Monday 28 December – Michael Sheen
Tuesday 29 December – Sir Bradley Wiggins
Wednesday 30 December – Miriam González Durántez
Thursday 31 December – David Adjaye
Friday 1 January – Baroness Campbell
Saturday 2 January – Lord Browne
The BBC’s Guest Editors are off and running, actor Michael Sheen being the first one…
Cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins is to guest edit an edition of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme over the festive period.
Actor Michael Sheen and Miriam González Durántez, a lawyer married to ex-Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, will also take the reins of Today during the week.
The guest editors will be live in the studio and will take responsibility for about half of the programme’s output.
Sir Bradley, who won the 2012 Tour de France, said he wanted to shine a spotlight on “stuff that interests me”.
Lord Browne, the former chief executive of BP, architect David Adjaye, and human rights campaigner Baroness Campbell of Surbiton will also each edit a programme.
Former No 10 adviser Rohan Silva, a tech entrepreneur, will take over the role of business editor across the week.
Sheen (Unicef ambassador) wasn’t exactly controversial despite the Radio Times suggesting he was….though I couldn’t quite make head nor tails of what Sheen’s target was….is he pro foreign aid or against it?…
“A lot of the talk today has been about, ‘Where does charity begin?’,” Sheen said. “Does it begin at home? Why should we be helping children and people from other countries when there’s so much suffering and challenges going on in our own country?
“And it is absolutely true. There is terrible, terrible poverty in this country; there are terrible conditions for certain people. And I can understand why people get so worried about giving money to other countries, but of course 0.7% of the national income goes on foreign aid.
“That is about being a member of the global community, taking that responsibility seriously. 99.3% of course goes on what goes on in this country. And the argument, the false dichotomy of pushing British people against foreigners, or shirkers against strivers, it’s a false argument. And it allows other people who have certain interests to get away with it.
“The argument needs to be, ‘What is our government doing for people in our own country?'” he said.
One moment the argument is a false dichotomy the next it is the argument we should be bashing government with. Maybe I’ve just had too much Christmas spirit.
The other editors are as to be expected….Lord Brown though might provide some headlines as having been part of fracking company Cuadrilla and now at L1 Energy which may well be looking to frack here. Has he been warned off climate change and any pro-fracking material as Quentin Letts was warned to not mention climate change in his Met. Office mockery? I’m sure the Green green ink brigade are poised to flame the BBC should he dare to rock the orthodoxy. Then again if he doesn’t what’s the point of the guest editors who are surely there to provide an antidote to the usual BBC fare we suffer.
And looking at the guest editors isn’t it interesting how all of them are the high and mighty so to speak…even Sir Bradley Wiggins who may provide the ‘common touch’.
Where are the common men and women? They could just as well do what Lord This, Baroness That and the Wife of Nick Clegg could do…..where is the voice of the people? Leave it to the BBC to pick and of course you’d end up with a single mother, a Muslim in a headscarf, a student rioter, a foodbank worker and an immigrant.
Why do you have to be a lord, a lady, a high flying business person or successful actor to get on the BBC as a guest editor? An irony when they spent the whole of the last year talking about the gap between the privileged and the rest of us getting ever wider…the BBC just reinforces that privilege and the entrenched power of the ‘elite’ they pretend to disdain so much.
Isn’t it just the usual tale of a small, self-selected group at the top of the pile, all with the same vested interest, of staying at the top of the pile, patting each other on the back and doing each other favours?