JK Rowling to guest edit Woman’s Hour in Radio 4 takeover

The Harry Potter author will focus on pseudonyms in literature, the shoe, orphanages and multiple sclerosis in the first of a week of shows also edited by Kelly Holmes, Lauren Laverne and Doreen Lawrence


JK Rowling is to swap her writing desk for the radio studio and helm Radio 4’s weekday staple Woman’s Hour.


The Harry Potter author is the first in a week of guest editors that will also see Kelly Holmes and the mother of Stephen Lawrence – Doreen Lawrence – deciding the day’s topics. Each will explore issues in which they have a personal interest.

For her broadcasting debut, Rowling has chosen an eclectic mix of topics: the use of pseudonyms in literature, the power and myth of the shoe in popular culture, why Scotland has the highest number of multiple sclerosis sufferers in the world and why so many children worldwide still live in orphanages. Jenni Murray and Jane Garvey will continue to present the programme – it is as yet unclear whether Rowling will actually step up to the mic.

As befits an Olympic athlete, Kelly Holmes will focus on healthy eating and exercise the following day. Author Naomi Alderman is the third in the line-up and will celebrate influential women in science and technology, and ask why public speaking is a predominantly male past time.

Doreen Lawrence – who has just been named number one game changer on the 2014 Woman’s Hour Power List – will talk about the people who inspired her, from Maya Angelou to Barack Obama. 6Music DJ Lauren Laverne will present the final session in which she’ll interview author and journalist Caitlin Moran – number ten on the power list – and discuss the intersection between feminism and consumerism.

This is the first time in nearly 60 years of broadcasting that Woman’s Hour has ceded the reins to guest editors. The takeover, as it’s been dubbed, will begin on Monday 28th April.