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Desert Island Discs

Desert Island Discs

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

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Daniel Radcliffe, actor

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
2020-03-15
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Chris Riddell, illustrator, author and political cartoonist

Chris Riddell is an illustrator, author of children?s books and a political cartoonist. From 2015 to 2017, he was the Children?s Laureate, and he has won three Greenaway Medals for his work ? more than any other illustrator. He was born in 1962 in Cape Town, South Africa, where his parents were both anti-apartheid activists. They moved to the UK when Chris was a year old. He grew up first in rural England, and later in south London where his father, a vicar, became chaplain of Brixton Prison. He started drawing as a young boy when he was given paper and pencils by his mother to keep him quiet during his father?s sermons. After school, he studied illustration under Raymond Briggs at Brighton Polytechnic and received his first commission while still at art school. As a writer his work ranges from picture books to chapter book series including Ottoline and Goth Girl, and as an illustrator he has frequently collaborated with authors such as Paul Stewart and Neil Gaiman. He started as a political cartoonist in the late 1980s and has drawn the Observer?s weekly cartoon since 1995, celebrating 25 years at the paper this year. As Children's Laureate, he encouraged children to draw, and championed the importance of school libraries and librarians. Chris is married to Jo, a fellow illustrator and printmaker, with whom he has three grown-up children, among them Katy, another illustrator. DISC ONE: Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams, conducted by Sir John Barbirolli, performed by Sinfonia of London DISC TWO: The Funeral: September 25, 1977 (Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika) by Thuli Dumakude DISC THREE: Smoke Signals by Phoebe Bridgers DISC FOUR: Final Day by Young Marble Giants DISC FIVE: Suzanne by Leonard Cohen DISC SIX: Horace in Brighton by Bird in the Belly DISC SEVEN: Klarinettenkonzert A-Dur K. 622 - 2. Adagio - I. Allegro. Composed by Mozart, directed by János Rolla, performed by Kálmán Berkes (clarinet) and Liszt Ferenc Chamber Orchestra, Budapest DISC EIGHT: Tabula rasa: II. Silentium composed by Arvo Pärt, conducted by Paavo Järvi, performed by Viktoria Mullova (violin) and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra BOOK CHOICE: Alice?s Adventures in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass, with the Tenniel illustrations. LUXURY ITEM: Sketchbooks and pens CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams, conducted by Sir John Barbirolli, performed by Sinfonia of London Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
2020-03-08
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Dorothy Byrne, journalist

Dorothy Byrne is the head of News and Current Affairs at Channel 4, and has worked in journalism for more than four decades. In 2018 she received the Outstanding Contribution Award at Royal Television Society Journalism Awards, and her recent commissions include the Channel 4 News investigation into Cambridge Analytica, the Michael Jackson expose Leaving Neverland and the BAFTA-winning documentary For Sama, about one family?s life under siege in Aleppo, which also won an Oscar nomination. She began her career in journalism in her mid 20s on the Waltham Forest Guardian, after writing a cheeky letter to 50 local newspaper editors - just one responded. She later moved into television, joining the acclaimed World in Action team at Granada, where she argued that the programme's agenda was male-dominated and needed to change. Dorothy gave the MacTaggart Lecture at the 2019 Edinburgh International Television Festival, in which she argued that the scrutiny of politicians through broadcast interviews is important for the health of democracy. She also described herself as 'just about the oldest female TV executive working for a broadcaster'. DISC ONE: Greatest Living Creature by John Grant DISC TWO: Non-Alignment Pact by Per Ubu DISC THREE: I Know That My Redeemer Liveth, composed by George Frideric Handel, conducted by Sir Adrian Boult and performed by Dame Joan Sutherland and London Symphony Orchestra DISC FOUR: Teacher Don?t Teach Me Nonsense by Fela Kuti DISC FIVE: Dido's Lament: When I'm Laid In Earth, composed by Hendry Purcell, conducted by Raymond Leppard and performed by Jessye Norman and English Chamber Orchestra DISC SIX: World in Action by Matt Berry DISC EIGHT: The People United Will Never Be Defeated by Igor Levit BOOK CHOICE: Physics text books LUXURY ITEM: The back catalogue of In Our Time / the voice of Melvyn Bragg CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: I Know That My Redeemer Liveth, composed by George Frideric Handel, conducted by Sir Adrian Boult and performed by Dame Joan Sutherland and London Symphony Orchestra Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor
2020-03-01
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Melanie C

Melanie Chisholm - known as Melanie C - is a singer and songwriter who found global fame as one fifth of the Spice Girls, the most commercially successful female group ever. Melanie was one of 400 other hopefuls who answered an advertisement to form a new girl band in 1994 - little knowing how her life would be turned upside down by fame and worldwide success. She was given the nickname Sporty Spice and presented what she calls a "gobby' persona to the outside world, but inside she was a shy girl who preferred to stay in the background. She grew up in Merseyside and as a child she loved performing. At 16 she attended the Doreen Bird College of Arts, aiming for a career in musical theatre. By her early 20s, she was an international star: Spice world was a high-octane life of constant recording and touring and the accompanying press scrutiny contributed to a stressful environment. As the pressure intensified Melanie suffered from eating disorders and in 2000 she was diagnosed with depression. Her recovery was long and painful but she says finally getting a diagnosis enabled her to begin the process of getting better. When the Spice Girls went their separate ways for a while Melanie began a career as a successful solo artist. In 2009 she played Mrs Johnstone in the West End production of Willy Russell's musical Blood Brothers, earning five star reviews and standing ovations. Recently she has been back on stage with the Spice Girls on their stadium tour. DISC ONE: I Wish by Stevie Wonder DISC TWO: The Chain by Fleetwood Mac DISC THREE: Prince Charming by Adam and the Ants DISC FOUR: Into the Groove by Madonna DISC FIVE: Girls and Boys by Blur DISC SIX: Everything I Wanted by Billie Eilish DISC SEVEN: Heaven on Their Minds by Tim Minchin DISC EIGHT: You'll Never Walk Alone by Gerry & The Pacemakers BOOK CHOICE: Dancing with Demons: The Authorised Biography of Dusty Springfield by Penny Valentine and Vicki Wickham LUXURY ITEM: A Martin acoustic guitar CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: I Wish by Stevie Wonder Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley
2020-02-23
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Ian Wright, former footballer and broadcaster

Ian Wright is a former professional footballer and now a football pundit on TV and radio. He began his career at Crystal Palace before moving to Arsenal where he became their highest goal scorer of all time, a record only surpassed eight years later by Thierry Henry. Born to a Jamaican couple in south-east London, Ian grew up with his mother and step-father. His biological father had left the family when Ian was under two years old. Things at home were difficult and Ian spent as much time as possible outside playing football. At his primary school a teacher, Mr Pigden, took him under his wing and Ian would later credit him with changing his life. He left his secondary school at the age of 14 to get a job. Although he took part in trials for many professional football clubs as a teenager, he was never selected. He continued to play for amateur sides. By the age of 21, he had three children to provide for, so when Crystal Palace came calling in 1985, he turned them down three times before accepting a two-week trial, followed by a three-month contract. His football career had finally begun. After impressing as a forward at Palace, he was bought by Arsenal for a record fee in 1991. He was called up to the England squad the same year and would go on to collect 33 caps. He spent his last couple of years in professional football at a number of clubs around the country and in total, he played 581 league games, scoring 387 goals for seven clubs in England and Scotland. Since his retirement from football in 2000, he has had a career as a pundit on both TV and radio. He has eight children and has been happily married to his second wife, Nancy, since 2011. DISC ONE: The Marriage of Figaro: Duettino - Sull'aria by Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, composed by Lorenzo Da Ponte and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart DISC TWO: Looking For You by Kirk Franklin DISC THREE: River Deep Mountain High by Ike and Tina Turner DISC FOUR: Redemption Song by Bob Marley & The Wailers DISC FIVE: Mysteries of the World by MSFB DISC SIX: Endlessly by Randy Crawford DISC SEVEN: Crown by Stormzy DISC EIGHT: Just Fine by Mary J Blige BOOK CHOICE: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon LUXURY ITEM: A seven iron golf club and golf balls CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Endlessly by Randy Crawford Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
2020-02-16
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Zoe Ball, broadcaster

Zoe Ball is a radio and television presenter. She became the first woman to present the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show in 1997, and then the first woman to present the Radio 2 Breakfast Show in 2019. Zoe grew up in Buckinghamshire with her father ? TV presenter Johnny Ball ? and her stepmother. After working behind the scenes in TV as a runner and researcher, she first moved into the spotlight hosting children's programmes, including the very successful BBC Saturday morning show Live & Kicking, with Jamie Theakston. In the late 1990s, coinciding with her move to the Radio 1 Breakfast Show, she found herself described in the press as a 'ladette', enjoying the partying culture of the time. Further headlines followed her marriage to superstar DJ Norman Cook - Fatboy Slim - in 1999. She decided to leave Radio 1 in 2000, and her first child, Woody, was born later that year. She and Norman announced their separation in 2016. Zoe was a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, and has presented Strictly: It Takes Two since 2011. In 2018, she cycled 350 miles from Blackpool to Brighton as part of Sport Relief, and to raise awareness of mental health, after her partner Billy Yates took his own life. She began presenting the Radio 2 Breakfast Show just over a year ago. She lives in Sussex with her two children, Woody and Nelly. DISC ONE: Where Am I Going? by Barbra Streisand DISC TWO: Georgy Porgy (Disco Version) by Toto feat. Cheryl Lynn DISC THREE: Righteous by Ocean Wisdom feat. Rodney P & Roots Manuva DISC FOUR: Shoot You Down by The Stone Roses DISC FIVE: Love Having You Around by First Choice DISC SIX: Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) by Frank Wilson DISC SEVEN: Truth by Kamasi Washington DISC EIGHT: You Can't Always Get What You Want by The Rolling Stones BOOK CHOICE: A dictionary LUXURY ITEM: A potting shed, gardening tools and seeds CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Truth by Kamasi Washington Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor
2020-02-09
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Sonita Alleyne, Master of Jesus College, Cambridge

Sonita Alleyne is the Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, the first woman to hold the post and - more significantly - the first black master of any Oxbridge college. In her previous career in the media, she was the co-founder and former CEO of the production company Somethin? Else. Born in Barbados, she came to England aged three and grew up in East London, the youngest of three children. She was an able reader by the time she started primary school, and her potential was spotted at her secondary school, where she was encouraged to apply to Cambridge. She read philosophy at Fitzwilliam College and, after a brief and unfulfilling spell selling life insurance, she followed her passion for jazz by starting to write for music magazines. In 1989 she joined the radio station Jazz FM. When she was made redundant a couple of years later, she and two former Jazz FM colleagues set up a production company they called Somethin? Else. Sonita stepped down as CEO in 2009 to concentrate on other boardroom roles. She served on the BBC Trust for nearly five years, sits on the board of the London Legacy Development Corporation, and founded the Yes Programme to show primary school pupils their future career options. She is a fellow of the Radio Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts. Sonita began her ten year tenure as Master of Jesus College in October 2019. She lives in Cambridge with her partner, the screenwriter James McCarthy, and their teenage son. DISC ONE: I?ve Known Rivers by Gary Bartz & NTU Troop DISC TWO: Les Fleurs by Minnie Riperton DISC THREE: Key To The World by L J Reynolds DISC FOUR: Martha by Tom Waits DISC FIVE: Tennessee by Arrested Development DISC SIX: To Forgive But Not Forget by Outside DISC SEVEN: Last Train to Clarksville by Cassandra Wilson DISC EIGHT: Swing Low Sweet Chariot by Marvin ?Hannibal? Peterson BOOK CHOICE: Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje LUXURY ITEM:A genie in a lamp which would only work within the confines of the island CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE:Les Fleurs by Minnie Riperton Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
2020-02-02
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Anne Enright, writer

Anne Enright won the Booker Prize for her fourth novel, The Gathering, in 2007, and was appointed the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction in 2015. She has written seven novels, two collections of short stories and a book of essays about motherhood and her work has been widely translated. Born in Dublin in 1962, Anne is the youngest of five children. She was a voracious reader from an early age, finishing every children's book at her local library. When she was 16, she won a scholarship to study at a school in Canada, and then returned to Ireland for a degree in English and Philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin. After taking an MA in Creative Writing at University of East Anglia, with teaching from Angela Carter and Malcolm Bradbury, she worked for six years as a TV producer for the Irish broadcaster RTE. When her TV work left her feeling burned out, she began her writing career in earnest. Her book of short stories, The Portable Virgin, won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 1991, and she published her first novel, The Wig My Father Wore, in 1995. Her latest novel, The Actress, is published in February 2020. She is also now a Professor at University College Dublin and teaches creative writing. She met her theatre director husband, Martin Murphy, at university and they have two children. DISC ONE: Brahms Intermezzos: Op. 117, No.1 by Glenn Gould DISC TWO: Jersey Girl by Tom Waits DISC THREE: A Case Of You by Joni Mitchell DISC FOUR: Then You?ll Remember Me by Dé Danann DISC FIVE: The Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash DISC SIX: Hiawatha by Laurie Anderson DISC SEVEN: Tower of Song by Leonard Cohen DISC EIGHT: Soave sia il vento from Cosi fan Tutte, composed by Mozart, conducted by Karl Böhm, performed by Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Walter Berry, Christa Ludwig and Philharmonia Orchestra. BOOK CHOICE: 'In Search of Lost Time? by Marcel Proust LUXURY ITEM: High thread-count cotton sheets CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Soave sia il vento from Cosi fan Tutte, composed by Mozart Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
2020-01-26
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Dame Sue Campbell, Director Women's Football at the FA

Dame Sue Campbell is the Director of Women?s Football at the Football Association. The women?s game has become increasingly popular recently and last year the England team - the Lionesses - made it to the World Cup semi-finals. Born in 1948, just outside Nottingham, Sue was sporty from an early age, even changing schools to allow her to play football. She became a PE teacher in Manchester and realised how transformative sport could be, increasing self-esteem, motivation and self-belief. In the mid-1980s, after learning about excellence in sport at Loughborough University and playing netball for England as well as dabbling in the pentathlon, Sue became deputy chief executive (and a year later chief executive) of the National Coaching Foundation, which provided education for coaches at both ends of the spectrum, from parent volunteers to elite coaches. Ten years later, in 1995, she co-founded the Youth Sport Trust to set up a sports activity programme for every primary school in the country. It was hugely successful: in 2003 only 23% of school children were getting two hours of PE a week. By 2008, this figure had risen to 95%. In 2010, the coalition government cut their funding. By this time, back at the elite end of the sporting spectrum, Sue was also in charge of UK Sport, where she presided over Team GB's biggest Olympic medal haul in living memory, at the London 2012 games. In 2016, she took her current job as head of Women?s Football at the FA. She has also been a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords since 2008. BOOK CHOICE: The Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela LUXURY ITEM: A photo album CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Music Of My Heart by Gloria Estefan And *N SYNC Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
2020-01-19
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Michael Lewis, writer

Michael Lewis is a best-selling non-fiction writer and journalist. He initially worked for an investment bank, and his experiences of Wall Street excess in the 1980s informed his acclaimed first book, Liar?s Poker. Three of his later books ? Moneyball, The Blind Side and The Big Short ? have been adapted into Hollywood feature films. He was born in New Orleans in 1960, where his father was fond of quoting the family motto: 'Do as little as possible, and that unwillingly, for it is better to receive a light reprimand than perform an arduous task.' After studying at Princeton and the LSE, he joined an American bank in London, and wrote articles about the quirks of the industry under a pseudonym. In spite of his father?s opposition, he decided to quit his highly-paid job to become a writer. In Moneyball, he examined how a struggling baseball team used intensive data analysis to find undervalued players overlooked by richer clubs. The Big Short focused on the sub-prime mortgage crisis, and his most recent book, The Fifth Risk, is about the Trump administration?s approach to government. Michael lives in California with his wife, Tabitha Soren, and their three children. BOOK CHOICE: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole LUXURY ITEM: A photo album CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Old Days by Chicago Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor
2020-01-12
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Rupert Everett, actor

Rupert Everett is an actor, writer and director whose breakthrough came in 1981 when he was cast as a gay schoolboy in Another Country, Julian Mitchell's play and subsequent film. Rupert later starred in Dance with a Stranger before making a splash in Hollywood playing Julia Roberts's gay confidante in My Best Friend's Wedding. But his movie career took a dive after The Next Best Thing - in which he played the gay father of Madonna's baby - flopped. After a period out of the limelight he turned his attention to writing and won great acclaim for his witty and illuminating memoirs about his life in showbusiness. In 2018 Rupert starred in his directorial debut, The Happy Prince - a film about Oscar Wilde's final years in exile. The film was a decade-long labour of love for Rupert from writing the screenplay to securing the funding and persuading his friends Colin Firth and Emily Watson to join the cast. The film was well-received, with one critic calling it a 'deeply felt, tremendously acted tribute to courage'. Later this year Rupert is starring in the Broadway revival of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? BOOK CHOICE: Travels with my Aunt by Graham Greene LUXURY ITEM: Vegetables CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Being Boring by Pet Shop Boys Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley
2020-01-09
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Stephen Merchant, writer, comedian and actor

Stephen Merchant first came to fame with the TV sitcom The Office, which he co-wrote and co-directed with Ricky Gervais. He continued to work with Gervais on the series Extras, Life is Short and An Idiot Abroad. His comedy hero as a young man was John Cleese and as a fellow tall West Country boy, he felt he would try his hand at a comedy career. As a teenager, he worked at Radio Bristol, was a wedding DJ and enjoyed drama at school. While at Warwick University, he created his own radio programme, The Steve Show. Those radio production skills encouraged him to send in his CV to a new London radio station, XFM, where the head of speech was Ricky Gervais. Following a successful interview ? conducted in a pub ? Stephen became Ricky?s assistant. Stephen left XFM to join a BBC training scheme. It was the short film he made with Ricky as part of his course which would eventually lead to the creation of The Office. Alongside his successful comedy partnership with Gervais, Stephen has pursued his acting and writing ambitions and this year wrote and directed his first film, Fighting with my Family, based on a family of wrestlers. His performance as a stand-up led to his HBO series Hello Ladies, and he starred in his first stage play, Richard Bean's The Mentalists, in London in 2015. His work has earned him two Golden Globe Awards, three BAFTAs, a Primetime Emmy Award, and four British Comedy Awards. DISC ONE: Whole of The Moon by The Waterboys DISC TWO: Raspberry Beret by Prince DISC THREE: Babies by Pulp DISC FOUR: Regulate (Jammin' Remix) by Warren G featuring Nate Dogg and Michael McDonald DISC FIVE: Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen DISC SIX: A Case of You by Joni Mitchell DISC SEVEN: Change of the Guard by Kamasi Washington DISC EIGHT: Love Letter by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds BOOK CHOICE: Roger's Profanisaurus by Viz and Roger Mellie LUXURY ITEM: A piano CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
2019-12-22
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Heidi Thomas, screenwriter

Heidi Thomas is a screenwriter and playwright best known for Call the Midwife. The BBC TV series, which began in 2012, was originally a six part adaptation of a trilogy of memoirs by Jennifer Worth, recalling her experiences as a midwife in the East End of London. It was an immediate hit, with 10 million viewers a week, becoming one of BBC One?s most popular dramas and a fixture in the Christmas schedules. Born in 1962, Heidi Thomas grew up as the eldest of three children in the leafy suburbs of Liverpool. Her father ran a drain cleaning business while her mother looked after the children, including Heidi?s youngest brother David, who was born with Down?s Syndrome. Heidi studied English at Liverpool University, supporting herself by selling ladies? underwear at a department store. During a bout of viral hepatitis, which left her unable to apply for jobs when she graduated, she entered a competition for new plays and won a prize for her debut, All Flesh is Grass. During the production,of her next play, Shamrocks and Crocodiles, she met the actor Stephen McGann. They went on to marry, and many years later Stephen was cast as the GP in Call the Midwife. After nearly a decade in the theatre, Heidi made the leap into television, first writing on existing series such as Soldier, Soldier and Doctor Finlay. Her other screenwriting credits include Lilies, based on her grandmother?s recollections, and adaptations of classic novels including Elizabeth Gaskell?s Cranford, Noel Streatfeild?s Ballet Shoes and Louisa May Alcott?s Little Women. DISC ONE: You Belong to Me by The Duprees DISC TWO: Penny Lane by The Beatles DISC THREE: Gentle on my Mind by Dean Martin DISC FOUR: Who Will Sing Me Lullabies? by Kate Rusby DISC FIVE: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack DISC SIX: Finishing The Hat by Josh Groban DISC SEVEN: Agnus Dei from Requiem, op. 48, conducted by Nigel Short and performed by London Symphony Orchestra Chamber Ensemble and Tenebrae DISC EIGHT: Both Sides, Now by Joni Mitchell BOOK CHOICE: London Labour and the London Poor by Henry Mayhew LUXURY ITEM: A hot water bottle CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Both Sides, Now by Joni Mitchell Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor
2019-12-15
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Professor Russell Foster, professor of circadian neuroscience

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 Walk?re 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 Walk?re 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
2019-12-08
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Asif Kapadia, film director

Asif Kapadia is an Academy Award-winning film director, renowned for his documentaries about the musician Amy Winehouse, the Brazilian motor racing star Ayrton Senna, and the Argentinian footballer, Diego Maradona. Born in 1972, Asif is the youngest of five children. His parents emigrated from Gujarat in the mid-1960s. His father?s ambition to seek his fortune took the family to the US for a short time in the late 70s, but by 1980 they had returned to London. Asif grew up in Hackney, and describes his all-boys secondary school as tough. His mother was ill while he was taking his GCSEs, and he vowed never to sit exams again. At 17, he worked as a runner on a film and so enjoyed feeling part of a crew that he decided he wanted to make a career in the industry. He studied film at the Newport Film School, going on to the Polytechnic of Central London where his graduation film, Indian Tales, was highly regarded. His 1997 Royal College of Art graduation film, The Sheep Thief, shot in Rajasthan in the Hindi language, won a prize at Cannes. He made two feature films, The Warrior which won two Baftas, and Far North, which was filmed close to the North Pole. His first documentary was Senna, which was widely acclaimed and won two Baftas. Asif used the same collage technique - drawing on camcorder snippets, TV news, and entertainment specials ? on Amy, his film about Amy Winehouse. It won an Oscar, a Bafta and a Grammy Award and surpassed Senna to become the highest grossing documentary of all time in the UK. His latest documentary is about the footballer Diego Maradona: he calls it ?the third part of a trilogy about child geniuses and fame?. Asif is married to Victoria Harwood with whom he has two sons. DISC ONE: Tears Dry On Their Own by Amy Winehouse DISC TWO: Good Times by Chic DISC THREE: Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein by Lata Mangeshka And Mukesh DISC FOUR: Rebel Without a Pause by Public Enemy DISC FIVE: No Good (Start The Dance) by The Prodigy DISC SIX: Man With A Harmonica by Orchestra Ennio Morricone DISC SEVEN: A Morte by Antônio Pinto DISC EIGHT: Just by Radiohead BOOK CHOICE: The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Malcolm X and Alex Haley LUXURY ITEM: A polaroid camera with film from the seventies CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Man With A Harmonica by Orchestra Ennio Morricone Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
2019-12-01
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Isabella Tree, writer and conservationist

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
2019-11-24
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Stephen Graham, actor

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
2019-11-17
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Lauren Laverne picks some of her favourite episodes

Hear stories & track choices from castaways including Len Goodman, Maya Angelou and Stephen Hawking.
2019-11-13
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Kimberley Motley, lawyer

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
2019-11-10
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Russell T Davies, screenwriter

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
2019-11-03
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Wendell Pierce, actor

Wendell Pierce is an American actor best known for his role as Bunk Moreland in the television series The Wire. Since the series ended in 2008, he has made around 40 film and television appearances, including Treme, Selma and the legal drama Suits, in which he played Robert Zane, the father of Rachel Zane, played by Meghan Markle. His theatre credits range from The Cherry Orchard to Death of a Salesman. Born in 1963, the youngest of three sons, Wendell grew up in the Pontchartrain Park area of New Orleans, which was the first middle-class African-American suburban-style development in the city. He graduated from the prestigious Juilliard School in New York and his career got off to a flying start with a small part opposite Tom Hanks in a film called The Money Pit. He hasn?t been out of work since. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed Wendell?s childhood home in New Orleans and he was instrumental in rebuilding his parents? house in Pontchartrain Park. He also built 40 new homes and staged a production of Waiting for Godot on an empty street corner in one of the most devastated districts of the city. He is currently reprising his role as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman on stage in London. DISC ONE: Jim Henson - Bein' Green (Featuring Kermit The Frog) DISC TWO: Wynton Marsalis - Green Chimneys DISC THREE: Funkadelic - One Nation Under a Groove (Part 1) DISC FOUR: Mahalia Jackson - Take My Hand, Precious Lord DISC FIVE: Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now DISC SIX: Solomon Burke - Don't Give Up on Me DISC SEVEN: Aaron Copland - Appalachian Spring (Doppio Movimento), performed by New York Philharmonic DISC EIGHT: John Coltrane - A Love Supreme Part I: Acknowledgement BOOK CHOICE: The Omni-americans: Black Experience And American Culture by Albert Murray. LUXURY ITEM: A multi-burner barbecue grill CASTAWAY'S CHOICE: Take My Hand, Precious Lord by Mahalia Jackson Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
2019-10-27
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Dame Glenys Stacey, former Chief Inspector of Probation

Dame Glenys Stacey has spent 40 years in public service, including high profile work as a regulator in key areas of national life. She has just stepped down after her five year term as Her Majesty?s Chief Inspector of Probation during which she criticised the decision to privatise the Probation service calling it ?irredeemably flawed?. Glenys was born in Walsall Wood in the West Midlands, where her father was a painter and decorator for the council and her mother worked full time in Union Locks. She left school at 16 and her first job was in an explosives factory. She became a legal executive before deciding to take A levels and then study law at the University of Kent. She was the founding CEO of the Criminal Cases Review Commission, set up by the government in January 1997, after the miscarriages of justice in the cases of the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four. As Chief Executive of Animal Health, she oversaw the management of the outbreak of foot and mouth in 2007 and then led Ofqual for five years, during the reform of GCSEs and A levels. She was awarded a Damehood in 2016 for her services to education and earlier this year she became a founding Board Member of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, an advisory body established by the government. DISC ONE: Loch Lomond ? Sir Harry Lauder DISC TWO: Harry Belafonte - Scarlett Ribbons (For Her Hair) DISC THREE: T.REX ?Ride a White Swan DISC FOUR: Peter Gabriel ? Solsbury Hill DISC FIVE: Wagner - The Ride of the Valkyries DISC SIX: Second movement of Saint Saen?s Piano concerto number 2 in G minor DISC SEVEN: Bob Marley and the Wailers - I Shot the Sherriff DISC EIGHT: Soave sia Il vento from Mozart?s Cosi fan tutte BOOK CHOICE: Oxford Book of English Short Stories LUXURY ITEM: A selection of seeds CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale Photo: BBC / Amanda Benson
2019-10-20
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Baroness Arminka Heli?

Baroness Arminka Heli? is credited with persuading William Hague, the former foreign secretary, and the actor and director Angelina Jolie to launch the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) to campaign against rape as a weapon of war. Born in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Arminka fled her home country as violence escalated in the former Yugoslavia and her family appeared on a Serbian death list. Following the intervention of Lady Miloska Nott, wife of the former secretary of state for defence Sir John Nott, she arrived in London as a refugee in October 1992. She completed a master?s degree in international history at the LSE which ignited her interest in politics. Her first Westminster job was filing press cuttings in the House of Commons Library where she was spotted and started working for MPs including Robert Key, Liam Fox and William Hague. When William Hague became foreign secretary in 2010, she joined him as a special adviser and made it her mission to bring compassion and humanity to foreign policy. After watching Angelina Jolie?s directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey, the story of an inter-ethnic love affair set against the backdrop of the war in Bosnia, Arminka persuaded the foreign secretary to join forces with the Hollywood star. The PSVI highlights how sexual violence in conflict zones is often a hidden crime in which the perpetrators go unpunished. In 2014 the PSVI held a global summit in London which brought together activists and policy-makers with the aim of recognizing this crime and bringing about successful prosecutions. In the same year, Arminka Heli? entered the House of Lords as a Conservative Life Peer. DISC ONE: Tereza Kesovija - Prijatelji Stari Gdje Ste DISC TWO: Kim Wilde - Cambodia DISC THREE: Zaim Imamovi? - Kraj Tanana ?adrvana DISC FOUR: Tracy Chapman - Fast Car DISC FIVE: Bijelo Dugme - Pljuni i zapjevaj moja Jugoslavijo DISC SIX: Madonna - True Blue DISC SEVEN: Vivaldi - Concerto in F minor, RV 297 ?Winter?, 1st movement by performed by The English Concert DISC EIGHT: Josipa Lisac - O jednoj mladosti BOOK CHOICE: A DIY book LUXURY ITEM: A pen and paper CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Kraj Tanana ?adrvana by Zaim Imamovi? Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley
2019-10-14
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Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer & lyricist

Lin-Manuel Miranda is best known as the composer, lyricist and original star of the multi-award-winning Broadway musical, Hamilton. It won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, 11 Tony Awards and Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album. The London production won seven Olivier Awards in 2018. Lin-Manuel was brought up in New York by his Puerto Rican parents, and his creativity and sensitivity to music began when he was a child: he performed in Gilbert and Sullivan?s Pirates of Penzance as a teenager and created films using his father?s camcorder. He attended the elite Hunter school for gifted children and spent his summer holidays in Puerto Rico with his extended family. His first musical, In the Heights, opened on Broadway in 2008, directed by his long-time collaborator, Thomas Kail. It received four Tony Awards including Best Score as well as a Grammy Award for its Original Broadway Cast Album. Among his TV and film acting credits are Fosse/Verdon, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Mary Poppins Returns, and he is currently filming the second series of Philip Pullman?s His Dark Materials for the BBC. He recently collaborated with J.J. Abrams on the song Dobra Doompa, for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens and he contributed music, lyrics and vocals to several songs in the Disney animated feature film Moana. Lin-Manuel supported the relief efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in September 2017, performing Hamilton there and raising funds for arts and culture on the island. He co-founded the hip-hop improv group Freestyle Love Supreme in 2003 and they have just begun a debut run on Broadway. He lives in New York City with his wife, sons and dog. DISC ONE: Liza Minelli - Cabaret DISC TWO: The Decemberists - The Crane Wife Part 2 DISC THREE: Rubén Blades and Seis del Solar - El Padre Antonio y el Monaguillo Andrés DISC FOUR: The Pharcyde - Passin? Me By DISC FIVE: Ali Dineen - What You Know DISC SIX: Regina Spektor - On the Radio DISC SEVEN: Gilberto Santa Rosa - Déjate Querer DISC EIGHT: Outkast - Rosa Parks BOOK CHOICE: Moby-Dick by Herman Melville LUXURY ITEM: Coffee CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: What You Know by Ali Dineen Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
2019-10-06
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Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, firefighter

Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton is the Chief Fire Officer for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service. She is one of the most senior women in the Fire and Rescue Service in the UK. After spending some time living on the streets as a teenager, her work as a firefighter began at the age of 18, after she had applied to 31 different fire services. During her career, her interest in psychology and fascination with how people make choices in stressful situations led to her studying for a degree, followed by a PhD. Her research into risk, decision-making under extreme pressure and human error has won awards and she has shared her findings with fire services in other countries. She is also an ambassador for The Big Issue magazine, in the wake of her own experiences of homelessness. DISC ONE: Alicia Keys - Girl on Fire DISC TWO: J Balvin and Willy William - Mi Gente DISC THREE: The Clash - Bankrobber DISC FOUR: IDLES - Samaritans DISC FIVE: Sex Pistols - Anarchy in the UK DISC SIX: Oasis - Don?t Look Back in Anger DISC SEVEN: Stereophonics - Local Boy in the Photograph DISC EIGHT: Toots and the Maytals - 54-46 Was My Number BOOK CHOICE: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway LUXURY ITEM: A photo album CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Bankrobber by The Clash Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor
2019-09-29
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Thom Yorke, musician

Thom Yorke has been the front man of Radiohead, one of Britain?s most successful British bands, for 34 years. They have sold over 30 million albums worldwide, and have won three Grammys and four Ivor Novello awards. Their debut studio album, Pablo Honey, was released in 1993, with their debut single, Creep, becoming a big international success. Thom decided on his career at the age of seven, when he lay on the floor between large speakers at a friend?s house and listened to Queen?s Bohemian Rhapsody. He made his own electric guitar when he was 10, and wrote his first song at 11. At his secondary school he joined up with fellow pupils and they formed a band called On a Friday, as that was the only day they were allowed to rehearse. They all went their separate ways as university students, but then signed to Parlophone in 1991 and renamed themselves Radiohead. Thom has collaborated with artists including PJ Harvey and Björk and has composed for film and theatre. His first feature film soundtrack, Suspiria, was released last year. His first classical piece, Don?t Fear the Light, was premiered in Paris this year, and he has also been touring his latest solo album Anima. He is an activist on behalf of human rights, animal rights, environmental and anti-war causes. DISC ONE: Ravel - Le jardin féerique ? the Labèque sisters DISC TWO: Scott Walker - It?s Raining Today DISC THREE: Talking Heads - Born Under Punches DISC FOUR: Squarepusher and Aphex Twin - Freeman Hardy & Willis Acid DISC FIVE: Neil Young - After the Gold Rush DISC SIX: REM ? Talk about the Passion DISC SEVEN: Sidney Bechet - Blue Horizon DISC EIGHT: Nina Simone - Lilac Wine BOOK CHOICE: Zen Mind, Beginner?s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki LUXURY ITEM: A recording studio CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On) by Talking Heads Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
2019-09-22
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Classic Desert Island Discs: Lemn Sissay

Another chance to hear Lemn Sissay's Desert Island Discs from October 2015. Interviewed by Kirsty Young. As a poet, writer and playwright, much of his work tells the story of his search for his birth parents. Born to a young Ethiopian woman who wanted him temporarily fostered while she completed her studies, he was with a family until he was 12. He would spend the next five years in a number of children's homes where he began to write. On leaving care at 17, he self-published his first book of poetry while on the dole. Several poetry collections, plays and programmes for radio and TV followed and his work has taken him around the world. He was the first poet to be commissioned to write for the 2012 London Olympics and his success has also brought him two doctorates and an MBE for services to literature. He is about to be installed as Chancellor of the University of Manchester, an elected post he will hold for the next seven years. He takes writers' workshops for care-leavers and set up Culture World, the first black writers' workshop. DISC ONE: Yegna featuring Aster Aweke - Taitu DISC TWO: Nils Frahm - Says DISC THREE: The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards - Amazing Grace DISC FOUR: Symphony No 3, 2nd movement - Henryk Gorecki's Symphony of Sorrowful songs DISC FIVE: Annie Lennox - Cold DISC SIX: Aretha Franklin - Bridge Over Troubled Water DISC SEVEN: Prince, featuring Rosie Gaines - Nothing Compares 2 U DISC EIGHT: BB King - Better Not Look Down Producer: Cathy Drysdale.
2019-09-15
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Classic Desert Island Discs: Judith Kerr

Another chance to hear Judith Kerr, interviewed by Sue Lawley. From February 2004. A writer and illustrator known to generations of children both for her charming Mog picture-books and for her careful rendering of the life of a Jewish child fleeing Nazi Germany. Judith Kerr escaped with her family on the day the Nazis were elected. The following day, police turned up at the doorstep in a belated attempt to confiscate their passports. The Kerr family moved across Europe, trying to support themselves and escape from the nearing threat, until they eventually settled in England in 1936. The family stayed in London throughout the war; surviving the Blitz and in fear of invasion. Judith Kerr wrote an autobiographical trilogy about her experiences and the books - in particular When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit - have been used ever since as a way of explaining to children the horrors of the Nazi threat. Today, they are set texts in many German schools. She was always a keen painter but had never thought it could be a career; it was only when she had two children who enjoyed the tales she told that she decided to try her hand at picture books. Her first book, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, was instantly successful when it was published in 1968 and has never been out of print. But it is probably her series of books about Mog the Cat that have won her most affection with children - over the past 30 years they have sold more than three million copies. [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs] DISC ONE: Wilkommen, from Cabaret sung by Joel Gray DISC TWO: Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Hitler? - Bud Flanagan & The Band of the Coldstream Guards DISC THREE: Second movement of Beethoven?s Symphony No. 7 in A major performed by La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Carlo Maria Giulin DISC FOUR: Memorial Prayer Al Malei Rachamin, performed by the Ne?imah Singers DISC FIVE: Mars (The Bringer of War) from Holst?s The Planets, performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Conducted by Andrew Davis DISC SIX: The Cat Duet performed by Elisabeth Soderstrom and Kerstin Meyer DISC SEVEN: Dance of the Knights, Prokofiev?s Romeo and Juliet, performed by The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Convent Garden DISC EIGHT: Mozart?s Mass No. 18 in C minor 'Great' ? Kyrie, performed by the Vienna State Opera Chorus Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Favourite track: Kyrie - the Opening of Great Mass in C Minor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Book: A big, beautiful coffee table book of pictures by impressionists Luxury: Pencils and thick paper to write and draw on
2019-09-08
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Classic Desert Island Discs: Daniel Kahneman

Another chance to hear Daniel Kaheneman, interviewed by Kirsty Young in August 2013. Widely acknowledged as one of the world's most influential living psychologists, his many years of study have centred on how and why we make the decisions we do. As a child, he lived in Nazi occupied France and he says that, from a young age, he already had a pretty good idea that he wanted to be an academic. He says "My mother had a big influence ... in fact I credit her with the fact that I became a psychologist ... because she got me interested in people and listening to gossip. I've been fascinated by gossip ever since." DISC ONE: Don MacLean - American Pie DISC TWO: Tino Rossi - Bohémienne aux Grands Yeux Noirs DISC THREE: Shirat Hanoded (the wanderer?s song) sung by Betty Klein DISC FOUR: Beethoven?s Emperor Concerto, 2nd movement, performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Frederick Stock with Arthur Schnabel on piano DISC FIVE: Danny Kaye - Ugly Duckling DISC SIX: The Beatles - Eleanor Rigby DISC SEVEN ? Mozart?s Clarinet Quintet in A Major DISC EIGHT: Bach Piano Suite ? played by Daniel?s grandson Producer: Cathy Drysdale.
2019-09-01
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Classic Desert Island Discs: Professor Monica Grady

Another chance to hear Monica Grady, Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University, interviewed by Kirsty Young in July 2015. Well-known in scientific circles, at NASA and the European Space Agency, she came to the attention of the general public with her enthusiastic celebration when, as part of the Rosetta project, the probe Philae became the first-ever spacecraft to land on a comet - 67P - in November 2014. The spacecraft had taken ten years to journey through space and a decade was spent on the preparations. She was born in 1958 in Leeds as the eldest of eight children. She studied chemistry and geology at Durham University and did her PhD on carbon in meteorites at Cambridge, where she worked closely with Professor Colin Pillinger on the Beagle 2 project to Mars. She first worked at the OU in 1983 before joining the Department of Mineralogy of the Natural History Museum, becoming Head of the Meteorites and Cosmic Mineralogy Division. She is married to Professor Ian Wright who is one of the lead scientists on the Rosetta cometary mission and they have one son. She was awarded a CBE in 2012 for services to space sciences and asteroid (4731) was named "Monicagrady" in her honour. DISC ONE: Meat Loaf - Bat out of Hell DISC TWO: Gilbert & Sullivan - When the Foeman Bares His Steel from The Pirates of Penzance, conducted by Isidore Godfrey, played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, sung by the D?Oyly Carte Opera Chorus DISC THREE: Brahms? St Anthony Chorale ? played by Murray Perahia & Georg Solti DISC FOUR: Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water DISC FIVE: Ultravox - Vienna DISC SIX: Fanfare for the Open University from Leonard Salzedo?s Divertimento, played by Philip Jones Brass Ensemble DISC SEVEN: The Agnes Dei from Karl Jenkin?s The Armed Man, sung by the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra DISC EIGHT: Smetana?s Ma Vlast (My Homeland) played by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Vaclav Talich Producer: Cathy Drysdale.
2019-08-25
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Classic Desert Island Discs: Freddie Flintoff

One of the best players of his generation, he was part of the England team that won the Ashes in 2005, a year that marked his sporting coming of age. On the strength of that historic victory he was awarded an MBE for services to the game, and the public voted him BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Barely out of his pram when he picked up a cricket ball he turned out to bat for an under-14 match when he was just six years old. His debut was not in crisp cricket whites, but in a second hand Manchester United tracksuit, setting the tone for someone who's made a habit of doing things his way. Not least at a 10 Downing Street reception when, somewhat the worse for wear, he weaved into the cabinet room, plonked himself down in the PM's chair and knocked back yet another bottle of beer. Since retiring from the game he's had a go at heavyweight boxing and won the bout. One area where he hasn't come out on top: his sons never listen to his cricket coaching tips. DISC ONE: Elvis Presley - I Just Can't Help Believin' DISC TWO: Judy Garland - Over the Rainbow DISC THREE: Elton John - Rocket Man DISC FOUR: Johnny Cash - Ring of Fire DISC FIVE: Jack Johnson - Better Together DISC SIX: Frank Sinatra - Fly Me to the Moon DISC SEVEN: Oasis - Roll With It DISC EIGHT: The Eagles - New Kid in Town Producer: Sarah Taylor
2019-08-18
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Jo Fairley, businesswoman

Jo Fairley is a businesswoman and writer. She co-founded the Green & Black?s chocolate company with Craig Sams, her husband, and has launched several other successful ventures since then. Jo did not enjoy school, left at 16 with six O-levels and learned shorthand and typing at a secretarial college. She got a job with a magazine publisher and worked her way up through the features department to become the UK?s youngest magazine editor at the age of 23. Her move into chocolate came when she happened to try a couple of squares of a sample sitting on the desk of her future husband, Craig Sams, a health foods entrepreneur. Jo decided that it was the best she had ever tasted. She bought two tonnes of chocolate for £20,000, using all of the proceeds from the flat she had just sold. She and Craig launched Green & Black?s in 1991 and sold the company to Cadbury?s in 2005. BOOK CHOICE: Edible: An Illustrated Guide to the World's Food Plants by National Geographic LUXURY ITEM: Her own pillow CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: I Wanna Be Like You by Louis Prima Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor
2019-08-11
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Sir Tim Waterstone, businessman

Sir Tim Waterstone is the founder of the bookshop chain that bears his name. Born in May 1939, he was the youngest of three children. His father, who worked for a tea company all his life, served in the Royal Army Service Corps during the war, and so was absent when Tim was very young. Their relationship was difficult throughout his childhood. Tim was educated at boarding schools from the age of six, when his parents went to India for two and a half years. After studying English at Cambridge and a stint working in India, he joined Allied Breweries, moving to WH Smith in 1973. Eight years later he was fired and at this point he decided to open his own bookshop. The first Waterstone?s opened its doors in 1982 when Tim was 43. A further 86 bookshops opened within a decade. In 1993, he sold the company to his former employer, WH Smith. Five years later, he bought it back again as part of a newly formed group, HMV Media, but just three years after that, in 2001, he resigned as chairman. Since then he?s made several unsuccessful attempts to buy back the company which changed hands most recently in 2018. He recently celebrated his 80th birthday and lives in London with his third wife, the television director Rosie Alison. BOOK CHOICE: Oxford Book of English Poetry LUXURY ITEM: A Photo of his wife CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: The Dream of Gerontius by Edward Elgar Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
2019-08-04
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Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer, England

Dame Sally Davies is the outgoing Chief Medical Officer for England. She will take up her next post as Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, later this year. She was born in Birmingham in 1949 to academic parents - her father was an Anglican priest and theologian, her mother a scientist. She studied medicine at Manchester University and after two 'brutalising' years spent learning the job on the wards, she welcomed the opportunity to move to Madrid as a diplomat?s wife. However, she decided that she did not enjoy being - in her words - 'an appendage', and so she returned to medicine in the UK, starting in paediatrics and then moving to haematology, specialising in Sickle Cell Disease. Her first marriage didn?t last and her second ended in tragedy when her husband died of leukaemia within months of the wedding. After joining her first research scheme committee in the late 1980s, Sally widened her remit. She became Chief Scientific Adviser to the Health Secretary and, in 2011, Chief Medical Officer for England. Her achievements include creating the National Institute for Health Research, a body to oversee the funding of research in the NHS, and working tirelessly to raise awareness of the dangers of anti-microbial resistance. Sally holds 24 honorary degrees and is about to return to academia, taking up her post as the first woman Master of Trinity College in October 2019. She is married to Willem with whom she has two grown-up daughters. BOOK CHOICE: On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee LUXURY ITEM: Bubble bath CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: The Trumpet Shall Sound, from Handel's Messiah Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
2019-07-28
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John Cooper Clarke, poet

John Cooper Clarke first achieved fame with his poetry during the punk rock era of the late 1970s. Born in Salford in 1949 to Hilda and George, he suffered from tuberculosis as a child and was sent to recuperate with a relative in Wales. He failed his 11 plus exam and was educated at a secondary modern school which he hated. However the one ?rose in a garden of weeds? was his English teacher, Mr Malone, who instilled a love of poetry in John and his classmates. John had various odd jobs after leaving school at 15 and by his mid-20s, he was reciting his poetry in clubs around Manchester. His entry into the punk scene was helped, he says, by ?already looking like a punk?, and despite some initially hostile receptions from audiences waiting for the Sex Pistols or the Buzzcocks, he acquired a cult status, going on to release five albums of his poetry set to music by former Joy Division producer Martin Hannett. By early 1980s, he was also in the grip of a heroin addiction which would see him write very little for over a decade. He cleaned up in the early 90s after marrying his second wife, Evie, and having a daughter, Stella. His star began to rise again in 2007 when one of his poems was used in an episode of The Sopranos and others were included on the GCSE syllabus, which led to collaborations with artists like Plan B and Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys. BOOK CHOICE: Against Nature by Joris-Karl Huysmans LUXURY ITEM: A boulder of opium twice the size of his head CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: How Great Thou Art by Elvis Presley Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
2019-07-21
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Marcus Wareing, chef

Marcus Wareing is a prize-winning chef, restaurateur, TV presenter and cookery book writer, who gained his first Michelin star at the age of just 26. He grew up in Southport, and by the age of 11 was helping out in his family?s fruit and vegetable business, which dominated his father?s life. Marcus assumed he would join the business, but his father told him to take a catering course instead, as the family firm had no future. When Marcus was 18, he moved to London to work at the Savoy. He loved the experience of life in a high-pressure professional kitchen and was quickly promoted. In 1993 he joined Gordon Ramsay at Aubergine, creating one of the most celebrated London restaurants of the time. He went on to launch a number of Michelin star-winning restaurants, often working with Gordon Ramsay and his company, before a much-publicized falling-out. Marcus now runs a group of restaurants in London, founded with his wife Jane, and since 2014 he has appeared as a judge and mentor on the TV series MasterChef: The Professionals. BOOK CHOICE: A Bear Grylls Survival Guide LUXURY ITEM: A knife CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: How Deep is Your Love by The Bee Gees Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor
2019-07-14
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Sue Biggs, DG Royal Horticultural Society

Sue Biggs is the Director General of the Royal Horticultural Society. She?s been at the helm of the RHS since 2010 and during that time, its membership has grown to more than half a million people. The RHS is also renowned for its spectacular flower shows and garden festivals around the country, including Chelsea, Hampton Court, Chatsworth House and Tatton Park. Sue has had a lifelong love of gardening since her mum gave her a packet of seeds on her seventh birthday. She has enjoyed two very successful careers. Before her tenure at the RHS, she worked in the travel industry for 25 years, identifying new destinations for holidaymakers. She was the first woman to be appointed to the board of Kuoni Travel. In her current role, she strongly believes that horticultural work and expertise do not receive the wider respect they deserve. She was made a CBE in 2017 for her services to the environment and ornamental horticulture industries. BOOK CHOICE: The Book of Joy LUXURY ITEM: A bed CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor
2019-07-07
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Jared Diamond, academic and author

Jared Diamond is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles, although his interests and expertise range far wider, from physiology to ornithology, history to ecology and from anthropology to evolutionary biology. His 1997 book, Guns, Germs and Steel, asked why Eurasian civilizations prospered and conquered others. It won a Pulitzer Prize and has sold more than a million copies around the world. He was born in Boston in 1937 to a physician father and a mother who was a teacher and a concert pianist. She taught him to read when he was three and he also learned to play the piano and developed a love of languages. Thinking his professional life would be in science, he decided to focus on the humanities at school, including Latin and Greek. After graduating from Harvard, he moved to England to pursue a PhD in physiology at Cambridge and became an expert on salt absorption in the gall bladder. He returned to the USA, and then his travels took him to New Guinea where he developed a passionate interest in ornithology and a lifelong love of the island which he?s continued to visit for the past 50 years. He has learned 12 languages, speaking several of them fluently, and has published six books and hundreds of articles. His most recent book, Upheaval, examines how nations cope with crisis and change. Jared lives in Los Angeles with his wife Marie, a clinical psychologist. They have grown-up twin sons. BOOK CHOICE: The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle LUXURY ITEM: Six cases of Scharzhofberger Kabinett, a Riesling wine from the Saar Basin CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Bach?s Cantata 50: "Nun ist das Heil" Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
2019-06-30
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Emily Eavis, festival organiser

Emily Eavis is co-organiser of the Glastonbury Festival. Together with her husband and her father, she masterminds the booking of bands and oversees the setting up of what is the largest greenfield festival in the world. The site itself becomes the size of Oxford town centre once it?s built and rigged, and when tickets for 2019 went on sale, they sold out within 36 minutes. Born in 1979, she was a small child when her parents, Jean and Michael, were inspired to make the Glastonbury Festival an annual event, although she wasn?t keen on the yearly invasion of the family farm. By her late teens, however, she had changed her views. She left Worthy Farm to study to be a teacher at Goldsmiths College in London but when, at the end of her first year, her mother was diagnosed with cancer, Emily left and went home to help look after her and to help her father run that year?s festival. Emily never went back to university. Motivated by a visit to Haiti to look at Oxfam projects, she spent a few years in London putting on charity gigs, before returning home to work with her father running the festival. She married her husband, Nick Dewey, manager of The Chemical Brothers in 2009. The couple have three children and live on Worthy Farm. BOOK CHOICE: The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski LUXURY: Carpenter?s tool set (so she can build her own veranda) CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: You?re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go by Bob Dylan Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
2019-06-23
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Nitin Sawhney, musician, producer, composer

Nitin Sawhney is a composer, musician and producer working in the worlds of music, film, video games, dance and theatre. He has released 10 studio albums, scored over 50 films and television programmes, and is known for his collaborations, with musicians and artists including Paul McCartney, Akram Khan, John Hurt and Andy Serkis. He was born in 1964 to parents who had emigrated from North India the previous year to work in the UK. His father was a chemical engineer while his mother taught English and later worked at the post office in their home town of Rochester. Nitin showed early musical promise when he took up the piano aged five, later also learning flamenco guitar, sitar and tabla. He was bullied at school at a time when the National Front was gaining traction and music became his sanctuary. After abandoning a law degree at Liverpool and completing an accountancy course in Hertfordshire, he became financial controller of a hotel, before leaving to become a full time musician. While at college, he met Sanjeev Bhaskar and formed a comedy duo with him which would become the radio and TV series, Goodness Gracious Me. His breakthrough came with his fourth album, released in 1999, entitled Beyond Skin, which was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. Since then, his career has been in the ascendant: he has established himself as one of the most versatile composers for film, scoring pictures like Midnight?s Children and television programmes including the BBC?s Human Planet series. He received the Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. BOOK CHOICE: The Fabric of Reality by David Deutsch LUXURY ITEM: Desalinating bottle CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Mustt Mustt (the Massive Attack remix) by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
2019-06-16
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Professor Monica McWilliams, social scientist

Professor Monica McWilliams is an academic, peace campaigner and former politician. In 1996, she was the co-founder of the Northern Ireland Women?s Coalition political party and was elected to a seat at the Multi-Party Peace Negotiations, which led to the Belfast (Good Friday) Peace Agreement in 1998. She served as a member of the Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly from 1998-2003 and was the Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission from 2005-2011. She continues her academic research into domestic violence and is Emeritus Professor in the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University. She also specialises in conflict resolution and working with women who are in conflict situations. Alongside her academic work and peace work she currently sits on the Independent Reporting Commission for Northern Ireland. BOOK CHOICE: Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing Volumes 4 and 5 (known as the Women?s anthology) LUXURY ITEM: A snorkel CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Il Postino by Luis Bacalov Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor
2019-06-09
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Lubaina Himid, artist

Lubaina Himid is a Turner Prize-winning artist, curator and Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire. Lubaina was born in Zanzibar in 1954. Her mother was from Britain and her father was originally from the Comoros Islands. He died from malaria when Lubaina was just a few months old, and so she and her mother returned to England. She studied Theatre Design at the Wimbledon College of Art and began organising exhibitions of works by fellow black women artists in the early 1980s as part of the Black Art Movement. Her own work focuses on black identity, often shining a light on the slave trade and the contribution made by the people of the black diaspora. She was the first black woman to win the Turner Prize, and was also its oldest winner, at the age of 63. She was appointed an MBE in 2010 and a CBE in 2018. She lives and works in Preston. BOOK CHOICE: Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy LUXURY ITEM: An endless supply of self-ironing Japanese shirts CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Suzanne by Nina Simone Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
2019-06-02
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Derren Brown, illusionist

Derren Brown, illusionist and mentalist, chooses the eight tracks, book and luxury he want to take with him if cast away to a desert island. BOOK CHOICE: Collected works of Carl Jung LUXURY: Leica Camera CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Goldberg Variations Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor
2019-05-26
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Pat McGrath, makeup artist

Pat McGrath is a renowned make-up artist. She works with the world?s top designers, photographers, editors and models, creating images for the pages of the world?s most glamorous magazines. She and her team also work at the most high-profile catwalk shows in Milan, London, New York and Paris. She born and brought up in Northampton by her mother, who had a passion for fashion and make-up, which she passed onto Pat. In the mid-1980s, as an art student, Pat was captivated by the London club scene ? the Blitz club, Boy George, and Spandau Ballet. By day she took on a number of casual jobs, but her interest in make-up continued and her break came when she was asked to do the make-up for Caron Wheeler, a member of the band, Soul II Soul, on a tour of Japan. Her career took off and within just a few years she was working with John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Dolce and Gabana, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Prada, Lanvin, Calvin Klein and Balenciaga. In addition to her work at the fashion shows and photographic shoots, in 2004 she became the global creative-design director for Procter and Gamble, where she was in charge of Max Factor and Cover Girl cosmetics. She was awarded an MBE for her services to the fashion and beauty industry in 2013 and in 2015 she launched her own cosmetics brand ? Pat McGrath Labs. In 2017 she became beauty editor at large at British Vogue and won the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at the Fashion Awards. BOOK CHOICE: Andy Warhol: Polaroids - Richard B. Woodward LUXURY: Makeup CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: ?La Vie en Rose" - Grace Jones Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale
2019-05-19
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Louis Theroux

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
2019-05-12
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Classic Desert Island Discs: Tracey Emin

Another chance to hear artist Tracey Emin's Desert Island Discs, with Sue Lawley, first broadcast in November 2004. Tracey Emin is one of the most successful and controversial artists to emerge during the 1990s. Her work was championed early on by influential art dealer Jay Jopling and later by the collector Charles Saatchi. Her work is highly autobiographical and confessional. A talented drawer and painter, she has attracted most attention for her art installations - including her tent, Everyone I Have Ever Slept With and the Turner Prize-nominated My Bed. Her art is adored and condemned in equal measure, but wherever she exhibits she attracts queues and has a room at Tate Britain dedicated to her work. She was brought up in Margate.
2019-05-05
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Classic Desert Island Discs: Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Another chance to hear Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell choose her Desert Island Discs, with Sue Lawley. First broadcast 24th December, 2000. Jocelyn Bell Burnell was only twenty-four when she made the discovery of a lifetime: As she was mapping the universe for her PhD, she chanced upon the radio signal for a totally new kind of star, known as a 'pulsar'. Her find is seen as one of the most important contributions to astrophysics in the twentieth century.
2019-04-28
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Classic Desert Island Discs: Mary Berry

Another chance to hear Mary Berry's Desert Island Discs with Kirsty Young from 2012. Mary Berry is one of the UK's best-known and respected cookery writers. More than six million copies of her books have now been sold - not bad for a girl who failed her school certificate in English. On television, it is her role as a judge on The Great British Bake-off that has brought her to the attention of a new generation. It was in domestic science lessons that she discovered her love of cooking and she is in no doubt of the importance of teaching cookery in school "When everybody leaves school, whether they are a boy or a girl, what do they have to do in the home? They have to produce a meal. They haven't been taught to do it. I think it should be essential."
2019-04-21
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Classic Desert Island Discs: Ade Adepitan

Another chance to hear Paralympian and broadcaster Ade Adepitan interviewed by Kirsty Young in 2012. When he's not stuck in a studio explaining the intricacies of Goalball he's reporting from the rainforests of Nicaragua or the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Adversity seems to suit him - he even survived turning up for his first day at school aged 7 in a pink checked suit and bow tie. Inspired by his boyhood heroes Seb Coe and Daley Thompson, who he first saw on TV competing in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, sport became his passion. He says "I think I've done more things with my disability than most able-bodied people would ever dream of doing".
2019-04-14
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Classic Desert Island Discs: Ricky Gervais

Another chance to listen to the comedian, Ricky Gervais speaking to Kirsty Young in 2007. In just twelve episodes, his show The Office changed the face of British television comedy. At its centre was the comic monster, David Brent, a middle-manager being filmed for a mock-documentary who saw the ever-present cameras as his route to popularity and fame. Ricky Gervais's performance was both excruciating and unmissable - one critic called the programme "among the most affecting and invigorating works of fiction since the turn of the century". As he discusses with Kirsty Young, comedy was the language he grew up with - the youngest of four children, being able to come up with a gag or a smart rejoinder was the linguistic currency of his home. That, he says, is where the 'show-off performer' was born. Now with seven Baftas, two Golden Globes and an Emmy to his name, Ricky Gervais is gratified that his work is recognised and says his aim has always been to bring art into comedy.
2019-04-07
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