Desert Island Discs-logo

Desert Island Discs

BBC

Eight tracks, a book and a luxury: what would you take to a desert island? Guests share the soundtrack of their lives.

Eight tracks, a book and a luxury: what would you take to a desert island? Guests share the soundtrack of their lives.

Location:

London, United Kingdom

Networks:

BBC

Description:

Eight tracks, a book and a luxury: what would you take to a desert island? Guests share the soundtrack of their lives.

Twitter:

@BBCRadio4

Language:

English

Contact:

03700 100 400


Episodes

Robert Macfarlane, writer

7/25/2021
Robert Macfarlane is a writer whose books about the natural world, including The Wild Places and The Old Ways, have won many prizes and taken root in the best-seller charts. He was born into a family of enthusiastic amateur climbers and his early memories include being carried up the Cairngorms on his father's back. This childhood experience led to a lifelong passion, and inspired his first book, Mountains of the Mind, about the complex human fascination with mountains. His interest in the...

Duration:00:34:44

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, athlete

7/18/2021
Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill is an Olympic gold medallist and three-time world champion heptathlete, and is one of the most successful women in British sporting history. She was the face of Team GB during the 2012 London Olympics, and her image adorned billboards and hoardings across the country in the run up to the Games. Born in Sheffield, Jessica discovered sport as a youngster after attending a local athletics camp during the school holidays. By the time she was 13 she was working with a...

Duration:00:35:16

Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, veterinary surgeon.

7/12/2021
Professor Noel Fitzpatrick is a veterinary surgeon who presents the television series The Supervet. He has pushed the boundaries of treatment available to animals and has developed ground breaking surgery including fitting the world’s first bionic leg on a dog. Noel was born in Ballyfin in Ireland where his father Sean was a farmer. As a very small boy Noel’s job was to count the sheep at night which he credits as the catalyst for his enduring love of animals. He completed his training in...

Duration:00:37:40

Paul Costelloe, fashion designer

7/4/2021
Paul Costelloe is a fashion designer who recently celebrated his 36th year showing at London Fashion Week, making him the event’s longest-standing designer. Paul was born in Dublin where his father ran a successful company making raincoats. He studied at the Grafton Academy of Fashion Design and then moved to Paris where he started a fashion course at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture but felt out of his depth and soon dropped out. He talked his way into a job with the eccentric French...

Duration:00:34:14

Margaret Busby, publisher

6/27/2021
Margaret Busby is a publisher and editor who was the chair of the Booker Prize jury in 2020. She has spent a life time in the literary world and was the youngest person and first black woman to set up a publishing house when she was twenty three years old. Together with Clive Allison, she created Allison and Busby based in Soho, London. Margaret was born in Ghana in the 1940s and spent her childhood at a boarding school in the UK whilst her parents ran a medical practice in rural Ghana. She...

Duration:00:36:46

Richard Wilson, actor and director

6/20/2021
Richard Wilson is an actor and director who became a household name when he played the part of Victor Meldrew in the BBC sitcom One Foot in the Grave. Richard was born in Greenock in Scotland in 1936. As a child he performed in amateur drama productions and harboured a secret desire to become an actor. He left school at 17 and trained as a laboratory technician at Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow. Following National Service in Singapore, he moved to London and at the age of 27 successfully...

Duration:00:37:19

Yo-Yo Ma, musician

6/13/2021
Yo-Yo Ma is a cellist and one of the world's most high-profile classical musicians. He has performed for eight US Presidents, appeared in concert halls across the globe and reached new audiences through film soundtracks and TV shows including The Simpsons and Sesame Street. Yo-Yo Ma was born in Paris in 1955. His Chinese-born parents were both musicians and his father was his first cello teacher. The family moved to the USA when Yo-Yo was seven, and a noted child prodigy, playing for John F...

Duration:00:37:45

Heather Hallett, former judge and crossbench peer

6/6/2021
Heather Hallett, Baroness Hallett of Rye, is a former judge and a cross-bench peer. Called to the Bar in 1972, Heather practised family, civil and criminal law, eventually specialising in criminal law. In 1989 she became a QC and was the first woman to chair the Bar Council in 1998. She was only the fifth woman to be appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2005 and was appointed vice president of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division in 2013. Heather was born in Eastleigh in Hampshire. Her...

Duration:00:35:58

Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, charity CEO

5/30/2021
Amanda Khozi Mukwashi is the chief executive of Christian Aid, leading development and humanitarian work in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean. Amanda was born in Twickenham and grew up in Zambia and Rome where her stepfather worked in the diplomatic service. She studied international trade and investment law at the University of Zambia in Lusaka and during this time she began to develop her political outlook and commitment to the issue of social justice. She...

Duration:00:36:06

Alexei Sayle, comedian

5/23/2021
Alexei Sayle is a comedian and writer, who began his career just over 40 years ago at the small Comedy Store venue in London, which proved a launch-pad for a new generation of comic stars. Alexei was born in Liverpool, where his parents were loyal members of the Communist Party: their politics informed almost every aspect of the family’s life, including holidays by train to eastern European countries that were then part of the Soviet bloc. He won a place at Chelsea School of Art but didn’t...

Duration:00:35:54

Brian Greene

5/16/2021
Brian Greene is a theoretical physicist, mathematician and writer, whose area of research is string theory. His books and broadcasts distil the complexities of science for a general audience, leading one critic to say appreciatively “he speaks maths, physics and human.” Born in New York City, his father taught him the basics of arithmetic when he was a toddler and by the time he was five Brian was multiplying 30-digit numbers by 30-digit numbers - just for the pure joy of working things out...

Duration:00:38:01

Billie Piper, actor

5/9/2021
Billie Piper is an Olivier Award winning actor and former pop star. She was born in Swindon in September 1982, and her parents nurtured her interests in dance and drama from a young age. After a winning a scholarship to study at the Sylvia Young Theatre School, she moved to London as a young teenager, leaving the family home. By the age of 15, she was a full time pop star. She became the youngest female artist ever to go straight to number one in the UK charts when her debut single was a hit...

Duration:00:36:23

Classic Desert Island Discs - Desmond Tutu

5/2/2021
Sue Lawley talks to former Archbishop of Capetown Desmond Tutu in a programme first broadcast in 1994. Desmond Tutu celebrates his 90th birthday this year.

Duration:00:37:09

Classic Desert Island Discs - Helen McCrory

4/22/2021
Lauren Laverne talks to the actress Helen McCrory, in a programme first broadcast in 2020. Helen McCrory died in April 2021, at the age of 52.

Duration:00:35:28

Classic Desert Island Discs - Kathleen Turner

4/18/2021
Sue Lawley interviews the actor Kathleen Turner in a programme first broadcast in 2000.

Duration:00:34:35

Classic Desert Island Discs - Russell T Davies

4/11/2021
Russell T Davies is one of the U.K.'s most successful television writers. He spent his teenage years learning his dramatic craft with the West Glamorgan Youth Theatre, and his career in television began in the children's department at the BBC. His first solo hit TV series was the ground-breaking, sexually frank drama Queer as Folk, first broadcast on Channel 4 in 1999. A lifelong Doctor Who fan, he relaunched the series in 2005 for a new generation of viewers. Such was its success, he found...

Duration:00:42:55

Classic Desert Island Discs - Murray Walker

4/4/2021
Kirsty Young talks to motor racing commentator Murray Walker, in a programme first broadcast in 2014. Murray Walker died in March 2021, at the age of 97.

Duration:00:38:19

Professor Sir Simon Wessely

3/28/2021
Professor Sir Simon Wessely is the first ever psychiatrist to be awarded a Regius professorship – an honour bestowed by the Queen. He is professor of psychological medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, and is also a consultant psychiatrist at King’s College Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital. Born in Sheffield to a father who had come to Britain on the Kindertransport, he started his research career working on unexplained symptoms and...

Duration:00:38:14

Maggie O'Farrell, writer

3/21/2021
Maggie O’Farrell has written eight novels, a memoir and a children’s book. In 2020 her novel Hamnet won the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and was also named Waterstones Book of the Year. Maggie was born in Northern Ireland. Her parents moved around during her childhood, and she grew up in Wales and Scotland. As a young girl, she was very ill and almost died from encephalitis. She says her lifelong love of reading comes from her long stay in hospital followed by an extended convalescence, when...

Duration:00:35:36

Dame Louise Casey, crossbench peer

3/14/2021
Baroness Casey of Blackstock is a former civil servant specialising in social welfare, who has worked under five prime ministers. She has taken on some of UK society’s most difficult issues, including homelessness, anti-social behaviour and family breakdown, and has become known for her forthright views. She grew up in Portsmouth and her first job was working on reception at a branch of the Department of Health and Social Security in the late 1980s. At 27 she became the deputy director of...

Duration:00:37:10