Charlotte Church and Katie Price to guest edit Woman's Hour

Singer to discuss creative failings of UK schools, while Price will tackle online trolling

The TV personality Katie Price and the singer-songwriter Charlotte Church will be among the next guest editors of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

The pair join the ranks of women including the author JK Rowling, the actor Angelina Jolie, the food writer Mary Berry and the Paralympics gold medallist Ellie Simmonds, who have all previously edited the show, which has been on air since 1946.

The tradition of bringing in famous women to take the helm began in 2014, with each guest editor adding their own flavour to the programme. Jolie focused on sexual violence in conflict and women’s health, while Berry discussed issues such as gardening as therapy and beekeeping.

Other women who will take over as guest editors in 2018 include Arianna Huffington, the co-founder of the Huffington Post, who will look at subjects including stress and burnout, Lady Helena Kennedy QC, and the Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, chaplain to the Queen and to the Speaker of the House of Commons, who will discuss knife and gun crime.

Each will be joined by the regular presenters Jenni Murray and Jane Garvey.

Price, a former glamour model, implored MPs earlier this year to make trolling a criminal offence.

Katie Price.
Katie Price, giving evidence to a parliamentary committee, is calling for trolling to be made a criminal offence. Photograph: PA

Giving evidence to parliament’s petitions committee, after starting a petition that attracted more than 220,000 signatures, she told how her son Harvey, who has multiple disabilities, had repeatedly been the victim of “horrific” online abuse.

Price, 39, will look at making online abuse a criminal offence and the lack of wheelchair-friendly rides in theme parks during her time on Woman’s Hour.

“I would like to create awareness for people who can relate to my topics,” she said. “If it helps just one person out there to know they are not alone or address issues which can make small changes to people’s lives then I have done my job.”

Church, 31, said: “My edition of Woman’s Hour will look at what a school could look like if we focused on what children need and put creativity at the heart of all learning and teaching. My children are fast approaching secondary school age, and in my opinion the current school system is not fit for purpose. I want to ask what effect it’s having on our young adults as well as what we can do to change it.”

Arianna Huffington.
Arianna Huffington says women pay the highest price for long hours and a macho culture. Photograph: Mike McGregor/Mike McGregor for the Observer Magazine

Huffington said: “We’re living at a time of a global epidemic of stress and burnout, which is being amplified by technology and our ‘always-on’culture. And women pay the highest price when long hours and the macho culture of always being ’on’ is taken as a proxy for commitment and dedication. So I’m thrilled to be able to talk with BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour about how women can reject the delusion that burnout is the price they have to pay for success.”

Woman’s Hour takeover week starts on Monday 16 July.


Nadia Khomami

The GuardianTramp

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