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Wales Online
Wales Online
Charlotte McLaughlin, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter & Nathan Russell

BBC Radio 4's Today reveals guest editors including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and ABBA's Bjorn Ulvaeus

Former political prisoner Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and ABBA member Bjorn Ulvaeus will be amongst a star-studded group of guest editors of BBC Radio 4's Today programme over the Christmas period. Several public figures have been handed editorial control over the years, such as Prince Harry, Lewis Hamilton and Professor Stephen Hawking, with this year's edition of the holiday shows taking place between Christmas and New Year.

Owenna Griffiths, editor of the Today programme, 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.”

Zaghari-Ratcliffe's focus will be on how to hold on to freedom in difficult times, with the subject poignant due to her six year imprisonment in Iran prior to release in March of this year. She will also feature herself, reporting on Iran and looking at the British Government’s efforts to free UK prisoners.

Bjorn Ulvaeus will look ahead to Eurovision 2023, discuss ABBA's importance to the LGBTQIA+ community and reveal a new arrangement of a track from their 2021 album Voyage (GETTY)

Meanwhile, Ulvaeus and fellow ABBA member Benny Andersson along with a choir have recorded a new arrangement of a track from the group's 2021 album, Voyage. Ulvaeus, 77, will also look ahead to Eurovision 2023 and why ABBA's importance to the LGBT+ community.

Sir Jeremy Fleming will explore the opportunities and risks of data - from intelligence to competitive sport - becoming the first Director of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) to edit the programme.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver will look for ways to improve child health and explore whether doing good is good business. His show feature some of the politicians he has persuaded to fight for his issues - child obesity and school meals - over two decades. Former England cricket captain Lord Ian Botham will begin the festive takeover, looking at advances in the treatment and diagnosis of childhood leukeamia since he began Beefy's Charity Foundation in 1985.

President of the British Science Association and author, Anne-Marie Imafidon, will share new perspectives on science, problem solving and comedy on New Year's Eve, having been first interviewed on the Today when she was 11 and taking her GCSE's early. John Lewis Chairman Sharon White, chairman of John Lewis, will close the guest edit series when she looks at how we can support young people leaving the care system into employment.

BBC Radio 4’s Today programme’s guest edits will air from December 26 to January 2, apart from on Sundays.

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