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Thursday 9th December 2004

Today Guest Editors

After last year's success of inviting well known people to be a guest editor on the Today programme, we thought we'd do it all over again.

The rock star and global campaigner Bono is one off five high-profile figures given the chance to dictate the news agenda.

The Duchess of York, director Anthony Minghella, businessman Sir Richard Branson and philosopher Baroness Onora O'Neill will also pick topics to cover.

They will be in the editor's seat for one day each from 27-31 December.

It follows a similar scheme last year when Radiohead singer Thom Yorke, novelist Monica Ali and Professor Stephen Hawking were put in charge.

Bono, who has campaigned on issues including third world debt and Aids, recently said he wanted to "spend the rest of my life" trying to eradicate extreme poverty.

"I have to confess, I'm not a natural editor," he said.

"I want to start the countdown to next year, when Britain can change the world for the poorest people on the planet."

The UK will take over the presidencies of the European Union and the G8 group of nations in 2005.

The Duchess of York said: "Today is the most important news programme in Britain so I couldn't resist the chance to use it to highlight serious issues like the terribly debilitating motor neurone disease."

editor Kevin Marsh said: "Last year's experiment drew such interest from well known listeners we thought we would try it again, with a great range of new guest editors."

The BBC stressed the guest editors would work with the usual Today team to ensure their material was newsworthy and stayed within BBC producers' guidelines.

The guest editor week looks like this:

27 Dec: The Duchess of York

28 Dec: Bono from U2
29 Dec: Sir Richard Branson

Sarah FergusonBonoSir Richard Branson

30 Dec: Anthony Minghella
31 Dec: Baroness O'Neill

Anthony MinghellaBaroness O'Neil


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