Cocker's band Pulp was best known for hits like Common People
Former Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker and award-winning novelist Zadie Smith have been confirmed as guest editors of BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
They will take over the programme between Christmas and the New Year and become responsible for its output.
Cocker will focus on the credit crunch and Smith will report from Liberia about British comedy.
Today editor Ceri Thomas said guest editors are one of the "highlights" of the year for the radio show.
"They think of things that wouldn't normally occur to us; they take us places we wouldn't ordinarily go," said Thomas.
"I think this year's group is the most fascinating we've ever worked with."
Head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, Citigroup Chairman Sir Win Bischoff and Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid will also feature as guest editors.
Previous guest editors have included Damon Albarn, Bono and Yoko Ono.