Desert Island Discs

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

BBC Radio 4


    • Jan 23, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 38m AVG DURATION
    • 387 EPISODES

    Listeners of Desert Island Discs that love the show mention: programme, ian wright, deserted, dessert, luxury, barry, england, uk, scientists, archives, decades, british, radio show, treasure, music, cry, delight, enlightening, moved, interviewer.



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    Latest episodes from Desert Island Discs

    John Caudwell, businessman

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 23, 2022 35:37

    John Caudwell is a businessman and philanthropist who founded the mobile phone company Phones 4U in 1996. It became the UK's largest independent mobile phone retailer and made him one of Britain's most successful businessmen. John was born in Birmingham and grew up in Stoke-on-Trent. He came up with his first business venture when he was five – he sold his toys to the other children in his neighbourhood. After he left school he became an apprentice engineer at the Michelin Tyre Factory but the hunger to have his own business drove him on. In his spare time he set up a variety of enterprises from a grocery store to a mail order business selling motorcycle clothing. In 1980 he set up a car dealership with his brother Brian and a few years later spotted a mobile phone in use at a car auction. Although the phone was heavy and cumbersome, John saw the potential of cellular technology and set up his own retail business, starting off with 26 phones which took him almost a year to sell. In 2000 he set up Caudwell Children, his charity which helps children with disabilities, and remains its largest single benefactor. He was one of the first people in the UK to sign up to Bill and Melinda Gates's Giving Pledge, vowing to give away 70% of his wealth during his lifetime. In 2006 John sold the Caudwell Group for £1.5 billion. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley

    Deborah Levy, writer

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 16, 2022 37:46

    Deborah Levy is a writer whose novels Swimming Home and Hot Milk were both shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Last year she published the final instalment of her ‘living autobiography' trilogy of memoirs, and her earlier work includes plays for the RSC as well as short story collections and poetry. Deborah was born in South Africa in 1959, the eldest child of anti-apartheid activists Norman and Philippa Levy. Her father was arrested when she was five and was imprisoned for four years. During this time, Deborah became an almost silent child, but was encouraged by a teacher to write down her thoughts, sparking her love of creative writing. After her father's release, the family relocated to the UK and first lived above a menswear shop in London. As a teenager Deborah worked as a cinema usher, and a chance encounter with the film-maker Derek Jarman inspired her to change her plans to take a degree in literature, and instead she headed to Dartington College of Arts, where she studied writing for the stage and performance. Her first play, Pax, was commissioned in 1984, and was followed by more than a dozen dramas. Deborah then turned to writing novels in the late 1980s and 1990s. Swimming Home was shortlisted for the 2012 Booker Prize, although it initially struggled to find a publisher. Her trilogy of autobiographies, beginning in 2013 with Things I Don't Want to Know, have enjoyed considerable critical acclaim. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor

    Simon Reeve, broadcaster and writer

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 9, 2022 35:45

    Simon Reeve is a broadcaster and writer best known for his TV documentaries which combine travel and adventure with investigations into the challenges faced by the places he visits. His journeys have taken him across jungles, deserts, mountains and oceans, and to some of the most dangerous and remote regions of the world. He's dodged bullets on frontlines, dived with seals and sharks, survived malaria, walked through minefields and tracked lions on foot. Simon grew up in Acton in west London. He experienced anxiety and depression as a teenager and left school with few qualifications. He eventually found a job in the post room at the Sunday Times and from there progressed to working with the news teams, filing stories on a range of subjects from organised crime to nuclear smuggling. In the late 1990s he wrote one of the first books about Al-Qaeda and its links to Osama Bin Laden. His expertise in this area was quickly called upon after the 9/11 attacks in the USA, and he became a regular guest on American television and radio programmes. The current pandemic put Simon's overseas trips into abeyance and he has turned his attention to the UK, recently making programmes about Cornwall and the Lake District. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley

    Richard Osman, writer and broadcaster

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 26, 2021 35:03

    Richard Osman is a broadcaster, TV producer and writer who co-presents the quiz show Pointless on BBC One. His first novel, The Thursday Murder Club, was a publishing phenomenon, selling more than a million copies, and the follow-up became one of the fastest-selling titles since records began. Richard grew up in Haywards Heath in West Sussex and his early passion for television led to him devising quiz shows and programme formats from a young age. After graduating from university he worked for a number of production companies where he helped to develop and produce shows including Total Wipeout, Deal or No Deal and 8 out of 10 Cats. In 2009 Richard became a co-presenter of Pointless alongside Alexander Armstrong. It was not his intention to move in front of the camera, but he was given the job after taking on the role of co-host while the show was being developed. In 2020 Richard published his debut novel, the Thursday Murder Club, the story of four friends in a retirement community who band together to solve cold cases. It was an instant hit, selling 45,000 copies in its first three days on sale. Steven Spielberg has bought the film rights. Richard lives in London and is writing his third novel featuring his resourceful retirees. DISC ONE: Bring Me Sunshine by Morecambe And Wise DISC TWO: Metal Mickey by Suede DISC THREE: Snooker (Drag Racer) by The Douglas Wood Group DISC FOUR: You Can't Stop The Beat by the cast of Hairspray (Nikki Blonsky, Zac Efron, Amanda Bynes, Elijah Kelly, John Travolta and Queen Latifah) DISC FIVE: Extraordinary Machine by Fiona Apple DISC SIX: American Boy by Estelle Featuring Kanye West DISC SEVEN: Ran by Future Islands DISC EIGHT: A Little Respect by Erasure BOOK CHOICE: Hercule Poirot: the Complete Short Stories by Agatha Christie LUXURY ITEM: A pad of paper, a pen and dice CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: DISC FOUR: You Can't Stop The Beat by the cast of Hairspray Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley

    Dame Prue Leith, writer and broadcaster

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 19, 2021 35:52

    Dame Prue Leith is a broadcaster, writer, former restaurateur and a judge on the television show the Great British Bake Off. Prue was born in Cape Town, South Africa, during the era of Apartheid. After leaving school she moved to Paris to study at the Sorbonne, but decided that her future lay in food, and took a Cordon Bleu cookery course in London. She set up her own catering business from her bedsit, where space was so tight that she washed lettuces in the bath. In 1969 she opened Leith's, her own fine dining restaurant, in Notting Hill in west London. Leith's was awarded a Michelin star in the 1980s. She went on to write columns and cookbooks and became a regular broadcaster about food, on shows including the Great British Menu. In 1975 she opened Leith's School of Food and Wine which trains professional chefs and amateur cooks. Prue replaced Mary Berry as a judge on the Great British Bake Off in 2017. She has written eight novels and lives with her husband in Gloucestershire. DISC ONE: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by The Beatles DISC TWO: Ugly Duckling by Danny Kaye DISC THREE: Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika by Ladysmith Black Mambazo DISC FOUR: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (I) composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and performed by Sir Neville Marriner (violin), Academy Of St Martin-in-the-Fields Orchestra and conducted by David Willcocks DISC FIVE: 16 Tons by Tennessee Ernie Ford DISC SIX: Skylark by Aretha Franklin DISC SEVEN: Chopin, Nocturne No. 2, op 9 in E flat major, played by Elisabeth Leonskaja DISC EIGHT: Big Spender by Shirley MacLaine BOOK CHOICE: Ulysses by James Joyce LUXURY ITEM: Writing materials CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika by Ladysmith Black Mambazo Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley

    Jack Thorne, screenwriter

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 12, 2021 36:09

    Jack Thorne is a writer who has enjoyed great success with his scripts for the stage, cinema and television, winning five BAFTA awards for his TV work. His theatre credits include the international hit play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which has won major awards in London and New York. For television, his recent successes include his adaptation of His Dark Materials, from the books by Philip Pullman, and The Virtues, co-written with Shane Meadows, and starring Stephen Graham. Jack was born in Bristol in 1978. His mother was a care worker, and her experiences partly inspired his 2021 TV drama Help, set in a care home during the pandemic. As a student at Cambridge University, Jack became involved in student drama, but had to halt his studies for a year when he became seriously ill with cholinergic urticaria, which he describes as an extreme form of ‘prickly heat... which feels like you're burning from the inside.' While he enjoys better health now, this experience informed his writing, and he has campaigned for more opportunities and better representation for disabled people, on both sides of the camera. In 2021 he gave the MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival, in which he argued that TV has failed disabled people. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor

    Helen Macdonald, writer and naturalist

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 5, 2021 37:39

    Helen Macdonald is a writer and naturalist who is best known as the author of H is for Hawk which won the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize and the Costa Book Award, and topped the sales charts. The book chronicles her experiences training a goshawk called Mabel while grieving for her late father. Helen's father was a staff photographer at the Daily Mirror and her mother was a journalist on local newspapers. In 1975, when Helen was five, her parents bought a house in Terkel's Park, an estate owned by the Theosophical Society. It was here that Helen became a keen bird watcher and developed a love of the natural world, spending her days in fields and meadows where she collected specimens which she brought home to study. When she was 12 she helped out at a local falconry centre and trained her first hawk, a kestrel called Amy. After graduating from Cambridge she worked for the National Avian Research Centre in Wales before returning to academia. The death of her father in 2007 prompted Helen to buy Mabel and bring her home to live with her. Training Mabel was Helen's way of dealing with her grief during what she describes as a very dark period of her life. The relationship between her and Mabel became so intense that she says she became more hawk than human. Helen continues to write books and essays and present programmes about the natural world. She lives in Suffolk with two parrots she calls the Bugs. DISC ONE: Wayfaring Stranger by Rhiannon Giddens With Francesco Turrisi DISC TWO: Lully: Le Triomphe de l'Amour: Prélude pour la nuit, composed by Jean-Baptiste Lully, performed by Capriccio Stravagante Les 24 Violons, directed by Skip Sempé DISC THREE: Michelangelo by The 23rd Turnoff DISC FOUR: Ocean by The Velvet Underground DISC FIVE: 'Corelli' Variations, Op. 42, composed by Sergei Rachmaninov, performed by Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano) DISC SIX: When We Were Wolves by My Latest Novel DISC SEVEN: Point of View Point by Cornelius DISC EIGHT: Time by Hans Zimmer BOOK CHOICE: The Karla Trilogy by John Le Carré LUXURY ITEM: Luxury bedding CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: 'Corelli' Variations, Op. 42, composed by Sergei Rachmaninov, performed by Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano) Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley

    Neil Gaiman, writer

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 28, 2021 34:59

    Neil Gaiman is a writer whose list of titles spans many forms from novels, including American Gods, to children's stories such as Coraline and the comic book the Sandman. Neil grew up in East Grinstead and after finishing school he became a journalist and then wrote short stories and books. One of his early commissions was writing a companion to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. In 1989 he began to write the Sandman series for DC Comics which were illustrated by his friend Dave McKean. The Sandman became the first comic ever to receive a literary award - the World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story – and is credited with bringing comics from an underground art form into the mainstream. It is currently in production as a television series. Neil started writing what became the fantasy novel Good Omens in the 1980s but put it aside to concentrate on the Sandman. When his friend Terry Pratchett suggested they go back to it and finish it together, they turned Neil's initial 5,000 words into a novel which was adapted for radio in 2014 and became a television series starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen. Neil wrote his first children's book, The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish, in 1997. His next children's book Coraline, about a little girl adrift in a parallel universe, was initially deemed to be too frightening to publish but is now a family favourite. Neil is married to the musician Amanda Palmer and lives in upstate New York. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley

    Carl Hester, dressage rider

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 21, 2021 35:27

    Carl Hester is a dressage rider who has competed in six Olympic Games, winning a team gold at London 2012. Carl grew up on Sark in the Channel Islands, where cars are banned and horses are part of the island's daily life. He learned to ride on a donkey before progressing to horses. After leaving school, his first job was at an equine therapy centre in Hampshire. A key moment in his early career was an invitation from Dr Wilfried Bechtolsheimer, a leading figure in dressage, to join his yard. In 1992 Carl became the youngest ever British rider to compete at an Olympic Games. As well as a gold in London in 2012, he and the team won silver in Rio in 2016, and earlier this year a bronze medal in Tokyo, where he was the oldest member of Team GB. Carl has also enjoyed great success as a trainer of horses, including Valegro, once described as the ‘Lionel Messi of the dressage world.' He has also mentored the rider Charlotte Dujardin, currently Britain's most successful female Olympian along with the cyclist Laura Kenny. He lives near Newent in Gloucestershire and says he hopes to compete at the Paris Olympics in 2024. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor

    Dame Jo da Silva, engineer

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 35:02

    Dame Jo da Silva is a structural engineer and disaster relief specialist. Her humanitarian work has taken her from Sri Lanka in the wake of the Tsunami to Pakistan and Haiti to help with their post-earthquake recovery. Jo was born in Washington DC where her father was a diplomat. As a child she enjoyed making things including buildings for her brother's train set. After graduating from Cambridge University she joined design and engineering firm Arup where her first assignment involved working with Lord Norman Foster on a design for bus shelters. She went on to work on the Ondaatje Wing at the National Portrait Gallery and Hong Kong's International Airport on the island of Chek Lap Kok. In 1994 she went to Tanzania where she worked in the refugee camps which had sprung up after the genocide in Rwanda. She devised a road system which transformed the delivery of food, water and medical supplies. After this experience she decided to devote her energies to crisis and disaster projects and in 2007 she founded Arup International Development, a not-for-profit business which designs buildings and infrastructure to help vulnerable and displaced people around the world. In 2021 she received a Damehood in the New Year's Honours list for her contribution to humanitarian relief. DISC ONE: Sound And Vision (Remastered) by David Bowie DISC TWO: Clarinet Concerto in A, K.622:2 Adagio, composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, performed by Jack Brymer (clarinet), Allegri Quartet (string quartet), London Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Sir Colin Davis DISC THREE: All The World is Green by Tom Waits DISC FOUR: Weird Fishes / Arpeggi by Radiohead DISC FIVE: Shudder / King Of Snake by Underworld DISC SIX: Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell DISC SEVEN: Not Dark Yet by Bob Dylan DISC EIGHT: Crying Shame by Jack Johnson BOOK CHOICE: ‘The Boardman Tasker Omnibus' by Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker LUXURY ITEM: A charpoi (traditional Indian rope bed) CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: All The World is Green by Tom Waits Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley

    Joanne Harris, writer

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 7, 2021 34:47

    Joanne Harris is a writer who is best known for her novel Chocolat, which was made into an Oscar-nominated feature film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. The daughter of an English father and French mother, Joanne was born in Barnsley and her first few years were spent living above her grandparents' sweet shop. Her parents were both teachers, and her first language was French. She went on to read modern and medieval languages at Cambridge University and taught French for 15 years, writing fiction in her spare time. Her first two novels were not successful and initially Chocolat looked set to follow suit: some publishers thought it was too indulgent to appeal readers in any great number, but the story's combination of food and magic won many fans and it became a word of mouth hit. Since then, Joanne has written 18 more novels, along with novellas, short stories, the libretti for two short operas, several screenplays and three cookbooks. Her books are now published in over 50 countries and have won a number of British and international awards. Joanne lives in Yorkshire and works from a shed in her back garden. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley

    Peter Schmeichel, footballer

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 31, 2021 36:37

    Peter Schmeichel is widely regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers in the modern game. In 1999, he captained Manchester United in one of the most astonishing comebacks in football, as United won the Champions League with two goals in added time, completing a much-coveted Treble, along with the Premiership and the FA Cup. As well as winning numerous trophies during his years at Manchester United, he has played a record 129 times for Denmark, his national team. He was part of the Danish side who were surprise winners of the European Championships in 1992: Denmark were underdogs and only joined the tournament at the last minute, when Yugoslavia were forced to withdraw. During the 1990s, he was arguably the most recognised Dane in the world. He began his football career in Denmark before fulfilling his childhood dream and signing for Manchester United in 1991. His father was a professional musician, who insisted on piano and guitar lessons for the young Peter. Goalkeeping was not his choice: as young boy, he was told to play in goal by a teacher who was thought he might be too wild for the other youngsters on the pitch. Since retiring from the competitive game, Peter lives in Denmark but spends time travelling to see Manchester United play and he also follows his son, Kasper, who plays for Leicester City and Denmark. DISC ONE: We Are The Champions by Queen DISC TWO: Hymn To Freedom by Oscar Peterson DISC THREE: Rosanna by Toto DISC FOUR: Sultans Of Swing by Dire Straits DISC FIVE: Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder DISC SIX: Angels by Robbie Williams DISC SEVEN: In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins DISC EIGHT: The Girl Is Mine by Michael Jackson With Paul McCartney BOOK CHOICE: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) LUXURY ITEM: Peter's guitar CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: The Girl Is Mine by Michael Jackson With Paul McCartney Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor

    Michael Sandel, philosopher

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 24, 2021 35:39

    Michael Sandel is a political philosopher and professor of government theory at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has also presented the BBC Radio 4 series The Public Philosopher and The Global Philosopher, in which he examines the thinking behind a current controversy. His books have tackled the idea of meritocracy and the moral limits of markets, and he has been described as a “philosopher with the global profile of a rock star.” Michael grew up in Minnesota until the age of 13 when his family relocated to Los Angeles. As a boy he was fascinated by politics and he invited Ronald Reagan, who was then governor of California, to take part in a debate at his school. During his university studies he took an internship at the Houston Chronicle and covered the Watergate scandal, sitting in on the Supreme court deliberations and subsequent impeachment hearings on Capitol Hill. Later, while he was studying as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University he was, as he puts it, “seduced by philosophy”. Justice, the course he devised at Harvard, is one of the most popular in the university's history – thousands of students apply to attend in person and tens of millions watch his classes online. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley

    Deborah Meaden, businesswoman

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 17, 2021 36:16

    Deborah Meaden is a businesswoman and entrepreneur. She's been one of the investment ‘Dragons' in the BBC TV series since 2006. Destined to be a successful entrepreneur, Deborah Meaden launched her first business straight out of college at nineteen years old, importing artisan Italian glass and ceramic homeware goods to the UK. After running various franchise businesses, she joined her family company, Weststar Holidays and eventually became Managing Director. A few years later, when her parents wanted to retire, she bought them out of the business and later sold the company making her a multi-millionaire. Deborah is now a full time investor with a wide ranging portfolio. For the last fifteen years, she has been one of the investment Dragons on BBC TV's Dragon's Den. Even though she has many millions in the bank, she has no plans to step back from business. “Why would I stop doing something that I love?” She lives in Somerset with her husband, Paul. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor

    Dame Sarah Connolly, mezzo-soprano

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 10, 2021 37:31

    The mezzo-soprano Dame Sarah Connolly has sung at the most prestigious venues around the world, including the Royal Opera House, London and the Metropolitan Opera in New York, as well as Glyndebourne, Vienna and Bayreuth. In 2009 she was a soloist at the Last Night of the BBC Proms, singing Rule Britannia dressed as Admiral Nelson, and she has also made a name for herself taking on male or so-called “trouser roles” in opera, including Handel's Giulio Cesare (Julius Caesar). As a child, she was an outstanding pianist with a passion for classical music and jazz. After studying piano and voice at the Royal College of Music, she decided to become a singer. She was a member of the BBC Singers for five years, before taking the leap and seeking work as a soloist. She took a break from public performance in 2019 to have treatment for breast cancer, but has now resumed her career. She was made a DBE in the 2017 Birthday Honours and last year she became an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society, recognising her outstanding services to music. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor

    Tom Ilube, entrepreneur

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 3, 2021 36:10

    Tom Ilube is an entrepreneur, known for his successful start-up companies, and a philanthropist. He recently took up the post of chairman of the Rugby Football Union. He was born in 1963 to a Nigerian father and a British mother, and grew up first in London, and then in Uganda, a stay cut short by the rise to power of Idi Amin. He began his teenage years back in the UK, enjoying rugby and ice-skating, before moving with his family to Nigeria, where he also attended university, studying Applied Physics and launching his first business selling flared trousers to fellow students. He returned to London looking for work in information technology. After many unsuccessful job applications, British Airways gave him a break, and he later worked for the London Stock Exchange and Goldman Sachs. In 1996, he founded his first company and has since been involved with several other start-ups – “thinking up ideas, raising venture capital, building companies, selling them and doing it all again,” he says. He is also involved with philanthropic projects in education, including founding a school for high-achieving but disadvantaged girls in Ghana with a focus on maths and science. In 2017 he topped the Powerlist, the annual list of the 100 most influential people of African and African Caribbean heritage in Britain, and was appointed a CBE in 2018. He is married to Karen and has two grown-up children. DISC ONE: Doctor Who by BBC Radiophonic Workshop DISC TWO: Sweet Mother by Prince Nico Mbarga And Rocafil Jazz International DISC THREE: The Boys Are Back in Town by Thin Lizzy DISC FOUR: Swing Low, Sweet Chariot by Ladysmith Black Mambazo DISC FIVE: That's The Way Love Goes by Janet Jackson DISC SIX: Family Business by Kanye West DISC SEVEN: Mr Bojangles by Sammy Davis Jr DISC EIGHT: A Change is Gonna Come by Ayanna Witter-Johnson BOOK CHOICE: The Wormwood Trilogy by Tade Thompson LUXURY ITEM: A solar-powered puzzle generator, designed by Tom. CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Mr Bojangles by Sammy Davis Jr Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor

    Tracey Ullman, actor and comedian

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 26, 2021 34:04

    Tracey Ullman was the first woman to be offered her own television sketch show – both in Britain and America – and has starred in film and television dramas alongside Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett and Hugh Grant. The Emmy-winning Tracey Ullman Show ran for four seasons in the US and provided the launch pad for the Simpsons. Tracey was born in Slough and as a child she would impersonate people and put on shows for the amusement of her mother after the death of her father. At 12 she won a scholarship to the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London and worked in repertory theatre and the West End in London before her television career took off. She was one of the stars of the BBC's primetime sketch show Three of a Kind alongside David Copperfield and a young Lenny Henry. In 1985 she moved to Los Angeles with her husband, the producer Allan McKeown, where her uncanny impressions of Americans from all walks of life won her acclaim and awards in equal measure. After the death of her husband Tracey returned to the UK in 2016 and was soon back on our screens in a new sketch series, Tracey Ullman's Show, which showcased her enduring talent for sending up the powerful and the famous, including Dame Judi Dench, Angela Merkel and Theresa May. DISC ONE: American Girl by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers DISC TWO: You Won't See Me by The Beatles DISC THREE: Nichols and May At Work by Mike Nichols And Elaine May DISC FOUR: That's The Way Of The World by Earth, Wind & Fire DISC FIVE: Everyday I Write the Book by Elvis Costello And The Attractions DISC SIX: They Don't Know by Kirsty MacColl DISC SEVEN: You and I by Stevie Wonder DISC EIGHT: This Is the Sea by The Waterboys BOOK CHOICE: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ by Sue Townsend LUXURY ITEM: Nuts CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: You and I by Stevie Wonder Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley

    Baroness Hale of Richmond, former judge.

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 19, 2021 38:06

    Brenda Hale, Baroness Hale of Richmond, is a former judge who served as the first female president of the Supreme Court. In 2019 she announced the court's judgement that the prorogation of Parliament was ‘unlawful, void and of no effect'. The twinkling spider brooch she wore that day caused a sensation and set social media aflame. She was the first woman and the youngest person to be appointed to the Law Commission and in 2004 became the UK's first woman law lord. Lady Hale was born in Yorkshire and read law at the University of Cambridge where she graduated top of her class. She spent almost 20 years in academia and also practised as a barrister. Later at the Law commission she led the work on what became the 1989 Children Act. Lady Hale retired as a judge in January 2020. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley

    Michael Holding, cricketer

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 12, 2021 36:10

    Michael Holding is a cricket commentator and former West Indies bowler. He's widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of international cricket. In July 2020 when rain stopped play during the television coverage of a Test Match, he gave an unscripted four minute monologue on institutional racism in sport and society in the wake of the death of George Floyd. His spontaneous eloquence won him widespread acclaim, including a Royal Television Society award. Michael was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1954 and grew up playing Catchy Shubby, an informal and fast-moving form of cricket, in scrubland behind his parents' home. He made his debut for Jamaica aged 18. Two years later he played in his first Test match for the West Indies and went on to become part of a team that would make sporting history – not losing a single series for 15 years. Michael earned the nickname ‘Whispering Death' for his long quiet run-up and extremely fast deliveries, and many cricket experts believe he bowled the greatest over in Test history – to the English batsman Geoffrey Boycott in 1981 in Barbados. He retired from international cricket in 1987 and became a well-respected and straight-talking commentator on the game: he has said this is his last year in the commentary box and he plans to return to his home in the Cayman Islands. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Katy Hickman Photo BBC / Amanda Benson

    Classic Desert Island Discs - Lauren Bacall

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 5, 2021 28:03

    Roy Plomley talks to the actor Lauren Bacall in a programme first broadcast in 1979.

    Classic Desert Island Discs - Charlie Watts

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 29, 2021 34:32

    Sue Lawley talks to the Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, who died at the age of 80 on 24 August 2021. The programme was first broadcast in 2001.

    Classic Desert Island Discs - Steve McQueen

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 22, 2021 36:29

    Kirsty Young talks to the director Steve McQueen in a programme first broadcast in 2014.

    Classic Desert Island Discs - Ruth Jones

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 15, 2021 33:28

    Lauren Laverne talks to the actor and writer Ruth Jones in a programme first broadcast in 2019.

    Classic Desert Island Discs - Tom Daley

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2021 52:01

    Lauren Laverne talks to the diver Tom Daley, in a programme first broadcast in 2018.

    Nazir Afzal, lawyer

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 1, 2021 34:25

    Nazir Afzal is a solicitor and the former chief crown prosecutor for north-west England. Among his notable cases, he brought the Rochdale sex grooming gangs to trial in 2012. Nazir's parents arrived in the UK from Pakistan in 1961 and he was born in Birmingham the following year. After completing his legal training he started his career as a defence lawyer but soon realised that he preferred prosecution to defence, joining the Crown Prosecution Service in 1991. As director of prosecutions for London he turned his attention to so-called honour-based violence and brought successful prosecutions against the perpetrators of these crimes. In 2011 as chief crown prosecutor for north-west England he began investigating sex grooming gangs in Rochdale, overturning a previous CPS decision not to bring charges against the gangs. He brought prosecutions against nine men who were convicted and jailed in 2012 for the sexual exploitation of 47 young girls. Nazir retired from the Crown Prosecution Service in 2015. He currently chairs the Catholic Church's new safeguarding body and advises the Welsh government on issues of gender-based violence. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley

    Robert Macfarlane, writer

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 25, 2021 34:44

    Robert Macfarlane, writer, shares the soundtrack of his life with Lauren Laverne

    Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, athlete

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 18, 2021 35:16

    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 coach and had joined the City of Sheffield Athletics Club. In 2006 she won bronze at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games but in 2008 she suffered an injury to her right foot which dashed her hopes of competing in the Beijing Olympics. She spent the next year working her way back to fitness and by the 2012 London Olympics she was at the peak of her powers. When she crossed the finish line on 4 August – known as Super Saturday when Team GB won three athletics gold medals in less than an hour – she took the gold medal with a British and Commonwealth record score which remained unbeaten for seven years. Just 15 months after the birth of her first child, Jessica won the heptathlon world title in Beijing – her third World Championship gold medal in a row. She won silver at the Rio Olympics in 2016. In October of that year, at the age of 30, she retired from competitive athletics. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley

    Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, veterinary surgeon.

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 11, 2021 37:40

    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 Ireland where he worked as a country vet looking after livestock. He moved to England in the 1990s and set up his referral practice in Surrey in 1997. Some of his famous clients include Meghan Markle's dog Guy and Russell Brand's cat Morrissey. He has also written two best-selling books based on his experiences of working with animals. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley

    Paul Costelloe, fashion designer

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 4, 2021 34:14

    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 designer and performer Jacques Esterel, who designed Brigitte Bardot's wedding dress, and then spent time in Milan and New York before returning to Ireland where he set up his own label. In 1983 Paul started designing clothes for Diana, Princess of Wales – a collaboration that lasted until her death in 1997. He created a range of memorable outfits for the Princess of Wales including the tuxedo suit she wore to the Pavarotti in the Park concert at Hyde Park in 1991 where the Italian tenor serenaded her in front of 125,000 people during a torrential downpour. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley

    Margaret Busby, publisher

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 27, 2021 36:46

    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 studied English at Bedford College, University of London before embarking on her career in publishing. Margaret's love of poetry was the catalyst for setting up Allison and Busby. They were both totally new to publishing and did not know the usual industry rules. She and her business partner had fifteen thousand, five shilling poetry magazines printed without any means of distributing them . They went on to be an eclectic publishing house championing new work and also reprinting classic texts from writers of all backgrounds. In recent years, Margaret has made time to be a literary judge and has compiled two landmark anthologies Daughters of Africa and New Daughters of Africa which pull together writings by women of African descent from Ancient Egypt to the present day. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor

    Richard Wilson, actor and director.

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 20, 2021 37:19

    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 auditioned for a place at RADA. His first role was as a stonemason in Dr Finlay's Casebook and he later reached a wider audience playing snooty Jeremy Parsons QC in the television series Crown Court. Richard went on to carve out a successful theatre and television career as both an actor and director. He starred in the comedy Only When I Laugh and later in the series Tutti Frutti alongside Emma Thompson and Robbie Coltrane. In 1990 he delighted audiences with his portrayal of the grumpy pensioner Victor Meldrew in One Foot in the Grave, with his catchphrase ‘I don't believe it!' – a phrase which has haunted Richard ever since. The series regularly attracted an audience of 17 million viewers and Richard won two BAFTAs for his performance. Richard received an award for his outstanding contribution to film and television at the Scottish BAFTAs in 2013. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley

    Yo-Yo Ma, musician

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 13, 2021 37:45

    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 Kennedy and Leonard Bernstein. He went on to study at the Juilliard School in New York and at Harvard University. He has recorded more than 100 albums, and his many Grammy awards reveal the range of his musical interests. Along with prize-winning concerto and chamber music discs, and an acclaimed recording of Bach's Suites from unaccompanied cello, he's won awards for folk and tango albums. He is also the driving force behind the Silk Road Ensemble, creating music inspired by the cultures found along the historic trade route linking China and the West. His high-profile appearances in America include the first performance on the site of the World Trade Centre, a year after the 9/11 attacks, and contributions to the inaugurations of Presidents Obama and Biden. A more recent informal solo performance took place at his local Covid vaccination centre in Massachusetts. Yo-Yo Ma has been married to Jill Hornor for more than 40 years, and they have two children. DISC ONE: Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen DISC TWO: Erbame Dich composed by J.S Bach, conducted by Ton Koopman, performed by Kai Wessel (alto vocals), accompanied by Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra DISC THREE: Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15: Maestoso, composed by Johannes Brahms, conducted by George Szell, performed by The Cleveland Orchestra DISC FOUR: Elgar: 1st movement Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op 85, composed by Edward Elgar, conducted by Jacqueline du Pré (cello) and London Symphony Orchestra DISC FIVE: Tin Tin Deo (Live) by The Oscar Peterson Trio DISC SIX: M4 Lieder, Op.27: Morgen! Composed by Richard Strauss, performed by Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano) and Gerald Moore (piano) DISC SEVEN: Podmoskovnye Vechera - Moscow Nights, composed by Vasily Solovyov-Sedoi, conducted by Constantine Orbelian and performed by Dimitri Hvorostovsky (baritone) and Moscow Chamber Orchestra DISC EIGHT: Schubert- Piano Trio #2 In E Flat, Op. 100, D 929 - 4. Allegro Moderato, composed by Franz Schubert, performed by Alexander Schneider (violin) and Mieczysław Horszowski (piano) BOOK CHOICE: Encyclopedia Britannica LUXURY ITEM: A Swiss Army knife CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Schubert- Piano Trio #2 In E Flat, Op. 100, D 929 - 4. Allegro Moderato, composed by Franz Schubert, performed by Alexander Schneider (violin) and Mieczysław Horszowski (piano) Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor

    Heather Hallett, former judge and crossbench peer

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 6, 2021 35:58

    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 father Hugh was a policeman who worked his way up to the rank of assistant chief constable. With each promotion the family moved house and Heather's education was disrupted, leading her teachers to conclude that she was unlikely to secure a place at university. Heather proved them wrong and studied law at the University of Oxford. In 2009 she acted as coroner at the inquest into the deaths of the 52 victims of the July 7th London bombings in 2005 and she has taken over the inquest of Dawn Sturgess who died in the Salisbury Novichok poisonings. Heather retired as a judge in 2019 and currently sits as a life peer. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley

    Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, charity CEO

    Play Episode Listen Later May 30, 2021 36:06

    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 moved to the UK in 1996 where she took a master’s degree at the University of Warwick. But even with two degrees and considerable work experience she was unable to find a job and retrained as a care worker. She says her time working in nursing homes “reshaped” and “humbled” her. Later she worked for the VSO and served with the United Nations Volunteer programme in Germany before landing what she calls her “dream job” at Christian Aid in 2018. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley

    Alexei Sayle, comedian

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2021 35:54

    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 thrive as a painter. He began performing with a theatre troupe and - after answering an advertisement - became the compere on the opening night of the Comedy Store. He soon found himself at the centre of a new wave of British comedy. With his tight suits and often abrasive stage presence, he enjoyed successful stand-up tours, appearances on numerous TV shows including The Young Ones, and even a novelty pop hit. He attempted to launch a career in America, but was fired from a TV series on his 40th birthday. He stepped back from stand-up and devoted himself to writing novels and short stories. More recently, he has returned to live performance, and has also created a number of comedy series for Radio 4. He lives in London with his wife Linda: they have been married for almost 50 years. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor

    Brian Greene

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2021 38:01

    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 by himself. At 11 Brian had exhausted everything his maths teacher could teach him but, thanks to his teacher’s resourcefulness, he managed to get extra tuition from a graduate student at Columbia University. After graduating from Harvard in 1984, Brian won a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University to study gravity and quantum mechanics. At Oxford he became captivated by the idea of string theory which was causing much excitement among the physics community at the time. String theory was seen as having the potential to answer life’s big questions about space, time and the universe. Over the years Brian has been at the forefront of scientific discoveries including mirror symmetry and later proving that tears could happen in the fabric of space. Brian is currently professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley

    Billie Piper, actor

    Play Episode Listen Later May 9, 2021 36:22

    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 in 1998. Just three years later, after releasing more successful singles and two albums and touring furiously to promote them, Billie left the music industry. She married the DJ Chris Evans, and found herself the frequent subject of newspaper stories. She decided to turn to acting, her first love, and by 2005 she was back in the spotlight playing Rose Tyler in the BBC’s revival of Doctor Who. Since then she has taken on a wide range of acclaimed screen and stage roles, most notably picking up all six available awards for Best Actress – including the Olivier Award – when she starred in a new version of Lorca's play Yerma. Her recent TV series I Hate Suzy, which she co-created, has been BAFTA nominated and she has also written and directed her first film, Rare Beasts. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor

    classic Desert Island Discs - Desmond Tutu

    Play Episode Listen Later May 2, 2021 37:09

    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.

    Classic Desert Island Discs - Helen McCrory

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 22, 2021 35:28

    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.

    Classic Desert Island Discs - Kathleen Tuner

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 18, 2021 34:35

    Sue Lawley interviews the actor Kathleen Turner in a programme first broadcast in 2000.

    Classic Desert Island Discs - Russell T Davies

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 11, 2021 42:54

    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 himself working around the clock. More recently, he wrote the highly-acclaimed series A Very English Scandal, starring Hugh Grant as Jeremy Thorpe, and the dystopian drama Years and Years. DISC ONE: Julie Covington, Charlotte Cornwell, Rula Lenska - Sugar Mountain DISC TWO: Hora Staccato (1950 version) performed by Jascha Heifetz and Emanuel Bay DISC THREE: The New Christy Minstrels - Three Wheels on My Wagon - DISC FOUR: Leonard Bernstein's Gloria in excelsis, performed by The Norman Scribner Choir DISC FIVE: Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights DISC SIX: The OT Quartet - Hold That Sucker Down (Builds Like A Skyscraper Mix) DISC SEVEN: Neil Hannon - Song For Ten DISC EIGHT: Electric Light Orchestra - Mr. Blue Sky BOOK CHOICE: Asterix and the Roman Agent by by René Goscinny with illustrations by Albert Uderzo LUXURY ITEM: A black Ball Pentol Pen CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Leonard Bernstein's Gloria in excelsis Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor (First broadcast in 2019)

    Classic Desert Island Discs - Murray Walker

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 4, 2021 38:18

    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.

    Professor Sir Simon Wessely

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 28, 2021 38:14

    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 syndromes, leading progressive and sometimes controversial work on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Disagreement about whether the condition is physical or psychological continues to this day and although Simon’s studies helped develop a treatment programme, there is still no cure. Later he switched his attention to the military, exploring Gulf War Syndrome, PTSD, the risk and benefit of military service, social and psychological outcomes for ex-service personnel and historic aspects of war and psychiatry. In 1996 he established the Gulf War Illness Research Unit which subsequently became the King’s Centre for Military Health Research. He completed a term as president of the Royal Society of Medicine – the first psychiatrist to occupy the post - and in 2017 he led an independent review of the Mental Health Act. DISC ONE: Think by Aretha Franklin DISC TWO: String Quartet No. 1 (“From My Life”) in E minor (Allegro vivo appassionato) composed by Bedrich Smetana, performed by The Dante Quartet DISC THREE: Soave sia il vento, composed by Mozart, conducted by Karl Bohm, performed by Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Walter Berry, Christa Ludwig and Philharmonia Orchestra DISC FOUR: How Long has This Been Going On? by Dexter Gordon and Lonette McKee DISC FIVE: The Room Where it Happens by Leslie Odom, Jr and Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton DISC SIX: France - La Marseillaise - Hymne national francais, composed by Claude Rouget de Lisle, performed by Ensemble du monde DISC SEVEN: Serenade No. 10 in B flat major, K. 361, "Gran Partita": Adagio, composed by Mozart, performed by German Wind Soloists DISC EIGHT: Tuxedo Junction by Jools Holland And His Rhythm And Blues Orchestra BOOK CHOICE: A Teach Yourself Russian book LUXURY ITEM: A Viennese cafe CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: How Long has This Been Going On? by Dexter Gordon and Lonette McKee Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley

    Maggie O'Farrell, writer

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 21, 2021 35:36

    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 Norther 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 she missed a year of school. Her illness also left her with a stammer, which she believes has profoundly affected her relationship with language. She studied English at Cambridge University, and then looked for work as a journalist, writing poetry in her spare time. When she chanced upon a discarded computer, she decided to write a novel. She attended a creative writing course, where her tutors encouraged her to get her first manuscript published. She lives in Scotland with her husband, the writer William Sutcliffe, and their three children. DISC ONE: Elephant Gun by Beirut DISC TWO: Sit Down By The Fire by The Pogues DISC THREE: Lovesong by The Cure DISC FOUR: Chopin: Scherzo No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 31, composed by Frédéric Chopin, performed by Martha Argerich (piano) DISC FIVE: The Bends by Radiohead DISC SIX: Little Star by Stina Nordenstam DISC SEVEN: Feeling Good by Nina Simone DISC EIGHT: Prophet (Better Watch It) by Rizzle Kicks BOOK CHOICE: Selected Stories by Alice Munro LUXURY ITEM: National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Elephant Gun by Beirut Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor

    Dame Louise Casey, crossbench peer

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 14, 2021 37:10

    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 the housing and homelessness charity, Shelter. In 1999 she was appointed head of Tony Blair’s new Rough Sleepers Unit, prompting the media to call her the ‘homelessness tsar’. She went on to run the Anti-Social Behaviour Unit at the Home Office where she became known as the ASBO Queen. David Cameron appointed her director general of the Troubled Families Programme in 2011. In 2016 she was awarded a DBE for services to families and vulnerable people. During the first COVID-19 lockdown she led the government’s Everyone In campaign which found emergency accommodation for rough sleepers. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley

    Mark Strong, actor

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 7, 2021 34:59

    Mark Strong has appeared in more than 60 films, along with numerous TV dramas and plays. His career took off after he won a leading role in the landmark 1996 BBC series Our Friends in the North, and since then his screen work includes dramas such as Syriana, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Zero Dark Thirty and The Imitation Game, as well as the fantasy and comic book worlds of Stardust, Kick Ass and Shazam. In 2015 he won the Olivier best actor award for his London stage performance in A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller, in a production that also won him great acclaim in New York. Mark was born in London, the only child of an Austrian mother and an Italian father. His father left the family when Mark was a baby and has played no part in his life. Thanks to his mother, Mark is fluent in German, and he spent most of his school holidays with his Austrian grandmother. His mother had two jobs to support them both, and Mark attended state boarding schools in the UK from the age of six. His first taste of performing came in a punk rock band at school, but he began his further education by starting a law degree in Germany, before changing course and returning to the UK to study drama. Most recently he has been filming the TV drama Temple, in which he plays a rogue surgeon operating in abandoned tunnels beneath a London underground station. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor

    Claire Horton, charity worker

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 28, 2021 36:34

    Claire Horton is the former chief executive of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, and is currently director general of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. She joined Battersea in 2010 during its landmark 150th year, spearheading a campaign which transformed the animal rescue service into a UK top 10 charity brand. During her years in charge, income and volunteer numbers quadrupled; new facilities were developed and the charity successfully campaigned for changes in animal welfare legislation. As a teenager Claire volunteered for a number of organisations including Mencap and the Riding for the Disabled Association. At 18 she joined the police force as a special constable, patrolling the streets of Dudley where she lived. Her first position in the charity sector was at the NSPCC and she later worked for the Cats Protection League and the Variety Club of Great Britain. In 2020 she was appointed CBE for her services to animal welfare. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley

    Sophia Loren

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 21, 2021 36:37

    Sophia Loren is the first performer to win the Best Actress Academy Award for a role in a foreign language film. She won in 1962 for her performance in Vittorio De Sica’s film Two Women in which she played a mother trying to protect her 12-year-old daughter in war-torn Italy. In 1991, she picked up a second Oscar when the Academy presented her with an Honorary Award for her contribution to world cinema. Born Sofia Villani Scicolone in a hospital ward for unmarried mothers, she was brought up by a single mother in Pozzuoli near Naples during the war years. After success in her first beauty pageant at the age of 15 and starring in photo romance stories for popular magazines, she first came to wider attention in 1953 when she played the title role in the Italian film Aida. She played a pizza seller in De Sica’s The Gold of Naples which is regarded as her breakthrough performance and led to her working on Hollywood movies with a who’s who of co-stars including Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Gregory Peck and Paul Newman. Her most enduring on-screen partnership was with the Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni. In 1966 she married the film producer Carlo Ponti and went on to have two children. In her most recent film The Life Ahead, directed by her son Edoardo Ponti, she plays a holocaust survivor and ex-prostitute who cares for the children of local sex workers. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley

    Malala Yousafzai, activist

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 14, 2021 36:07

    Malala Yousafzai is an activist who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize when she was 17 - becoming the youngest winner in its history. Today she is known globally for her human rights advocacy and her ongoing campaign to ensure all children have equal access to education. She was born in the Swat Valley in northern Pakistan where her father Ziauddin was a prominent activist who believed boys and girls should sit side by side in the classroom and co-founded a school which Malala attended. After the Taliban began to establish its presence in the Valley, day-to-day life became synonymous with danger and fear – people were taken from their homes and killed for speaking out against the regime. Education for girls was forbidden and schools were shut down or bombed. In 2009 Malala began writing an anonymous blog for BBC Urdu in which she spoke out about what was happening in Swat Valley. This made her a target. In 2012 she was shot by a Taliban gunman as she sat on the school bus. Two girls sitting alongside her were also shot. What Malala calls ‘the incident’ generated headlines around the world. Her injuries were severe and she was airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. After a long and painful recovery she settled in Birmingham with her family. Now 23, Malala graduated from the University of Oxford last year and continues to campaign globally for girls’ education through the Malala Fund which she co-founded with her father. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley

    George McGavin, entomologist and broadcaster

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 7, 2021 36:40

    George McGavin is an entomologist, explorer and broadcaster, who has spread the word about the importance of insects to audiences in their millions. Born in Glasgow, he grew up in Edinburgh where he studied zoology at university. Following a PhD in entomology, he went on to teach and research at the University of Oxford. He gave up his post as the assistant curator of the university’s Museum of Natural History after 25 years to follow his dream of becoming a television presenter. He has presented documentaries from far-flung locations including Borneo, Guyana and New Guinea. He has made it his life’s work to uncover the mysteries of the largely uncatalogued world of invertebrates which he says makes up close to 80% of life on earth. In 2018 he was diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer and the following year he turned the camera on himself to present a very personal programme about his diagnosis and treatment. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley

    Monica Galetti, chef and restaurateur

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 31, 2021 34:54

    Monica Galetti is a chef, restaurateur and cook book writer, who is also known as a judge on the television series MasterChef: the Professionals. Born on the island of Upolu in Western Samoa, she grew up on the family plantation where her earliest food memories are of collecting eggs and mangoes and peeling bananas for special suppers. When she was eight she moved to New Zealand where her mother and stepfather had emigrated a couple of years earlier. After studying hospitality management and enjoying success in numerous cooking competitions, she travelled around Europe before settling in London where she found work as a commis chef at the Roux family’s restaurant, Le Gavroche. Under the watchful eye of Michel Roux Jr, she rose through the ranks to become Le Gavroche’s first female sous chef. She opened her own restaurant in 2017 where she works alongside her husband David who is head sommelier and co-owner. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley

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