Footballer Raheem Sterling among guest editors on Radio 4’s Today programme

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England footballer Raheem Sterling, conservationist Dame Jane Goodall and outgoing Chief of Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter are among the high-profile figures who will serve as guest editors of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme over the festive period.

The flagship show traditionally hands over the editorial reins to famous faces during the week between Christmas and New Year.

Church of England archdeacon Mina Smallman, whose daughters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman were murdered in a London park, author James Rebanks, Conservative peer Lord Dobbs and Microsoft chief digital officer Jacky Wright will also serve as guest editors over the break.

National Geographic An Evening of Exploration Event – London
Dr Jane Goodall (Ian West/PA)

Previous guest editors include the Duke of Sussex, Angelina Jolie, Greta Thunberg and David Hockney.

Dr Goodall will use her programme to explore the links between poverty and climate change, while Sir Nick will include reports on Afghanistan, as well as alternative ways to treat post-traumatic stress disorder among ex-service personnel.

Ms Smallman will highlight the role of chaplaincy in times of need, examine support for victims of crime and look into the Reclaim These Streets movement, while Rebanks will look at the role urban farms can play in creating healthier communities.

Ms Wright will ask whether young people are being equipped with the skills they need for the jobs of the future, while Lord Dobbs, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier this year, will encourage Today listeners to learn more about how to beat the disease.

Major General Matthew Holmes funeral
General Sir Nick Carter (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Details of Sterling’s programme will be announced in the coming weeks.

The special episodes will air between December 27 and January 3 2022.

Owenna Griffiths, editor of the Today programme, said: “Each year on Today the guest editors bring novel ideas, surprising perspectives and, on occasion, a little sparkle to the programme.

“This year is no exception and I’m absolutely thrilled these guest editors have agreed to spend some time with us to help illuminate and make sense of the world we live in.”

Elsewhere on BBC radio, Olympic diver Tom Daley will make his Radio 2 presenting debut on December 27, while the first radio adaptation of hit film and novel The Princess Bride will air on Radio 4 on Christmas Day.

Joanna Lumley and Roger Allam will reprise their roles as Conversations From A Long Marriage At Christmas, Jan Etherington’s award-winning two-hander comedy, returns to Radio 4 on December 22 to find the couple trying to spend a quiet Christmas together.

Stacey Dooley will present a Christmas Day special on 5 Live, while Jarvis Cocker will return to 6 Music for a festive takeover on Christmas Eve.

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