PJ Harvey took the reins on the Today programme on Thursday morning - and caused quite a stir.

Julian Assange was put in charge of Thought for the Day, while leftwing firebrand John Pilger was given a slot to discuss censorship, where he criticised the BBC and Barack Obama.

There was more music than usual, with a full-length folk song after a feature about injured soldiers, and poems including one read by former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

Presenters Sarah Montague and Mishal Husain regularly reminded listeners that the show had been designed by Harvey, whose choices for the flagship news show sharply divided opinion:

Matt Chorley
First day back at work. Was hoping the BBC's flagship news programme would fill me in on the news. Instead is playing folk music

Ian Austin
Quick: need guest editor to continue balanced reporting global affairs. Are Putin, Ahmadinejad or Assad available tomorrow?

Ian Austin
In 30 years of listening, I already thought today's was worst ever. I cldn't imagine it cld get worse. Then they put Assange on

Alex von Tunzelmann
Enjoying guest editor PJ Harvey's radical leftie Today programme. For once, the BBC actually sounds like the Daily Mail thinks it does.

Nicolas Chinardet
Those who think the BBC and have a leftie bias will be spitting their cereals, listening to today's programme edited by

David Jones
Today's is apparently the work of a "guest editor". Have to wonder who extended the invitation.

Singer PJ Harvey edits R4 Today - now on. Words from lefties John Pilger & Rowan Williams, Julian Assange ahead.Lively alternative tone

Nick Robinson
Pilger always thought provoking but was he really suggesting that BBC ignore Obama's Mandela grief as he is a hypocrite? Or ....@BBCr4today

The Daily Telegraph picked out criticism of the show as "left wing tosh".

During Thought for the Day, Assange was unapologetic about leaking government secrets.

He said: "To be alive to a human being is to know in the same way that it is to have a heart that beats.

"Documents disclosed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show that governments dare to aspire, through their intelligence agencies, to a god-like knowledge of each and every one of us. But at the same time they hide their actions behind official secrecy."

Speaking on the subject of knowledge and its relationship with power, he said: "As our governments and corporations know more and more about us, we know less and less about them.

"We must be unapologetic about that most basic of humanity - the desire to know."