Media: Lifeline - Guest editors

From rock stars to political masterminds, anyone can be called upon to become an editor for the day.

October 2005: The former Labour spin-meister Alastair Campbell is asked by Five to be the guest editor of an edition of its 7pm news bulletin - formalising, some say, a job he'd been doing, uncredited, across all TV and print news outlets on a daily basis since 1997. Five also extends invites to similarly qualified pundits, Ms Dynamite and the infamous drug smuggler Howard Marks.

May 2006: The messianic rock star Bono is wheeled in to guest edit an edition of The Independent, focusing on the problems faced by Africa. "I truly try to tread carefully as I walk over the dreams of dignity under my feet in our work for the terrible beauty that is the continent of Africa. I'm used to the custard pies. I've even learned to like the taste of them," his editorial piece states, insightfully.

March 2009: When the New Statesman decided it might be a neat idea to dream up a cunning stunt to promote its relaunch, its thoughts turn naturally enough to the veteran guest editor Campbell. His issue features an interview with that venerable political analyst Sir Alex Ferguson - and staff feathers are also ruffled by Campbell's very presence. Perhaps confusing him with Saddam Hussein, they believe he started the war in Iraq.

Early July 2009: The freebie weekly Sport asks Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff to guest edit the issue to coincide with the start of the Ashes. There is crickety flannel, but Flintoff shows his true colours with a feature on his darts idol, Wayne "Hawaii 501" Mardle.

Late July 2009: Sarah Brown, the wife of the Prime Minister, puts in a shift as the guest editor of the News of the World's self-descriptive magazine Fabulous. As befits her status as patron of the Wellbeing of Women charity, she produces a women's health issue. It features an interview with the WoW ambassador, Jools Oliver, but the issue also manages to feature pictures of family life chez Brown, showing what a good daddy Gordon is.

Fast forward ...

May 2010: And Campbell is called back into action again, to guest edit an edition of Saga Magazine coinciding with the shock retirement of the Brown family following a General Election. They invite him into their delightful Morningside flat, where Sarah outlines her ambitious needlepoint and crochet programme while Gordon unveils plans to construct a scale model of the Bank of England out of spent matchsticks.

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