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Guest editors 2008

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.

This year, the five programmes were in the hands of author Zadie Smith; Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the head of the Catholic church in England and Wales; musician Jarvis Cocker; Sir Win Bischoff, the chairman of Citigroup and architect Zaha Hadid.

ZADIE SMITH
Zadie Smith

Author Zadie Smith guest edited the programme on 29 December.

She travelled to Liberia to report on the realities of life in one of Africa's "failed states" and asked the programme to try to figure out what the avant-garde stands for in the 21st Century.

She wanted us to investigate the connection between British comedy and the class divide and was interested in recent developments in neuroscience that give an insight into why human beings appreciate art.

CARDINAL CORMAC MURPHY-O'CONNOR
Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, guest edited the programme on 30 December.

He wanted to use the opportunity to explore some of what he describes as the "hinterland" of his life - his love of music and rugby and his education at the English College in Rome - as well as drawing attention to some of the issues he feels are important, including a conversation with Prime Minister Gordon Brown about morality in politics and a report into the falling levels of compassion care in British hospitals.

JARVIS COCKER
Jarvis Cocker

Musician Jarvis Cocker guest edited the programme on 31 December.

Inspired by a trip to the Arctic during the recent economic crisis he investigated whether there was a link between the economic and climatic meltdowns. He interviewed rugby star Jonny Wilkinson about existential crises and quantum physics and asked the programme to investigate whether people with a flamboyant personal life were being put off entering politics.

SIR WIN BISCHOFF
Sir Win Bischoff

Citigroup chairman Sir Win Bischoff edited the programme on 1 January.

As well as being grilled on bank's responsibility for the current economic turmoil, he used the opportunity to look into the British Olympic cycling team's secret of success, to find out whether schools were doing enough to teach financial literacy and to discuss US president Franklin D Roosevelt's strategy for handling the Great Depression.

ZAHA HADID
Zaha Hadid

Architect Zaha Hadid edited the programme on 2 January.

She was interested in the impact technology is having on the buildings that it is now possible to construct, to discuss the peaceful and prosperous Baghdad of her youth and to look into the architectural boom in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.




GUEST EDITORS 2009
THE EDITORS
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

AUDIO HIGHLIGHTS
FEATURES
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?

IN THE NEWS
PREVIOUS EDITORS

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