PJ Harvey Guest Edits BBC Radio 4 Today Programme

Musician invites the likes of Julian Assange and John Pilger onto the show.

Shortly after receiving an MBE as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, PJ Harvey has been given the reins of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Polly Harvey took over the station’s current affairs programme and invited several guests, including Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and journalist John Pilger. She also played songs by Flight of the Conchords and Tom Waits (who filled the weather slot with his ‘Strange Weather’ track).

Actor Ralph Fiennes and historian Mark Curtis also appeared on the show. It’s come under some criticism from angry listeners who’ve labelled it ‘left-wing tosh’, but Harvey’s been praised for bringing to light issues that are normally ‘censored’.

“When I was invited to be guest editor on Today, I saw it as an opportunity to try and do something unusual with the format and content of the programme,” she stated about her appearance.

“I began by thinking of people I consider to be highly articulate, stimulating and extremely interesting to listen to - people who challenge us and move us to examine our deepest beliefs and feelings. I wanted to fill my programme with their voices.

“Most importantly, I wanted to let them be heard in a manner of their choosing, whether that be a monologue, a poem, or interviewing others. What I didn’t want was for them to be restricted from saying what they wanted to say.”