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Desert Island Discs

Author: BBC Radio 4

Subscribed: 177,557Played: 4,598,866


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

830 Episodes
Sheku Kanneh-Mason is a cellist who came to international attention when he performed at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018. Still only 24, he has performed at a series of high profile locations including the Hollywood Bowl and Downing Street. Last year he was a soloist at the Last Night of the Proms. Sheku was brought up in Nottingham along with his six siblings who are also extremely talented musicians. At six-years-old he went to a concert by the Nottingham Youth Orchestra where he was transfixed by the cello section. He started having lessons not long afterwards and by the age of nine he’d completed all of his music grades – receiving the highest marks in the country. At 17 he won the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition.He went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music and made his debut at the BBC Proms as a soloist with the Chineke! Orchestra in 2017.In 2020 he was appointed an MBE for services to music and two years later became the Royal Academy of Music’s first Menuhin Visiting Professor of Performance Mentoring.DISC ONE: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85 - 1st movement: Adagio – Moderato. Composed by Edward Elgar and performed by Jacqueline du Pré, with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir John Barbirolli DISC TWO: Rivers of Babylon -The Melodians DISC THREE: Dat - Pluto Shervington DISC FOUR: String Quartet in C major, Op 20 No. 2, Capriccio: Adagio. Composed by Joseph Haydn and performed by The London Haydn Quartet DISC FIVE: Chances Are - Bob Marley DISC SIX: Requiem in D minor, K. 626 , Introitus 1 – Requiem. Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and performed by the Monteverdi Choir DISC SEVEN: Symphony No.11 'The Year 1905' - II. The 9th January; Adagio. Composed by Dmitri Shostakovich and performed by The Moscow Philharmonic, conducted by Kirill Kondrashin DISC EIGHT: Largo from Organ Sonata No.5 in C major, BWV 529. Composed by Johan Sebastian Bach and performed by Samuel FeinbergBook: The Feynman Lectures on Physics by Richard Feynman Luxury: A cello and strings CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Requiem in D minor, K. 626 , Introitus 1 – Requiem. Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and performed by the Monteverdi ChoirPresenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
The Rt Revd Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani is the Bishop of Chelmsford. She also sits in Parliament as a Lord Spiritual and last year she played a prominent role in the Coronation, administering Holy Communion to the King and Queen. She was born in Isfahan, central Iran, the youngest of four children to Hassan Dehqani-Tafti, the first ethnic Iranian Anglican Bishop of his country, and his wife Margaret. In 1980, in the wake of the Islamic Revolution, her family were targeted and forced to leave the country. She arrived in the UK aged 13 as a refugee. Four decades on, Guli has yet to set foot on Iranian soil.She was ordained as a deacon in 1998 and a priest the following year. She was consecrated a bishop in November 2017, making her the first woman from a minority ethnic background to be ordained as an Anglican bishop in the UK.She is the lead Bishop for Housing for the Church of England and is a contributor to BBC Radio 4s Thought for the Day. She is married to Lee, who is a priest, and they have three children.DISC ONE: Requiem in D Minor, Op. 48: VI. Libera me. Composed by Gabriel Fauré and performed by Stephen Varcoe (baritone), The Cambridge Singers, conducted by John Rutter DISC TWO: Morgh-e Sahar - Homayoun Shajarian and Dastan Ensemble DISC THREE: Ride on Time - Black Box DISC FOUR: Miniatures for Piano Trio. Set 2: No. 4, Romance. Composed by Frank Bridge and performed by Alexander Chaushian and Ashley Wass DISC FIVE: Variations on Bahram’s Melody. Composed by Bahram Dehqani-Tafti and performed by Gabriel Francis-Dehqani with Fiona Sweeney, Krystof Kohout and Will Harmer DISC SIX: Take me to Church - Sinead O’Connor DISC SEVEN: Sovereign Light Café - Keane DISC EIGHT: Mahi - Golnar Shahyar, Mahan Mirarab, (feat. Luis Guerra)BOOK CHOICE: The Book of Kings LUXURY ITEM: Photo albums CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Requiem in D Minor, Op. 48: VI. Libera me. Composed by Gabriel Fauré and performed by Stephen Varcoe (baritone), The Cambridge Singers, conducted by John Rutter Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Graham Nash, musician

Graham Nash, musician


Graham William Nash is a musician, singer, songwriter and photographer. He had his first musical success as a member of the UK band The Hollies before his move to America when he sang as part of Crosby, Stills and Nash.Graham was born in 1942 and grew up in Salford. He found his singing voice at the age of six when he realised that not only could he sing, but he had the ability to harmonise any melody. He is a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. Over the years, Graham has written many hit songs for The Hollies and Crosby, Stills and Nash including Our House and Marrakesh Express. Alongside his critically acclaimed musical career, Graham is also a successful photographer. His photos have been on show in galleries and museums around the world. He lives in New York with his third wife.DISC ONE: Be-bop-a-Lula - Gene Vincent DISC TWO: Great Balls of Fire - Jerry Lee Lewis DISC THREE: Maybe Baby - Buddy Holly and the Crickets DISC FOUR: Bye Bye Love - The Everly Brothers DISC FIVE: God Only Knows - The Beach Boys DISC SIX: Adagio for Strings, composed by Samuel Barber and performed by City of London Sinfonia conducted, by Richard Hickox DISC SEVEN: Don't Give Up - Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush DISC EIGHT: A Day In The Life - The BeatlesBOOK CHOICE: The Island at the Center of the World by Russell Shorto LUXURY ITEM: A sleeping bag CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: A Day In The Life - The BeatlesPresenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
Delia Smith CH CBE is one of Britain’s most popular and successful cookery writers and broadcasters. Her first book, How to Cheat at Cooking, was published in 1971 and she presented her first television series, Family Fare, two years later. Since then she has presented many more series and her books have sold more than 21 million copies in the UK alone. Her widespread influence has led to the phrase ‘the Delia effect’, when large numbers of shoppers sought out her recommendations. Delia was born in Woking in 1941, and grew up in Bexleyheath. She attended the local secondary modern school, but left without any qualifications. She eventually found work as a pot washer and then a waitress in a French restaurant in London, where the chef encouraged her interest in cooking and food. In 1969 she landed the job of cookery writer on the Daily Mirror’s new colour supplement. There she honed her simple, no-nonsense instructions and met her husband, Michael Wynn-Jones.She hung up her apron in 2013 to spend more time on her other passion - football. Delia and Michael have been long-standing supporters – and, since 1996, majority shareholders - of Norwich City FC. She lives in Suffolk countryside in the same cottage she and Michael bought as their first home. DISC ONE: The Sound of Silence - Paul Simon DISC TWO: Within You Without You - The Beatles DISC THREE: Gnossienne No 1. Composed by Erik Satie and performed by Alexandre Tharaud DISC FOUR: Caruso – composed by Lucio Dalla and performed by Luciano Pavarotti DISC FIVE: Kyrie: Call To Prayer – Muezzin from the Muhammad Ali Mosque, Cairo. Performed by Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, Choristers of St. George's Chapel, Windsor and composed by David Fanshawe DISC SIX: This Woman's Work - Kate Bush DISC SEVEN: He Moved Through the Fair - Sinéad O'Connor DISC EIGHT: Happy - Pharrell WilliamsBOOK CHOICE: Sister Wendy’s 100 Best-loved Paintings by Wendy Beckett LUXURY ITEM: The Desert Island Discs archive CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Kyrie: Call To Prayer – Muezzin from the Muhammad Ali Mosque, Cairo. Composed by David Fanshawe and performed by Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, Choristers of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
Greta Gerwig is the director of the feature film Barbie - the first woman in cinematic history to have the sole director’s credit for a billion dollar blockbuster. Her previous films include Lady Bird, inspired in part by her own childhood, and Little Women, a widely acclaimed adaptation of the much-loved novel. Greta was born and brought up in Sacramento in California. Her parents encouraged her love of the arts and she started trying to direct her friends in productions while she was still in kindergarten. She studied English and Philosophy at Barnard College in New York where she started acting and writing.After she graduated she appeared in a series of low budget, improvised, so-called mumblecore films, noted for their often low-key naturalistic style. Her solo directorial debut came in 2017 with Lady Bird, starring Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. The film won two Golden Globe Awards and was nominated for five Academy Awards. Her follow up film, Little Women, received six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.Greta has been named president of the jury for next year's Cannes Film Festival. She lives with her partner, the writer and director Noah Baumbach, and two sons in Manhattan. DISC ONE: Opening: I Hope I Get It - Don Pippin, A Chorus Line Orchestra, A Chorus Line Ensemble DISC TWO: Pinball Wizard - The Who DISC THREE: Sleigh Ride - Johnny Mathis, Percy Faith & His Orchestra DISC FOUR: And The Grass Won’t Pay No Mind - Elvis Presley DISC FIVE: Moonage Daydream - David Bowie DISC SIX: Top Hat, White Tie and Tails - Johnny Green & His Orchestra, Fred Astaire DISC SEVEN: Camelot: Finale Ultimo - Camelot Orchestra conducted by Franz Allers, Original Broadway Cast of Camelot DISC EIGHT: Ain't Got No / I Got Life - Nina Simone BOOK CHOICE: The Complete Poems: Emily Dickinson LUXURY ITEM: A writing set CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Sleigh Ride - Johnny Mathis, Percy Faith & His Orchestra Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Shirley Ballas is the head judge on Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC’s Saturday night entertainment show, which regularly attracts an audience of many millions. Known as the Queen of Latin dancing, she joined the show in 2017 after a long career as a competitive dancer and teacher. Shirley was born in Wallasey in 1960. She discovered dance as a seven-year-old when she started taking classes in her local church hall. With a combination of natural flair and hard graft she began winning competitions with her partners. In 1980, while she was still an amateur, she met Sammy Stopford who was ranked seventh in the world as a professional Latin dancer. Together they shot up the rankings and became known as the ‘non-stop Stopfords’.In 1984 she divorced Sammy and the following year she married Corky Ballas, an amateur dancer from Houston. Shirley set about training Corky to become a professional and in 1995 they won the British Open to the World Championships – a feat they repeated the following year.In 1996 Shirley retired from competitive dancing to concentrate on coaching dancers and judging competitions. In 2017 she joined Strictly Come Dancing, replacing her friend and former teacher Len Goodman as head judge. Shirley lives in south London with her mother Audrey and her boyfriend, the actor Danny Taylor.DISC ONE: Get Lucky - Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers DISC TWO: Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash DISC THREE: Moon River - Frank Sinatra DISC FOUR: Sherry - The Four Seasons DISC FIVE: Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana DISC SIX: You To Me Are Everything - The Real Thing DISC SEVEN: Highs and Lows - Alexander Jean DISC EIGHT: We’ve Only Just Begun - The Carpenters BOOK CHOICE: Unleash the Power Within by Tony Robbins LUXURY ITEM: Cotton knickers CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Highs and Lows - Alexander Jean Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Marina Abramović is an artist renowned for performances and feats of endurance, in which her body is pushed to its limits. She has moved, scandalised and delighted audiences for half a century, and is now celebrated by world-leading galleries and institutions. Marina was born in Belgrade in 1946. Her parents were honoured as war heroes for their work for the Partisan resistance movement, and both took up senior roles in the post-war Yugoslav government. Marina became interested in painting during her childhood, and went on to study art. She first made her name as a performance artist in her 20s, creating events which often shocked viewers – and were equally traumatic for her. In 1974 she placed 72 objects, including sharp tools, a whip and a loaded pistol, on a table and invited gallery goers to use them on her, however they wished. She was attacked and left scarred, and part of her hair went white. For many years she led a nomadic existence, creating works with her partner, the German artist Ulay. In 1997, in response to the war in Bosnia, she created a prize-winning work for the Venice Biennale, in which for four days she attempted to scrub the blood from a vast pile of cow bones. In 2010 her exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York attracted almost a million people, many queuing for hours for a chance to sit opposite her in silence as part of her marathon performance The Artist is Present. More recently her work has been celebrated in a major retrospective exhibition at the Royal Academy in London, along with performances at English National Opera, marking the centenary of Maria Callas. DISC ONE: Aria from The Goldberg Variations. Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach German composer and musician, performed by Igor Levit DISC TWO: Norma, Act 1: "Casta diva". Composed by Vincenzo Bellini, performed by Maria Callas (soprano) and Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano DISC THREE: 4 Degrees - Anohni DISC FOUR: Paloma Negra - Chavela Vargas DISC FIVE: Private Dancer - Tina Turner DISC SIX: Sherab Nyingpo Mantra (The Heart Sutra) - Tashi Lhumpo Monks DISC SEVEN: Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467 - 2. Andante. Composed by Mozart and performed by Mitsuko Uchida (piano), with the English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Jeffrey Tate DISC EIGHT: Rum And Coca-Cola - The Andrews Sisters BOOK CHOICE: In Search of the Miraculous by Peter D Ouspensky LUXURY ITEM: A cashmere blanket CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Sherab Nyingpo Mantra (The Heart Sutra) - Tashi Lhunpo MonksPresenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
Dr Nicky Fox is only the second woman to hold the post of Head of Science at NASA since the agency was founded in 1958. She has responsibility for around a hundred missions which are investigating the mysteries of outer space. These missions are tackling questions such as how do hurricanes form and are we alone in the universe.Nicky was born in Hitchin in Hertfordshire and her father introduced her to the wonders of space when she was just a few months old. In 1969 he lifted her out of her cot to watch the television coverage of the Apollo 11 mission when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Nicky’s enduring fascination with the cosmos led her to study physics at Imperial College in London.After completing her PhD she took up a post-doctoral fellowship at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland. In 2010 she became the project scientist for the Parker Solar Probe, humanity’s first mission to a star, which launched in 2018 and is still flying through the sun’s atmosphere collecting data. Recently she oversaw the Osiris-Rex mission which brought back the first asteroid samples from deep space.In 2021 Nicky was awarded the American Astronautical Society’s Carl Sagan Memorial Award for her leadership in the field of Heliophysics. DISC ONE: The Best – Tina Turner DISC TWO: Livin’ On A Prayer - Bon Jovi DISC THREE: Lara’s Theme - MGM Studio Orchestra, composed and conducted by Maurice Jarre DISC FOUR: Danny Boy - Andy Williams DISC FIVE: When You Know - Shawn Colvin DISC SIX: (Reach Up for the) Sunrise - Duran Duran DISC SEVEN: Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Green Day DISC EIGHT: Canyon Moon - Harry StylesBOOK CHOICE: Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan LUXURY ITEM: Lego CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Green DayPresenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Pia Sinha is the Director of the Prison Reform Trust and a former prison governor. She was awarded the St Martin’s Award for Prison Governance for her role in turning around HMP Liverpool, which was widely described as Britain’s worst jail in 2018, following a highly critical report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons. Pia was born in north India and she and her family came to the UK when she was 14. After studying economics and psychology at university, she pursued a career as a psychologist, and her work took into prisons. Whilst she was training, she also ran a London pub with her first husband. After many years working as a psychologist in male and female prisons she was encouraged to apply for the Senior Prison Manager Programme aimed at training governors of the future. In 2013 she became the governor of HMP Thorn Cross, and was the first Asian woman to a run a prison in England and Wales. Earlier this year she joined the Prison Reform Trust as its Director. DISC ONE: Kathy’s Song - Simon & Garfunkel DISC TWO: Ek Ladki Ko Dekha - Kumar Sanu DISC THREE: Back to Life - Soul II Soul DISC FOUR: Melt - Leftfield DISC FIVE: Andmoreagain - Love DISC SIX: Black (featuring Norah Jones) - Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi DISC SEVEN: The Power of Love - Frankie Goes to Hollywood DISC EIGHT: Hometown Glory - AdeleBOOK CHOICE: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry LUXURY ITEM: Chilli sauce CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Kathy’s Song - Simon & Garfunkel Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
Peter White, broadcaster

Peter White, broadcaster


Peter White is an award-winning broadcaster. In 2024 he will celebrate 50 years presenting Radio 4’s In Touch, the programme for blind and visually impaired people. He is also one of the presenters of the network’s consumer series, You and Yours.Peter was born in 1947 and has been blind since birth. Like his older brother Colin, he has a rare genetic anomaly that meant his optic nerve hadn’t developed properly. From the age of five he boarded at The Royal School of Industry for the Blind where he excelled at Braille and won national reading competitions for several years running. He completed his secondary education at Worcester College for the Blind. In 1970 he turned up in the reception for the new local radio station BBC Solent and announced that he wanted to present programmes for them. They took him on and he went on to report and present for Link, the station’s programme for blind people. Years later he presented Viewpoint, a two hour live, mainstream mid-morning programme on Radio Solent. His appointment was featured on the 9 O’clock news as he was the first blind presenter to host a live daily topical programme.In 1995 he was appointed the BBC's Disability Affairs Correspondent - the first totally blind person to produce as well as present reports for television news. Peter has presented other Radio 4 programmes including No Triumph, No Tragedy and Blind Man on the Rampage. In 1998 he was appointed MBE for services to broadcasting. Peter lives in Marple, Greater Manchester with his second wife Jackie.DISC ONE: Somebody Who Loves You - Joan Armatrading DISC TWO: An extract from Hancock’s Half Hour - Sunday Afternoon at Home with Tony Hancock. With Sidney James, Bill Kerr, Hattie Jacques and Kenneth Williams DISC THREE: Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye - Ella Fitzgerald DISC FOUR: Badge - Cream DISC FIVE: Albatross - Judy Collins DISC SIX: The Banks of Green Willow. Composed by George Butterworth and performed by The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, conducted by Sir Neville Marriner DISC SEVEN: My Old Man - Joni Mitchell DISC EIGHT: We Can Work It Out – The BeatlesBOOK CHOICE: The 1962 edition of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack LUXURY ITEM: Pear drops CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Albatross - Judy Collins Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Lea Salonga was just 18 when she became an international theatre star, taking a leading role in the world premiere production of the musical Miss Saigon in 1989. Her performance - first in London, then on Broadway - won her Olivier and Tony awards. She has provided the singing voice for two Disney princesses, and has become a strong advocate for better Asian representation on stage and screen. She was born in Manila in the Philippines, where she made her professional stage debut in 1978 at the age of seven in a production of The King and I. Further roles in musicals followed, and she recorded a best-selling solo album when she was 10. Lea planned to become a doctor before she was invited to audition for Miss Saigon, and her immediate success launched a performing career in which she has made history many times. She was the first Asian woman to win a Tony for an acting role, the first Asian actor to star in Les Misérables, the first Filipino artist to sign a record deal with an international label and the first person to voice two different Disney princesses - Mulan and Jasmine in Aladdin, in which she sang A Whole New World, which won the Oscar for Best Original Song. She has appeared in numerous international stage productions, as well as television shows, films and singing tours. Earlier this year she starred in and made her debut as a producer on the musical Here Lies Love on Broadway: written by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, it focuses on the life of Imelda Marcos, wife of Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos. In September, Lea returned to the London Stage in 'Old Friends' , a musical tribute to Stephen Sondheim.She has performed for six Filipino and four American presidents. DISC ONE: Feed The Birds (Tuppence a Bag) - Julie Andrews, The Disney Studio Chorus DISC TWO: Days and Days -Judy Kuhn DISC THREE: Billie Jean - Michael Jackson DISC FOUR: Tsismis - Ryan Cayabyab DISC FIVE: Gymnopédie No. 1. Composed by Erik Satie and performed by Philippe Entremont DISC SIX: Intro: Singularity - BTS DISC SEVEN: Baby Mine - Betty Noyes DISC EIGHT: Snooze - Agust D ft. Ryuichi Sakamoto & WOOSUNGBOOK CHOICE: The Complete Far Side by Gary Larson LUXURY ITEM: A typewriter CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Snooze - Agust D ft. Ryuichi Sakamoto & WOOSUNG Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
Professor Dame Lesley Regan is the Government’s first Women’s Health Ambassador for England. She is one of the main drivers behind the upcoming Women’s Health Strategy which aims to tackle the gender health gap and improve services for women.As a former president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists – only the second woman to hold that post in its 94-year history – she shone a light on historically taboo subjects from period problems and contraception to the menopause.Lesley was born in London in 1956. When she was seven she told her father that she wanted to be a doctor and although the sciences weren’t her strongest subjects at school, she won a place at the Royal Free Hospital Medical School in London in 1975.In 1991 she was appointed a senior lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at St Mary’s Hospital in London and consultant at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. The following year she set up the Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic at St Mary’s which is the largest miscarriage referral service in the world.In 2020 she was appointed a DBE for services to women’s healthcare.DISC ONE: Mr Bojangles – Nina Simone DISC TWO: Symphony No. 5 in C Sharp. Composed by Mahler and performed by Berliner Philharmoniker DISC THREE: Agnus Dei. Composed by Bach and performed by Iestyn Davies, (counter-tenor), The English Consort, conducted by Harry Bicket DISC FOUR: I Cried for You - Katie Melua DISC FIVE: Norma: Act I, Scene 1: Casta diva (Norma/Coro) Composed by Vincenzo Bellini and performed by Maria Callas (soprano), The Teatro Alla Scala Orchestra, conducted by Tullio Serafin DISC SIX: The Best – Tina Turner DISC SEVEN: Metamorpheme – Shakespeare and the Bible DISC EIGHT: Clarinet Concerto In A, K. 622 - II. Adagio. Composed by Mozart and performed by Karl Leister (clarinet) and Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Herbert Von KarajanBOOK CHOICE: The Works of George Eliot LUXURY ITEM: Marmite on toast CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: The Best – Tina TurnerPresenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Patrick Grant is a designer, clothing entrepreneur and a judge on the BBC TV programme The Great British Sewing Bee. Patrick was born in Edinburgh in 1972. His interest in clothes and in making things was evident from a very early age, along with a love of sport: his father was a rugby coach and trained Patrick and his friends. Some of his friends went on to represent Scotland and Patrick played for Scotland's under-19 team. He studied Material Science and Engineering at Leeds University and worked in industry for a decade. Then, after spotting an advertisement in a newspaper, he bought an ailing Savile Row tailoring company. It was almost an impulse buy, at great financial risk. After a shaky start, he turned the business around, and within five years he was named menswear designer of the year at the British Fashion Awards. Patrick went on to buy a factory in Blackburn, Cookson and Clegg. He is passionate about British manufacturing, and set up Community Clothing with the aim of making good quality affordable day wear. He has been a judge on The Great British Sewing Bee since the programme began in 2013. He divides his time between London, Blackburn and the Highlands.DISC ONE: Les Fleurs - Minnie Riperton DISC TWO: My Heart’s in the Highlands - Else Torp and Christopher Bowers-Broadbent DISC THREE: Do You Wanna Funk - Sylvester DISC FOUR: Big Time Sensuality, the Fluke Magimix - Björk DISC FIVE: Harry Patch (In Memory of) - Radiohead DISC SIX: Kill Dem - Jamie xx DISC SEVEN: Get Better - alt-J DISC EIGHT: I Saw - Young Fathers BOOK CHOICE: Green Woodwork: Working with Wood the Natural Way by Mike Abbott LUXURY ITEM: A complete set of woodworking tools CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Kill Dem - Jamie xx Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
Dame Donna Langley is chairman and chief content officer for the NBC Universal Studio Group, the first British woman in history to run a major Hollywood film studio. She green lit Christopher Nolan’s latest film Oppenheimer and was one of the earliest and most ardent supporters of the Abba movie Mamma Mia.She was born in London and brought up on the Isle of Wight. She always knew she was adopted as a baby, which she says made her feel special within her family. She left London for Los Angeles when she was in her early twenties, looking for adventure rather than following a career plan.In LA, she worked in a club on Sunset Boulevard before taking up an internship with a film producer. Later she worked as an assistant at the production studio New Line Cinema, and in 2001 she joined Universal Studios as senior vice president of production. She says her decision to say yes to a film is based on her gut instinct and whether she loves it. She is a champion of original content and early on in her career backed Straight Outta Compton – the story of the hip hop band NWA – and later Get Out, directed by Jordan Peele. She currently oversees major franchises including Fast and Furious, Despicable Me and Jurassic World.Dame Donna lives in California with her husband and two children. DISC ONE: Thank You For The Music - Abba DISC TWO: Zorba the Greek - Mikis Theodorakis DISC THREE: La Wally - composed by Alfredo Catalani and performed by Wilhelmenia Fernandez DISC FOUR: This is the Day - The The DISC FIVE: It Was A Good Day - Ice Cube DISC SIX: Never Is a Promise - Fiona Apple DISC SEVEN: All My Friends - LCD Soundsystem DISC EIGHT: Come Home (feat. André 3000) - Anderson Paak BOOK CHOICE: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez LUXURY ITEM: Tarot cards CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: All My Friends - LCD SoundsystemPresenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Greg Jackson is the founder and CEO of Octopus Energy. The company is the UK’s second largest domestic energy provider with over five million customers and is one of Europe’s leading investors in renewables. Greg was born in Germany in 1971 where his father was a surveyor in the army. The family returned to the UK a few years later and, following his parents’ divorce, Greg and his two younger siblings were brought up by his mother in Halifax. He describes his mother’s fortitude in bringing up three children on a tight budget as inspirational.Greg left school at 16 to write video games but returned to education a few years later to complete his A-Levels. He went on to study economics at Cambridge University and then joined Procter and Gamble’s graduate scheme where he worked in marketing.He became managing director of a mirror business when he was still in his twenties and then began flexing his business acumen by investing in a series of tech start-up businesses. In 2015 he secured £10m in investment to start a new energy company.Greg has two sons and lives in west London. DISC ONE: The Only Way is Up - Yazz & The Plastic Population DISC TWO: Run To The Hills - Iron Maiden DISC THREE: Shipping Forecast (BBC Radio 4) Read by Eugene Fraser DISC FOUR: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For - U2 DISC FIVE: Dizzy - The Wonder Stuff and Vic Reeves DISC SIX: The Gambler - Kenny Rogers DISC SEVEN: One Day Like This - Elbow DISC EIGHT: Rockaway Beach - Motörhead BOOK CHOICE: The Apollo Guidance Computer: Architecture and Operation by Frank O'Brien LUXURY ITEM: A pinball machine CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: One Day Like This - Elbow Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Katherine Ryan, comedian

Katherine Ryan, comedian


Katherine Ryan is a Canadian comedian and writer. Her edgy and provocative routines have led to sell-out tours, comedy specials on television and her sitcom series The Duchess. Based on her experience at the time, the Duchess tells the story of a successful, happily single mother and Katherine wrote it out of frustration because she believed no one else was telling a story like hers on screen.Katherine was born in Sarnia in Ontario where she attended a local French-speaking primary school. The school celebrated the arts and Katherine became a musical theatre enthusiast who could sing, dance, write and act.Later she moved to Toronto where she studied city planning and worked for a branch of the restaurant chain Hooters. She credits the latter with teaching her the value of being entertaining and smart.In 2008 she relocated to London with her boyfriend and a few years later she got her big break as a comedian, performing on the panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats. By now a single mother to daughter Violet, she developed a rapport with audiences by sharing stories from her own life – both funny and sad. She describes her tendency to connect with her fans in this way as her “language of love”.In 2019, while filming an episode of the BBC series Who Do You Think You Are in Canada, she met up with her high school boyfriend, Bobby. They hadn’t seen each other for 20 years but the spark was still there and later that year they married in Denmark and went on to have two children together.The programme was recorded on September 6th.DISC ONE: Spice Up Your Life - The Spice Girls DISC TWO: The Real Slim Shady - Eminem DISC THREE: La Isla Bonita - Madonna DISC FOUR: Soul One - Blind Melon DISC FIVE: 22 - Taylor Swift DISC SIX: Psychic City (Classixx Remix) - Yacht DISC SEVEN: Crash Into Me - Dave Matthews Band DISC EIGHT: 16 Shots - Stefflon DonBOOK CHOICE: The Highway Rat by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler LUXURY ITEM: A hat and skincare set CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Spice Up Your Life - The Spice Girls Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley
Lucinda Russell is a Scottish racehorse trainer. Her stables in Kinross have sent out almost 900 winners, including two Grand National champions. She is one of only two Scottish trainers and four women to have celebrated a Grand National win since the event began in 1839, and her yard is the most successful in the history of Scottish jump racing. Lucinda was born in Edinburgh in 1966. Although she didn’t come from a racing background – her father ran the family’s whisky business – she was obsessed with horses from a very young age. After many years of pleading, she finally got her first pony at the age of 10. A few years later the family moved from Edinburgh to Arlay Farm near Milnathort in Kinross-shire, where she still trains her horses today.After studying psychology at the University of St Andrews, Lucinda began riding competitively, which she funded by buying and training horses before selling them on. She took out her professional trainer’s licence in 1995 and built up her stables on the family farm. Lucinda’s first success at the Grand National was in 2017 with One for Arthur, ridden by Derek Fox. She had helped buy the horse for the owners, two self-described ‘golf widows’. She was awarded an OBE for services to horseracing in the Queen’s Birthday Honours the following year. Then in 2023 she won again with Corach Rambler. Lucinda runs her stables with her partner the former National Hunt jockey Peter Scudamore.DISC ONE: Some Nights - Fun. DISC TWO: Forever Young - Alphaville DISC THREE: Wand'rin' Star - Lee Marvin DISC FOUR: Piano Man - Billy Joel DISC FIVE: This Is The Day - The The DISC SIX: To Win Just Once -The Saw Doctors DISC SEVEN: Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Andy Williams DISC EIGHT: Andante, Andante - ABBA BOOK CHOICE: Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery by Andris J. Kaneps, Kenneth William Hinchcliff, and Raymond J. Geor LUXURY ITEM: A camper van CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Andy Williams Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Katy Hickman
Adrian Edmondson first shot to national fame in 1982, playing the studded punk Vyvyan in the TV sitcom The Young Ones, set in a seedy student flat. The cast largely came from the developing alternative comedy scene, and included Rik Mayall and Alexei Sayle. Adrian was born in Bradford in 1957. He spent time as a child in Cyprus, Bahrain and Uganda, following his father who worked as a teacher for the armed forces. He attended a boarding school in Yorkshire from the age of 11, where he often rebelled against its rules and restrictions, but enjoyed performing in school plays. He headed to Manchester University to study drama, where he soon met Rik Mayall. They bonded over their shared interests in comedy, double acts, violent slapstick and the plays of Samuel Beckett. It was the start of a long performing partnership and friendship, which included the anarchic TV comedy and long-running touring show Bottom and a production of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot on the West End stage.Adrian has also worked widely as an actor and musician, including an acclaimed appearance as Scrooge for the RSC, and performances with the reunited Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. Adrian married Jennifer Saunders in 1985, and they have three daughters.DISC ONE: Downtown - Petula Clark DISC TWO: A Song of the Weather - Flanders & Swann DISC THREE: Sugar, Sugar - The Archies DISC FOUR: On My Radio - The Selecter DISC FIVE: Jole Blon - Vin Bruce DISC SIX: Saturday Gigs - Mott the Hoople DISC SEVEN: I’m Bored - Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band DISC EIGHT: Wide Open Spaces - The Chicks (formerly The Dixie Chicks)BOOK CHOICE: Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett LUXURY ITEM: A tab of acid CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Wide Open Spaces - The Chicks Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
Shirley Collins first enjoyed success as one of the leading figures in the British folk revival of the 1960s. She initially performed with her sister, Dolly Collins, and also collaborated with other folk luminaries to create some of the era’s most beloved albums. In the past decade she has made an acclaimed return to the concert stage and the recording studio.Shirley was born in Sussex in 1935. She can still recall how her grandfather used to sing folk songs to comfort her while they were sheltering during German air raids in the early 1940s. Alongside her career as a singer, in the 1950s she travelled to the American South with Alan Lomax, where they made field recordings of blues and folk musicians, helping to create a significant archive.Later in her performing career, Shirley found that she could no longer sing, following a distressing betrayal in her private life. She stepped away from music and was silent for many years, taking on other work, including a stint in a job centre Then, in her 80s, she found her voice again. In 2016 she released her first new album after a gap of almost four decades, and she has since released two more albums. Shirley lives in Sussex, not far from her childhood home.DISC ONE: Chiling O Guiry - Concerto Caledonia DISC TWO: The Birds in the Spring - The Copper Family DISC THREE: Who Would True Valour See - Maddy Prior & The Carnival Band DISC FOUR: Dear Father, Pray Build Me a Boat - Sheila Smith DISC FIVE: 61 Highway Blues - Mississippi Fred McDowell DISC SIX: Poor Sally Sits a-weeping - Dolly Collins DISC SEVEN: A Heart Needs A Home - Richard & Linda Thompson DISC EIGHT: Going Home - Mark Knopfler BOOK CHOICE: A collection of Brodie detective novels by Kate Atkinson LUXURY ITEM: A solar powered fridge filled with Italian Ice cream and two lipsticks CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Poor Sally Sits a Weeping Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
Toto Wolff is CEO and Team Principal of the Mercedes Formula 1 motor racing team. He has led the team to an unprecedented seven consecutive drivers’ championships – six with Lewis Hamilton - and eight consecutive constructors' championships. He is the most successful manager in Formula 1 history, and arguably one of the most successful managers in any sport. Toto was born Torger Wolff in Vienna. When he was eight his father was diagnosed with a brain tumour and died when Toto was 15. Toto found himself looking after his mother and sister from a young age which he believes contributed to the strength of character he developed as an adult.Toto's original ambition in motorsport was to be a driver, and he started competing in his late teens. Following the deaths of drivers Ayrton Senna and then Roland Ratzenberger, his sponsor withdrew support, which forced him to give up his dream. He turned his attention to business and made a fortune as an entrepreneur. In 2009 he bought a stake in the Williams Formula 1 team and four years later bought a 30% stake in the Mercedes team. Toto is married to the former racing driver Susie Stoddart and they divide their time between the UK and Monaco. Their six-year-old son Jack is already showing an interest in karting. DISC ONE: Unfinished Sympathy - Massive Attack DISC TWO: Mama - Genesis DISC THREE: Money Can’t Buy It - Annie Lennox DISC FOUR: Iron Sky - Paolo Nutini DISC FIVE: We Are The Champions – Queen DISC SIX: Another Day in Paradise - Phil Collins DISC SEVEN: Fallen - Lauren Wood DISC EIGHT: The Power of Love - Frankie Goes to Hollywood BOOK CHOICE: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas LUXURY ITEM: Diving fins and a mask CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Fallen - Lauren Wood Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Comments (138)

Purple Vampyr

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Feb 15th

Chemical Bull

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Feb 2nd

Chemical Bull

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Feb 1st

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Jan 29th

Grai Brad

terrible that he's talking about his death when only months after this recording he did actually die of an overdose : (

Dec 8th

Jack Listens

I would love to see the impact on it, really loved content .

Dec 5th

Maguire Josephine

Absolutely adore Kate Mosses and her books.Loved hearing this interview

Jul 28th

Mir Media

Didn't like his choice of music. Don't think we'd get on.

Jun 14th

dash geometry

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Jan 3rd

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Nov 17th

far mina


Sep 9th

Eleanor Davies

great podcast, 5🌟

Jul 7th

Michael Williams

Loved it. Thanks.

Jun 7th

Mark Jordan

This is a bad decision from the BBC. The Sounds App is too long-winded. My preferred App connects instantly to my car radio or headphones. Sounds App doesn't.

Mar 7th



Feb 17th

Josephine Maguire

A beautiful soul. I really enjoyed her interview.

Feb 13th

Duncan Bradshaw

Won’t play or download on Castbox. No other issues with any other episodes

Jan 21st

Chris Sowade

Great episode!! I remember as a young Adelaide boy, we were in awe of the greatness in that West Indies team. Met Michael very briefly later and he was a gentleman. Have always respected this bloke, while always wanting our Aussies to beat them, of course. What a super bloke, still, to this day. Thanks for having Mr Holding on the show!

Sep 14th

Jenny Eaton

What an amazing man! I love stumbling across episodes which really stick with you long after listening to them. I took so much from this one - not only has Nazir been hugely successful in his career but he comes across as thoroughly decent and kind.

Aug 6th


Jesus Christ this has got to be one of the most depressing episodes we’ve have ever heard of this show. Still good! But man every sentence this guy speaks feels like a sponge soaked in sorrow.

Aug 6th
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