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Desert Island Discs

Author: BBC Radio 4

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

2052 Episodes
Clive Myrie is an award-winning journalist and news presenter who is one of the BBC’s most experienced foreign correspondents. In 2021 he took over from John Humphrys as Question Master of the quiz show Mastermind and has also presented travel programmes about Italy and the Caribbean. Clive’s parents are from Jamaica and he was born in Farnworth, near Bolton – one of seven children. As a young boy he had a paper round and one of the perks was reading the leftover newspapers which gave him the opportunity to learn about a world beyond Bolton. He loved watching the news on television and his role models were Alan Whicker and Sir Trevor McDonald who inspired him to become a journalist. After he graduated from university Clive took up a place on the BBC’s reporter training scheme and in 1996 he was sent to Japan - his first posting as a foreign correspondent. During his career he has reported from war zones including Afghanistan, Iraq and Ukraine. In 2021 Clive was named Television Journalist of the Year and Network Presenter of the Year at the Royal Television Society Television Journalism Awards.Clive lives in north London with his wife Catherine. DISC ONE: String Quartet No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 131: VI. Adagio quasi un poco andante. Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven and performed by Kodály Quartet DISC TWO: Welcome to My World - Jim Reeves DISC THREE: Così fan tutte ossia La scuola degli amanti, K.588 / Act 1 - Soave sia il vento. Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and performed by Kiri Te Kanawa (soprano), Ann Murray (mezzo soprano), Ferruccio Furlanetto (bass) and Wiener Philharmoniker DISC FOUR: All Blues - Miles Davis DISC FIVE: Cello Suite No. 5 in C Minor, BWV 1011: I. Prelude. Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach and performed by Paul Tortelier DISC SIX: Slave to the Rhythm - Grace Jones DISC SEVEN: Long, Long Summer - Dizzy Gillespie DISC EIGHT: Stomp! - The Brothers JohnsonBOOK CHOICE: The Metropolitan Museum of Art catalogue LUXURY ITEM: Hot pepper sauce CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Long, Long Summer - Dizzy GillespiePresenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Shirine Khoury-Haq is the chief executive officer of the Co-op Group – the first female chief executive in its 180-year history and the first from an ethnic minority background.Shirine was born in Beirut to a Palestinian father and a Turkish mother. Her father was a geophysicist who worked in the oil industry and his work took the family around the world. By the time Shirine was 12 she had lived on every continent except Antarctica, regularly having to adapt to very different schools and classmates. She studied for a Bachelor of Commerce in accounting and economics at the Australian National University in Canberra, while taking on a number of jobs to pay her way. In 1996 she joined the McDonald’s Corporation as a finance and operations manager and then joined IBM as an associate partner.In 2014 she was appointed chief operating officer for Lloyd’s of London and five years later she joined the Co-op as chief financial officer. She became the Group’s CEO in August 2022.Shirine lives in Cheshire with her husband and two daughters.DISC ONE: Jamaica Farewell - Harry Belafonte DISC TWO: Ya Talien Eljabal - Rola Azar DISC THREE: Better Together - Jack Johnson DISC FOUR: Fight the Power - Public Enemy DISC FIVE: Nuthin’ But A “G” Thang - Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg DISC SIX: Supermassive Black Hole - Muse DISC SEVEN: How Great Thou Art - Susan Boyle DISC EIGHT: Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of - U2BOOK CHOICE: The Quran LUXURY ITEM: A photo frame CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: How Great Thou Art - Susan Boyle Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Rebel Wilson, actor

Rebel Wilson, actor


The Australian actor Rebel Wilson became an international star with a breakthrough part in the 2011 Hollywood comedy Bridesmaids, opposite Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy. She followed this up playing Fat Amy in the highly successful Pitch Perfect trilogy, which documents the fortunes of a female college acapella group. Rebel was born in Balmain, a suburb of Sydney. Her parents bred and showed dogs, in particular beagles, and her first brush with showbusiness came when she visited television studios to watch the dogs perform in popular shows. The dogs were so successful they even had their own agents. She studied for a combined arts and law degree and then joined the Australian Theatre for Young People. At the age of 29 she sold everything she had and left Sydney to try her luck in Hollywood where she slept on a friend’s sofa for the first few months. She gave herself a year to make it and Bridesmaids came at just the right time – she never looked back.Rebel recently made her debut as a director with the Deb, a musical set in Australia. DISC ONE: Just the Way You Are - Bruno Mars DISC TWO: Greatest Love of All - Whitney Houston DISC THREE: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life - Monty Python DISC FOUR: I Missed the Bus - Kris Kross DISC FIVE: We Belong - Pat Benatar DISC SIX: Let Me Entertain You - Robbie Williams DISC SEVEN: Can You Feel the Love Tonight? - Elton John DISC EIGHT: Here Comes The Sun - The BeatlesBOOK CHOICE: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl LUXURY ITEM: A bath tub and bath salts CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life - Monty Python Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
John Boyne, writer

John Boyne, writer


The Irish writer John Boyne is best known for his 2006 novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which became a literary phenomenon, selling more than 11 million copies around the world. It was translated into 60 languages and adapted into a film, a play, a ballet and an opera. He has written more than two dozen books, including a number of titles for younger readers. He was born in Dublin in 1971, and had ambitions to become a writer from an early age. He studied English Literature at Trinity College Dublin, followed by a Master’s degree in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. From the mid-1990s, he spent seven years working at a bookshop in Dublin, while trying to launch his literary career. Many of his books have historical settings: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is the story of two boys – one German, one Jewish – during the Holocaust; other books have taken inspiration from the Mutiny on the Bounty and Tsarist Russia. More recently, he’s addressed sexual and physical abuse within the Catholic church in Ireland, drawing in part on his own experiences at school. He lives in Dublin, not far from where he grew up. DISC ONE: Bright Eyes - Art Garfunkel DISC TWO: The Sound of Music - Julie Andrews DISC THREE: Elton's Song - Elton John DISC FOUR: Take on Me - A-ha DISC FIVE: Lullaby for Cain (Instrumental) - Sinéad O'Connor DISC SIX: Extract from String Quartet No. 4, composed by Noah Max and performed by The Tippett Quartet DISC SEVEN: Make Your Own Kind of Music - Mama Cass DISC EIGHT: Night of the Swallow - Kate Bush BOOK CHOICE: The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot LUXURY ITEM: A cinema screen showing The Devil Wears Prada CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Night of the Swallow - Kate BushPresenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
Dame Sarah Storey is Great Britain’s most successful Paralympian, winning 17 gold, eight silver and three bronze medals. She was just 14 when she took two weeks off school to compete as a swimmer in the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics, where she won her first two gold medals. Since then, she has competed in a further seven Paralympics, switching to cycling from 2005. A TV documentary inspired Sarah's childhood ambition to take part in the Paralympics, even though her swimming club coach told her that it was too late - at the age of 10 - to start training for an elite career. After competing in four Paralympics in the pool, she decided to try cycling after persistent ear infections and chronic fatigue. She was immediately successful and has continued to win medals at both the Paralympics and World Championships in numerous events, breaking many world records. She is supported on and off the track by her husband, Barney Storey, who is also a gold medal-winning cyclist. They have two children, who were born in 2013 and 2017. Sarah is the Active Travel Commissioner in her home city of Manchester, and is still training with the aim of competing in the 2024 Paralympics in Paris – which would be her ninth games, at the age of 46. DISC ONE: Livin’ on a Prayer - Bon Jovi DISC TWO: Spinning Around – Kylie Minogue DISC THREE: It Only Takes a Minute - Take That DISC FOUR: A Different Beat - Boyzone DISC FIVE: This is the One - The Stone Roses DISC SIX: Heroes - David Bowie DISC SEVEN: Wannabe - Spice Girls DISC EIGHT: Step On – Happy MondaysBOOK CHOICE: The Chimp Paradox by Professor Steve Peters LUXURY ITEM: A snorkel and mask CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Livin’ on a Prayer - Bon JoviPresenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
Greg Davies, comedian

Greg Davies, comedian


Greg Davies is a familiar face on television as the host of Taskmaster, the BAFTA-winning game show, and he has achieved sell out national arena tours as a stand-up. His on-screen breakthrough came in 2008 when he played the head of the sixth form, Mr Gilbert, in the highly successful teenage comedy series the Inbetweeners. He wrote and starred in the black comedy the Cleaner and co-wrote the sitcom Man Down in which he played a man in the grip of a midlife crisis. Greg was born in St Asaph in north Wales and grew up in Shropshire. At school he gravitated towards what he calls the silly boys who created characters and devised comedy sketches in the playground. When he was 18 he discovered Eddie Murphy whose stand-up routines about his relatives spurred Greg to look to his own family as comedic source material.Greg spent 13 years as an English and Drama teacher – a time he looks back on with mixed emotions and which he has mined for his stage act. When he was 33 he left teaching and started performing stand-up gigs and performed his first solo stand-up show at the Edinburgh Festival in 2010. Greg lives in south London. DISC ONE: Baggy Trousers - Madness DISC TWO: Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell DISC THREE: 100% Endurance - Yard Act DISC FOUR: Circlesquare - The Wonder Stuff DISC FIVE: Cemetry Gates - The Smiths DISC SIX: Consider Yourself - Jack Wild (The Artful Dodger) and The Orchestra, conducted by John Green. From Oliver! [An Original Soundtrack Recording] DISC SEVEN: She Sells Sanctuary - The Cult DISC EIGHT: The Next Episode - Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg BOOK CHOICE: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck LUXURY ITEM: Sausages CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: 100% Endurance - Yard Act Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Tim Spector is Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Head of the Department of Twin Research at King’s College London. He was one of the co-founders of the ZOE Covid Symptom study, which for which he was awarded an OBE. He has also written best-selling books about the relationship between what we eat and our health and well-being. Tim was born in London in 1958 into a medical family. His mother was a physiotherapist and his father was an eminent pathologist, although Tim initially resisted his father’s encouragement to follow him into medicine. Once qualified, Tim specialised in rheumatology before switching to epidemiology. In 1992, he set up a large-scale research study of twins which now has more than 15,000 identical and non-identical twins taking part.After a health scare in 2011, Tim became more interested in how we can influence the microbes in our gut to help us stay well. He has published several books on the science of eating well and is a pioneer in personalised food nutrition.Tim lives in London with his wife, who is also a doctor. DISC ONE: Life on Mars - David Bowie DISC TWO: Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64 / Act 1 - 13. Dance Of The Knights Composed by Sergei Prokofiev and performed by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy DISC THREE: Paint it, Black - The Rolling Stones DISC FOUR: Dreams - Fleetwood Mac DISC FIVE: Puttin’ on the Ritz - Gene Wilder playing Dr Frankenstein, Peter Boyle as The Monster and Norbert Schiller as the announcer. Music conducted by John Morris from Young Frankenstein (Original Soundtrack) DISC SIX: All of Me (live) - Louis Armstrong DISC SEVEN: That’s Entertainment - The Jam DISC EIGHT: In the Ghetto - Elvis Presley BOOK CHOICE: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens LUXURY ITEM: A fermenting set CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: All of Me (live) - Louis Armstrong Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
Professor Alice Roberts is one of the most popular science communicators in Britain today. As the presenter of the BBC archaeology programme Digging for Britain, she reveals the underground mysteries of our collective past to millions of viewers. Alice was born in Bristol and developed an interest in science from an early age – examining insects under her microscope in order to draw them and digging up bits of pottery in her parents’ vegetable patch. At the age of eight she was entranced as she watched a live feed which showed researchers at Bristol University unwrapping an Egyptian Mummy. Alice studied medicine in Cardiff and worked as a house officer doing paediatric surgery and then taught anatomy to students at Bristol University. She followed this up with a PhD in paleopathology, the study of disease in old bones, which led to her first television appearance as a bone expert on the Channel 4 series Time Team. Alice has written several books that explore human evolution and history and in 2012 she was appointed the first Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham. DISC ONE: Monkey Gone to Heaven - Pixies DISC TWO: Temple of Love - Sisters of Mercy DISC THREE: Apotheosis - Austin Wintory DISC FOUR: Cherub Rock (2011 Remaster) - The Smashing Pumpkins DISC FIVE: Times Like These (BBC Radio 1 Stay Home Live Lounge) - Live Lounge Allstars DISC SIX: Sugar - System Of A Down DISC SEVEN: Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence. Composed by Ryuichi Sakomoto and performed by Phoebe Stevens DISC EIGHT: Coins for the Eyes - Johnny Flynn & Robert Macfarlane BOOK CHOICE: Middlemarch by George Eliot LUXURY ITEM: A kayak CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence. Composed by Ryuichi Sakomoto and performed by Phoebe StevensPresenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Jenny Sealey has been the artistic director of Graeae Theatre Company since 1997: Graeae is a deaf and disabled-led company and a leader and innovator in accessible theatre. Jenny has directed opera as well as plays, and was the co-director of the 2012 Paralympic opening ceremony. Jenny was born in Nottingham in 1963, the eldest of four sisters. She lost her hearing at the age of seven following a fall at school in which she banged her head. At that time, deaf children were not encouraged to use British Sign Language, and so she taught herself to lip read, and stayed in a mainstream school, although she often found it challenging. She also continued to take ballet lessons, helped by an inspirational teacher who encouraged her to follow the form and movements of the dancer in front of her. She went on to study dance and choreography at Middlesex Polytechnic.After graduation, Jenny worked as an actor before becoming the artistic director of Graeae. In 2022 she was awarded an OBE for services to disability arts. Most recently she returned to acting and toured the UK with Self Raising, her one-woman autobiographical play. Jenny lives in London with her son and partner. DISC ONE: Handel: Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. 2: No. 44, Chorus. Hallelujah, for the Lord God Omnipotent Reigneth. Composed by George Frideric Handel and performed by The Sixteen Choir, conducted by Harry Christophers DISC TWO: Yesterday - The Beatles DISC THREE: Teenage Kicks - The Undertones DISC FOUR: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - Roberta Flack DISC FIVE: Because The Night - Patti Smith Group DISC SIX: Spasticus Autisticus – John Kelly and the cast of Reasons to be Cheerful DISC SEVEN: If It Can't Be Right Then It Must Be Wrong – John Kelly and the cast of Graeae’s stage production of Reasons To Be Cheerful DISC EIGHT: Days – Kirsty MacCollBOOK CHOICE: The Complete Works of Armistead Maupin LUXURY ITEM: A photography kit CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Handel: Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. 2: No. 44, Chorus. Hallelujah, for the Lord God Omnipotent Reigneth. Composed by George Frideric Handel and performed by The Sixteen Choir, conducted by Harry Christophers Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
James Graham, playwright

James Graham, playwright


James Graham is an award-winning dramatist whose plays include This House, Ink and Dear England starring Joseph Fiennes as the England football manager Gareth Southgate. His acclaimed television productions include Sherwood and Quiz, based on the story of the so-called coughing Major Charles Ingram who was found guilty of cheating on the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? James was born in Kirkby-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire in 1982. He was a shy boy who was encouraged to perform in school plays by his teachers. He went on to study drama at Hull University where he wrote his first play Coal Not Dole! He took the play to the Edinburgh fringe and the reception it received from audiences encouraged him to carry on writing.After graduating he worked as a stage doorkeeper at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham where one of his personal highlights was looking after Danny La Rue, the star of the Christmas panto. His first London premiere came in 2005 at the Finborough Theatre in London with Albert’s Boy, which explored the arguments for and against nuclear weapons. In 2020 James was awarded an OBE for services to drama and young people in British theatre. DISC ONE: Disco 2000 - Pulp DISC TWO: Chatanooga Choo Choo - Glenn Miller DISC THREE: Up In Arms - Foo Fighters DISC FOUR: Syncopes - Gabriel Yared DISC FIVE: Your Disco Needs You - Kylie Minogue DISC SIX: Where Are We Now? - David Bowie DISC SEVEN: If You Came To See Me Cry - Katie Brayben (from Tammy Faye: The Musical) DISC EIGHT: Going To A Town - Rufus Wainwright BOOK CHOICE: A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking LUXURY ITEM: A keg of Single Malt Scotch Whisky CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Where Are We Now? - David Bowie Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
The Honourable Lady Rita Rae is a lawyer and judge, and the current Rector of the University of Glasgow. Early in her career she was a rare woman in the heavily male-dominated legal world. She went on to work on many high profile criminal cases over five decades as a solicitor, an advocate and subsequently a judge in Scotland’s Supreme Court.Rita grew up in Plains, Airdrie, to the east of Glasgow. She was a shy child but earned the nickname ‘The Last Word’ from her parents because of her need to argue her case when she felt something wasn’t right. She was inspired to become a lawyer by her maternal grandfather, a noted advocate and anti-fascist from Naples.Her parents met in a munitions factory in Italy where her mother was working. Her father was a Scottish bomb disposal expert helping to dismantle munitions after the war. They married and moved to Scotland, but Rita and her brother were not accepted by her Scottish family because of their Catholicism. Rita became a solicitor in 1974, entering a world dominated by men. When told by a senior colleague that women were ‘emotionally unsuitable for court work’, she set about proving him wrong. She became a partner in her firm at the age of 27, and was called to the bar in 1982, one of just 13 female advocates in Scotland at the time. She was made a Sheriff in 1997 and a Judge of the Supreme Courts in 2014.In 2021 she was elected Rector of the University of Glasgow, the first female working rector in the university’s 570-year history.DISC ONE: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18 - III. Allegro scherzando. Composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff, performed by Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano) and London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by André Previn DISC TWO: “Ah! Dite alla giovine” from Act 2 of La Traviata. Composed by Giuseppe Verdi, performed by Angela Gheorghiu (soprano), Leo Nucci (baritone) and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, conducted by Sir Georg Solti DISC THREE: Mamma - Beniamino Gigli DISC FOUR: Aranjuez mon amour - Massimo Ranieri DISC FIVE: Cheap Flights - Fascinating Aïda DISC SIX: “The Flower Song” (“La fleur que tu m’avais jetee”), Carmen, Act II. Composed by Georges Bizet, performed by José Carreras (tenor) and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, conducted by Jacques Delacôte DISC SEVEN: Ave Maria. Composed by Giulio Caccini (Arr. Brinums) and performed by Inessa Galante (Soprano), Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Aleksandrs Vilumanis DISC EIGHT: Climb Ev’ry Mountain - Peggy WoodBOOK CHOICE: The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, its Regions and their Peoples by David Gilmour LUXURY ITEM: A solar powered car CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Mamma - Beniamino Gigli Presenter Lauren Laverne Producers Paula McGinley and Tim Bano
Sandy Powell won her first Academy Award for dressing Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love, and has since won two more Oscars - along with a further dozen nominations - and three BAFTAs. Her credits range from Gangs of New York for Martin Scorsese to Mary Poppins Returns for Disney, and she's worked with many of the biggest current screen stars, including Leonardo di Caprio, Cate Blanchett and Al Pacino. Sandy was born in south London and completed an art foundation course at St Martin’s School of Art. In 1981 she got her first job designing costumes for the choreographer Lindsay Kemp’s show Nijinsky at La Scala in Milan. She later worked for the director Derek Jarman on his film Caravaggio and continued to collaborate with him until his death in 1994. She has also enjoyed long working relationships with Martin Scorsese and Todd Haynes. Sandy has won acclaim for her designs on films with historical settings, including The Wings of the Dove, The Young Victoria and The Favourite starring Olivia Colman, as well as the flamboyant glam rock world of Velvet Goldmine and the fairy-tale fantasy of Cinderella, starring Lily James. In 2011 she was awarded an OBE for services for the film industry and in 2023 she became the first costume designer to receive a BAFTA Fellowship. DISC ONE: Jeepster - T Rex DISC TWO: Adagietto, Symphony No. 5 in C-Sharp Minor. Composed by Gustav Mahler and performed by Orchestre de l'Académie de Santa Cécilia and conducted by Franco Mannino DISC THREE: Life on Mars? - David Bowie DISC FOUR: La Vie en Rose - Alan Dunn DISC FIVE: I’ll Never Fall in Love Again - Bobbi Gentry DISC SIX: Satellite of Love - Lou Reed DISC SEVEN: Where Love Lives (Come On In) - Alison Limerick DISC EIGHT: I Left My Heart in San Francisco - Tony BennettBOOK CHOICE: Josef Koudelka: Gypsies LUXURY ITEM: A lemon tree CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Life on Mars? - David BowiePresenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Clive Oppenheimer is a volcanologist, filmmaker and Professor of Volcanology at the University of Cambridge. His research has taken him on expeditions across the world, from Antarctica, where he discovered the camp of Captain Scott’s attempt to reach the South Pole, to Ethiopia where he was held at gunpoint by rebels. Clive was born in London, and fell in love with rocks and the stories they tell on visits to what is now the Natural History Museum. His mother survived the Blitz in London and his father escaped persecution by the Nazis in Germany in the 1930s. On a gap year trip to Indonesia, Clive saw his first volcanoes and realised both their natural power and their significance in human lives. He studied at the University of Cambridge, and completed a PhD at the Open University.He has taken part in and led expeditions to volcanoes all over the world, including Indonesia, Italy and Ethiopia. He is one of few Westerners to have worked in North Korea, where he was invited by the government to study volcanic activity at the culturally significant Mount Baekdu. He has also made three documentaries with filmmaker Werner Herzog about volcanoes and their scientific, cultural and spiritual significance. DISC ONE: Blue Rondo a la Turk - Dave Brubeck Quartet DISC TWO: Love Hangover - Diana Ross DISC THREE: Autobahn - Kraftwerk DISC FOUR: Lava - The B-52's DISC FIVE: Debaser - Pixies DISC SIX: Turangalîla-symphonie, Part VI Jardin du sommeil d’amour. Composed by Olivier Messiaen and performed by the Orchestre de l’Opéra Bastille, cond Myung-Whun Chung, with Yvonne Loriod (piano) and Jeanne Loriod (ondes martenot) DISC SEVEN: T’zeta - Bezawork Asfew DISC EIGHT: Hymn for the Dormition of the Mother of God - The Sixteen and Harry ChristophersBOOK CHOICE: The Vivisector by Patrick White LUXURY ITEM: A seismometer CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Debaser – PixiesPresenter Lauren Laverne Producers Sarah Taylor and Tim Bano
Cillian Murphy, actor

Cillian Murphy, actor


Cillian Murphy has received global acclaim for his performance in the title role of Christopher Nolan’s epic film Oppenheimer. He has been nominated for an Oscar, which follows the best actor award he picked up at this year’s Golden Globes. On the small screen he played the Birmingham gangster Thomas Shelby for a decade in the BAFTA-winning Peaky Blinders, which made him a household name. Cillian was born in Cork in 1976 and initially music was his creative outlet. His band Sons of Mr Green Genes, which he formed with his younger brother, was offered a five album record deal, but the boys’ parents thought his brother was too young and vetoed a career in music.Cillian changed tack and in 1996 was cast as Pig in Enda Walsh’s play Disco Pigs, reprising the role in a film version in 2001. His breakthrough film role came playing Jim the bicycle courier in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later in 2002 which he followed up with a starring role in Ken Loach’s the Wind that Shakes the Barley. In 2005 he played Dr Jonathan Crane - Scarecrow - in Christopher Nolan’s film Batman Begins, which was the start of their continuing creative collaboration.Cillian lives in Ireland with his wife, the artist Yvonne McGuinness, and their two sons. DISC ONE: The Boy in the Bubble - Paul Simon DISC TWO: The Wandering Minstrel - Séamus Ennis DISC THREE: Walter’s Trip - The Frank and Walters DISC FOUR: Bullet the Blue Sky - U2 DISC FIVE: Somebody to Love - Queen DISC SIX: Everything in its Right Place - Radiohead DISC SEVEN: We Can Work it Out - The Beatles DISC EIGHT: If I Was A Painter - Lisa O’Neill BOOK CHOICE: Samuel Beckett: The Complete Dramatic Works LUXURY ITEM: An acoustic guitar and strings CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: We Can Work it Out - The BeatlesPresenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
Val Wilmer has photographed and interviewed many of the most significant musicians of the post-war years, including Duke Ellington, Muddy Waters, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin and many more. Val grew up in Streatham in South London, where a local record shop helped to nurture her love of music, especially jazz. Her lifelong passion for jazz and photography began at an early age: when she was just 14 years old, she persuaded her mother to take her to London Airport to see off the jazz legend Louis Armstrong who had been playing in the UK. She asked him for an autograph, then took a picture of him as he broke into a huge smile. The image was the first of many classic shots. Alongside her work as a photographer, Val has written extensively about music, as a journalist for numerous publications and as an author: her book As Serious As Your Life, examining the evolution of free jazz within the wider context of racial and sexual politics, has been widely acclaimed as a classic text. In 1983 she co-founded Format, the first all-female photographic agency, which aimed to champion women photographers and to widen the range of images available to newspapers and magazines. Her photographs are held in the collections of the V&A and the National Portrait Gallery. DISC ONE: Potato Head Blues - Louis Armstrong & His Hot Seven DISC TWO: Black, Brown And White - Big Bill Broonzy DISC THREE: Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 8_1. By Kodaly, First movement performed by Janos Starker DISC FOUR: The Weary Blues – Langston Hughes DISC FIVE: My Lovely Elizabeth - S.E. Rogie DISC SIX: Criss Cross - Thelonious Monk DISC SEVEN: Dogon A D - Julius Hemphill DISC EIGHT: Love and Affection - Joan Armatrading BOOK CHOICE: The Collective Works of Langston Hughes LUXURY ITEM: Nail scissors CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Criss Cross - Thelonious Monk Presenter Lauren Laverne Producers Tim Bano and Sarah Taylor
Jamie Dornan, actor

Jamie Dornan, actor


Jamie Dornan is an actor who first came to the attention of television audiences in 2013 when he played serial killer Paul Spector in the BBC series the Fall. Two years later he starred alongside Dakota Johnson in the film Fifty Shades of Grey and went on to play the same part in the rest of the trilogy. In 2022 he was the lead in the BBC drama the Tourist which was watched by millions of viewers and recently returned for its second season.Jamie was born in Holywood in County Down. At 10 he played Widow Twankey in the school pantomime - a defining moment for him when he experienced the thrill of playing to a live audience.After dropping out of university Jamie became a model and worked on big campaigns for some leading fashion brands before landing his first acting part in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette in 2006. His role in the Fall was his big break and the Fifty Shades films catapulted him to movie star status.In 2021 he played Pa in the film Belfast which was written and directed by Kenneth Branagh about his own childhood, growing up at the beginning of the Troubles.Jamie is married to the musician and composer Amelia Warner and they have three children.DISC ONE: Caravan - Van Morrison DISC TWO: Violin Concerto No. 1: II. Composed by Philip Glass and performed by Adele Anthony (violin) and Ulster Orchestra, conducted by Takuo Yuasa DISC THREE: Hoppípolla - Sigur Rós DISC FOUR: Bridge over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel DISC FIVE: Metarie - Brendan Benson DISC SIX: Forever – The Beach Boys DISC SEVEN: Something - The Beatles DISC EIGHT: The Whole of the Moon – The WaterboysBOOK CHOICE: Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak LUXURY ITEM: A golf club and balls CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Forever – The Beach Boys Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
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
Comments (139)

Efrem Efremov


May 28th

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

Ruben david

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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