Jamie Oliver, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe named as Today programme's Christmas guest editors

Jamie Oliver, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe will guest edit the Today programme over Christmas. (Getty)
Jamie Oliver, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe will guest edit the Today programme over Christmas. (Getty)

Jamie Oliver, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe are amongst the guest editors announced to take over BBC Radio 4's Today programme this Christmas.

The high-profile breakfast news programme has been handing over the reigns to famous guests for 19 years now in the week between Christmas and New Year, and has named the 2022 line up of seven editors.

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It begins on Boxing Day with Lord Botham, the former cricketer and chair of Durham County Cricket Club, who will highlight the charities he supports through Beefy’s Charity Foundation, looking at advances in the treatment and diagnosis of childhood leukaemia.

Ian Botham watches the action during day two of the LV= Insurance County Championship division two match at New Road, Worcester. Picture date: Friday May 6, 2022. (Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images)
Ian Botham edits the Boxing Day show. (PA)

Chef and campaigner Oliver was a recent guest on Today calling for all children in households on universal credit to be given free school meals, will use his programme to look for ideas to improve child health and explore if doing good is good business.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who spent six years arbitrarily detained in Iran, will explore how to hold onto freedom in difficult times for her guest edit, which also looks at Iran and the government’s efforts to free UK prisoners.

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Sir Jeremy Fleming is the first director of GCHQ to edit Today and will explore the opportunities and risks of data, from intelligence to competitive sport.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 15: Anne-Marie Imafidon attends the Bazaar At Work Summit cocktail party at Sotheby's on November 15, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Anne-Marie Imafidon joins the line up. (WireImage)

ABBA's Björn Ulvaeus will consider the future of Europe, Eurovision 2023, and why the song contest and ABBA mean so much to the LGBTQ+ community. He will also broadcast a track from Voyage which will be recorded with a choir.

On New Year’s Eve, Anne-Marie Imafidon, president of the British Science Association, looks at science, problem solving and comedy - and makes a return after first appearing on Today at the age of 11 when she was interviewed about taking her GCSEs early.

Closing the guest editor series is Dame Sharon White, chairman of John Lewis, who continues the store's Christmas ad theme by looking at how to support young people leaving the care system into employment.

Dame Sharon White is made a Dame Commander of the British Empire by The Princess Royal during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle. Picture date: Tuesday November 30, 2021.
Dame Sharon White closes the guest week. (PA)

Editor of the Today programme Owenna Griffiths said: "For nearly 20 years the guest editors have transformed Christmas on Today, creating some of the most memorable moments in the programme’s rich history along the way.

"This year is no different and I’m enormously grateful these guest editors have given up their time to bring new stories, unexpected perspectives and a little festive cheer to the Today audience."

The Today programme's previous guest editors have included Prince Harry, Greta Thunberg, David Hockney, Angelina Jolie, Raheem Stirling, Prue Leith, Benjamin Zephaniah, Melinda Gates, George the Poet, Jarvis Cocker, Lewis Hamilton and Professor Stephen Hawking.