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Today programme guest editors 2010

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Ceri Thomas | 15:24 UK time, Friday, 26 November 2010

As with many other recently-invented ancient traditions - like Father's Day, camel racing, and chocolate-filled advent calendars - that of the Today's guest editors began as a sort of comforting diversion to the nation. This week, it became clear that, in only its eighth year, it's become much more than that.

This week, we learned from newspaper columns, from e-mails and from social media that thousands of years of Western culture and civilisation would come to an end before nine o'clock in the morning (and a festive morning, for heaven's sake!) if we invited the wrong person to guest-edit Today. So, naturally, we're careful.

This year's wonderful, varied parade of visiting luminaries - including Colin Firth, Diana Athill, Sam Taylor-Wood, Clara Furse and Richard Ingrams - will light up our programmes between Christmas and New Year with their bright ideas, and we hope to pull off our usual, improbable trick of being Today-but-not-quite-Today for a few mornings.

The regular rules will apply. The guest editors will have an enormous say in what we do on their mornings in charge - there'd be no point in having them if they didn't - but news is news, and if something demands to be covered, we'll cover it. We'll keep our fingers crossed for golden moments of the kind that PD James, Jarvis Cocker, Zadie Smith and Tony Adams have served up in recent years.

For anyone - nearly everyone, I assume - who's been skim-reading up to this point searching for the words "Katie" and "Price" (if you've been under a rock this week, you may not have seen newspaper reports that she was to be one of the guest editors), here's the news. We've been talking to Katie about doing something with Today, and we're still talking. Katie Price inhabits a world a million miles from the one that Today usually occupies, but that's not a reason for us to ignore it. Maybe she could tell us something interesting about the way a part of this country works? That's what we ask from anyone who comes on the programme.

And what are we going to ask of this year's guest editors when they start work on 27 December? We're going to help one to explain the virtues of infidelity (if you'd desperately like to hear Colin Firth make that argument, you may be disappointed) and another to make the case for single-sex schools. We'll investigate whether the brains of left-wing and right-wing people are physically different, and we'll re-open a 50-year-old murder case. Probably, Western civilisation will survive the experience.

Ceri Thomas is the editor of the Today programme. The guest editors for 2010 are listed at the Today website.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Katie Price! Please no, even the BBC with its penchant for dumbing down must draw the line somewhere. The fact that you are even making this suggestion only serves to highlight yet again that the editors of 'Today' have no sense of priorities - items of global importance are often squeezed into a two or three minute slot and/or abruptly cut short (assuming they are not totally ignored in the first place), whilst some unimportant and frivolous subject is discussed ad nauseam, and just to rub salt in the wound the latter will appear as a Today podcast whilst the former is neglected. And now Katie Price! Sheesh, and 'Today' is supposed to be BBC Radio's flagship news and current affairs programme, what a joke.

  • Comment number 2.

    I really want Katie Price to be a guest editor, largely because I like the idea of it winding up the "usual" Today listener.

    Given that the programme still, in 2010, contains the truly awful Thought For The Day, how bad can Ms Price actually be?

  • Comment number 3.

    There are a number of sane thoughtful posters to the BBC's blogs who would like a crack at it! But I guess that frightening the horses isn't allowed!

    What is so terrible about letting a random man/woman in the street have a go? Why is it that that Radio 4 is just as obsessed with celebrity as the tabloid press?

    Try thinking outside the box(or goldfish bowl) for once! Be dangerous. Take a risk!!! Whilst I have noting against individuals just because the are famous or infamous it really does not mean that their views and ideas are any more worthy of publicity than anyone else.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    Today's item from a man who has organised a group of friends or contacts (not sure which) to donate 10% of income to charitable works was like a breath of fresh air! Well done Sir.

    May I add to this that the idea is as old as the hills, at least it is well written up in a number of ancient books. I refer of course to the collection of books found in the Bible, commonly know as the Old and New Testaments. (for further info. pop 'Tithing in Scripture' into a search engine)

    Many members of the christian church worldwide 'tithe' that is return 10% of their income to God through the church, (this should not be confused with giving funds to 'good causes' - this is an extra)

    I would not expect a non-christian to give monies to a local church, some do but it is not expected. And of course members of other faiths may well give regular amounts of money to the centre as a way of fulfilling Holy Writ (Islam, for example, teaches that the faithfull give one fourtieth of their income to the local mosque (Only if able of course) and many devout mulsims do just that, (and probably a good deal more)

    We give to the charities or religious bodies we support, long may that continue. And well done that man for setting such a glorious expample

    Reverend Michael

 

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