300 episodes

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

Desert Island Discs BBC

    • Personal Journals
    • 4.4, 9.5K Ratings

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

    Your Desert Island Discs

    Your Desert Island Discs

    Listeners choose the music that has been special to them during the weeks of lockdown. With Jane Moss, Hugh Mullally, Ailish Douglas, Professor Jason Warren, Niti Acharya, Margery Hookings, Simon Spiller, Clare Raybould and Garry Greenland.

    DISC ONE: Amazing Grace by Judy Collins
    DISC TWO: Who Knows Where The Time Goes? by Sandy Denny
    DISC THREE: The Whole of The Moon by The Waterboys
    DISC FOUR: Heimweh op. 57 Nr. 6: Homesickness, composed by Edvard Grieg, performed by Emil Gilels
    DISC FIVE: Ab Saunp Diya by Om Vyas
    DISC SIX: Prelude and The Sound of Music by Julie Andrews & Orchestra of St. Luke's
    DISC SEVEN: Over The Rainbow / What A Wonderful World by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
    DISC EIGHT: Six Million Steps (West Runs South) by Rahni Harris & F.L.O

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

    • 50 min
    Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu, former nurse

    Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu, former nurse

    Elizabeth Anionwu is a retired nurse, campaigner and Emeritus Professor of Nursing at the University of West London. A fellow of the Royal College of Nursing, she spent 40 years in the profession and has been named one of the most influential nurses in the history of the NHS. Her career was distinguished by her pioneering work in the understanding of sickle cell disease - bringing better treatment and support to the thousands living with it. She was the first sickle cell and thalassaemia nurse counsellor in the UK.

    Her decades of dedication, care and service are a contrast to her own disrupted childhood as a mixed race child born out of wedlock in the 1940s, though it was the kindness of a nurse when she was just five that sparked a nascent interest in what would become her life’s work. After leaving school at 16, with seven O-levels, Elizabeth was made a Professor of Nursing in 1998.

    She left her day job behind in 2007, but as she puts it “it has not turned out to be a quiet retirement”. She spent nine years fundraising and campaigning for a statue to British-Jamaican nurse Mary Seacole. Unveiled in 2016 in the grounds of St Thomas’ Hospital, London, the statue is the first in the UK to represent a named black woman. Elizabeth received the DBE in 2017 for services to nursing and the Mary Seacole Statue Appeal.

    DISC ONE: Faith’s Song by Amy Wadge
    DISC TWO: The Rakes of Mallow, Girl I Left Behind by The Gallowglass Ceili Band
    DISC THREE: Manman by Leyla McCalla
    DISC FOUR: A Te,O Cara by Andrea Bocelli
    DISC FIVE: Missa Bilban by The Jamaican Folk Singers
    DISC SIX: I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free by Nina Simone
    DISC SEVEN: Nnekata by Flavour N'abania
    DISC EIGHT: My Girl by Otis Redding

    BOOK CHOICE: Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama
    LUXURY ITEM: A trampoline
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free by Nina Simone

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

    • 36 min
    Charles Hazlewood, conductor

    Charles Hazlewood, conductor

    Charles Hazlewood is a conductor and the founder of Paraorchestra, the world's first professional ensemble of disabled musicians.

    Once described as the Heston Blumenthal of orchestral music, Charles has spent his career challenging Britain’s musical palate, exploding boundaries and expanding our ideas about what an orchestra can be - and do.

    His repertoire encompasses Beethoven, Bruckner and Barry White, and his critically-acclaimed projects include more than 100 world premieres and the first orchestral headline performance at Glastonbury. Paraorchestra, the ensemble he established in 2011, reached a global audience at the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Paralympics. He also co-founded an opera company in South Africa, and its production of Carmen, with a mainly black cast, won international acclaim.

    He studied music at Keble College, Oxford and was the Organ Scholar there. He won the EBU conductor's competition in 1995 and has had an international career as a conductor.

    DISC ONE: Somebody’s Gonna Off The Man by Barry White & The Love Unlimited Orchestra
    DISC TWO: A Rainbow in Curved Air by Terry Riley
    DISC THREE: Ach, ich fühls, composed by Mozart, conducted by Otto Klemperer and performed by Gundula Janowitz and Philharmonia Orchestra
    DISC FOUR: R. Strauss: 4 Lieder, Op. 27 - 4. Morgen! by Richard Strauss, conducted by Kurt Masur, performed by Jessye Norman and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    DISC FIVE: Improvisation by Olivier Latry
    DISC SIX: Kraftwerk-Rewerk, composed by Charlotte Harding and Lloyd Coleman, conducted by Charles Hazlewood
    DISC SEVEN: Ndisakuthanda Mna, composed by Georges Bizet, performed by Pauline Malefane, Andile Tshoni and Dimpho Di Kopane, conducted by Charles Hazlewood
    DISC EIGHT: The Last Time/Ultima Vez by Pauline Oliveros

    BOOK CHOICE: A book of poetry by Ivor Cutler
    LUXURY ITEM: An espresso machine
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Ach, ich fühls, composed by Mozart, conducted by Otto Klemperer and performed by Gundula Janowitz and Philharmonia Orchestra

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Sarah Taylor

    • 38 min
    Sinead Burke, disability rights activist and teacher

    Sinead Burke, disability rights activist and teacher

    Sinead Burke is a disability rights activist and teacher. She has combined her love of education and style to campaign for more representation of diversity in the fashion industry.

    Born in Dublin, Sinead has achondroplasia – a genetic condition which causes restricted growth – and is 3’ 5” tall. She refers to herself as a “little person” and knew she wanted to be a teacher after her first day at school. She has used the classroom environment to discuss openly with her pupils the issues surrounding disability. She believes openness and kindness are the ways forward to develop understanding and respect.

    As a child she collected the September issues of Vogue and later on started writing a blog in which she held the fashion industry to account about diversity and representation. She continues to work towards greater inclusivity in fashion and her mission is to encourage people from diverse backgrounds to realise the industry is open to them whether as editors, designers or models. Last year she was selected as one of 15 trailblazing women to appear on the cover of the September issue of British Vogue.

    In 2018 Sinead spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos – the only Irish female delegate. She has taken her message to the White House at the invitation of the Obamas and was appointed to Ireland’s Council of State to advise the president about disability rights.

    DISC ONE: Like A Girl by Lizzo
    DISC TWO: Awoo by Sofi Tukker, feat. Betta Lemme
    DISC THREE: Small Town Boy by Bronski Beat
    DISC FOUR: You Should See Me in a Crown by Billie Eilish
    DISC FIVE: I Put a Spell on You by Nina Simone
    DISC SIX: The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel
    DISC SEVEN: Vogue by Madonna
    DISC EIGHT: Samhradh Samhradh by The Gloaming

    BOOK CHOICE: Your Silence Will Not Protect You by Audre Lorde
    LUXURY ITEM: A necklace
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Like A Girl by Lizzo

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Paula McGinley

    • 38 min
    Your Desert Island Discs: Launch

    Your Desert Island Discs: Launch

    Lauren Laverne launches Radio 4's invitation for you to tell us about one piece of music that you have turned to in the recent weeks of lockdown, and the story behind your choice.

    For more information about how to share your story, please visit the Desert Island Discs website.

    Producer Paula McGinley

    • 13 min
    Simon Armitage, Poet Laureate

    Simon Armitage, Poet Laureate

    Simon Armitage was appointed Poet Laureate in 2019. His poems celebrate the everyday and the ordinary with wit and affection. But beyond the wood chip and washing lines he addresses the complexities and the profound feelings that underpin daily life.

    Born in Huddersfield, Simon Armitage grew up in the village of Marsden in West Yorkshire. Marsden has informed and inspired much of his work and as a boy he would look out of his bedroom window at night to watch the comings and goings of village life.

    He vividly remembers as a teenager discovering the work of fellow laureate Ted Hughes, recalling an almost electrical surge of excitement when he realised the power of words on a page. Hughes grew up in the next valley and Simon admits to thinking "If Ted Hughes can do it why can't I?"

    He worked as a probation officer in Manchester for several years, writing poetry in the evenings and at weekends. His first collection Zoom! was published in 1989 and a few years later he left the probation service to write full time. Prolific and popular, he was named the Millennium poet and in 2015 was appointed Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford. Three years later he was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.

    Today he lives not far from Marsden where, when he's not writing poems, plays and novels, he still looks out of his window and daydreams.

    DISC ONE: Moonage Daydream by David Bowie
    DISC TWO: The Lamb by William Blake, composed by John Tavener, conducted by Andrew Nethsingha and performed by The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge
    DISC THREE: You've Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two by Jonathan Pryce and the 1994 London Palladium Cast Of Oliver!
    DISC FOUR: Icecrust and Snowflake by Ted Hughes
    DISC FIVE: Atmosphere by Joy Division
    DISC SIX: Tainted Love / Where Did Our Love Go? by Soft Cell
    DISC SEVEN: Holmfirth Anthem by Jon Rennard
    DISC EIGHT: My Heart’s in the Highlands by Else Torpe and Christopher Bowers-Broadbent

    BOOK CHOICE: The Oxford English Dictionary
    LUXURY ITEM: A tennis ball
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Moonage Daydream by David Bowie

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Paula McGinley

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
9.5K Ratings

9.5K Ratings

Boorie. ,

Huge fan!!

I loveeeeeeee this podcast!!!!!! Especially the latest lockdown special, it was soooo powerful!!!

Gartconnel ,

Mrs Alice Laing

Today’s Desert Island Discs (5 June) with Dame Prof.Eliz.
Anionwu was truly inspiring. What a wonderful story.
Today my daughter showed me how to use Podcast on my
I pad, which has been my best friend during lockdown.
I’ve just listened to, from the archives, Sue Lawley interviewing
Monty Don, whom I always admired.
I’m looking forward to listening to many more Podcasts.

Misterminchie ,

Shame it’s so cheesy

Where’s the dark humour , where’s the harsh realism of picking songs that are realism, not just same old same o’ perhaps as the second spike comes & climate crisis escalates we can have more realism & dark humour , insistently A UK National Joy least we forget

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