Desert Island Discs

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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. DISC ONE: Three Little Birds by Bob Marley And The Wailers DISC TWO: Samoa Matalasi (My Beautiful Samoa) by The Five Stars DISC THREE: You Oughta Be in Love by Dave Dobbyn (ft. Ardijah) DISC FOUR: Hotel California by The Eagles DISC FIVE: La Vie en Rose by Louis Armstrong DISC SIX: My Girl by The Temptations DISC SEVEN: Purple Rain by Prince DISC EIGHT: Feeling Good by Nina Simone BOOK CHOICE: The complete Works of Oscar Wilde LUXURY ITEM: Scuba diving gear CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Three Little Birds by Bob Marley And The Wailers Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley
Daniel Radcliffe reached a global audience in the title role of the hugely successful Harry Potter films. He has also appeared on Broadway and in the West End, as well as in over a dozen films since the final part of the Harry Potter series was released in 2011. Born in 1989, the only child of Alan and Marcia Radcliffe, Daniel made his acting debut aged 10 in a BBC adaptation of David Copperfield. The following year he was cast as Harry Potter, and he and his co-stars, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, would spend ten years filming the series. Daniel made a point of taking other roles before it had finished, and he appeared on stage in Peter Shaffer’s play Equus in 2007, a role which involved prolonged full frontal nudity. Since then he has appeared on screen, on stage and on television, playing characters from the beat poet Allen Ginsberg to a cop going undercover as a neo-Nazi, and his recent films include Guns Akimbo and Escape from Pretoria. In the theatre, he is appearing in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame in London. He supports the Trevor Project which works to prevent suicides among LGBTQ youth and which Daniel first became aware of during the Broadway run of Equus in 2008. Daniel has been in a long-term relationship with fellow actor Erin Darke who he met on a film set in 2012. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
Kimberley Motley is an American attorney and the first foreign lawyer to practise in Afghanistan. Born in 1975 to an African-American father and a North Korean mother, she grew up in a poor neighbourhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where hers was the only mixed-race family - and the only family with two parents. Education was very important to her parents, who sent their four children to private schools and also paid for extra tutoring. After completing degrees in Criminal Justice and Law, Kimberley spent five years working as a Public Defender before taking up the opportunity in 2008 to go to Afghanistan for a year to train local lawyers. Her husband, Claude, stayed in the US to take care of their three children. When her one-year contract in Afghanistan came to an end, she decided to stay and started her own private legal practice. Initially she only took on foreign clients, but once she had familiarised herself with the intricacies of local laws and customs, she accepted her first Afghan client. She has gone on to build a thriving practice, with a 70-30% ratio of paid to pro-bono work. Her practice now extends to other parts of the world including Uganda, Ghana and the UAE and earlier this year she published a book about her working life. DISC ONE: Will Smith - A Nightmare on My Street DISC TWO: Elton John - I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues DISC THREE: LL Cool J - I'm Bad DISC FOUR: KT Tunstall - Suddenly I See DISC FIVE: Dizzee Rascal featuring Calvin Harris - Dance Wiv Me DISC SIX: Ed Sheeran - I See Fire DISC SEVEN: The Black Eyed Peas - Pump It DISC EIGHT: Kendrick Lamar - DNA BOOK CHOICE: 1984 by George Orwell LUXURY ITEM: Business card holder with photo of her children CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Pump It by Black Eyed Peas Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
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
Louis Theroux is a television documentary maker. He has received two BAFTAs and a Royal Television Society Award for his work which includes the series Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends and When Louis Met… Born in 1970, and brought up in south London, he is the son of the American writer Paul Theroux and the BBC World Service radio producer Anne Castle. He was privately educated at Westminster School and read History at Oxford, graduating with a first. He moved to the USA where he was introduced to the American documentary maker Michael Moore and started making segments on unusual subcultures for Moore’s show TV Nation. He was given his own series – Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends – by the BBC in the late 1990s and, after three series, he went on to present two series of When Louis Met…, which included Neil and Christine Hamilton, Max Clifford, Chris Eubank and Jimmy Savile. Since then, he has made dozens of documentaries, many of them in the USA. In 2016, he revisited his encounters with Jimmy Savile in the wake of Savile’s death and the surfacing of allegations of child sexual abuse. The same year, his only feature-length film, My Scientology Movie, was released. His most recent documentaries dealt with sexual assault on American campuses, mothers with post-natal mental illness, and escorting. BOOK CHOICE: Remembrance of things Past – Marcel Proust LUXURY: 40,000 piece Jigsaw puzzle CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: “Heaven on their Minds” from the album Jesus Christ Superstar Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
The Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller is perhaps best known for We’re Here Because We’re Here, a moving and powerful memorial to the Battle of the Somme, and The Battle of Orgreave – a re-enactment of the confrontation between police and pickets at the height of the miners’ strike. Deller doesn’t paint, draw or sculpt and his work encompasses film, photography and installations. At school his creative endeavours were not always appreciated, and at 13 he was asked to leave the art class. His lifelong love of history was ignited by childhood trips to museums with his father, and is evident in the subjects he addresses, from Stonehenge, which he re-created as a giant bouncy castle, to William Morris. He managed to meet Andy Warhol in London in 1986 and went to spend two formative weeks at Warhol’s New York City studio, the Factory. The experience crystallised in Deller the belief that art can come in many forms and that an artist can create their own world of ideas. His memorial to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre will be unveiled in August 2019. BOOK CHOICE: An A to Z London Street Atlas LUXURY: A stretch of road over Hay Bluff between Hay-on-Wye and Abergavenny. CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Out of the Blue by Roxy Music. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley
Professor Russell Foster is head of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at the University of Oxford, professor of circadian neuroscience and the director of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology. An expert in sleep, he describes it as 'the single most important health behaviour we have'. Born in 1959, as a child he loved his toy microscope and digging up fossils. Despite being labelled “entirely non-academic” by his headmaster and attending remedial classes for some years, he achieved three science A levels which won him a place at the University of Bristol. There, he developed an early interest in photo-receptors - cells which convert light into signals that can stimulate biological processes. This eventually led to his post-doctoral discovery, in 1991, of a previously unknown type of cell – photosensitive retinal ganglion cells – in the eyes of mice. His proposition that these ganglion cells – which are not used for vision, but to detect brightness – exist in humans too initially met with scepticism from the ophthalmological community. Russell’s research has made a significant impact, proving that our eyes provide us with both our sense of vision and our sense of time, which has changed the clinical definition of blindness and the treatment of eye disease. He has published several popular science books. Russell is married to Elizabeth Downes, with whom he has three grown-up children. DISC ONE: Ode to Joy from the 4th movement of Symphony No. 9, conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler, performed by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Elisabeth Höngen, Hans Hopf, Otto Edelman and the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra DISC TWO: Die Walkϋre Act 3, Finale, from Der Ring des Nibelungen, sung by Hans Hotter and performed by Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna State Opera Chorus DISC THREE: Don Giovanni, K. 527: Mi tradi quell'alma ingrata by Kiri Te Kanawa DISC FOUR: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) by Eurythmics DISC FIVE: (Nimrod): Adagio by BBC Symphony Orchestra DISC SIX: Title: Chasing Sheep Is Best Left To Shepherds by The Michael Nyman Band DISC SEVEN: The Mikado, Act II: The Sun Whose Rays by The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company DISC EIGHT: Let’s Misbehave by Irving Aaronson BOOK CHOICE: The collected works of Adrian John Desmond LUXURY ITEM: A mask, snorkel, flippers and underwater camera CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Die Walkϋre Act 3, Finale, from Der Ring des Nibelungen, sung by Hans Hotter and performed by Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna State Opera Chorus Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
Isabella Tree is a conservationist and writer of the award-winning book Wilding: the Return of Nature to a British Farm, which tells the story of rewilding a 3,500 acre farm estate in Sussex, which she oversaw with her husband Charlie. The adopted daughter of Michael Tree and Lady Anne Cavendish, Isabella grew up in Mereworth Castle in Kent, and then in Shute House, a vicarage in Dorset. Following her expulsion from two secondary schools, she attended Millfield School as a sixth former, where mutual friends introduced her to her future husband. After reading classics at the University of London, she went on to work as a journalist and travel writer for the Evening Standard and The Sunday Times. Her first book, The Bird Man, about the Victorian ornithologist John Gould, was published in 1991. She married Charles Burrell in 1993 and settled at Knepp, a dairy and arable farm in Sussex. She continued to travel, writing books about Papua New Guinea, Nepal and Mexico. In 2000 Isabella and Charlie closed the farm business at Knepp, and turned the estate into a conservation project, letting the land develop on its own, and eventually introducing free-roaming animals – cattle, pigs, deer and ponies. Two decades later, the project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife, fungi, and vegetation with extremely rare species like turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons and purple emperor butterflies breeding there. The soil is richer in micro-organisms which help to recapture carbon from the air and promote a functioning ecosystem where nature is given as much freedom as possible. She lives at Knepp with her husband Charlie and has two children, Ned and Nancy. DISC ONE: ‘The Whole of the Moon’ by The Waterboys DISC TWO: ‘These Foolish Things’ by Billie Holiday DISC THREE: ‘Life’s a Gas’ by T. Rex DISC FOUR: ‘Where’s the Telephone Bill? by Bootsy’s Rubber Band DISC FIVE: ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley DISC SIX: Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet, played by the Brindisi String Quartet DISC SEVEN: BBC Sound recording of Nightingales And Bombers The Night Of The Mannheim Raid DISC EIGHT: ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ by Toploader BOOK CHOICE: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy LUXURY ITEM: Mask, snorkel and a neoprene vest CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: These Foolish Things by Billie Holiday Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
Hear stories & track choices from castaways including Len Goodman, Maya Angelou and Stephen Hawking.
Ruth Jones is an actor and writer. She co-created and starred in the award-winning TV comedy series Gavin and Stacey, and also wrote and took the title role in the comedy drama Stella, which ran for six series. She grew up in Porthcawl, in South Wales, where the local secondary school nurtured her love of performance. She took to the stage in numerous school musicals, along with fellow pupil Rob Brydon. After studying drama at Warwick University, she struggled at first to find work as an actor. She briefly considered becoming a solicitor, before she won the role of a ninja turtle in Dick Whittington at the Porthcawl Pavilion and gained an Equity card. Her TV work ranges from costume dramas to comedies including Little Britain and Nighty Night. She developed the idea for Gavin and Stacey with James Corden when they were both filming the ITV series Fat Friends. The story of a boy from Billericay who falls for a girl from Barry, Gavin and Stacey began on BBC Three, with Ruth’s role as straight-talking, leather-wearing Nessa winning people’s hearts. She and James wrote every episode, and the finale, on BBC One, reached more than 10 million viewers. Last year Ruth published her first novel, Never Greener, which topped the bestseller lists, and she returned to the stage in the musical play The Nightingales. BOOK CHOICE: Halliwell's Film Guide LUXURY: The back catalogue of The Archers CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Smooth by Santana feat. Rob Thomas Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor
Tracey Thorn, musician and writer, is best known as one half of the duo Everything but the Girl. Brought up in Brookmans Park, Hertfordshire, she bought her first guitar, a black Les Paul copy, when she was 16 and her first band was called the Stern Bobs. Shortly after, she formed her own all-female band, Marine Girls, before moving to Hull University to study English. On her first night there, she met her future husband, Ben Watt, and they went on to form Everything But the Girl. Between 1982 and 2000, they sold more than nine million records and toured Europe and America. Despite their success, Tracey did not always enjoy performing live. At 35 she left the pop world to look after her twin girls, who were followed by her son Blake. She took about seven years out to be a full time parent, but since then she has come back to song-writing, recording music and writing: her first memoir Bedsit Disco Queen was a best seller, and she has a fortnightly column in the New Statesman. This year Tracey was presented with the outstanding contribution to music prize, at the AIM independent music awards. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
Nile Rodgers is a Grammy-winning composer, musician, and producer. With his own band, Chic, he's been enticing people on to the dance floor since the mid-1970s with hits like Le Freak and Good Times. With over 200 production credits to his name, he has worked on many highly successful albums from Sister Sledge’s We Are Family to David Bowie’s Let’s Dance and Madonna’s Like a Virgin. Born in New York City in 1952 to a teenage mother, he spent his early life immersed in his parents’ bohemian, beatnik, and drug-dominated lifestyle. Drugs played a part in Nile's life too from an early age, and he took his first acid trip with Timothy Leary at the age of 15. After learning to play the guitar, he got his musical break touring with the Sesame Street stage show and playing in the house band of Harlem’s Apollo Theatre, where he met bassist Bernard Edwards with whom he developed a productive musical partnership and went on to found Chic. Following the Disco Sucks movement of the late 1970s, Nile and Bernard turned to production, and sprinkled their magic dust on Sister Sledge and Diana Ross. When Nile and Bernard went their separate ways in the early 1980s, Nile forged ahead on his own, working with, among others, Madonna, Michael Jackson, David Bowie and Duran Duran. Nile went into rehab in 1994 and has been clean and sober for the past 24 years and has received successful treatment for cancer twice. He won three Grammys for his 2013 collaboration with the French electronic music duo Daft Punk, and has recently released the first Chic album in 26 years. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
Another chance to listen to the writer speaking to Kirsty Young in 2013. A prolific and multi-award winning author, Malorie Blackman has powered her way to success not just through talent but determination and perseverance. From the careers mistress who told her, "black people don't become teachers," to the 82 rejection letters she received before she was published, significant parts of her life seem to have been spent proving people wrong. A technology whiz, her first career was in computing. As a writer her books have tackled challenging themes: bullying, teenage pregnancy, racism and terrorism. A former Children's Laureate, her own formative years were spent in South London where as a little girl she went from thinking everyone was her friend to feeling, as a teenager, that the world was her enemy. She says, "Good stories made me reassess the world and people as I thought I knew them. Great stories made me reassess myself."
Stephen Graham is an actor, whose credits include key roles in films including This is England and The Irishman, and in TV dramas such as Boardwalk Empire and Line of Duty. Stephen was born in Kirkby just outside Liverpool in 1973. He discovered acting at school, where a starring role in a production of Treasure Island at the age of 10 was a turning point: local actor Andrew Schofield was in the audience and suggested that Stephen should join the Everyman Youth Theatre in Liverpool. After leaving school, Stephen won a place to study drama in London, but left after a year. His first roles as a professional actor, when he once pretended to be his own agent to talk his way into an audition, gave little indication of the success to come. In 2006, his performance as Combo the skinhead in This is England, directed by Shane Meadows, won widespread critical acclaim. More recently, he has played Al Capone in Boardwalk Empire, and the undercover policeman Corbett in the most recent series of Line of Duty. Stephen, who lives in Leicestershire, is married to fellow actor Hannah Walters, who he met at drama school. DISC ONE: Kasabian - Fire. DISC TWO: Marvin Gaye - Save the Children DISC THREE: Young MC - Know How DISC FOUR: Pink Floyd – Shine on You Crazy Diamond DISC FIVE: Rufus and Chaka Khan – Ain’t Nobody DISC SIX: Maverick Sabre – I Need DISC SEVEN: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds - Talk Tonight DISC EIGHT: DJ Fresh and High Contrast, featuring Dizzee Rascal – How Love Begins (The Hardcore will Never Die Edit) BOOK: Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach LUXURY: His own pillow CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Ain’t Nobody - Rufus and Chaka Khan Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor
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. DISC ONE: Howlin’ For You by The Black Keys DISC TWO: Drink, Drink, Drink by Mario Lanza DISC THREE: Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush DISC FOUR: Ghost Town by The Specials DISC FIVE: Agnus Dei, Op 11composed by Samuel Barber, conducted by Edward Higginbottom, performed by Choir of New College Oxford DISC SIX: Affirmation by Savage Garden DISC SEVEN: Heroes by David Bowie DISC EIGHT: Benedictus by Karl Jenkins BOOK CHOICE: A book by Dick Francis LUXURY ITEM: A piano and sheet music CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley
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. DISC ONE: I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Ella Fitzgerald DISC TWO: Debussy: Suite bergamasque, L.75 - 3. Clair de lune composed by Claude Debussy, performed by Tamás Vásáry DISC THREE: Lara Says Goodbye to Yuri by Maurice Jarre DISC FOUR: Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words) by Frank Sinatra with The Count Basie Orchestra, directed by Quincy Jones DISC FIVE: Oggi Sono Io by Mina DISC SIX: The Marketplace at Limoges composed by Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky, performed by Russian National Orchestra, conducted by Carlo Ponti DISC SEVEN: Io Sì by Laura Pausini DISC EIGHT: Caruso by Lucio Dalla BOOK CHOICE: Letters from a Young Father by Edoardo Ponti LUXURY ITEM: A pizza oven CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Caruso by Lucio Dalla Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
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. DISC ONE: Rang by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan & Amjad Sabri DISC TWO: Shinwari Lawangeena by Zarsanga DISC THREE: Never Say Never by Justin Bieber DISC FOUR: Hum Dekhen Ge by Iqbal Bano DISC FIVE: All I Ask of You by Sarah Brightman and Steve Barton DISC SIX: Kaari Kaari by Qurat Ul Ain Balouch DISC SEVEN: Love Always Comes as a Surprise by Peter Asher DISC EIGHT: Bibi Sherina by Sardar Ali Takkar BOOK CHOICE: Plato: Complete Works LUXURY ITEM: Lip balm CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Hum Dekhen Ge by Iqbal Bano Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley
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. DISC ONE: Love Reign O’er Me by The Who DISC TWO: The Dark Island by The Pipes and Drums of The Black Watch DISC THREE: Cello Concerto in E minor Op. 85, composed by Edward Elgar, performed by Jacqueline du Pré and London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir John Barbirolli DISC FOUR: Night Lament by Kate Rusby DISC FIVE: To Begin at the Beginning read by Richard Burton, from Under Milk Wood DISC SIX: Keep Talking by Pink Floyd DISC SEVEN: Sola, Perduta, Abbandonata by Maria Callas and Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Tullio Serafin DISC EIGHT: The Bog by Einojuhani Rautavaara BOOK CHOICE: A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor LUXURY ITEM: Hot sauce CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Cello Concerto in E minor Op. 85, performed by Jacqueline du Pré and London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir John Barbirolli Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley
Major Tim Peake, is an Army Air Corps officer and a European Space Agency astronaut. He was the first British astronaut to carry out a spacewalk. As a child, he became interested in aviation, visiting air shows with his father and learning to fly as a teenager, although space travel was not yet a passion. He joined the school Cadet Corps and found he was in his element. From there he progressed to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and then into the Army Air Corps in 1992. His military career included service in Northern Ireland and the former Yugoslavia, and he spent several years based in Germany where he met his wife Rebecca. He qualified as a helicopter pilot in 1992, and later became a helicopter instructor. He spent time in the USA, learning to fly the Apache attack helicopter, before becoming a test pilot in 2005. In 2008, he answered an advert from the European Space Agency looking for astronauts. The following year he became one of six successful candidates, chosen from more than 8000 hopefuls. Years of training followed, involving anything from basic dentistry to underwater 'spacewalking', and in December 2015 he headed to the International Space Station for six months. After his return, Tim moved back to the UK to work with industry and engage in outreach work while he awaits his next space mission. He lives in Hampshire with his wife and two sons. DISC ONE: Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen DISC TWO: It Must Be Love by Madness DISC THREE: Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks DISC FOUR: Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra DISC FIVE: Word Up! By Gun DISC SIX: I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith DISC SEVEN: Glycerine by Bush DISC EIGHT: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Monty Python BOOK CHOICE: An atlas LUXURY ITEM: A telescope CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
Samantha Power was the USA's youngest ever ambassador to the UN, during President Barack Obama’s second term, and is a writer and academic. She has just been invited to join president-elect Joe Biden's administration. Samantha was born in London but grew up in Ireland. At the age of nine, she moved to the US with her mother and younger brother following the breakdown of her parents’ marriage. Her first ambition was to be a sports broadcaster, but watching live footage of events in Tiananmen Square in 1989 led her to change course and she became a war correspondent instead, reporting on the conflict in Bosnia in the early 1990s. After returning to the US, she wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning book in which she examined what she saw as America’s repeated reluctance to confront genocide in the 20th century. In 2013 she was appointed ambassador to the UN. She stepped down in 2017 and became professor of global leadership, public policy and human rights at Harvard. Shortly after this edition of Desert Island Discs was recorded, she accepted the role of Administrator of the US Agency for International Development. DISC ONE: Dancing Queen by ABBA DISC TWO: Morning Has Broken by Cat Stevens DISC THREE: Thousands Are Sailing by The Pogues DISC FOUR: Crazy by Seal DISC FIVE: Boots of Spanish Leather by Mandolin Orange DISC SIX: Why? (The King of Love is Dead) by Nina Simone DISC SEVEN: Tonight Will Be Fine by Teddy Thompson DISC EIGHT: A Million Years by Alexander BOOK CHOICE: A guitar LUXURY ITEM: The Irish Times Book of Favourite Irish Poems by Colm Tóibín CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Tonight Will Be Fine by Teddy Thompson Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
David Olusoga is a historian, writer and broadcaster who has presented a range of programmes including the BBC’s A House Through Time and Civilisations. He is currently professor of public history at Manchester University. Born in Lagos, the second child to a Nigerian father and a British mother, David was brought up by his mother in Gateshead after his parents’ marriage broke down. As a child he and his siblings experienced sustained racism and he remembers school as a place of violence and cruelty. He credits his mother’s tenacity and her determination to educate her children for his later success in getting to university and establishing a career in television. His love of history developed from a young age, thanks to one of his teachers who taught him why an understanding of history matters. Watching television documentaries also opened up a world of possibility and David fondly recalls programmes from the 1980s presented by the historian Michael Wood, who made history seem cool in the eyes of the young schoolboy glued to the TV in his Gateshead council house. Last year David delivered the MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival in which he talked candidly about his loneliness at being the only black person on a production team and the difficulties he had trying to explain the racial implications of how, for example, people in Africa were often portrayed on screen. DISC ONE: Zombie by Fela Kuti DISC TWO: Roll on Buddy by Aunt Molly Jackson DISC THREE: Black Mountain Blues by Bessie Smith DISC FOUR: Just The Other Day by Dr Alimantado DISC FIVE: Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground by Blind Willie Johnson DISC SIX: Last Kind Words by Geeshie Wiley DISC SEVEN: You Can't Blame The Youth (Live At The Record Plant '73) by Bob Marley & The Wailers DISC EIGHT: Precious Lord, Take My Hand / You’ve Got a Friend by Aretha Franklin BOOK CHOICE: The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell: An Age Like This, 1920-40 LUXURY ITEM: Acoustic guitar CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground by Blind Willie Johnson Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Colonel Lucy Giles is an officer of the British Army’s Royal Logistic Corps and is currently President of the Army Officer Selection Board - the first woman to take on this role. After attending her local comprehensive school in Wincanton, Somerset, she studied Biological Sciences at Exeter University where she joined the University Officers’ Training Corps, despite having no military background herself. After what she calls a “retrospective year out”, she joined the last female-only company at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Royal Corps of Transport in 1992, which became the Royal Logistic Corps the following year. Over a career spanning more than 25 years, she has served in over 20 countries including South Africa, Bosnia, East Timor and Sierra Leone. She was the first female Officer Commanding of 47 Air Despatch Squadron, enabling operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and in 2015 became the first woman Commander of New College, Sandhurst. She was promoted to the rank of colonel in 2018. She is married to Brigadier Nick Post, and they have two children, Jess and Alex. In her spare time, she is a marathon runner. DISC ONE: The Day That Never Comes by Metallica DISC TWO: Heart-Shaped Box by Nirvana DISC THREE: Pilate's Dream (from Jesus Christ Superstar) by Barry Dennen DISC FOUR: Love Shack by The B-52’s DISC FIVE: Street Spirit (Fade Out) by Radiohead DISC SIX: For those in Peril on the Sea, a special arrangement by Lieutenant Colonel Simon Haw MBE, performed by Band of the Coldstream Guards and members of the Guards’ Chapel Choir DISC SEVEN: Fire by Kasabian DISC EIGHT: Big in Japan by Alphaville BOOK CHOICE: A book by Agatha Christie LUXURY ITEM: A jigsaw puzzle CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: The Day That Never Comes by Metallica Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
Sir Cliff Richard makes a second trip to the island he first visited 60 years ago, when he had just turned 20, but had already topped the UK charts three times. Over the course of his career, Sir Cliff has released over 100 albums and sold well over 250 million records. His chart success in the UK has been eclipsed only by his hero Elvis Presley and one-time rivals, the Beatles. Born Harry Webb in Lucknow, India, Sir Cliff returned to the UK with his family in 1948: money was tight and the family of six shared a room until they were able to move into a council house. Sir Cliff’s father bought him a guitar for his 16th birthday and he initially performed in a skiffle band until he discovered rock ‘n’ roll and started a new band called the Drifters which later became the Shadows. His first hit single came in 1958 with Move It – often credited as being the first authentic British rock ‘n’ roll track – and he dominated the home-grown music scene of the late 1950s and early 1960s. During his long career Sir Cliff performed on screen in films including Summer Holiday and The Young Ones. He has fronted television shows, twice performed Britain’s entry in the Eurovision Song Contest and starred in two stage musicals. Today, at 80, he is still recording new songs and itching to get back on tour to perform his music in a post-Covid world. Sir Cliff's return to Desert Island Discs after 60 years is record-breaking: it's the longest time between appearances in the programme's eight decade history. DISC ONE: Rolling in the Deep by Aretha Franklin DISC TWO: What's Love Got To Do With It by Cliff Richard DISC THREE: Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis Presley DISC FOUR: I Honestly Love You by Olivia Newton-John DISC FIVE: It Is Well by Sheila Walsh Featuring Cliff Richard DISC SIX: I Can't Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt DISC SEVEN: Stayin' Alive by Bee Gees DISC EIGHT: High Water Everywhere by Joe Bonamassa BOOK CHOICE: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë LUXURY ITEM: A Gibson acoustic guitar CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: It Is Well by Sheila Walsh Featuring Cliff Richard Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley
Cliff Richard talks about growing up in India and discovering that he had a talent for music; how it feels to leave his teenage years behind him and his intention to embark on his next movie role - a more serious part - in a thriller by Margery Allingham. He confesses to homesickness for Britain during five weeks in America and describes how he deals with fans who want to grab a piece of him.
Minette Batters is the first woman to become President of the National Farmers' Union, representing 47,000 members. She was first elected to the post in 2018 for two years, and was re-elected in March 2020. Minette runs a tenanted family farm in Wiltshire. The mixed farming business includes cattle, sheep and arable, as well as the conversion of a 17th century barn into a wedding and events venue. Her father was a tenant farmer, and Minette adored helping him as a youngster, but the idea of taking on the farm herself seemed out of the question: her father strongly advised against it. Instead she took a Cordon Bleu course, graduated with distinction and ran her own catering business for 20 years. When her father retired, the lure of the land pulled her back and she took on the tenancy in 1998, despite the misgivings of many of her friends. Her campaigns on behalf of farmers include the initiatives Ladies in Beef and the Great British Beef Week. This year she has represented the views of NFU members during the Covid-19 crisis and the Brexit negotiations. DISC ONE: Green Green Grass of Home by Tom Jones DISC TWO: I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers DISC THREE: Antonio Vivaldi: Spring From The Four Seasons: 1. Allegro by Nigel Kennedy (violin) and English Chamber Orchestra DISC FOUR: Give A Little Bit by Supertramp DISC FIVE: Silent Night by The Salisbury Cathedral Choir, conducted by David Halls DISC SIX: Eye of the Tiger by Survivor DISC SEVEN: The Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler DISC EIGHT: I Vow To Thee My Country by Katherine Jenkins BOOK CHOICE: We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury LUXURY ITEM: A loaf of bread CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Give A Little Bit by Supertramp Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
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Podcast Details

Created by
BBC
Podcast Status
Active
Started
Mar 19th, 1977
Latest Episode
Feb 28th, 2021
Release Period
Weekly
Episodes
495
Avg. Episode Length
38 minutes
Explicit
No
Language
English

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