National Geographic Announces First Ever Guest Editors to Celebrate 130 Years of the Magazine

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National Geographic today announces an ambitious new project, to create a unique Guest Editor programme exclusively for the UK National Geographic Magazine.

Working in collaboration with Global Editor-in-Chief Susan Goldberg and the editorial team, twelve notable British figures, each respected leaders in their fields, will explore topics of such as sustainability, technology, environmentalism and human ingenuity, working with National Geographic to use the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world.

Beginning in January 2018, with the world’s greatest living explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, an initial eight Guest Editors have been announced including Dame Ellen MacArthur, Sir Mo Farah, Lily Cole, Archie Panjabi, Dr Maria Balshaw, Katie Piper and Brian Cox. Further announcements are due next year.

National Geographic is the most read magazine in the world, with the UK having the highest circulation for any edition, outside of North America. Each Guest Editor will curate and create a range of features for the UK magazine, along with exclusive content for

We have entered an exciting new phase for National Geographic, building on our 129-year heritage, to allow us to go further in expanding our renowned storytelling capabilities and supporting the growth of the non-profit National Geographic Society”, said Susan Goldberg, Global Editor-in-Chief, National Geographic Magazine. “This is the first time that we have had a Guest Editor project for any of our 35 editions around the world, and I am thrilled to be collaborating with some of Britain’s finest as we aim to empower our UK readers to navigate the world, providing authoritative, unbiased content that addresses today’s complex issues.

The UK has always had and a strong affinity with National Geographic”, said Deborah Armstrong, Executive Vice President, National Geographic Partners, Europe & Africa. “From renowned conservationists such as Dr Jane Goodall, to the 200 active explorers we have working in the UK today, Brits have played an important part in our history. Our Guest Editor programme is the perfect way to commemorate our 130th year as we continue in our mission to encourage exploration and find new ways to better understand the world in which we live.

January Issue – Sir Ranulph Fiennes:

A man who likes to be first, former SAS soldier and pioneer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, conquers the previously unknown challenge of being guest editor for the January issue. Having spent the last 50 years exploring the planet, who better to launch this ambitious project than the “world’s greatest living explorer” (Guinness Book of World Records). He was the first person to reach both the North and South Poles by surface; the first to cross the Antarctic and Arctic Oceans and the early 1990s saw him complete the first unsupported crossing of the Antarctic Continent.

By way of introduction to the National Geographic readers, Fiennes’ editor’s letter talks about his relationship with the much-loved magazine and how the magazine was a great source of inspiration for him in his early life.

“As a child, growing up in South Africa, and later at school in England, I remember happily browsing through back issues. Now, at the age of 73, I wonder how much the articles I read back then sparked my young imagination; whether perhaps they inspired my later expeditions in any way.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Explorer.

Despite being the only man alive ever to have travelled around the Earth’s circumpolar surface (more people have been on the Moon) and to have visited almost every type of habitat in the world, Fiennes reveals that the polar expeditions have challenged him the most. He is therefore delighted to include an article documenting the Pristine Seas exploration of Nunavut, in northern Canada in the upcoming January issue. North of Greenland and Ellesmere Island, this is a place that has been named the Last Ice Area. Climate projections suggest that by 2040, summer sea ice will disappear from everywhere in the Arctic except here, making it an invaluable haven for wildlife that depends on the sea ice for survival – bowhead whales, seals, narwhals and polar bears.

In a fascinating and insightful interview feature, titled “Exploring the Unknown,” Fiennes reveals what he believes is the crowning achievement of his career; how he constantly craves new challenges and how he is planning yet another expedition!

National Geographic:

Across the full National Geographic media portfolio, the brand reaches millions of consumers of all ages across 172 countries each month.

With over 55 million readers, published in 35 language, National Geographic Magazine is the most read magazine in the world. Published by National Geographic Partners, the role of trusted long-form journalism is as important as ever, providing a spotlight for the important stories that define our time and matter most to a new generation. With each issue, National Geographic magazine strives to captivate millions of curious readers every month with world-class, award-winning photography and reporting that will inspire them to make informed decisions and drive positive change.

Furthering the knowledge and understanding of the world is the core purpose of National Geographic. With the very definition of entertainment with a purpose, National Geographic returns 27% of proceeds made to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation, and education. This unique partnership creates a virtuous cycle of storytelling and exploration that inspires people to act, enlightens their perspective, and often provides the spark to new ideas and innovation.

***The January issue, guest edited by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, will be available on shelves on 3rd Jan***




Biographies (in alphabetical order):

Dr Maria Balshaw CBE
Maria Balshaw succeeded Sir Nicholas Serota as Director of Tate on 1 June 2017. Previously, as Director of the Whitworth, University of Manchester and Manchester City Galleries, Maria was responsible for the artistic and strategic vision for each gallery. Maria was also Director of Culture for Manchester City Council from 2013-2017. She is a board member of Arts Council England and was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the arts in June 2015.

Lily Cole
Lily Cole spends her time on art and activism. As an advocate for socio political and environmental issues, Lily has employed technology, writing, filmmaking and public speaking as means to build awareness and encourage dialogue. Lily was awarded a First Class BA in History of Art from Cambridge University in 2011. In 2013 she co-founded a technology company that uses technology to solve social and environmental problems. Lily is a patron of the EJF and has worked significantly with WWF. She writes often for national and international press. ‘Impossible Utopias’, originally is Lily’s first book. Lily has worked with notable photographers and artists from Steven Meisel to Gilliam Wearing. She was the youngest model to appear on the cover of British Vogue, and was listed by French Vogue as one of the top 30 models of the 2000s. Lily began working as an actress when she was 6 years old, then returned to film when she was 16 in Marilyn Manson’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. In 2009 she played the female lead in Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus. Since then she has made over fifteen films with directors including Sally Potter, Shekhar Kapur, Roland Joffe, Mary Harron and Rian Johnson; performed at the Globe theatre and The Old Vic theatre. Lily wrote and presented a six-part TV series on contemporary art for Sky Arts, shoots photography and has directed several short films.

Brian Cox
Brian Cox is Professor of Particle Physics at the University of Manchester and The Royal Society Professor for Public Engagement in Science. He has worked primarily in the study of diffractive scattering at the H1 experiment at DESY in Hamburg, the D0 experiment at Fermilab, Chicago, and is currently a member of the ATLAS Collaboration at the Large Hadron Collider, CERN. He was the co-spokesperson for the FP420 R&D project at CERN between 2004 and 2009. He is active in the public and political promotion of science, and is known to the public for his documentary work on BBC television. He was a Royal Society University Research Fellow from 2005 – 2013, is a Fellow of The Institute of Physics, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and holds a British Association Honorary Fellowship. He received an OBE for services to science in 2010, the President’s Medal from the Institute of Physics in 2012 and the Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize in 2012.

Sir Mo Farah
Sir Mo Farah is Britain’s greatest-ever distance runner and is a multiple Olympic, World and European Champion, with 10 World and Olympic gold medals to his name. Mo’s achievements are a far cry from his humble beginnings in Somalia. He arrived in London at the age of 8, speaking very little English, and grew up in West London. He began running at school when spotted by his PE Teacher, who saw potential in the young pupil – although Mo initially wanted to become a player for Arsenal football club! Following a successful junior career, he won his first double European Championship medals in 2010, followed by his first World Championship gold medal in 2011. He subsequently shot to fame at the London 2012 Olympic Games, when he won double Olympic gold – competing in the 5k and 10k – something he would later go on to repeat in at the Olympic Games in Rio 2016. In August 2017, Mo bid goodbye to major track championships in front of his home crowd at the London Stadium, where he was the only British athlete to win individual medals, securing a gold medal for the 10,000m and a silver medal for the 5,000m. He is now moving his focus onto marathon running, and will compete in the Virgin Money London Marathon 2018. Mo is a dedicated family man and, after several years living in the US, he is returning to live in London with his wife Tania and their four children Rhianna, Aisha, Amani and Hussein.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Sir Ranulph Fiennes was, with Charles Burton, the first man to reach both poles by surface travel and, with Mike Stroud, the first to cross the Antarctic Continent unsupported. He is the only person yet to have been awarded two clasps to the Polar medal for both Antarctic and the Arctic regions. Fiennes has led over 30 expeditions including the first polar circumnavigation of the Earth, and in 2003 he ran seven marathons in seven days on seven continents in aid of the British Heart Foundation,3½ months after a massive heart attack. In 1993 Her Majesty the Queen awarded Fiennes the Order of the British Empire (OBE) because, on the way to breaking records, he has raised over £18 million for charity. He was named Best Sportsman in the 2007 ITV Great Briton Awards and in 2009 he became the oldest Briton to reach the summit of Everest, raising a total of £6.3m for Marie Curie Cancer Care. The Coldest Journey in 2014 raised £1.3 million for Seeing is Believing. In 2015 he successfully completed the Marathon des Sables raising over £2 million for Marie Curie. He has written 23 books, Cold came out in 2013, Agincourt was published in September 2014, Heat October 2015 and his latest book Fear in 2016.

Susan Goldberg
Editorial Director, National Geographic Partners, and Editor in Chief, National Geographic Magazine

Susan Goldberg is Editorial Director of National Geographic Partners and Editor In Chief of National Geographic Magazine. As Editorial Director, she is in charge of all publishing ventures, including digital journalism, magazines, books, maps, children and family, and travel and adventure. She was named Editorial Director in October 2015 and Editor in Chief of the magazine in April 2014. She is the 10th editor of the magazine since it was first published in October 1888. Under her leadership in 2017, National Geographic was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for its issue about gender and the magazine received numerous other awards for photography, storytelling and graphics. In 2016, National Geographic magazine won a National Magazine Award for best website; in 2015, it won two National Magazine Awards and the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting. In March 2015, she received the Exceptional Woman in Publishing Award from Exceptional Women in Publishing.

Before her employment at National Geographic, Goldberg was executive editor for federal, state and local government coverage for Bloomberg News in Washington. She started at Bloomberg in 2010. In 2013, she was voted one of Washington’s 11 most influential women in the media by Washingtonian magazine; in 2017, Washingtonian again selected Goldberg, naming her among the most powerful women in Washington across professions.

Dame Ellen MacArthur
Dame Ellen MacArthur made yachting history in 2005, when she became the fastest solo sailor to circumnavigate the globe, and remains the UK’s most successful offshore racer ever, having won the Ostar, the Route du Rhum and finished second in the Vendée Globe at just 24 years of age. Having become acutely aware of the finite nature of the resources our linear economy relies upon, she stepped away from professional sailing to launch the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in 2010, which works with education, business and government to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. The Foundation has published seminal reports featuring analysis by McKinsey & Company on the economic opportunities associated with this regenerative approach, and in 2016 and 2017 the Foundation launched two systemic initiatives to transform the plastics and textiles industries to adopt circular economy principles. Dame Ellen acted as Vice-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Meta-Council on the circular economy until 2016, and sat on the European Commission’s Resource Efficiency Platform between 2012 and 2014. She received the French Legion of Honour from President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008, three years after having been knighted by Queen Elizabeth.

Archie Panjabi

Archie Panjabi is an Emmy Award winning British actress as well as a campaigner and philanthropist. Best known for her role as Kalinda Sharma in The Good Wife, she was nominated for an Emmy three times in a row and went on to be honored with a Golden Globe Nomination. She made her film debut in the critically acclaimed East Is East which won a BAFTA for Best Film. She then went onto star in the BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated international hit Bend It Like Beckham. She appeared in John Le Carre’s The Constant Gardener, which was nominated for 10 BAFTAS and won an Oscar and went on to work alongside Angelina Jolie in the gut wrenching A Mighty Heart. Archie then went on to star in the BAFTA winning Netflix/BBC series The Fall, opposite Gillian Anderson as well as Shetland. She recently starred on the American TV hit Blindspot and in the International blockbuster earthquake movie San Andreas opposite Dwayne Johnson. The New Year will see Archie lead the highly anticipated 6 part drama Next Of Kin on ITV.

Archie is the Rotary Global Ambassador for the We Are This Close Campaign to eradicate polio in partnership with UNICEF and The Gates Foundation. At the United Nations, she has spoken about her experiences of Polio victims in Mumbai where she lived as a child. Archie fronted the Amnesty International’s Stop Violence Against Women Campaign, which eventually brought about several policy changes in support for victims of violence. She also participated in The Women of the World Summit in New York and London and was a guest speaker at the Harvard University prestigious Artist in Residence Program.

Katie Piper

Katie Piper is a best-selling international author, inspirational speaker, TV presenter and charity campaigner. Katie made the decision to share her story in a remarkable film for the Cutting Edge strand on Channel 4 called ‘Katie: My Beautiful Face’ which was watched by over 3.5million viewers and nominated for Best Single Documentary at the BAFTA Television Awards in 2010. In 2009 she set up a charity The Katie Piper Foundation to help people with burns and scars to reconnect with their lives and their communities. Simon Cowell supported Katie by becoming the patron and remains actively involved to date. The charity’s vision is a world where scars do not limit a person’s function, social inclusion or sense of well-being.In addition to her charity commitments, Katie also presents a number of TV shows which are shown on C4 in the UK and in a number of countries around the world. Katie has also written five books, two autobiographies ‘Beautiful’ and ‘Beautiful Ever After’, an affirmations book called ‘Start Your Day With Katie’ , a self help booked called ‘Things Get Better’ and her most recent book, published in December 2016, ‘Confidence: The Secret’. This quickly became a #1 Bestseller on Amazon.

About National Geographic Partners LLC:

National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit or, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

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