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Listener Editors 2006


Alongside this year's batch of Christmas guest editors we asked for a team of Today Programme listeners to take the helm for a day. We received lots of outstanding applications. Thank you to everyone who entered.

Thousands of you voted - thank you for that - and a clear winner has emerged. The winning team is the geographers. They are: David Lambert from the Geographical Association; Dan Raven-Ellison, a geography teacher; and Hannah Bosher, one of his GCSE students. Congratulations!

The winning team - the geographers.

Team Two

David Lambert, Dan Raven-Ellison and Hannah Bosher

David Lambert 
Dan Raven-Ellison and Hannah Bosher

We heard recently a prediction that the human race will need three planet Earths by the year 2050. This is impossible to contemplate. So we think we should focus more on the living space we have.

Our editorial line will focus on the ‘space’ in which we live, places and what makes them special and on understanding our interconnected lives. We are going to seek out and stimulate the G spot of issues and stories. G is for geography, and we are going to use geography as our main editorial ‘lens’.

The power of history to help explain the present is routinely acknowledged, but the significance of place and space, and geographical scale, far less so. And what about the future? In a crowded, risky world, geographical perspectives help us think intelligently about the future.

We have an inter-generational editorial team of three geographers. The youngest member of the team, Hannah, brings the perspective of one who has a long future ahead of her. Her teacher, Dan, has the task of making her lessons fun, useful, engaging and relevant. David, who is head of the Geographical Association, thinks geography is vital for ‘future thinking’ global citizens.

We will devise a programme – we already have some great ideas – that will satisfy the curiosity of listeners at the start of the New Year.


Thanks to all the other shortlisted teams listed below and commiserations.

Team One

Brian Bemment and Jon Payne.

On 1st January 2007, we would like to invite listeners from around the world to give their own perspectives on what New Year means to them. A little like, From our own Correspondent but, in this case, the correspondent could be you!

We would also like UK listeners to report on issues which might not normally make headline news but are important to them: maybe there’s a problem in your area about which you think others should know; or a topical issue which you think you could put right, but which no-one else seems capable of doing. In addition, we’ll be asking listeners to nominate a well-known person to give their predictions for 2007. You might even find some unusual people popping up in some surprising parts of the programme.

And finally, in this age of Punch &Judy politics, we’d like to bring a wider range of voices into the gladiatorial arena - look out for some tough questions coming from unexpected quarters! If you vote for us, you could be making the news rather than merely listening to it.


Team Three

Moat Community College, Leicester – Pitch for Guest Editorship of the Today Programme by Claire Jackson, Head of Business Studies and Enterprise with Year 10 students Libin Ashkir and Zeyna Sanjania

I’ve worked here for 18 years. It’s a comprehensive school in a ‘socially deprived’ area. Most students are Muslim, originally from India, Pakistan and Somalia. I’m Jewish – I feel safer here than anywhere - and over the years I’ve become increasingly concerned about the negative media image of youngsters like ours at Moat. The students are happy, funny, hardworking, ambitious and committed to peace. It’s time their voices were heard and, with my editorial team, we want to focus on the excellent community relations  in our city.

We also want the Today journalists to investigate:

How can the United Nations be helped to achieve its aims?

Good news  about Israeli and Palestinian achievements like:
  • - Advances in cures for neurological disorders, such as MS, by an Israeli pharmaceutical company
  • - The courage and dedication of staff at the SOS Children’s Village
- Work in Israel by organisations like Windows for Peace and Rabbis for Human Rights in Bethlehem


Can we bring skill, performance and flair  back into football and kick business out?

Why aren’t Rottweilers  on the Dangerous Dogs Register?

How can we persuade motorists to cycle to work?

Can we alleviate poverty  in Palestine?

Can we trust robots  to perform surgery?

Listen to the views of settlers in the Occupied Territories.

Team Four

Peter and Rita Bolt

Peter is a 68-year-old former regular soldier, Met police officer and factory worker. He once appeared on Mastermind (the last series with Magnus Magnusson). Peter’s daughter-in-law, Rita, is a second-generation British Sikh. She was born in Bethnal Green and educated at an inner London Comprehensive.

Peter is a rural grammar school boy. He describes himself as a country boy. Rita is a true Cockney; she calls herself an "Eastern Ender". Peter says he is, by instinct, a "working class Tory". Rita says she is a “middle-class left-winger”.

They both believe that true integration can only be achieved by complete equality of education. They want to use Today to explore integration and how Britain can be a truly “united nation”. They also want to explore the possible consequences of failure to integrate. Peter says “the future lies with Rita and her generation - which includes my two sons - and personally I think they will succeed”.

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