Eight tracks, a book and a luxury: what would you take to a desert island? Guests share the soundtrack of their lives.
programme, ian wright, deserted, dessert, luxury, barry, england, uk, scientists, archives, decades, british, radio show, treasure, music, cry, delight, enlightening, moved, interviewer.Listeners of Desert Island Discs that love the show mention:
Roy Plomley talks to the artist David Hockney in a recently rediscovered programme first broadcast in 1972.
Lauren Laverne talks to the actor Brian Cox in a programme first broadcast in 2020.
Lauren Laverne talks to the activist Malala Yousafzai in a programme first broadcast in 2021.
Sue Lawley talks to Betty Boothroyd, the first female speaker of the House of Commons, in a programme broadcast in 1994. Betty Boothroyd died in February 2023, at the age of 93.
Lauren Laverne talks to the musician Christine McVie in a programme first broadcast in 2017. Christine McVie died in November 2022, at the age of 79.
Dara Ó Briain has toured the world as a stand-up comedian, and hosted the BBC's satirical series Mock the Week for 17 years. A science graduate with a love of astronomy, he co-presented the BBC series Stargazing Live with Professor Brian Cox, and is a regular guest on television quizzes and panel shows. Dara grew up in Bray, County Wicklow and attended Irish language schools, playing for the Gaelic football and hurling teams. He studied mathematical physics at University College Dublin where he took part in debating competitions and discovered a flair for getting laughs from an audience. In 2001 he moved to the UK and, alongside performing at comedy gigs, he started appearing on television shows including Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Have I Got News For You. His love of mathematics came to the fore when he presented the game show School of Hard Sums and he has gone on to write popular science books for children. Dara continues to perform stand-up and, when he's not touring what he calls his conversational and whimsical style of comedy, he lives in London with his wife and three children. DISC ONE: Kiss - Prince & The Revolution DISC TWO: Requiem in D Minor, K. 626: No 1, Introitus and Kyrie - Requiem and Kyrie. Composed by Mozart and performed by London Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony chorus, conducted by Sir Colin Davis DISC THREE: Glanfaidh Mé - Kíla DISC FOUR: Groove is in the Heart - Deee-Lite DISC FIVE: Cuba Libre - Gloria Estefan DISC SIX: All About My Girl - Jimmy McGriff DISC SEVEN: Piazza, New York Catcher - Belle and Sebastian DISC EIGHT: Adagio for Strings. Composed by Samuel Barber and performed by Berliner Symphoniker, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle BOOK CHOICE: The Feynman Lectures on Physics by Richard Feynman LUXURY ITEM: Astrophotography equipment CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Groove is in the Heart - Deee-Lite Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Liz Carr is most widely known for her role as the forensic examiner Clarissa Mullery in the long-running BBC TV drama Silent Witness. She appeared in more than 70 episodes, from 2013 until 2020. Last year she won the Olivier award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the National Theatre production of The Normal Heart. Her role was inspired by Dr Linda Laubenstein, a pioneer in the treatment of AIDS and a wheelchair user: Liz was the first wheelchair user to play the part, almost four decades after the premiere. Liz was brought up in Bebington, Merseyside. One of her early stage roles was as the Cowardly Lion in a primary school production of The Wizard of Oz. She became a wheelchair user at the age of 11, after a protracted illness. She studied Law at Nottingham University and after graduation worked as a disability rights adviser. She also became a disability rights activist, and more recently has been a campaigner against the legalisation of assisted dying. When she was 30, Liz decided on a career change after taking part in a drama course with the Graeae Theatre Company. She became a stand-up comedian and a member of various comedy groups, and moved on to theatre and television work, including recent roles in the TV dramas The Witcher and Good Omens. Liz lives in London with her wife. DISC ONE: Over the Rainbow - Judy Garland DISC TWO: Beautiful Dreamer - Sheryl Crow DISC THREE: Sit Down - James DISC FOUR: Rollin' Thunder - Ian Stanton DISC FIVE: 9 to 5 - Dolly Parton DISC SIX: Something Good - Julie Andrews DISC SEVEN: Palliative Clare (from Assisted Suicide The Musical) - Claire Willoughby DISC EIGHT: I Feel Love - Donna Summer BOOK CHOICE: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry LUXURY ITEM: A pair of ruby slippers CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Sit Down – James Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor
Amanda Blanc is the group CEO of the insurance company Aviva. She is one of a handful of women at the top of FTSE 100 companies and has spoken out against the sexism and misogyny many – including herself - have encountered during their careers. In 2022 she called out disparaging comments made to her by some of the male shareholders at her company's own AGM. Her published riposte received some 1.6m views in the space of a few days. Amanda was born in Treherbert, a former mining village in the Rhondda Valley. Both her grandfathers worked down the mines and she says the miners' strike of 1984 left a lasting impression on her and taught her the value of community. After studying modern history at Liverpool University, Amanda joined a graduate training scheme at Commercial Union. By the age of 29 she was the company's youngest and first female branch manager when she took up the post in Leicester. She joined Aviva in 2020 and the following year she was appointed Women in Finance Charter Champion by HM Treasury. She was named the Sunday Times Business Person of the Year for 2022. Amanda is married to Ken Blanc, who also worked in insurance but gave up his job to support her career. They have two daughters and live in Hampshire. DISC ONE: Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) - Kate Bush DISC TWO: Town Called Malice - The Jam DISC THREE: Thank You for the Music - Abba DISC FOUR: Tainted Love - Soft Cell DISC FIVE: This is Me - Keala Settle DISC SIX: Dignity - Deacon Blue DISC SEVEN: The Man – Taylor Swift DISC EIGHT: Land of My Fathers - Welsh rugby fans at Six Nations Championship, 2013 BOOK CHOICE: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott LUXURY ITEM: A photo album CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Tainted Love - Soft Cell Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Robert Webb first reached a wide audience as the co-star of Channel 4's longest running sitcom, the BAFTA-award winning Peep Show. With his long-standing comedy partner David Mitchell, he also created That Mitchell and Webb Sound for BBC Radio 4, which transferred to TV as That Mitchell and Webb Look, which also won a BAFTA. Robert was born in Lincolnshire and first became hooked on comedy when his impressions of teachers made his school friends laugh. After realising that many of his comedy heroes had studied at Cambridge University, and were members of the Cambridge Footlights, he decided to follow in their footsteps. He took his A levels twice in order to win a place to study English there, and went on to become vice-president of the Footlights - where he met David Mitchell. Their comedy partnership has lasted for 30 years, starting out with shows for the Edinburgh fringe and writing for other performers, before enjoying TV success as a double act. Robert has also written a best-selling memoir, How Not to be a Boy, in which he reflects on masculinity, and a novel. In 2019, a routine medical examination revealed that he had a congenital heart defect. He underwent heart surgery and is now fully recovered. Robert lives in London with his wife and two daughters. DISC ONE: Do I Move You? - Nina Simone DISC TWO: The Old Fashioned Way - Charles Aznavour DISC THREE: Fool if you Think It's Over - Elkie Brooks DISC FOUR: Get A Life - Soul II Soul DISC FIVE: Metal Mickey - Suede DISC SIX: Being Alive, composed by Stephen Sondheim, performed by Adrian Lester and cast of Company and recorded in 1996 at Donmar Warehouse, London DISC SEVEN: How to Disappear Completely - Radiohead DISC EIGHT: It's Corn - Tariq, The Gregory Brothers & Recess Therapy BOOK CHOICE: Cultural Amnesia by Clive James LUXURY ITEM: A top hat and tails CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: The Old Fashioned Way - Charles Aznavour Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
In 2022 Sonia Boyce became the first Black British woman to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale exhibition. She also took home the coveted Golden Lion Award for her installation Feeling Her Way, which combined video and collage with improvised performances by five female musicians. Sonia was born in London and grew up near the renowned Whitechapel Art Gallery. As a very young child she would visit the gallery, often alone, relishing the light and space inside the building. In 1985, two years after graduating from Stourbridge College of Art, she completed her drawing Missionary Position II, which was acquired by the Tate two years later. She was just 25 and was one of the youngest artists and the first Black woman to enter its permanent collection. In 1999 Sonia started work on the Devotional Collection, an archive of sound, ephemera and wallpaper relating to black British women in music, ranging from Shirley Bassey to Neneh Cherry, and celebrating their contribution to international culture. Sonia lives in London with her partner, the curator David A. Bailey. She has taught Fine Art studio practice for more than 30 years in several art colleges across the UK. She was awarded an OBE in the 2019 New Year Honours for services to art. DISC ONE: Meet Me On The Corner - Lindisfarne DISC TWO: Help Me Make It Through the Night - John Holt DISC THREE: Caught You In A Lie - Louisa Mark DISC FOUR: Psycho Killer -Talking Heads DISC FIVE: Wolf & Leopards - Dennis Brown DISC SIX: Is That Jazz - Gil Scott Heron DISC SEVEN: Put Your Records On - Corinne Bailey Rae DISC EIGHT: Love and Affection - Joan Armatrading BOOK CHOICE: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl LUXURY ITEM: Champagne CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Is That Jazz by Gil Scott Heron Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Jenny Beavan has won three Oscars for her costumes for the films Room with a View, Mad Max: Fury Road and Cruella, and has received nine further Academy Award nominations. She was born in London, and her parents were both professional musicians who encouraged her to paint, draw and learn a musical instrument. After studying theatre design, she was invited at the age of just 21 to create the sets for a production of Carmen at the Royal Opera House, conducted by Sir Georg Solti. She also worked on the costumes, which eventually led to her current career. Her credits now include more than 60 films and television series, including a long collaboration with the Merchant Ivory team, on titles such as Howards End and Remains of the Day, as well as Room with a View. Her costumes range from precise period recreations, in films such as The King's Speech, to the post-apocalyptic world of Mad Max and the extravagant 1970s-inspired gowns for Emma Stone and Emma Thompson in Cruella. Along with her Oscars, Jenny has also won four Baftas and two Primetime Emmy awards. She was appointed a OBE in 2017. DISC ONE: Endure from Bach's St Matthew Passion. Performed by Hans Peter Blochwitz and the Chapelle Royale Orchestra, conducted by Philippe Herreweghe DISC TWO: The Stately Homes of England - Noël Coward DISC THREE: Bizet: Carmen / Act 2 - "La fleur que tu m'avais jetée" (The flower you threw at me) Performed by Plácido Domingo and London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sir Georg Solti DISC FOUR: O Mio Babbino Caro. Composed by Giacomo Puccini and performed by Kiri Te Kanawa and The London Philharmonic Orchestra DISC FIVE: Scream - Caitlin Albery Beavan and Jim Bell DISC SIX: Parking Fines - Joe Lycett from his That's the Way, A-Ha, A-Ha tour DISC SEVEN: I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor DISC EIGHT: Radamisto, HWV 12, Act 2: "Ombra cara di mia sposa" (Radamisto) (Beloved shadow of my bride) Composed by George Frideric Handel, performed by Emöke Baráth and Ensemble Artaserse, conducted by Philippe Jaroussky BOOK CHOICE: The Complete Novels of Jane Austen LUXURY ITEM: A cello CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Endure from Bach's St Matthew Passion. Performed by Hans Peter Blochwitz and the Chapelle Royale Orchestra, conducted by Philippe Herreweghe Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
David Sedaris is a writer whose humorous stories and wry takes on everyday encounters have led to 13 bestselling books and many radio programmes including Meet David Sedaris on BBC Radio 4. His work is based on his own life and, although very funny, does not shy away from the bleaker aspects of his experiences. David was born in New York State and grew up in Raleigh in North Carolina. He dropped out of university and became a performance artist for a while, but says he lacked artistic talent and chose not to pursue art as a career. In 1990 he moved to New York City where he supported himself by working as a Christmas elf called Crumpet at Macy's department store. He wrote an essay about this experience called Santaland Diaries which he read on National Public Radio. His performance attracted an enthusiastic response from listeners and led to his first major break as a writer and broadcaster. David's later collections of stories and essays have won non-fiction awards and in 2002 he gave a sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall in New York. The recording of this event was later nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album. David's most recent collection of essays addresses a range of subjects including the end of Donald Trump's administration, the COVID-19 pandemic and the death of his father. David lives with his boyfriend Hugh and they divide their time between New York and West Sussex. David is a committed litter-picker which prompted his local Sussex council to name a refuse vehicle after him - Pig Pen Sedaris. DISC ONE: I Don't Wanna Play House by Tammy Wynette DISC TWO: Where is Love, composed by Lionel Bart and performed by Keith Hamshere and Original London Cast of Oliver! DISC THREE: Dindi by Maria Bethânia DISC FOUR: Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do) by Aretha Franklin DISC FIVE: I Got A Right to Praise The Lord by The Georgia Mass Choir DISC SIX: Manhattan by Blossom Dearie DISC SEVEN: You and I by Abbey Lincoln DISC EIGHT: They Say It's Wonderful by John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman BOOK CHOICE: A German dictionary LUXURY ITEM: Pencils and paper CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: You and I by Abbey Lincoln Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley
Lesley Manville made her debut on the West End stage as a teenager in 1972, and since then has taken on a wide range of roles on stage and screen, including an Oscar-nominated performance in the film Phantom Thread. She was born in Brighton and first enjoyed performing as a singer, winning competitions with her sister. When she was 15, she commuted daily to the Italia Conti stage school in London. Her first professional role was in a West End musical, and in 1974 she joined the cast of the ITV soap opera Emmerdale Farm. After two years she decided to leave, even though the work was well paid, and return to the stage. At the Royal Court in London she appeared in some of the most critically acclaimed new plays of the 1980s including Caryl Churchill's Top Girls, and Andrea Dunbar's Rita, Sue and Bob Too. She has also enjoyed a long collaboration with the film director Mike Leigh, memorably playing the alcoholic Mary in Another Year. Her recent TV roles include starring as Cathy in the popular BBC Two sitcom Mum, for which she won a Royal Television Society Award in 2019. She has also played Princess Margaret in The Crown, including a scene in which Margaret shares her favourite records on a BBC radio progamme. She was appointed a CBE in 2021. DISC ONE: Over The Rainbow - Eva Cassidy DISC TWO: My Brother Jake - Free DISC THREE: O Soave Fanciulla, composed by Giacomo Puccini, performed by Jose Carreras, Richard Stilwell and Teresa Stratas and Metropolitan Opera Chorus, conducted by James Levine DISC FOUR: Sugar on the Floor - Etta James DISC FIVE: You Don't Have To Say You Love Me - Dusty Springfield DISC SIX: Not While I'm Around - Barbra Streisand DISC SEVEN: Make You Feel My Love - Adele DISC EIGHT: Phantom Thread III - Jonny Greenwood BOOK CHOICE: A Botanical Encyclopedia LUXURY ITEM: A bed with linen, duvet and pillows CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Over The Rainbow - Eva Cassidy Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
Corinne Le Quéré is the Royal Society Research Professor of Climate Change Science at the University of East Anglia where she studies the way marine ecosystems respond to climate change. She uses computer simulators of the ocean to assess how the carbon cycle functions and her climate models have resulted in significant findings about how warmer temperatures have affected the ocean's ability to absorb carbon. Corinne was born in Quebec and as a child spent camping holidays in the national parks of Eastern Canada which fostered her interest in the natural world. She studied physics at the University of Montréal and then took a Masters in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Her love of oceanography began with a desire to uncover the mysteries that lie beneath the waves. In 2007, while she was working with UEA and the British Antarctic Survey, she published her landmark paper which demonstrated that human activity reduced the Southern Ocean's capacity to absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide. Corinne advises the UK Committee on Climate Change and served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) when it won the Nobel Prize in 2007. She was appointed a CBE in 2019. Corinne lives with her husband in Norfolk where she hopes one day to buy a piece of land and plant a forest which will play a central part in her personal plan to achieve carbon neutrality. DISC ONE: La Vida Es Un Carnaval by Celia Cruz DISC TWO: Les copains d'abord by Georges Brassens DISC THREE: We are the Champions by Queen DISC FOUR: Harmonie du soir à Chateauguay by Beau Dommage DISC FIVE: Proud Mary (Live) by Tina Turner DISC SIX: Die Zauberflöte, K. 620, Act 2: "Der Hölle Rache (Konigin der Nacht)" (Queen of Night) composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, performed by Bernard Haitink, Edita Gruberová, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks DISC SEVEN: LDN by Lily Allen DISC EIGHT: Three-Part Inventions: Sinfonia 15 BWV 801, composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, performed by Martin Stadtfeld BOOK CHOICE: World Atlas of the Oceans by Dave Monahan LUXURY ITEM: A mask and snorkel CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: La Vida Es Un Carnaval by Celia Cruz Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Michael Pollan's award-winning writing about plants, nature and food combines anthropology and philosophy with culture, health and natural history. Time Magazine has named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world and his maxim to ‘Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.' is a central tenet of the sustainable food movement. Michael grew up in suburban Long Island, USA, and planted his first garden when he was eight-years-old. He was an intern at the Village Voice newspaper in New York while he was a student and after he graduated he joined Harper's Magazine as an editor where he worked with the writer Tom Wolfe among others. Michael's first book Second Nature: A Gardener's Education is a collection of essays about gardening and his later titles, including the Botany of Desire and the Omnivore's Dilemma, addressed modern methods of food production and argued that in an era of fast and processed food, basic cooking skills were being lost. Recently, Michael has written about the use of psychedelic drugs as a potential treatment for some mental health conditions, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Michael is professor of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2020 he co-founded the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics. Michael is married to the artist Judith Belzer and they live in California. DISC ONE: Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) by Harry Belafonte DISC TWO: The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel DISC THREE: Going Up the Country by Canned Heat DISC FOUR: Cheek to Cheek by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald DISC FIVE: Shady Grove by Jerry Garcia and David Grisman DISC SIX: California by Joni Mitchell DISC SEVEN: Tomorrow Never Knows by The Beatles DISC EIGHT: Cello Suite No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1008: I. Prélude, composed by J.S Bach and performed by Yo-Yo Ma BOOK CHOICE: Ulysses by James Joyce LUXURY ITEM: Dark chocolate CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Cello Suite No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1008: I. Prélude, composed by J.S Bach and performed by Yo-Yo Ma Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Gabby Logan presents a range of popular BBC sports programmes and hosts high-profile sporting events including the Olympics, Premiership football and the World Cup. Gabby was born in Leeds and her father Terry Yorath is a former footballer and manager who played for Leeds United and for the Welsh national team. As a young girl she was a rhythmic gymnast and represented Wales in the Commonwealth Games in 1990. She retired from the sport the following year after struggling with severe back pain. In 1996 she joined Sky Sports as a presenter, moving to ITV two years later where she became one of the first female sports anchors to break into terrestrial television and the first woman to host the channel's football coverage. Gabby joined the BBC in 2007 where she has presented Final Score, Inside Sport and Match of the Day. She also co-presents the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards show. In 2021 Gabby was awarded an MBE for services to sports broadcasting and the promotion of women in sport. Gabby is married to the former rugby union player Kenny Logan and they have two children. DISC ONE: Abide With Me by Emeli Sandé DISC TWO: Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell DISC THREE: Summertime by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong DISC FOUR: Going Home: Theme Of The Local Hero (Live at Hammersmith Odeon, 1983) by Dire Straits DISC FIVE: Daniel by Elton John DISC SIX: Belter by Gerry Cinnamon DISC SEVEN: As by George Michael & Mary J. Blige DISC EIGHT: You Got the Love by The Source, featuring Candi Staton BOOK CHOICE: Every Ruddy Word by Alan Partridge LUXURY ITEM: A piano CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: You Got the Love by The Source, featuring Candi Staton Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Sir Malcolm Walker is the chairman and co-founder of the frozen food supermarket chain Iceland. He was brought up in Grange Moor, West Yorkshire. He was just 14 when his father died, and he helped his mother run a smallholding, driving a tractor and ploughing fields. His business instinct kicked in during his teenage years, when he promoted Saturday night dances by booking bands into local church halls. After receiving rejections from Marks & Spencer and Littlewoods, he became a trainee manager at Woolworths, and recalls that he started at the very bottom, sweeping the floors for many months before gradually winning promotions and moving round the country. In 1970, he and Peter Hinchcliffe, a colleague from Woolworths, opened a shop in Oswestry, selling loose frozen food from chest freezers. The business soon began to take off, Malcolm and Peter were both fired by Woolworths, and Malcolm went on to build a company which now has more than 1000 stores in the UK and Ireland. Along the way, boardroom battles led to his departure in the early 2000s, but he later returned and Iceland is now back in family ownership. Alongside his business pursuits, Malcolm has been a fundraiser for dementia charities, after his wife was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. She died in 2021 after more than 50 years of marriage. He was knighted in 2017, has three children, one of whom also works in the family business, and he married for the second time in August last year. DISC ONE: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26: II. Adagio, composed by Max Bruch, performed by Itzhak Perlman (violin) and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, conducted by Bernard Haitink DISC TWO: Goodbye by Josef Locke DISC THREE: Only You by The Platters DISC FOUR: Silence is Golden by The Tremeloes DISC FIVE: Memory composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and performed by Elaine Paige DISC SIX: All I Ask of You composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and performed by Steve Barton and Sarah Brightman DISC SEVEN: La bohème, SC 67 / Act I composed by Giacomo Puccini and performed by Luciano Pavarotti (tenor) and Mirella Freni (soprano) with the Berlin Philharmonic, conducted by Herbert von Karajan DISC EIGHT: Quando me'n vo (“Musetta's Waltz”) from La Bohème composed by Giacomo Puccini and performed by Natalie Walker BOOK CHOICE: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe LUXURY ITEM: A cast iron cooking pot CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Quando me'n vo (“Musetta's Waltz”) from La Bohème composed by Giacomo Puccini and performed by Natalie Walker Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
Kirsty Young was the award-winning presenter of Desert Island Discs between 2006 and 2018, interviewing 496 castaways. Her TV work includes BAFTA-winning coverage of events marking the centenary of World War One, and memorable live presentation from Windsor of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II earlier this year. Kirsty was born in East Kilbride in Scotland. After a chance meeting with a freelance TV cameraman, she became interested in a media career, and worked as a runner and then a researcher for an independent production company, before joining BBC Radio Scotland as a trainee news and continuity announcer, beating 700 other applicants. She moved to Scottish Television in 1992, and five years later she was part of the launch of Channel 5, presenting its main news programme while famously perching on the studio desk rather than sitting behind it. She also presented the BBC's Crimewatch for many years. In 2018, Kirsty had to step back from broadcasting, to undergo treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. After four years away from the microphone, she returned to present coverage of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June this year. She is married to Nick Jones, CEO of Soho House and they have four children. DISC ONE: Cello Suite No.1 in G Major, BWV1007: I. Prelude [J.S.Bach] performed by Steven Isserlis DISC TWO: My Baby Just Cares for Me by Nina Simone DISC THREE: Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell DISC FOUR: Caledonia by Dougie MacLean DISC FIVE: I Happen to Like New York Bobby Short, performer. [Cole Porter, composer] DISC SIX: Songbird by Fleetwood Mac DISC SEVEN: O Magnum Mysterium by [Tomás Luis de Victoria] sung by The Voices of Ascension choir, directed by Dennis Keene DISC EIGHT: Count Me Out by Kendrick Lamar BOOK CHOICE: The Most of Nora Ephron by Nora Ephron LUXURY ITEM: A cinema and film archive CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Cello Suite No.1 in G Major, BWV1007: I. Prelude [J.S.BACH] performed by Steven Isserlis Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
Steven Spielberg is the most successful director of his generation and the highest-grossing director of all time: his films have taken more than $10 billion worldwide. From Jaws to E.T. and Jurassic Park to Schindler's List, his storytelling has captivated audiences around the world. Steven grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, where he started making films as a young boy. In 1958 he made a short Western which won him a Boy Scout merit badge. He screened it to his entire Scout troop and their laughter and applause got him hooked on film making. In 1971 he directed a television movie called Duel about a motorist who is pursued by a murderous truck driver. The film attracted good reviews from critics, and before the age of 30, Steven had directed his first global hit: Jaws grossed $471 million worldwide and is credited as heralding the arrival of the blockbuster era. He now says Jaws was ‘a free pass into my future.' He has won three Academy Awards, and has received eight nominations for best director. The Fabelmans, his most recent film, is a semi-fictionalised account of his own coming of age, drawing on his film-making experiences as a child. Steven is married to the actor Kate Capshaw, who starred in his film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and they have seven children. DISC ONE: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance by Gene Pitney DISC TWO: Fugue in G minor, BMW 578 – “The Little” arranged by Leopold Stokowski, composed by J.S Bach, performed by Philadelphia Orchestra and conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin DISC THREE: Michelle by The Beatles DISC FOUR: What the World Needs Now Is Love by Jackie DeShannon DISC FIVE: Come Fly with Me by Frank Sinatra DISC SIX: The Ghost of Tom Joad by Bruce Springsteen DISC SEVEN: Somewhere, composed by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, performed by Reri Grist DISC EIGHT: Coolhand by Buzzy Lee BOOK CHOICE: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck LUXURY ITEM: H-8 Bolex camera CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Coolhand by Buzzy Lee Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Cate Blanchett is arguably the most celebrated Australian actor ever, winning two Academy Awards, three BAFTAs, three Golden Globes and dozens of other honours around the world. She grew up in Melbourne, and although she enjoyed music and drama at school, she initially had no plans to pursue a career as an actor. She started a degree course in economics and fine art, but dropped out after a year, and later won a place at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney. She found international fame before she was 30, playing Elizabeth I in the highly-acclaimed film Elizabeth, winning an Oscar nomination and a BAFTA. Since then, she has appeared in more than 70 films and 20 stage productions. She won an Oscar and a BAFTA for playing Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator, directed by Martin Scorsese, and other notable roles include the elf leader Galadriel in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings series and a version of Bob Dylan in I'm Not There. She won her second Oscar in 2014 for her performance in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine. Her TV work includes the acclaimed series Mrs America, where she played the conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, and she has recently taken on the role of an internationally famous composer and conductor in the film Tár, written and directed by Todd Field. Cate has received the Australian Centenary medal and is a Companion of the Order of Australia. She is married to the director and playwright Andrew Upton. DISC ONE: Mahler: Symphony No. 5 in C-Sharp Minor – II composed by Gustav Mahler, performed by Berlin Philharmonic and conducted by Claudio Abbado DISC TWO: Bésame Mucho by Trio Los Panchos DISC THREE: Tannhäuser: Pilgrims' Chorus composed by Richard Wagner and performed by Norman Luboff Choir, New Symphony Orchestra of London, conducted by Leopold Stokowski DISC FOUR: Go Tell the Women by Grinderman DISC FIVE: Proof by I am Kloot DISC SIX: Blow the Wind Southerly by Kathleen Ferrier DISC SEVEN: The Little Weaver Bird by Molly Drake DISC EIGHT: Lil' Darlin' by Count Basie And His Orchestra BOOK CHOICE: Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit LUXURY ITEM: Time CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Tannhäuser: Pilgrims' Chorus composed by Richard Wagner and performed by Norman Luboff Choir, New Symphony Orchestra of London, conducted by Leopold Stokowski Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
Edward Enninful is the editor-in-chief of British Vogue and the editorial director of Vogue in Europe. Edward was born in the port city of Takoradi in Ghana in 1972. His father was a major in the Ghanaian army and, following a period of political instability, the family fled the country and settled in London. Edward's interest in fashion dates back to his childhood in Ghana when he watched his seamstress mother at work making dresses for clients including the President's wife. As a teenager in London he was spotted by the stylist Simon Foxton and began modelling for the irreverent fashion magazine i-D. At 18 Edward became the magazine's fashion director, the youngest person ever to hold this post at an international fashion title. In 2017 Edward became editor-in-chief of British Vogue and since his appointment he has championed inclusivity and diversity. His cover stars have included Rihanna, Oprah Winfrey and he recently featured the first man – actor Timothée Chalamet. Edward was awarded an OBE for services to diversity in the fashion industry in 2016. He married his partner Alec Maxwell this year and they live in London with their dog Ru. DISC ONE: Kyenkyen Bi Adi Mawu by Alhaji K Frimpong DISC TWO: Song to the Siren by This Mortal Coil DISC THREE: Strange Fruit by Nina Simone DISC FOUR: Back to Life by Soul II Soul DISC FIVE: Ex-Factor by Lauryn Hill DISC SIX: Stars of Track & Field by Belle and Sebastian DISC SEVEN: Peru by Fireboy DML & Ed Sheeran DISC EIGHT: Love Without Tragedy/Mother Mary by Rihanna BOOK CHOICE: Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson LUXURY ITEM: A pair of embroidered slippers CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Strange Fruit by Nina Simone Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Baz Luhrmann is an Australian director whose debut film, Strictly Ballroom, became one of Australia's most successful releases, and also inspired the title of the BBC's popular Saturday night dance show. He went on to direct Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, the Great Gatsby and, more recently, Elvis starring Tom Hanks and Austin Butler. Baz was born Mark Andrew Luhrmann in 1962. His friends nicknamed him Baz after the puppet Basil Brush because of his unruly hair. When he was five the family moved to Herons Creek, a remote settlement in New South Wales. Several years later Baz started ballroom dancing after he picked up a leaflet advertising classes while travelling on a bus. At drama school in Sydney he devised a play called Strictly Ballroom with his fellow students and later wrote a screenplay with his school friend Craig Pearce. The film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1992 where it received a rapturous response and went on to win eight Australian Film Institute awards and three BAFTAs. Baz's most recent film, Elvis, tells the life of Elvis Presley from the perspective of his infamous manager Colonel Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks. The film has been a commercial success – making almost $300 million around the world to date. In addition to making feature films Baz has directed theatre and opera productions. He lives mainly in New York with his wife and frequent collaborator, the production designer Catherine Martin, and their two children. DISC ONE: Changes by David Bowie DISC TWO: One by John Farnham DISC THREE: Spanish Flea by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass DISC FOUR: Suspicious Minds by Elvis Presley DISC FIVE: Puccini: La Boheme / Act 1 - 'Che gelida manina' by Luciano Pavarotti DISC SIX: Unfinished Sympathy by Massive Attack DISC SEVEN: Lady Marmalade by Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, MYA, Pink DISC EIGHT: No Church in the Wild by JAY Z, Kanye West, Frank Ocean, The-Dream BOOK CHOICE: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy LUXURY ITEM: A silk eye mask CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Puccini: La Boheme / Act 1 - 'Che gelida manina' by Luciano Pavarotti Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Barry Hearn is a promoter who has been at the forefront of some of the biggest snooker, boxing and darts events in the last 40 years. He played a central role in turning snooker into a television phenomenon, and as a boxing promoter he represented Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn. He later turned darts players, including Phil 'The Power' Taylor, into household names. Barry was born in Dagenham in East London in 1948 and grew up in a council house. At school, he enjoyed playing cricket and football, but freely admits he wasn't good enough to become a professional player. Instead, he became an accountant and when one of the companies he worked for asked him to find some investment properties, he bought a chain of snooker halls. Barry took advantage of the snooker boom of the 1970s - which started after the BBC began televising competitions - and signed a young Steve Davis. Steve went on to win the World Snooker Championship in 1981 and Barry formed his company Matchroom the following year. He consolidated his success by moving into boxing and then introduced darts to a mainstream audience. In 2021 Barry was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sport Industry Awards, and also handed over the chairmanship of Matchroom to his son Eddie. His daughter Katie also works for the company. Barry is reluctant to retire just yet, and remains company president, where his new role has given him some more free time to enjoy one of his favourite activities – fishing. DISC ONE: The Gambler by Kenny Rogers DISC TWO: Sweet Home Chicago by The Blues Brothers DISC THREE: Sunshine On My Shoulders by John Denver DISC FOUR: The Lonesome Boatman by Finbar & Eddie Furey DISC FIVE: Snooker Loopy by Chas 'n' Dave DISC SIX: The Best by Tina Turner DISC SEVEN: American Pie by Don McLean DISC EIGHT: Forest Lawn by Tom Paxton BOOK CHOICE: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway LUXURY ITEM: A fishing rod and rocking chair CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Sunshine On My Shoulders by John Denver Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Professor Jean Golding is an epidemiologist who is best known for founding the Children of the Nineties study - more formally known as the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. The most detailed project of its kind anywhere in the world, it has followed the lives of children who were born in Avon during 1991 and 1992 and helped scientists make important discoveries about everything from peanut allergy to the effects of long Covid. Jean was born in Cornwall in 1939. As a toddler she suffered two bouts of tuberculosis and spent several weeks in hospital. Then at 13 she contracted polio, leading to a three-month hospital stay. After graduating in mathematics from Oxford University, her first job involved completing calculations for the 1958 perinatal mortality survey, set up to collect information about the social and obstetric factors associated with stillbirth and death in early infancy. By the time she started designing the Children of the Nineties study, Jean was well used to working with large data-sets, but the new project was bigger than ever. It collected more than 1.5m biological samples including blood, placenta, hair, nails and teeth along with thousands of questionnaires. As well as expanding medical knowledge, the study has influenced government policy. Jean retired from the study in 2005. She was awarded an OBE for services to medical science in 2012 and today is Emeritus Professor of Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology at the University of Bristol. DISC ONE: The ‘Trelawny' National Anthem by The Fisherman's Friends DISC TWO: Under Milk Wood (Part 1) read by Richard Burton DISC THREE: Bad Penny Blues by Humphrey Lyttelton DISC FOUR: Dawn Chorus by BBC Sound Effects DISC FIVE: The Hippopotamus Song by Flanders & Swann DISC SIX: A Hymn to Him by Rex Harrison DISC SEVEN: Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. Posth. 114, D. 667 "The Trout": I. Allegro vivace by Melos Ensemble DISC EIGHT: Bring Me Sunshine by Morecambe and Wise BOOK CHOICE: The Oxford Book of Twentieth-century English Verse LUXURY ITEM: A mobility power chair CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Dawn Chorus by BBC Sound Effects Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Richard E Grant was born in Swaziland, now Eswatini, one of the smallest countries in Africa, and took his first steps as an actor as a teenager in the local amateur theatre company. He studied Drama and English at Cape Town University in South Africa, and moved to London in 1982, hoping to find work as an actor, with - in his words - 'nothing more than a couple of suitcases, a boxful of music cassettes and blind ambition.' He worked as a waiter to pay the bills, until his very first film role, in Withnail and I, launched his acting career. Since then, he has appeared in a very wide range of films, with roles in How to Get Ahead in Advertising, The Player, Jack and Sarah, Logan and Everybody's Talking About Jamie, as well as the Star Wars series. He was nominated for an Oscar in 2019 for his role in Can You Ever Forgive Me? Richard has been a lifelong diarist and has published three collections of memoirs. His most recent book chronicles his long and happy marriage to his wife, the dialect coach Joan Washington, who died from cancer in 2021. DISC ONE: I'm The Greatest Star by Barbra Streisand DISC TWO: When I Fall in Love by Nat King Cole DISC THREE: When a Man Loves a Woman by Percy Sledge DISC FOUR: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) by Eurythmics DISC FIVE: Chopin: 24 Préludes, Op. 28 - 4. Largo in E Minor by Ivo Pogorelich DISC SIX: Please Forgive Me by Patrick Doyle DISC SEVEN: Fields of Gold by Eva Cassidy DISC EIGHT: Don't Rain on My Parade by Barbra Streisand BOOK CHOICE: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll LUXURY ITEM: A piano CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: When I Fall in Love by Nat King Cole Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
Professor Angela Gallop is a forensic scientist who has helped solve some of the most notorious violent crimes in recent British history including the killings of Stephen Lawrence, Damilola Taylor and Rachel Nickell. After completing a degree in botany and a doctorate on the biochemistry of sea slugs, Angela joined the Home Office's Forensic Science Service in 1974, and four years later attended her first crime scene, where 18-year-old Helen Rytka was killed by Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper. Over the years cold cases became her speciality and in 1992 she investigated the death of the Italian banker Roberto Calvi. He was found hanging from scaffolding under Blackfriars Bridge, London, in a suspected suicide ten years before. Angela's work established that suicide was unlikely and that, in all probability, he'd been murdered. His killers were never found. In 1999 Angela and her team investigated the murder of Lynette White who was killed in her flat in Cardiff in 1988. Five men had been tried for her death and three - known as the ‘the Cardiff Three' - were sent to prison although their convictions were quashed by the Court of Appeal two years later. Angela's investigation made history when the murderer was identified and convicted through his familial DNA. Angela first worked on the Stephen Lawrence case in 1995 – two years after his murder - and returned to it in 2006. The forensic evidence that was found during this investigation helped to convict his killers in 2012. Angela has written a book about her career in forensics and another which outlines the challenges the discipline faces today. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Rick Rubin is a multiple Grammy-winning record producer who has worked with a wide range of artists including Adele, the Beastie Boys and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He also reinvigorated the career of Johnny Cash in the 1990s, with a series of acclaimed stripped-back albums, introducing the legendary Man in Black to a new audience. Rick was born on Long Island in New York in 1963. As a teenager, his first love was punk, but he soon became entranced by New York's emerging rap scene and started hanging out in hip hop clubs to discover more about what was then considered to be an underground form of music. In 1984 he co-founded Def Jam Recordings from his dorm room at university and produced rap records for T La Rock and LL Cool J. Together with his business partner, promoter Russell Simmons, Rick took rap into the mainstream by putting rappers Run-DMC and rock band Aerosmith together to cover Aerosmith's Walk This Way. It enjoyed international success and became hip hop's first crossover hit. In 1993 Rick approached the country singer Johnny Cash about working together. By that time Johnny, who was in his sixties, had been dropped by his record label and was performing at dinner theatres to small audiences. In his mind his career was over. Rick persuaded him to record again and released the album American Recordings in 1994. Lauded by the critics, the album led to a creative collaboration that lasted until Johnny's death in 2003. Rick's more recent work includes the album The New Abnormal by the Strokes, which won the band their first ever Grammy last year. DISC ONE: Across the Universe by The Beatles DISC TWO: …And at the Hour of Death by Víkingur Ólafsson DISC THREE: Rockaway Beach by The Ramones DISC FOUR: Us V Them by LCD Sound System DISC FIVE: I Believe in You by Neil Young DISC SIX: Holy Affirming, Holy Denying, Holy Reconciling by Thomas De Hartmann DISC SEVEN: The Dangling Conversation by Simon & Garfunkel DISC EIGHT: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack BOOK CHOICE: The Red Book by Carl Jung LUXURY ITEM: Tarot cards CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Holy Affirming, Holy Denying, Holy Reconciling by Thomas De Hartmann Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Maxine Peake is an actor and writer who first came to public attention in 1998 as Twinkle in the Victoria Wood sitcom Dinnerladies. She went on to play Veronica in Paul Abbott's series Shameless and later became known for playing real people, including the Hillsborough campaigner Anne Williams, and Sara Rowbotham, the former health worker who exposed the sexual abuse scandal in Rochdale in 2012. Maxine was born in Bolton and after a rocky start at college – she was asked to leave her performing arts course after just two weeks but stuck it out – she won a scholarship to study at RADA. Three months before she was due to graduate she auditioned for Victoria Wood and won her first television role starring alongside Wood, Julie Walters and Anne Reid. Victoria Wood advised her to take on a diverse range of roles in order to avoid being typecast as what Maxine calls the “fat, funny northerner”. She took the advice to heart and extended her range playing Myra Hindley, Martha Costello QC in the legal drama Silk and Hamlet in a critically acclaimed production at the Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester. Maxine has also written plays including Beryl: A Love Story on Two Wheels about Beryl Burton, a Yorkshire woman who dominated 1960s cycling and held the record for the men's 12-hour time trial for two years. DISC ONE: Mersey Paradise by The Stone Roses DISC TWO: Puff the Magic Dragon by Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Red DISC THREE: Joe Hill by Paul Robeson DISC FOUR: The Four Horsemen by Aphrodite's Child DISC FIVE: Evening of Light by Nico DISC SIX: Promised Land by Joe Smooth DISC SEVEN: A Whistling Woman by The Unthanks DISC EIGHT: I Saw the Light by Todd Rundgren BOOK CHOICE: One Moonlit Night by Caradog Prichard LUXURY ITEM: A solar-powered epilator CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Joe Hill by Paul Robeson Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley
Kevin Sinfield OBE is one of the most decorated players in the history of English rugby league. He captained Leeds Rhinos and the England team, and was runner-up in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year poll in 2015. He holds records as the highest points-scorer in Super League history, the third-highest points-scorer in British rugby league history and the record points-scorer for Leeds. After retiring from playing, he switched codes and is currently part of the coaching staff at Leicester Tigers rugby union team. Off the pitch he has made headlines as a fundraiser. After his former team-mate Rob Burrow was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2019, Kevin began a series of epic fundraising challenges. He completed seven marathons in seven days in 2020, and then in 2021 he ran 101 miles in 24 hours, raising millions for MND research and support. He lives in Oldham with his wife, Jane and his two sons. DISC ONE: Parry: Jerusalem by The Honley Male Voice Choir & The Band of HM Royal Marines DISC TWO: Come on Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners DISC THREE: Someone Like You by Van Morrison DISC FOUR: 7 Days by Craig David DISC FIVE: I Think We're Alone Now by Tiffany DISC SIX: Baker Street by Undercover DISC SEVEN: Last Request by Paolo Nutini DISC EIGHT: Fix You by Coldplay BOOK CHOICE: The Edge: The Guide to Fulfilling Dreams, Maximizing Success and Enjoying a Lifetime of Achievement by Howard E. Ferguson LUXURY ITEM: A Self-propelled treadmill CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Last Request by Paolo Nutini Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor
Dr Waheed Arian is a radiologist who set up a charity called Arian Teleheal in 2015. The charity enables volunteer doctors in the west to advise colleagues in conflict zones using smartphone technology. The charity has helped save many lives in countries including Syria, Uganda and Afghanistan where Waheed was born. In 1988, at the height of the Soviet-Afghan conflict, Waheed and his family fled Kabul for Pakistan where they lived in a refugee camp for the next few years. Waheed was just five when they arrived there and contracted tuberculosis. The doctor who saved his life planted a dream and Waheed decided that one day he would study medicine. When he was 15 Afghanistan was in the grip of the Taliban and Waheed and his parents knew it was only a matter of time before he would be recruited to join their fight. Waheed's family found someone who, for a fee, offered to help him leave the country and claim refugee status in the UK. He arrived in the UK in 1999, studied A levels while working in a number of jobs and then in 2003 took up a place to read medicine at Cambridge University. In 2014 he began training as a radiologist and currently works in the A&E department at a busy NHS hospital. In 2017 he won a UN Global Hero Award for his charity work. DISC ONE: Lose Yourself by Eminem DISC TWO: Gule Sori by Farhad Darya DISC THREE: Eye of the Tiger by Survivor DISC FOUR: Never Enough by Loren Allred DISC FIVE: Home by Michael Bublé DISC SIX: Fly by Celine Dion DISC SEVEN: Are You Ready for Love by Elton John DISC EIGHT: Everything I Wanted by Billie Eilish BOOK CHOICE: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by Bryan Mealer and William Kamkwamba LUXURY ITEM: Pen and paper CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Fly by Celine Dion Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley
Jay Blades is a furniture restorer who is best known for presenting the Repair Shop on BBC One. The programme, which attracts many millions of viewers, brings old and damaged family treasures back to life and has been praised for its celebration of craftsmanship and the values of kindness and patience. Jay grew up in Hackney in East London and was brought up by his mother Barbara. He struggled to read as a young boy which held him back at school and he left at 16. Years later, after he got a place to study criminology and philosophy at university, he was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 31. He worked as a community worker for many years and co-founded charities which helped disadvantaged young people learn new skills. One of his charities was based in High Wycombe – an area famous for its historic furniture trade – and Jay learned how to restore furniture alongside the teenagers he was helping. Later he started his own furniture restoration business and in 2017 he started presenting the Repair Shop. He recently set up his own television production company and has written books about DIY and his experiences on the Repair shop. In 2021 he was awarded an MBE for services to craft. DISC ONE: Help Me Make It Through the Night by John Holt DISC TWO: The Night I Fell In Love by Luther Vandross DISC THREE: Revolution by Dennis Brown DISC FOUR: Battle by Wookie DISC FIVE: Love You Anyway by Cameo DISC SIX: Baby I'm A Fool by Melody Gardot DISC SEVEN: Kisses Don't Lie by Evelyn “Champagne” King DISC EIGHT: Take Me To The Alley by Gregory Porter BOOK CHOICE: The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X with Alex Haley LUXURY ITEM: A reclining massage chair CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Help Me Make It Through the Night by John Holt Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley
Sue Barker is a television presenter and former professional tennis player. She presented the BBC's Wimbledon coverage for nearly three decades, before stepping down this year, when she received a standing ovation. Sue was born in Devon in 1956, and was educated at the Marist Convent School where she had a reputation for being naughty – until her PE teacher, Mrs Chadwick, diverted her energy into tennis. Aged 11 she was selected for training by the local tennis coach Arthur Roberts, who had already guided players to Grand Slam titles. Sue started playing – and winning – junior tournaments. She turned professional at 17, and moved to the US, joining a new women's tour set up by Billie Jean King. During her career, she reached the ranking of World No. 3, playing and defeating her contemporaries, including Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Evonne Goolagong and Virginia Wade. Her biggest win came at the French Open in 1976 where, aged 20, she took her first – and only – Grand Slam title. Her biggest disappointment came at Wimbledon the following year, when she lost in the semi-final, despite being the clear favourite. Plagued by injuries, she retired from tennis in 1985. She began commentating on Australia's Channel 7, before moving to BskyB in the UK, and then joining the BBC in 1993. She has hosted Wimbledon, Grandstand, the Summer and Winter Olympics, the Commonwealth Games, BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and A Question of Sport. When she announced her retirement from TV, her idol Billie Jean King called her the GOAT, the ‘greatest of all time'. DISC ONE: Run Boy Run by Woodkid DISC TWO: Piano Concerto in A minor, composed by Edvard Grieg and performed by Sir Clifford Curzon (piano) and London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Øivin Fjeldstad DISC THREE: Harry Hippie by Bobby Womack DISC FOUR: California Girls by The Beach Boys DISC FIVE: The Greatest Love of All by George Benson DISC SIX: Simply Beautiful by Al Green DISC SEVEN: Grandstand by Keith Mansfield DISC EIGHT: Philadelphia Freedom by Elton John BOOK CHOICE: All In by Billie Jean King LUXURY ITEM: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc wine CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Harry Hippie by Bobby Womack Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Katy Hickman
Dame Alicia Markova was born Lilian Alice Marks in December 1910, in a two-bedroom flat in Finsbury Park, London. She began ballet classes because she was flat footed and knock kneed. Her natural talent, when she was ten, was spotted by Diaghilev, the Russian artistic impresario who founded the Ballets Russes and brought the contemporary arts of Russia to Europe. Dame Alicia joined Diaghilev's company, which was based in Monte Carlo, in 1925, a month after her 14th birthday. Diaghilev changed her name to Alicia Markova and cast her in the title role of Nightingale in Le Rossignol, a ballet scored by Stravinsky, choreographed by Balanchine and with costumes designed by Matisse. It premiered in Paris in June 1925. After Diaghilev's death in 1929 she returned to England and became a leading figure of the emerging English ballet scene, dancing with the Ballet Rambert and Vic Wells Ballet, as well as at Sadlers Wells. Dame Alicia danced the leading roles in Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Giselle, which became her trademark, illustrating her unique style of fragility and strength. In 1950, together with her dancing partner Anton Dolin, Dame Alicia founded The London Festival Ballet which eventually became the English National Ballet. She was still dancing Giselle at the age of 48 and had her last dance on stage in the early 1960s. Subsequently she has worked as director, patron and teacher and was awarded the CBE for services to dance in 1958. Her memory for dance steps has proved invaluable for dance historians, pupils and teachers alike. [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs] Favourite track: Softly Awakes my Heart from Samson and Delilah by Camille Saint-Saëns Book: Speaking of Diaghilev by John Drummond Luxury: The perfume Knowing by Estee Lauder
Roy Plomley's castaway is actor Michael Crawford. Favourite track: Singin' In The Rain by Gene Kelly Book: A Book of Beauty by John Hadfield Luxury: Cherry tree
Roy Plomley's castaway is actor Sir John Gielgud. Favourite track: Double Concerto in D Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach Book: A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu by Marcel Proust
Kirsty Young's castaway is the writer Andrea Levy, in a programme first broadcast in 2011. Andrea died in 2019, aged 62.
Lauren Laverne's castaway is the actor Stephen Graham, in a programme first broadcast in 2019.
Sue Lawley's castaway is the writer and illustrator Raymond Briggs, in a programme first broadcast in 2005. Raymond died in August 2022, aged 88.
Kirsty Young casts away Kay Mellor, who died in May this year at the age of 71.
Lauren Laverne's castaway is Baroness Sue Campbell, Director of Women's Football at the FA. First broadcast in 2020.
The American singer and songwriter John Legend has won two Emmys, 12 Grammys, an Oscar and a Tony award – making him one of only 16 living artists to have won all four honours. One of his songs, All of Me, written for his wife, the model Chrissy Teigen, has been streamed more than four billion times on digital platforms. He was born John Stephens in Springfield, Ohio into a musical family. His father played drums in church, where his mother conducted the choir. John took piano lessons from an early age and soon became involved in arranging music for the church. He attended university at the age of 16 and after graduating worked as a management consultant for four years, while pursuing his interest in music out of office hours. He signed his first record deal after working with Kanye West early in his career, and took on the stage name John Legend, releasing his first solo album in 2004. Alongside his musical career, he has acted on TV and film, including a role in the highly successful La La Land. He has performed at three Presidential inauguration ceremonies – for President Obama in 2009 and 2013, and for President Biden in 2021. John lives in the USA with his wife and their two children. DISC ONE: Here Comes the Sun by Nina Simone DISC TWO: They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) by Pete Rock & CL Smooth DISC THREE: Day Dreaming by Aretha Franklin DISC FOUR: Roc Boys (And the Winner is…) by Jay-Z DISC FIVE: As by Stevie Wonder DISC SIX: Love on Top by Beyonce DISC SEVEN: L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole DISC EIGHT: Superfly by Curtis Mayfield BOOK CHOICE: The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber & David Wengrow LUXURY ITEM: A piano CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Here Comes the Sun by Nina Simone Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
Clare Smyth is a highly acclaimed chef and is the first British woman to win the coveted three Michelin stars for her work. She opened her London restaurant, Core, in 2017, and before that she ran Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, which also held three Michelin stars. Clare was born in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, and grew up on a farm, where her love of simple ingredients was nurtured. The youngest of three children, she discovered a passion for cooking and decided to make it her career from an early age. She left home at 16, moving to England to take a catering course at a college in Portsmouth. Her ambition was to work with the finest chefs, and after completing her course and apprenticeship, she went on to cook in some of the most acclaimed kitchens in the world, including Le Louis XV under Alain Ducasse in Monaco. She returned to London to work in Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, at the invitation of the proprietor, and became the first British woman to run a three Michelin-starred kitchen. Her many awards include the title of the World's Best Female Chef in 2018, and she received an MBE for services to the hospitality industry in 2013. She also found herself in the spotlight in 2018 as the caterer for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. She lives in London with her husband. DISC ONE: Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N' Roses DISC TWO: Zombie by The Cranberries DISC THREE: Don't Look Back in Anger by Oasis DISC FOUR: Common People by Pulp DISC FIVE: Set Fire to the Rain by Adele DISC SIX: Maria by Blondie DISC SEVEN: Brass in Pocket by Pretenders DISC EIGHT: Circle of Life by Carmen Twillie and Lebo M. BOOK CHOICE: The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien LUXURY ITEM: A chef's knife CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Circle of Life by Carmen Twillie and Lebo M. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor