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Desert Island Discs

BBC

The format is simple: each week a guest is invited by Kirsty Young to choose the eight records they would take with them to a desert island.

The format is simple: each week a guest is invited by Kirsty Young to choose the eight records they would take with them to a desert island.
More Information

Location:

London, United Kingdom

Networks:

BBC

Description:

The format is simple: each week a guest is invited by Kirsty Young to choose the eight records they would take with them to a desert island.

Twitter:

@BBCRadio4

Language:

English

Contact:

03700 100 400


Episodes

Classic Desert Island Discs: Annie Lennox

4/22/2018
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Another chance to listen to the singer-songwriter speaking to Kirsty Young in 2008. Her extraordinary voice has captivated us for decades and, as one half of the group Eurythmics and as a solo artist, she's sold tens of millions of records and won fistfuls of awards. As a teenager, her musical ability was her passport out of her home town of Aberdeen. At that point, a career as a flautist beckoned: but, after studying in London, she felt she could never make her mark as a classical musician....

Duration:00:36:12

Classic Desert Island Discs: Stephen Hawking

4/15/2018
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Another chance to listen to the theoretical physicist speaking to Sue Lawley in 1992. Stephen Hawking wrote the best-selling A Brief History of Time and was the founder of the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge, where he was also the Emeritus Lucasian Professor. He talked to Sue Lawley about his life and work, and the illness which left him severely disabled, as well as selecting the eight discs he would choose to take to the mythical island. Favourite track:...

Duration:00:41:56

Classic Desert Island Discs: Victoria Wood

4/8/2018
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Another chance to listen to the comedian speaking to Kirsty Young in 2007. For decades she was one of our best-loved writers and performers. The television series she made - including Acorn Antiques, Dinnerladies and Housewife 49 - won her a devoted following as well as stacks of awards. But, in a moving and open interview, she describes how, as a teenager, she felt she was a misfit - she had few friends, she struggled with her weight and at school she used to steal other people's...

Duration:00:35:56

Classic Desert Island Discs: Hugh Masekela

4/1/2018
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Another chance to listen to the world famous musician speaking to Sue Lawley in 2004. As a boy growing up in the impoverished townships of South Africa, he was inspired to learn the trumpet after seeing Kirk Douglas play Bix Beiderbecke in Young Man With A Horn. He begged one of his teachers - the anti-apartheid crusader Father Trevor Huddleston - to buy him a horn and in return he promised to stay out of trouble. Hugh soon made a name for himself in South Africa but as the racial tensions...

Duration:00:34:25

Anne-Marie Duff

3/25/2018
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Anne-Marie Duff is a stage and screen actor. Born in 1970 to Irish parents, she grew up in a working class household in west London. A shy child and a voracious reader, she took acting classes from the age of 11, but failed to get into drama school on her first attempt. Her second application to the Drama Centre in London was successful and she's barely been out of work since. She started off on stage, but gained more widespread recognition when she took the role of Fiona Gallagher in...

Duration:00:34:38

David Byrne

3/18/2018
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David Byrne was a founding member of the band Talking Heads. Born in Dumbarton, Scotland, he emigrated first to Canada and then to the USA before the age of ten. He started playing in bands at school and, when art school didn't work out for him, he founded Talking Heads with a couple of friends. They played their first gig, opening for the Ramones, at the legendary New York club CBGB's, in June 1975. Eight studio albums later, cracks were beginning to show in the relations between band...

Duration:00:34:54

John Gray

3/11/2018
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John Gray is a philosopher. His academic career included professorships at Oxford University and the London School of Economics, and visiting professorships at Harvard and Yale in the USA. He retired from academia in 2008, and has dedicated himself to writing full time since then. He is the lead book reviewer of the New Statesman and a regular contributor to the Guardian. Born in 1948 in South Shields, his father was a Tyneside dock worker, his mother a homemaker. A voracious reader as a...

Duration:00:36:42

Matt Smith

3/4/2018
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Matt Smith is best known as the eleventh Timelord in the BBC One series, Doctor Who. At 26, he became the youngest actor to take the part. His future looked set to be in football: he played at youth level for Northampton Town, Nottingham Forest and Leicester City until a serious back condition ended his highly promising career prematurely. His drama teacher encouraged him to take up acting and he joined the National Youth Theatre and studied drama at the University of East Anglia. He...

Duration:00:46:53

Dame Minouche Shafik

2/25/2018
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Dame Minouche Shafik is the director of the London School of Economics and a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. She was born in Egypt but her family had to flee the country when she was four years old, because her parents lost everything during President Nasser's nationalisation programme. Her father, a scientist, found work in America, and Minouche and her sister attended numerous schools there, before she went back to Egypt at the age of 16. She trained as an economist,...

Duration:00:35:42

Christopher Nolan

2/18/2018
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Christopher Nolan is best known for reviving the Batman film franchise and for directing the blockbusters Inception and Dunkirk. His films have taken nearly $5 billion at the box office. Born in London in 1970 to an English father and an American mother, he discovered film-making at the age of seven. In what he describes as "a leap of faith", his father lent him his Super 8 camera - and he's not stopped making films since. From youthful experiments, manipulating his action figures and...

Duration:00:36:07

Chi-chi Nwanoku

2/11/2018
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Chi-chi Nwanoku is a double bass player and founder of Europe's first professional majority black and minority ethnic orchestra, Chineke!. Chi-chi is the eldest of five children, born to a Nigerian father and an Irish mother. Early on, she discovered two competing passions: playing the piano and 100 metre sprinting. She was aiming to qualify for the 1976 Olympics when she suffered a knee injury which cut short her life as an athlete. Her music teacher then suggested that she could have a...

Duration:00:37:30

Jack Whitehall

2/4/2018
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Jack Whitehall, stand-up comedian, actor, sit-com writer and producer is Kirsty Young's castaway. He co-wrote and starred in the sitcoms Fresh Meat and Bad Education. He and his father launched their chat-show Backchat in 2013 and recently made a TV series together travelling around Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. Jack played Paul Pennyfeather in a TV adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Decline and Fall in 2016 and has forthcoming roles in Good Omens and a film about Marc Bolan and David Bowie....

Duration:00:34:21

Garry Kasparov

1/28/2018
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Garry Kasparov is a Russian chess grandmaster, who became the youngest ever world champion at the age of 22. He is also a writer and a political activist. He grew up in the Soviet Union, the only child of engineer parents. He learned chess by watching his parents play as they worked out chess problems in the newspaper. As a five year old he was fascinated by the mysterious little pieces and the board with its 64 squares. Garry Kasparov's father died when he was seven and it was his mother...

Duration:00:35:12

Christina Lamb

1/22/2018
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Christina Lamb is chief foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times and travels the world reporting from war zones and hot spots, speaking not just to key protagonists but also seeking out and detailing the daily impact of conflict on civilians. An only child, and brought up in Carshalton Beeches, she was a voracious reader and dreamed of being an explorer. Although she was rebellious at school, and at one point was asked to leave, she won a place at Oxford and went on to edit the...

Duration:00:35:09

Angela Hartnett

1/14/2018
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Angela Hartnett is a chef, TV presenter and cookery writer. She holds a Michelin star and runs her own restaurants. Angela was born in 1968 to an Italian mother and Irish father, and her culinary career has been influenced by her Italian background and her grandmother's cooking. After studying for a history degree, Angela began work in the catering industry before joining Gordon Ramsay at his restaurant Aubergine. In 2002 she took over at the Connaught, London, as the first woman chef to...

Duration:00:35:12

Charlie Brooker

1/7/2018
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Charlie Brooker is a satirist, broadcaster and writer. He created the Emmy-award winning series, Black Mirror, and presents Screenwipe and Newswipe which won Best Comedy Entertainment Show award at the British Comedy Awards in 2011. Born in 1971, his career has been influenced both by his early love of technology - he was a keen computer gamer - and by his passion for the anarchic, surreal and experimental comedy of Monty Python and The Young Ones. After creating his own comic while at...

Duration:00:36:15

75 Years of Desert Island Discs

12/31/2017
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75 Years of Desert Island Discs - Kirsty Young ends the programme's anniversary year with some gems from the archive, including the creator of the format, Roy Plomley, actress Bebe Daniels, broadcaster Richard Dimbleby, trumpeter Louis Armstrong, politician Dame Barbara Castle and cellist Jacqueline du Pre. Kirsty also chooses some of her favourite moments with Dame Judi Dench, Sir David Attenborough, comedian Sarah Millican, the surgeon David Nott and rugby referee Nigel Owens.

Duration:00:42:55

Bruno Tonioli

12/24/2017
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Bruno Tonioli, dancer, choreographer and a judge on BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing, is Kirsty's guest. He was brought up in Ferrara, Northern Italy, and was the only child of hard-working parents who hoped he would be an accountant. Bruno wanted to pursue a creative career and joined a raunchy cabaret dance troupe when he was a teenager, and performed across Europe. He went on to train in other areas of dance and choreography and spent the 1980s working on pop videos with The Rolling...

Duration:00:34:31

Christine McVie

12/17/2017
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Christine McVie enjoyed huge success with Fleetwood Mac, penning many of their signature songs including You Make Loving Fun, Oh Daddy, Little Lies, Everywhere and Songbird. The band has sold more than 100 million records and the album Rumours remains one of the most popular discs of all time, with sales of more than 40 million copies. The album was recorded during 1976 whilst the band members were going through relationship break-ups and the stories of excess and drug taking during the...

Duration:00:48:33

Kelsey Grammer

12/10/2017
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Kelsey Grammer is best known for his two-decade-long portrayal of psychiatrist Dr Frasier Crane which began on the NBC sitcom Cheers. He continued the role in the hugely successful spin-off series Frasier which ran for 11 years. When the series ended in 2004, it had won a total of 35 Emmys. Born in the Virgin Islands, he was brought up by his mother and maternal grandparents in Florida, after his parents divorced. He studied drama at the Julliard School in New York but left before the end...

Duration:00:35:31

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