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Page last updated at 09:46 GMT, Thursday, 23 December 2010
Guest editor: Sam Taylor-Wood

Sam Taylor Wood

Each year, the Today programme hands over the editorial reins to five public figures, giving them a chance to decide what goes on the programme between Christmas and New Year.

The programme on 29th December was edited by artist and director Sam Taylor-Wood.

The overarching theme of her programme is the issue of whether childbirth is increasingly seen as a medical problem rather than a natural process in the UK.

She gave birth to her most recent baby at home and was surprised by people's reactions.

For the lead item on the programme, she went out with a microphone to speak to midwives, obstetricians and expectant mothers to investigate why the issue of home birth is so fraught with disagreement.

She also sent correspondent Jane Dreaper to the Netherlands, which has a high home birth rate, to find out why childbirth is perceived differently in the country.

And Cathy Warwick, general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, explained why the organisation believes there is a "concerted and calculated backlash" against home births and midwife-led care.

Sam also wanted to highlight the work of Kids Company, a charity supporting vulnerable inner-city children in south London. Its founder Camila Batmanghelidjh explains the charity's work and two Kids Company children - young man and a young woman - tell their stories.

She brought together actress Helena Bonham-Carter and film producer Lili Zanuck to talk about vanity in the film industry and put arts editor Will Gompertz in touch with biographer John Richardson to explain some little known contradictions in Pablo Picasso's political beliefs.


Sam Taylor-Wood was an influential photographer and conceptual artist before moving into the world of film-making.

Her debut feature film as a director, Nowhere Boy, examined John Lennon's teenage years in Liverpool.

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