Prince Harry has been confirmed as a guest editor for Radio 4’s Today programme Christmas special.
Today is the BBC’s flagship news and current affairs programme. Editor Sarah Sands confirmed rumours that one of the Christmas specials would be getting some royal input.
She told listeners to Radio 4’s Feedback, “That is indeed true, he is going to be one of the guest editors at Christmas. As always it is about trying to bring the best that we can to Radio 4 and the Today programme, so I think you will find Prince Harry’s programme very, very interesting.”
It is not unusual for the programme to invite guest editors; the BBC has done so for the past 13 years.
Prince Harry will be the second person from the royal family to do so. Sarah Ferguson was involved in 2004 when she was the Duchess of York.
Previous guests include Stephen Hawking, Unicef UK ambassador Michael Sheen and lawyer Miriam González Durántez, Nick Clegg’s wife.
Guest editors are responsible for roughly half of each programme’s content. They usually pick issues to discuss that are important to them. It is likely the prince will discuss mental health given all of the work he has been doing to raise awareness and support for sufferers.
Sands took over as editor of Today in January. She was previously editor of the London Evening Standard where she had worked for five years.
Some have accused her of softening the show’s approach to news and trying to take the show in a different direction after she spent 45 minutes talking about fashion week on the day that North Korea fired a missile over Japan.
In response Sands said, “The point of doing that item was really treating it I hope as Evan Davis or something might have done. Our business team were delighted that we were addressing an industry that we hadn’t done before. If you decide to do a themed programme you are a hostage to events.”
She also said: “The fact-based journalism and analysis is still there. It is three hours long this wonderful programme so that you can pack it all in.”