has worked with over the years to tackle child obesity and improve school meals.

This Christmas will be Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s first in the UK since she was released from jail in Iran after being arbitrarily detained for six years.

In her show, she will explore how you hold onto freedom in difficult times. The segment will also feature reporting on Iran and look at the government’s efforts to free UK prisoners.

Sir Jeremy – the first director of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) to edit Today – will look at the opportunities and risks of data, ranging from intelligence to competitive sport.

Swedish singer and songwriter Ulvaeus will consider the future of Europe and will look ahead to next year’s Eurovision – the song contest which propelled ABBA to stardom in 1974.

He will also explore why the song contest and ABBA mean so much to the LGBTQ+ community.

ABBA's Björn Ulvaeus

On New Year’s Eve, Ms Imafidon, president of the British Science Association and author of She’s in CTRL: How women can take back tech, will share new perspectives on science, problem solving and comedy.

Ms Imafidon is no stranger to the Today programme, having first appeared on it at the age of 11 when she was interviewed about taking her GCSEs early.

The closing guest editor will be Dame Sharon, who will explore how we can support young people leaving the care system into employment.

A variety of high-profile people have guest edited the programme in the past.

Famous faces include Prof Stephen Hawking, Prince Harry, Greta Thunberg, Angelina Jolie, Sir Lewis Hamilton, Melinda Gates, Raheem Sterling and Benjamin Zephaniah.

Owenna Griffiths, editor of the Today programme, said: “For nearly 20 years the guest editors have transformed Christmas on Today, creating some of the most memorable moments in the programme’s rich history along the way.

“This year is no different and I’m enormously grateful these guest editors have given up their time to bring new stories, unexpected perspectives and a little festive cheer to the Today audience.”

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