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Page last updated at 09:47 GMT, Thursday, 23 December 2010
Guest editor: Dame Clara Furse

Dame Clara Furse

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 broadcast on December 31st was edited by Dame Clara Furse.

Dame Clara believes that bank-bashing is damaging the UK's national interests, and discusses the role of the banks in Britain with three heavyweight economists.

A firm believer in the importance of the City of London in international finance, she asked Today to chart the history of the City, and persuaded Mayor of London Boris Johnson to give his thoughts on the place of the City in the UK economy.

She is also interested in the influence Britain's trading links and colonial past have had on our national food culture. She sent reporter Nicola Stanbridge to make one of her favourite treats, marmalade, for the annual Marmalade Festival and supplied her own marmalade and fruitcake for a discussion on the history of British food and trade.

Education is also close to her heart, and she asked us to investigate the gender gap in education, and the role that Cathedral choir schools have played in continuing Christian musical culture.

And Dame Clara, who is of Dutch origin, is a great admirer of Britain's unique traditions but finds that the British are far less likely than other nationalities to celebrate their successes. She asked us to investigate British self-deprecation.


Dame Clara Furse was Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange between 2001 and 2009, and was the first woman to occupy the position. In 2007, she was named as one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World.

She now sits as a non-executive Director on the board of the global investment bank Nomura, Legal & General Plc and Amadeus IT Holding SA. She is also a Director of TheCityUK.

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