Lewis Hamilton will guest edit BBC Radio 4’s Today show over Christmas

Lewis Hamilton will guest edit BBC Radio 4’s Today programme over Christmas – just as his knighthood is expected to be confirmed, it was revealed today. 

The Formula 1 star, 35, who won his seventh world title this year, is one of several big names who will run the corporation’s top radio news show for a day and broadcast about their personal passions. 

Mr Hamilton is likely to focus on race relations in a year where he has encouraged drivers to take the knee before races and changed his Mercedes racing car from silver to black in support of the BLM movement.

Other editors will also include Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel, Britain’s first black female bishop, Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Bake Off judge Prue Leith, Booker Prize-winning author Margaret Atwood and director of the Wellcome Trust Sir Jeremy Farrar.

They will take over the show on one of the days between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. 

Previous guest editors have included the Prince Harry, artist David Hockney, actress Angelina Jolie and climate activist Greta Thunberg – with the BBC repeatedly being accused of allowing the show to be taken over by ‘woke’ left-wingers.

Lewis Hamilton will edit the Today programme over Christmas in a year where he was put forward for a knighthood and named Britain’s most influential black person for his sporting success and campaigning for the BLM movement

Fellow editors will also include Britain's first black female bishop, Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin and Bake Off judge Prue Leith

Fellow editors will also include Britain's first black female bishop, Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin and Bake Off judge Prue Leith

Fellow editors will also include Britain’s first black female bishop, Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin and Bake Off judge Prue Leith

Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel, pictured with his wife Miranda Kerr, will also edit the show between Boxing Day and New Year's Day

Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel, pictured with his wife Miranda Kerr, will also edit the show between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day

Who are the Today guest editors this year? 

Lewis Hamilton 

Racing driver Hamilton, from a Stevenage council estate, has re-written the Formula One record books and, in the process, staked his claim to be considered among the greatest British sportsmen who have ever lived. He is the the only black driver in F1 and is campaigning to encourage more BAME people into the sport.

Evan Spiegel

Evan Spiegel is the co-founder and CEO of Snap Inc, the company behind social media phenomenon Snapchat. He is married to Australian model Miranda Kerr and the couple have two children. He received $637.8 million as total compensation during 2017 – the year the company went public, a security filing revealed a year later.

Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin

The Jamaican-born chaplain became the Church of England’s first ever female black bishop in its near 500-year history.

She too the role of Bishop of Dover in November 2019 after 12 years as a minister to the Queen. 

She previously said the Church of England is institutionally racist and does not respect ethnic minorities.

Prue Leith

The 80-year-old star baker is the current Great British Bake Off host.  She quit the Conservative Party this year after the Government blocked an attempt to enshrine high food standards in law. Ms Leith’s son Danny Kruger, the Tory MP for Devizes in Wiltshire, voted with the Government on the Agriculture Bill, defeating an amendment that would have protected British farmers.

Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood, 81, recently warned to ‘be prepared’ for a world ‘fertile for dictators’. The Canadian novelist says the recent US election – which will see Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take office following Donald Trump’s four year administration – was a ‘dodged bullet’ for the world.

Sir Jeremy Farrar  

TB expert Sir Jeremy Farrar is the director of the Wellcome Trust, set up 90 years ago to improve human and animal health in Britain. The prominent SAGE adviser recently claimed that both Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance have made ‘mistakes’ during the pandemic. 

Today editor Owenna Griffiths said: ‘Since they were first introduced back in 2003, guest editors have become an indispensable annual event, bringing novel ideas and unexpected perspectives to the familiar world of daily news.

‘At the end of this exceptional year, I believe we have a line-up that will help us to make sense of 2020 as well as bringing a little welcome festive cheer.’

Lewis Hamilton’s role on the BBC show will come just days before he is set to be rewarded with a knighthood in the Queen’s New Year Honours list after securing his record-equalling seventh Formula One world championship last week. 

The 35-year-old driver is considered one of the UK’s greatest living sportsmen after rising from a Stevenage council estate to dominate F1 over the last decade.  

A growing clamour for Hamilton to be recognised after winning five championships in six seasons reached a crescendo last week as Hamilton drew level with Michael Schumacher on seven championships – having already eclipsed the German in terms of race wins and pole positions.

A week ago it was reported the Mercedes driver, who is based in the tax haven of Monaco, will be honoured after his finances were vetted by the Government’s Honours Committee.

A friend said at the time: ‘This is an honour that has eluded Lewis for so many years. It marks an incredible end to the most wonderful season.’ Another top sports figure said: ‘He is paying the right amount of tax – all that is due. He has been put forward by industry bosses in recognition of his enormous contribution to the sport’.

The racer has been backed for a knighthood by Lord Hain, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for F1, and David Richards, the chairman of Motorsport UK and former boss of Jenson Button’s BAR-Honda F1 team.

Richards told Sportsmail earlier this month that Hamilton is one of the highest 5,000 taxpayers in this country despite living in Monaco – citing HMRC’s UK income Tax Liabilities Statistics figures published last year.

In 2017, Hamilton rebuked suggestions he didn’t pay enough tax, saying: ‘What people don’t realise is I pay tax here but don’t earn all my money here.

‘I race in 19 countries, so I earn my money in 20 different places and pay tax in several different places, and I pay a lot here as well. I’m contributing to the country. Not only that, I help keep a team of more than 1,000 people employed.’

Earlier this month he was also named Britain’s most influential black person in a list dominated by people who have supported the Black Lives Matter movement. 

He described topping the Powerlist 2021 as a ‘monumental moment’ but used the award to pledge he would not ‘stay silent’ on racism in F1 as Boris Johnson was urged to give him a knighthood.

Reflecting on his legacy in the sport, Lewis Hamilton said he hoped his work outside of the car ultimately has a greater impact than his achievements behind the wheel.

Sir Jeremy Farrar said he was 'very optimistic' after drug giant Pfizer revealed this week it's vaccine candidate is 90 per cent effective at preventing Covid-19 illness. But he said it won't make the coronavirus go away, and it will be something the world will have to 'learn to with'

The Handmaid's Tale author Margaret Atwood, pictured at a reading of 'The Testaments', has warned to 'be prepared' for a world that's 'fertile for dictators'

SAGE scientist Sir Jeremy Farrar and The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood will also edit the BBC flagship radio news show

He said: ‘I want to look back on Formula One in 10 years’ time and really see change because yes, we have this Black Lives Matter moment and there’s a mic and people are hearing it, but you’ve got to really do the work to activate change.’ 

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