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Albarn and Rimington to edit Today

28th November 2007

Musician Damon Albarn and former MI5 director-general Dame Stella Rimington are to edit BBC Radio 4's Today programme over the Christmas period.

Historian Professor Peter Hennessy and the 2007 winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, Sir Martin Evans, have also been confirmed for the role. And a group of listeners from Dyfed Powys Police will oversee another show.

Traditionally public figures have been invited to contribute to the programme in this way during the festive season. Previous editors have included Bono, Yoko Ono and Professor Stephen Hawking.

Each of the celebrities picked for this year have already given an indication of the direction they would like their edition of Today to take.

Albarn is to examine recycling, and consider whether the UK can learn anything from the way the African nation of Mali deals with its rubbish. Dame Stella will look at declining trust in politics, and said she "couldn't resist" the opportunity to focus on "some of the issues that I think are important".

Professor Hennessy is to focus on political satire and how it has evolved, while Sir Martin will cover the consequences of the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in 1986.

The celebrities are given a say in up to half of their particular three-hour broadcast, but their ideas and stories must still meet the BBC's guidelines for independence and impartiality.

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