DUBAI: British-Iranian citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who spent six years jailed in Iran, has been chosen as one of seven guest editors of BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program, as part of BBC Radio and BBC Sounds Christmas plans.
In an annual tradition, for the last 19 years, the program has invited high-profile guests to take over the show in the week between Christmas and new year.
Owenna Griffiths, editor of the “Today” program, said: “For nearly 20 years the guest editors have transformed Christmas on ‘Today,’ creating some of the most memorable moments in the program’s rich history along the way.
“This year is no different and I’m enormously grateful these guest editors have given up their time to bring new stories, unexpected perspectives, and a little festive cheer to the ‘Today’ audience.”
Each guest will edit Radio 4’s “Today” program between Dec. 26 and Jan. 2 and each show will include an interview with the guest editor.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was held in an Iranian prison after being accused of spying in 2016.
Following a long-running campaign and negotiations between the British and Iranian governments, she returned home to the UK in March.
In September, she posted a video showing her support for the ongoing protests in Iran following the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
In the clip, Zaghari-Ratcliffe is seen cutting her hair and it ends with her saying, “for my mother, for my daughter, for the fear of solitary confinement, for the women of my country, for freedom.”
Her show on Dec. 28 will explore how people can hold onto their freedom in difficult times and feature reports about Iran and the UK government’s efforts to free British prisoners.
Other guest editors include ABBA member Bjorn Ulvaeus; chef Jamie Oliver; Jeremy Fleming, director of the UK’s intelligence, cyber, and security agency Government Communications Headquarters; Sharon White, chairman of John Lewis Partnership; former cricketer Ian Botham, now a member of the British House of Lords and UK trade envoy to Australia; and Anne-Marie Imafidon, technologist, author, and chief executive officer of Stemettes, a social enterprise promoting women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers.