2,000 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 Radio 4

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 1.4K Ratings

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

    Anthony Joshua, boxer

    Anthony Joshua, boxer

    Anthony Joshua MBE is a British heavyweight boxer, Olympic gold medallist and two-time former unified world heavyweight champion.
    Anthony was born in 1989 and grew up in Watford. When he was 11, he moved with his mother to Nigeria, her home country, and attended a boarding school there for several months. When the family returned to Watford, Anthony took part in football and athletics at school, although he recalls that he didn’t enjoy sport in the freezing winter conditions.
    After school he briefly studied music technology, and worked as a bricklayer, but mostly drifted. When he found himself banned from Watford town centre, he moved to Edgware and started going to the gym. His cousin Ben Ileyemi, a keen boxer, invited him to his local boxing gym in Finchley. Anthony, then aged 18, and with no boxing experience, decided to enter the ring himself. Within five years, he won a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics. He turned professional in 2013 and has become one of the most high-profile boxers in the world.
    Anthony lives in London.
    DISC ONE: Waiting in Vain - Bob Marley & The Wailers
    DISC TWO: Hometown Glory - Adele
    DISC THREE: Water No Get Enemy - Fela Kuti
    DISC FOUR: Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
    DISC FIVE: One More Chance Freestyle - Skrapz
    DISC SIX: Shut Up - Stormzy
    DISC SEVEN: The Godfather Pt. I: Love Theme From "The Godfather" - Nino Rota
    DISC EIGHT: Agape - Nicholas Britell
    BOOK CHOICE: A Bear Grylls survival book
    LUXURY ITEM: A punchbag
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Agape - Nicholas Britell
    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Sarah Taylor

    • 51 min
    Clive Myrie, journalist

    Clive Myrie, journalist

    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 Johnson
    BOOK CHOICE: The Metropolitan Museum of Art catalogue
    LUXURY ITEM: Hot pepper sauce
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Long, Long Summer - Dizzy Gillespie
    Presenter Lauren Laverne
    Producer Paula McGinley

    • 52 min
    Shirine Khoury-Haq, businesswoman

    Shirine Khoury-Haq, businesswoman

    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 - U2
    BOOK CHOICE: The Quran
    LUXURY ITEM: A photo frame
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: How Great Thou Art - Susan Boyle
    Presenter Lauren Laverne
    Producer Paula McGinley

    • 49 min
    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 Beatles
    BOOK 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

    • 48 min
    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 Bush
    Presenter Lauren Laverne
    Producer Sarah Taylor

    • 51 min
    Dame Sarah Storey, athlete

    Dame Sarah Storey, athlete

    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 Mondays
    BOOK CHOICE: The Chimp Paradox by Professor Steve Peters
    LUXURY ITEM: A snorkel and mask
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Livin’ on a Prayer - Bon Jovi
    Presenter Lauren Laverne
    Producer Sarah Taylor

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
1.4K Ratings

1.4K Ratings

hunterhigh ,

Still Going Strong

I learn so much about the people I like by their stories and their musical choices. This show has been and continues to be a gem.

mikehillscolorado ,

Once a great show

Used to be the highlight of my week, now everyone becomes a victim. It just isn’t the same anymore.

Klingrid ,

Jamie Dornan

Wow! What a touching interview. I was brought to tears! What a beautiful soul.

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