Damon Albarn, the lead singer of Britpop band Blur, and Dame Stella Rimington, the former MI5 director-general, have been confirmed as guest editors for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme between Christmas and the New Year.
Albarn and Rimington are among the names who will take it in turns to present an edition of the flagship morning news programme. The other confirmed guest editors are historian and author Professor Peter Hennessy, Sir Martin Evans, winner of the 2007 Nobel prize for medicine, and members of the Dyfed Powys police force.
Albarn will present a package on how Britain could learn from Mali’s approach to recycling. Hennessy will track the evolution of political satire, Evans will investigate the consequences of Chernobyl, and Rimington will report on declining trust in politics.
Previous guest editors on the programme have included Bono, Professor Stephen Hawking, Yoko Ono and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.
Each guest editor is typically responsible for between a third and a half of the programme’s output. Duty editors, producers and reporters are on hand to make sure the material is newsworthy and conforms to BBC editorial guidelines.
The Today editor, Ceri Thomas, said: “Guest editors never fail to surprise us with the breadth of their interests and the quality of their ideas, and we’ve got a fantastic line-up this year.”