BBC Radio 4 has announced that Lewis Hamilton will be a guest editor on the flagship Today Programme during the Christmas period.
The news comes as the 35-year-old British driver has tested positive for Covid-19, which will see him miss the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.
This year has seen Hamilton become the most successful Formula 1 driver ever in terms of wins, whilst also collecting a seventh World Drivers’ Championship.
However, Hamilton’s off-track activities in 2020 have also pushed him into the spotlight. He has used his sporting successes to campaign for social justice, and action on climate change.
A real global influencer
Following the global reaction to the death of George Floyd, Hamilton persuaded his Mercedes-AMG team to paint their cars black. It marked a major move for an outfit forever associated with the Silver Arrows image.
Throughout the 2020 Formula 1 season, Hamilton has supported the Black Lives Matter movement. This included organising other drivers to ‘take a knee’ with him before the opening Austrian Grand Prix. The powerful statement has continued at other 2020 races.
He later established the ‘Hamilton Commission’, aimed at increasing diversity in motorsport.
His actions led to him being named as the most influential black person in the UK, based on the 2021 Powerlist.
‘Bringing novel ideas and unexpected perspectives’
The role of guest editor on Today for 2020 is a prestigious one. It allows the guest to set the agenda across Radio 4 for the day, commissioning special reports and interviews.
Previous guest editors have included Prince Harry, Professor Stephen Hawking, and Angelina Jolie.
Hamilton has yet to announce what topics he will cover, but will be supported by regular editors to ensure he meets BBC editorial guidelines. The date for his show has not yet been decided, but will be between 26-31 December.
Other Guest Editors for 2020 include Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith, and Evan Spiegel, the CEO of media company Snap.
Recording of the guest-edited shows has been done in a Covid-safe manner. This should mean Hamilton’s recent diagnosis should not stop him from being involved.
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