More wannabe journalists? Ed Miliband and Iain Duncan Smith are to serve as BBC Radio guest hosts

Mark Sands
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Miliband could put on some A-Ha and rock out to "Take On Me" (Source: Getty)

In a blow to the job prospects of hacks everywhere, former Labour leader Ed Miliband and former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith are to join the ranks of politicians converting into journalists later this month, with each serving as a guest host on BBC Radio.

Miliband will host Radio 2's Jeremy Vine show for the week beginning 19 June, with Duncan Smith taking the slot for the week beginning 26 June.

It is not known if the hosts will influence music played on the show, but both men have shown unexpected tastes when it comes to the tunes.

Miliband picked A-Ha's pop anthem "Take On Me" for his episode of Desert Island Discs in 2013, while a 2002 bow for Duncan Smith included the selection of blue collar American rocker Bruce Springsteen and his track "City of Ruins".

Duncan Smith reportedly chose the Springsteen song because it reminded him of his "great days of abandonment" as a long-haired 19-year-old in Italy.

In hosting the radio show, which attracts a weekly audience of 7m listeners, Miliband and Duncan Smith will also follow in the footsteps of former chancellor George Osborne, who now edits the Evening Standard.

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Foreign secretary Boris Johnson and environment secretary Michael Gove have also dabbled in journalism, with the latter securing the first ever interview with then-president elect Donald Trump.

Editor of the Jeremy Vine Show Phil Jones said: “This follows a tradition of Radio 2’s popular current affairs show, being occasionally guest-presented by prominent politicians which began with figures such as Neil Kinnock and the late Charles Kennedy in the early 1990s.

"Political coverage is the bedrock of the programme and this is a sign of how important politics is to Radio 2, especially at such a key time in the nation’s history."

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