Raheem Sterling is to guest edit BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, exploring social mobility and the role of sportspeople in society.
The Manchester City and England player is one of several public figures who will take the editorial reins in the week between Christmas and New Year.
He is the first active footballer to do so, although Tony Adams, the former Arsenal and England captain, filled the role in 2009, seven years after he retired from the sport.
The former Archdeacon of Southend, Mina Smallman – whose daughters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman were murdered in a London park in 2020 – will use her guest editorship to highlight the role of chaplaincy in times of need, as well as examining support for victims of crime and looking at the Reclaim the Streets movement.
James Rebanks, the sheep farmer and author who recently accused the BBC of failing farmers with the content of Countryfile, will consider the role of urban farms.
General Sir Nick Carter, the outgoing Chief of the Defence Staff, will feature reports on Afghanistan and alternative ways of treating post-traumatic stress disorder in ex-service personnel.
General Sir Nick Carter, here meeting the Queen at Windsor Castle on November 17, will feature reports on Afghanistan during his stint as guest editor
Credit: Steve Parsons/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
Jacky Wright, the chief digital officer at Microsoft, will ask whether young people are being equipped with the skills they need for the jobs of the future.
Lord Dobbs of Wylye, the Conservative peer who was diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier this year, will encourage Today listeners to learn more about the disease.
Dr Jane Goodall, the conservationist, will use her programme to explore the links between poverty and climate change.
The special episodes will air between December 27 and January 3. Previous guest editors included the Duke of Sussex, Angelina Jolie and Greta Thunberg.
Elsewhere on BBC radio this Christmas, Tom Daley, the Olympic diving gold medallist, will make his Radio 2 presenting debut, and John Cleese will be the subject of Radio 3’s Private Passions.
Radio 4 will broadcast the first radio adaptation of The Princess Bride, the William Goldman novel turned into a much-loved Eighties film, on Christmas Day.