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Al Murray, Melinda Gates, more named as 'Today' guest editors

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Al Murray has been named as a guest editor of BBC Radio 4's Today programme this Christmas.

The comedian joins a lineup of five famous faces who will each take charge of the station's breakfast show over the festive season.

The Pub Landlord

© PA Images

Poet Benjamin Zephaniah

© PA Images / Matt Crossick / EMPICS Entertainment


[Left: Al Murray / Right: Benjamin Zephaniah]

Poet Benjamin Zephaniah, philanthropist Melinda Gates - wife of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates - journalist Dame Ann Leslie and geneticist Sir Paul Nurse complete the list of guest editors.

"The guest editors have been responsible for some remarkable radio journalism over the years," said Today editor and acting BBC deputy director of news Ceri Thomas.

"They often surprise us with their interests and ideas, and this year's lineup should be no exception. Once again, we have a fascinating group of individuals who will bring their own unique expertise to the programme."

The BBC's John Humphrys

© BBC Pictures / Rolf Marriott

The BBC's Evan Davis

© BBC Pictures


['Today' programme hosts - Left: John Humphrys / Right: Evan Davis]

Each contributor will be responsible for up to half the content of their own show, BBC News reports, with regular Today editors on hand to ensure legal and ethical compliance, as well as adherence to the BBC's editorial codes of practice.

The Today programme festive specials, which were first launched in 2003, have become an annual tradition.

Previous guest editors include double Olympic gold medallist Lord Sebastian Coe and Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth, plus musicians such as Jarvis Cocker, Thom Yorke and Bono.

Guest editors sometimes use their slot on the programmes, which air from December 27 to 31 this year, to promote a particular cause or movement.

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