126 episodes

Guests are invited to choose the eight records they would take to a desert island.

Desert Island Discs: Desert Island Discs Archive: 2016-2018 BBC Radio 4

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 19 Ratings

Guests are invited to choose the eight records they would take to a desert island.

    Alan Carr, comedian

    Alan Carr, comedian

    Alan Carr, comedian and chat show host, is known for his love of silliness, dressing up and camp daftness. His stand-up shows have filled arenas, and on TV he co-hosted the Friday Night Project and then his own show - Chatty Man.
    Alan was born into a footballing family – his dad, Graham, was a professional player and then a manager. Alan first tried his hand at comedy while reading Theatre Studies at Middlesex University. After he graduated, he took on a range of jobs before his ability to make friends laugh with his stories of working in a call centre in Manchester led him to try stand-up at a local venue. In 2001 he won the City Life Best Newcomer of the Year and the BBC New Comedy Awards.
    His break into TV came after a spell as the warm-up man for the Jonathan Ross chat show. He has won many awards including Best Entertainment Show for Alan Carr: Chatty Man at the 2010 TV Choice Awards, the 2013 BAFTA for Best Entertainment Performance and 2013 British Comedy Award for Best Comedy Entertainment Personality. In 2015 he won the National Television Award for Best Chat Show Host.
    He and his long term partner Paul were married in January 2018 by Adele - who also organised the wedding, and paid for it.
    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

    • 52 min
    Hella Pick, journalist

    Hella Pick, journalist

    As one of the Guardian’s first female foreign correspondents, Hella Pick reported on events that shaped the world in the second half of the 20th century, from Martin Luther King's civil rights activism to Watergate, the Gdansk shipyard strikes to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
    Born in Vienna in 1929, she was raised by her mother who, in March 1939, put her on a Kindertransport train to Britain to escape the Nazis. Her mother was able to follow her to England a few months later and Hella spent her formative years in the Lake District. After reading Politics at London School of Economics, she worked as commercial editor of a London-based weekly publication called West Africa. After she left, she offered her services to The Guardian – and spent the next 35 years or so with the paper.
    While UN correspondent, she worked alongside Alistair Cooke in New York and subsequently held posts as European Integration correspondent, Washington correspondent, Eastern Europe correspondent, and diplomatic editor before retiring in the mid-1990s. Since leaving The Guardian, she has nurtured a new career as a writer, publishing a biography of Simon Wiesenthal and a book about Austria’s post-war history.
    BOOK: Scorn by Matthew Parris
    LUXURY: Recliner armchair
    FAVOURITE TRACK: Mozart's Marriage of Figaro
    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

    • 39 min
    Mariana Mazzucato, economist

    Mariana Mazzucato, economist

    Professor Mariana Mazzucato is an economist, who focuses on value and innovation.
    Born in Italy, Mariana moved to America as a child, when her father accepted a post at Princeton University. She has lived in the UK for the last 20 years and is currently Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value and the Director of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at University College London.
    She examined how government funding has enabled highly profitable inventions in the private sector in her 2013 book The Entrepreneurial State. She advises policymakers around the world on how to deliver sustainable growth, and has also taken a particular interest in pricing and profit in the pharmaceutical industry.
    Earlier this year she published The Value of Everything, in which she argued that we need to re-think our ideas about how wealth is created in the global economy. In 2013 she was named as one of the 'three most important thinkers about innovation' by the New Republic.
    BOOK CHOICE: Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar
    LUXURY: One of her mother's handmade quilts
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Round Midnight by Thelonious Monk
    Presenter Lauren Laverne
    Producer Sarah Taylor

    • 36 min
    Gary Barlow, singer-songwriter

    Gary Barlow, singer-songwriter

    Gary Barlow, musician and Take That lead singer, has written more than a dozen chart-topping songs, and has received six Ivor Novello awards including the award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music.
    Born in Cheshire in 1971, his interest in music was sparked at an early age by a child’s keyboard. At the age of 10, he saw Depeche Mode on Top of the Pops, prompting the desire to take to the stage himself. He wrote A Million Love Songs, which later became a Top 10 hit for Take That, in his bedroom when he was 15. By this time he was a regular performer in a Labour club just across the Welsh border, where he cut his teeth playing the organ and singing.
    By the time he was 18, he was so good at writing songs that he successfully auditioned for a place in the group which became Take That. They went on to be one of the most successful bands of all time, winning a devoted audience with tracks such as Back For Good, Everything Changes and Pray. When they broke up in early 1996, helplines were set up to assuage their fans’ feelings of loss and grief. In 2005, Take That reformed, with Robbie Williams rejoining them for a spell in 2010, and – in some form or other – the band has kept going and will tour again in 2019.
    Gary was put in charge of organising the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert and performed at the closing ceremony for the London Olympics in 2012. He was a judge on the X-Factor for three series and his talent show, Let It Shine, was broadcast on BBC One in 2017. Earlier this year he published a second autobiography.
    BOOK CHOICE: Recording the Beatles by by Kevin Ryan and Brian Kehew.
    LUXURY ITEM: Piano
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Nimrod by Elgar
    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

    • 58 min
    Tom Kerridge, chef

    Tom Kerridge, chef

    Tom Kerridge is a chef, restaurateur and TV presenter.
    Tom made his name with his Buckinghamshire pub The Hand and Flowers, which he opened with his wife in 2005. It is the only British pub with two Michelin stars.
    Tom grew up near Gloucester. After his parents divorced when he was 11, his mother took two jobs to support the family, and Tom was often left to cook for himself and his younger brother. As a teenager, he worked as a TV actor, playing small roles in dramas such as Miss Marple.
    He entered his first professional kitchen at 18, and immediately fell in love with the world he found, with its constant pressures and rushes of adrenalin. He studied at catering college at the same time.
    As well as now running his own pubs and a London restaurant, Tom has presented numerous TV series and is the author of five best-selling cookbooks. More recently, he made headlines with his weight loss. He shed twelve stone after deciding that he needed to change his life as he reached the age of 40.
    He is married to the sculptor Beth Cullen-Kerridge.
    BOOK CHOICE: White Heat by Marco Pierre White
    LUXURY: A Shaving Kit
    FAVOURITE TRACK: Proof by I Am Kloot
    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Sarah Taylor

    • 45 min
    Kate Atkinson, novelist

    Kate Atkinson, novelist

    Kate Atkinson won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award for her 1995 debut novel Behind the Scenes at the Museum, and has won the Costa Novel Award twice, for Life After Life in 2013 and for A God in Ruins two years later.
    Born in York in 1951, she was the only child of a couple who ran a medical and surgical supplies shop. She began to write after she had failed her doctorate at Dundee University and had given birth to two daughters. She took on a wide range of jobs while writing short stories for women's magazines, and did not publish her first book until she was in her early 40s.
    Her mid-career reinvention as a writer of detective fiction has seen her publish four novels starring her sleuth Jackson Brodie, with another one in the pipeline. She lives in Edinburgh, has two grown-up daughters, and two grandchildren.
    BOOK CHOICE: The Collected Poems and Letters of Emily Dickenson
    LUXURY ITEM: A 500 year old, mature oak tree
    FAVOURITE TRACK: Beethoven's Symphony no. 5
    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
19 Ratings

19 Ratings

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