Today Weekdays 6-9am and Saturdays 7-9am

  • News Feeds
Page last updated at 10:47 GMT, Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Guest editor: Jarvis Cocker

Jarvis Cocker's review

Every year the Today programme invites people in the public eye, from artists and musicians to business men and royalty, to guest edit the programme in the week after Christmas.

The third programme was edited by musician Jarvis Cocker.

Inspired by a trip to the arctic during the recent economic crisis, Jarvis wanted to investigate whether there was a link between the economic and climatic meltdowns - speaking to city traders, scientists and politicians about whether increased government economic intervention will lead the way to more government action on the environment.

Later in the programme he spoke to Lord Stern, author of the 2003 report which drew the links between climate change and the economy. He said that the environmental crisis is a "much bigger" problem the economic turmoil and it should not be allowed to "fester".

Jarvis was fascinated to discover that Jonny Wilkinson has an interest in quantum physics. He talked to the rugby star about existential crises, Schrodinger's cat and saying goodbye to both rugby and to life itself.

After hearing about the flamboyant personal life of economist John Maynard Keynes, which was kept quiet during Keynes' lifetime, Jarvis asked us to investigate whether the fact that the private lives of people in the public eye are inevitably uncovered is having an effect on the type of people who go into politics.

He was interested to find out what famous atheist Richard Dawkins does for Christmas, which includes carol singing, presents, family feasts and perhaps surprisingly carol singing. (Note: this item was broadcast in a different programme.)

He asked some of the people whose way of thinking he admires to record New Year's manifestoes, including musicians Brian Eno and Bill Drummond.

And he spoke to Icelandic artist collective Kling og Bang about the Reykjavik bar that they have painstakingly reconstructed around the world after their favourite drinking hole was bought by developers.

For an alternative Thought for the Day, Jarvis asked us to play a speech from the philosopher and interpreter of Zen Buddhism Alan Watts, who died in 1973.

Jarvis wanted Deborah Evans Strickland from band the Flying Lizards to read the weather. The singer of Money (That's What I Want), a good anthem for 2008's economic turmoil, read the weather from Greenland with the help of her husky.

While recording the programme Jarvis was alarmed to discover that when an interviewee appears on the Today programme, a brief has already been written on what they are likely to say. Jarvis says this "tampers with reality" so to please the editor, presenter Evan Davis interviewed a guest without knowing anything about them.


Jarvis Cocker
Guest editor Jarvis Cocker
Jarvis Cocker is a songwriter and musician who, with his band Pulp, become one of the most famous musicians in the 1990s Britpop scene.

Born on 19 September 1963 in Sheffield, at the age of five he suffered a nearly fatal bout of meningitis which left him with very poor eyesight.

He had formed the band Arabacus Pulp (later shortened to Pulp) at the age of 15 and on finishing school decided to stay with the band instead of going to university.

Despite being asked to record for John Peel's Radio 1 show in the 1980s, it was not until they were signed to Island Records in 1993 that the band took off, by which time Cocker had earned a degree in fine art filmmaking from St. Martin's College of Art and Design in London.

Albums His n' Hers and Different Class, featuring the single Common People, launched Pulp as one of the iconic bands of the UK's Britpop scene alongside Blur and Oasis.

The last Pulp album was released in 2001, and since then Cocker has released a solo album, directed music videos, has collaborated with musicians including Nancy Sinatra and Marianne Faithfull and has contributed to the soundtrack of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Martin Rees Martin Rees
Cosmologist, Astronomer Royal and President of the Royal Society

David Hockney David Hockney
One of the most influential British artists of the 21st century

Tony Adams Tony Adams
Football manager and former Arsenal and England defender

PD James PD James
Best-selling crime writer and Conservative peer

Robert Wyatt Robert Wyatt
Solo musician and Soft Machine founder member

Baroness Williams Shirley Williams
Senior Liberal Democrat politician

David Hockney Audio slideshow
The world through Hockney's eyes

William Petersen, Paul Guilfoyle, and Marg Helgenberger, investigate a bomb explosion in a scene from the first season of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." Crime friction
Sir Ian Blair's fears over the power of crime drama

The South Oxhey Community Choir perform at St Albanís Cathedral Britain's choirs
Listen to the amateur choirs singing in the UK

Mark Rylance as 'Rooster' Byron in Jerusalem Just the ticket
Are we in the midst of a golden age of British theatre?


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific