BBC News

Lewis Hamilton to guest edit BBC Radio 4's Today programme

Published
image copyrightReuters
image captionLewis Hamilton won the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year in 2014

Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton will be one of the guest editors of BBC Radio 4's Today programme this Christmas.

The British driver, who won his seventh F1 championship last week, completes a festive list including Bake Off judge Prue Leith and author Margaret Atwood.

The programme-makers said they hoped the guest editors would bring "novel ideas and unexpected perspectives".

Wellcome Trust director Sir Jeremy Farrar will also sit in the hot seat.

Britain's first black female Bishop, Rose Hudson-Wilkin, and Evan Spiegel, co-founder of Snap Inc, the company behind Snapchat, will also act as guest editors.

"Since they were first introduced back in 2003, guest editors have become an indispensable annual event, bringing novel ideas and unexpected perspectives to the familiar world of daily news," Today editor Owenna Griffiths said.

"At the end of this exceptional year, I believe we have a line-up that will help us to make sense of 2020 as well as bringing a little welcome festive cheer."

This weekend, Hamilton took his 11th victory of the season at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

What do guest editors do?

media captionPrince Harry: "It's been a big learning curve"

The Today programme is Radio 4's flagship morning news and current affairs programme. Every year, the show invites a series of high-profile guests to helm an edition of the show, with each setting the agenda for one day across the Christmas and New Year period.

In 2017, Prince Harry took on the honorary role, interviewing former US President Barack Obama and his own father, the Prince of Wales.

Last year, environmental activist Greta Thunberg spoke to the world's leading climate change figures and frontline activists.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionGreta Thunberg was one of the Today guest editors in 2019

She also commissioned reports from the Antarctic and Zambia, as well as a Mishal Husain interview with the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney.

Other former guest editors include Baroness Butler-Sloss, David Hockney, Angelina Jolie, Benjamin Zephaniah and Professor Stephen Hawking.

It is not yet known which topics Hamilton will tackle for 2020. However, two-time Booker prize-winning writer Atwood will be exploring the idea of change and will speak to Thunberg about the adaptations we should make to save the planet.

Meanwhile, Leith will discuss the progress made in her attempts to improve food in our hospitals. More details on the exact dates of this year's guest shows will be announced over the coming weeks.

'Rigorous protocols'

According to a spokeswoman for Today, Hamilton and the other guest editors will carry out "a combination of both remote and in-studio recording", as they would any other year.

"Some guest editors may come into the studio to work alongside the team in a socially distanced manner," she added.

"We have rigorous protocols in place to manage Covid-19 and the safety of all those involved in production is paramount."

Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

Related Topics

  • Radio
  • Lewis Hamilton

More on this story

  • Lewis Hamilton wins after Romain Grosjean escapes dramatic Bahrain GP fire

  • Prince Harry: Why I'm editing Today programme