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Desert Island Discs

BBC Radio 4

760
Followers
2.0K
Plays
Desert Island Discs

Desert Island Discs

BBC Radio 4

760
Followers
2.0K
Plays
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About Us

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

Latest Episodes

Brian Cox, actor

Brian Cox CBE is a Scottish actor whose career spans almost 60 years, from his early days sweeping the stage at his local theatre in Dundee to his current Golden Globe-winning role as the media patriarch Logan Roy in the HBO series Succession. He has appeared in more than 100 films, many television series, and has won two Olivier awards for his work on stage. Brian Cox was born in 1946, the youngest of five children, and grew up in a working-class household in Dundee. His father died of cancer when he was eight and his mother, who was receiving regular psychiatric treatment, was unable to take care of him. He moved in with his sister Betty and her family. He left school aged 14 with no qualifications, and started out as a stage hand and stage cleaner at Dundee Rep, before winning a place at drama school. Years of theatre work followed, alongside actors such as Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud and Albert Finney. His later stage roles include acclaimed performances as King Lear at the N...

34 MIN6 d ago
Comments
Brian Cox, actor

Dame Helena Morrissey, financier and campaigner

Dame Helena Morrissey is a former City fund manager and chief executive of a major investment company, who has also campaigned to boost the number of women in the boardroom. Newspapers regularly describe her as 'Superwoman', because alongside her many professional achievements, she's the mother of nine children. Helena Morrissey is the daughter of two teachers, and her drive was evident from an early age. She was - by her own admission - a 'manic Brownie', striving to gain the maximum number of badges, and she also played the piano to a high standard. She won a place at Cambridge University from her comprehensive school in Chichester, and on graduating, joined an asset management company in their New York office. On her return to London, she felt that she was denied promotion because she had a young baby. She moved to Newton Investment Management, and at the age of 35 she was appointed the CEO - a role she was not expecting to take. Under her leadership, the company's assets grew fr...

36 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Dame Helena Morrissey, financier and campaigner

Daniel Radcliffe, actor

Daniel Radcliffe reached a global audience in the title role of the hugely successful Harry Potter films. He has also appeared on Broadway and in the West End, as well as in over a dozen films since the final part of the Harry Potter series was released in 2011. Born in 1989, the only child of Alan and Marcia Radcliffe, Daniel made his acting debut aged 10 in a BBC adaptation of David Copperfield. The following year he was cast as Harry Potter, and he and his co-stars, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, would spend ten years filming the series. Daniel made a point of taking other roles before it had finished, and he appeared on stage in Peter Shaffer’s play Equus in 2007, a role which involved prolonged full frontal nudity. Since then he has appeared on screen, on stage and on television, playing characters from the beat poet Allen Ginsberg to a cop going undercover as a neo-Nazi, and his recent films include Guns Akimbo and Escape from Pretoria. In the theatre, he is appearing in Samue...

55 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Daniel Radcliffe, actor

Chris Riddell, illustrator, author and political cartoonist

Chris Riddell is an illustrator, author of children’s books and a political cartoonist. From 2015 to 2017, he was the Children’s Laureate, and he has won three Greenaway Medals for his work – more than any other illustrator. He was born in 1962 in Cape Town, South Africa, where his parents were both anti-apartheid activists. They moved to the UK when Chris was a year old. He grew up first in rural England, and later in south London where his father, a vicar, became chaplain of Brixton Prison. He started drawing as a young boy when he was given paper and pencils by his mother to keep him quiet during his father’s sermons. After school, he studied illustration under Raymond Briggs at Brighton Polytechnic and received his first commission while still at art school. As a writer his work ranges from picture books to chapter book series including Ottoline and Goth Girl, and as an illustrator he has frequently collaborated with authors such as Paul Stewart and Neil Gaiman. He started a...

38 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Chris Riddell, illustrator, author and political cartoonist

Dorothy Byrne, journalist

Dorothy Byrne is the head of News and Current Affairs at Channel 4, and has worked in journalism for more than four decades. In 2018 she received the Outstanding Contribution Award at Royal Television Society Journalism Awards, and her recent commissions include the Channel 4 News investigation into Cambridge Analytica, the Michael Jackson expose Leaving Neverland and the BAFTA-winning documentary For Sama, about one family’s life under siege in Aleppo, which also won an Oscar nomination. She began her career in journalism in her mid 20s on the Waltham Forest Guardian, after writing a cheeky letter to 50 local newspaper editors - just one responded. She later moved into television, joining the acclaimed World in Action team at Granada, where she argued that the programme's agenda was male-dominated and needed to change. Dorothy gave the MacTaggart Lecture at the 2019 Edinburgh International Television Festival, in which she argued that the scrutiny of politicians through broadcast ...

39 MINMAR 1
Comments
Dorothy Byrne, journalist

Melanie C

Melanie Chisholm - known as Melanie C - is a singer and songwriter who found global fame as one fifth of the Spice Girls, the most commercially successful female group ever. Melanie was one of 400 other hopefuls who answered an advertisement to form a new girl band in 1994 - little knowing how her life would be turned upside down by fame and worldwide success. She was given the nickname Sporty Spice and presented what she calls a "gobby' persona to the outside world, but inside she was a shy girl who preferred to stay in the background. She grew up in Merseyside and as a child she loved performing. At 16 she attended the Doreen Bird College of Arts, aiming for a career in musical theatre. By her early 20s, she was an international star: Spice world was a high-octane life of constant recording and touring and the accompanying press scrutiny contributed to a stressful environment. As the pressure intensified Melanie suffered from eating disorders and in 2000 she was diagnosed with dep...

41 MINFEB 23
Comments
Melanie C

Ian Wright, former footballer and broadcaster

Ian Wright is a former professional footballer and now a football pundit on TV and radio. He began his career at Crystal Palace before moving to Arsenal where he became their highest goal scorer of all time, a record only surpassed eight years later by Thierry Henry. Born to a Jamaican couple in south-east London, Ian grew up with his mother and step-father. His biological father had left the family when Ian was under two years old. Things at home were difficult and Ian spent as much time as possible outside playing football. At his primary school a teacher, Mr Pigden, took him under his wing and Ian would later credit him with changing his life. He left his secondary school at the age of 14 to get a job. Although he took part in trials for many professional football clubs as a teenager, he was never selected. He continued to play for amateur sides. By the age of 21, he had three children to provide for, so when Crystal Palace came calling in 1985, he turned them down three times be...

46 MINFEB 16
Comments
Ian Wright, former footballer and broadcaster

Zoe Ball, broadcaster

Zoe Ball is a radio and television presenter. She became the first woman to present the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show in 1997, and then the first woman to present the Radio 2 Breakfast Show in 2019. Zoe grew up in Buckinghamshire with her father – TV presenter Johnny Ball – and her stepmother. After working behind the scenes in TV as a runner and researcher, she first moved into the spotlight hosting children's programmes, including the very successful BBC Saturday morning show Live & Kicking, with Jamie Theakston. In the late 1990s, coinciding with her move to the Radio 1 Breakfast Show, she found herself described in the press as a 'ladette', enjoying the partying culture of the time. Further headlines followed her marriage to superstar DJ Norman Cook - Fatboy Slim - in 1999. She decided to leave Radio 1 in 2000, and her first child, Woody, was born later that year. She and Norman announced their separation in 2016. Zoe was a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, and has presented S...

38 MINFEB 9
Comments
Zoe Ball, broadcaster

Sonita Alleyne, Master of Jesus College, Cambridge

Sonita Alleyne is the Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, the first woman to hold the post and - more significantly - the first black master of any Oxbridge college. In her previous career in the media, she was the co-founder and former CEO of the production company Somethin’ Else. Born in Barbados, she came to England aged three and grew up in East London, the youngest of three children. She was an able reader by the time she started primary school, and her potential was spotted at her secondary school, where she was encouraged to apply to Cambridge. She read philosophy at Fitzwilliam College and, after a brief and unfulfilling spell selling life insurance, she followed her passion for jazz by starting to write for music magazines. In 1989 she joined the radio station Jazz FM. When she was made redundant a couple of years later, she and two former Jazz FM colleagues set up a production company they called Somethin’ Else. Sonita stepped down as CEO in 2009 to concentrate on other ...

39 MINFEB 2
Comments
Sonita Alleyne, Master of Jesus College, Cambridge

Anne Enright, writer

Anne Enright won the Booker Prize for her fourth novel, The Gathering, in 2007, and was appointed the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction in 2015. She has written seven novels, two collections of short stories and a book of essays about motherhood and her work has been widely translated. Born in Dublin in 1962, Anne is the youngest of five children. She was a voracious reader from an early age, finishing every children's book at her local library. When she was 16, she won a scholarship to study at a school in Canada, and then returned to Ireland for a degree in English and Philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin. After taking an MA in Creative Writing at University of East Anglia, with teaching from Angela Carter and Malcolm Bradbury, she worked for six years as a TV producer for the Irish broadcaster RTE. When her TV work left her feeling burned out, she began her writing career in earnest. Her book of short stories, The Portable Virgin, won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in ...

37 MINJAN 26
Comments
Anne Enright, writer

Latest Episodes

Brian Cox, actor

Brian Cox CBE is a Scottish actor whose career spans almost 60 years, from his early days sweeping the stage at his local theatre in Dundee to his current Golden Globe-winning role as the media patriarch Logan Roy in the HBO series Succession. He has appeared in more than 100 films, many television series, and has won two Olivier awards for his work on stage. Brian Cox was born in 1946, the youngest of five children, and grew up in a working-class household in Dundee. His father died of cancer when he was eight and his mother, who was receiving regular psychiatric treatment, was unable to take care of him. He moved in with his sister Betty and her family. He left school aged 14 with no qualifications, and started out as a stage hand and stage cleaner at Dundee Rep, before winning a place at drama school. Years of theatre work followed, alongside actors such as Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud and Albert Finney. His later stage roles include acclaimed performances as King Lear at the N...

34 MIN6 d ago
Comments
Brian Cox, actor

Dame Helena Morrissey, financier and campaigner

Dame Helena Morrissey is a former City fund manager and chief executive of a major investment company, who has also campaigned to boost the number of women in the boardroom. Newspapers regularly describe her as 'Superwoman', because alongside her many professional achievements, she's the mother of nine children. Helena Morrissey is the daughter of two teachers, and her drive was evident from an early age. She was - by her own admission - a 'manic Brownie', striving to gain the maximum number of badges, and she also played the piano to a high standard. She won a place at Cambridge University from her comprehensive school in Chichester, and on graduating, joined an asset management company in their New York office. On her return to London, she felt that she was denied promotion because she had a young baby. She moved to Newton Investment Management, and at the age of 35 she was appointed the CEO - a role she was not expecting to take. Under her leadership, the company's assets grew fr...

36 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Dame Helena Morrissey, financier and campaigner

Daniel Radcliffe, actor

Daniel Radcliffe reached a global audience in the title role of the hugely successful Harry Potter films. He has also appeared on Broadway and in the West End, as well as in over a dozen films since the final part of the Harry Potter series was released in 2011. Born in 1989, the only child of Alan and Marcia Radcliffe, Daniel made his acting debut aged 10 in a BBC adaptation of David Copperfield. The following year he was cast as Harry Potter, and he and his co-stars, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, would spend ten years filming the series. Daniel made a point of taking other roles before it had finished, and he appeared on stage in Peter Shaffer’s play Equus in 2007, a role which involved prolonged full frontal nudity. Since then he has appeared on screen, on stage and on television, playing characters from the beat poet Allen Ginsberg to a cop going undercover as a neo-Nazi, and his recent films include Guns Akimbo and Escape from Pretoria. In the theatre, he is appearing in Samue...

55 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Daniel Radcliffe, actor

Chris Riddell, illustrator, author and political cartoonist

Chris Riddell is an illustrator, author of children’s books and a political cartoonist. From 2015 to 2017, he was the Children’s Laureate, and he has won three Greenaway Medals for his work – more than any other illustrator. He was born in 1962 in Cape Town, South Africa, where his parents were both anti-apartheid activists. They moved to the UK when Chris was a year old. He grew up first in rural England, and later in south London where his father, a vicar, became chaplain of Brixton Prison. He started drawing as a young boy when he was given paper and pencils by his mother to keep him quiet during his father’s sermons. After school, he studied illustration under Raymond Briggs at Brighton Polytechnic and received his first commission while still at art school. As a writer his work ranges from picture books to chapter book series including Ottoline and Goth Girl, and as an illustrator he has frequently collaborated with authors such as Paul Stewart and Neil Gaiman. He started a...

38 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Chris Riddell, illustrator, author and political cartoonist

Dorothy Byrne, journalist

Dorothy Byrne is the head of News and Current Affairs at Channel 4, and has worked in journalism for more than four decades. In 2018 she received the Outstanding Contribution Award at Royal Television Society Journalism Awards, and her recent commissions include the Channel 4 News investigation into Cambridge Analytica, the Michael Jackson expose Leaving Neverland and the BAFTA-winning documentary For Sama, about one family’s life under siege in Aleppo, which also won an Oscar nomination. She began her career in journalism in her mid 20s on the Waltham Forest Guardian, after writing a cheeky letter to 50 local newspaper editors - just one responded. She later moved into television, joining the acclaimed World in Action team at Granada, where she argued that the programme's agenda was male-dominated and needed to change. Dorothy gave the MacTaggart Lecture at the 2019 Edinburgh International Television Festival, in which she argued that the scrutiny of politicians through broadcast ...

39 MINMAR 1
Comments
Dorothy Byrne, journalist

Melanie C

Melanie Chisholm - known as Melanie C - is a singer and songwriter who found global fame as one fifth of the Spice Girls, the most commercially successful female group ever. Melanie was one of 400 other hopefuls who answered an advertisement to form a new girl band in 1994 - little knowing how her life would be turned upside down by fame and worldwide success. She was given the nickname Sporty Spice and presented what she calls a "gobby' persona to the outside world, but inside she was a shy girl who preferred to stay in the background. She grew up in Merseyside and as a child she loved performing. At 16 she attended the Doreen Bird College of Arts, aiming for a career in musical theatre. By her early 20s, she was an international star: Spice world was a high-octane life of constant recording and touring and the accompanying press scrutiny contributed to a stressful environment. As the pressure intensified Melanie suffered from eating disorders and in 2000 she was diagnosed with dep...

41 MINFEB 23
Comments
Melanie C

Ian Wright, former footballer and broadcaster

Ian Wright is a former professional footballer and now a football pundit on TV and radio. He began his career at Crystal Palace before moving to Arsenal where he became their highest goal scorer of all time, a record only surpassed eight years later by Thierry Henry. Born to a Jamaican couple in south-east London, Ian grew up with his mother and step-father. His biological father had left the family when Ian was under two years old. Things at home were difficult and Ian spent as much time as possible outside playing football. At his primary school a teacher, Mr Pigden, took him under his wing and Ian would later credit him with changing his life. He left his secondary school at the age of 14 to get a job. Although he took part in trials for many professional football clubs as a teenager, he was never selected. He continued to play for amateur sides. By the age of 21, he had three children to provide for, so when Crystal Palace came calling in 1985, he turned them down three times be...

46 MINFEB 16
Comments
Ian Wright, former footballer and broadcaster

Zoe Ball, broadcaster

Zoe Ball is a radio and television presenter. She became the first woman to present the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show in 1997, and then the first woman to present the Radio 2 Breakfast Show in 2019. Zoe grew up in Buckinghamshire with her father – TV presenter Johnny Ball – and her stepmother. After working behind the scenes in TV as a runner and researcher, she first moved into the spotlight hosting children's programmes, including the very successful BBC Saturday morning show Live & Kicking, with Jamie Theakston. In the late 1990s, coinciding with her move to the Radio 1 Breakfast Show, she found herself described in the press as a 'ladette', enjoying the partying culture of the time. Further headlines followed her marriage to superstar DJ Norman Cook - Fatboy Slim - in 1999. She decided to leave Radio 1 in 2000, and her first child, Woody, was born later that year. She and Norman announced their separation in 2016. Zoe was a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, and has presented S...

38 MINFEB 9
Comments
Zoe Ball, broadcaster

Sonita Alleyne, Master of Jesus College, Cambridge

Sonita Alleyne is the Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, the first woman to hold the post and - more significantly - the first black master of any Oxbridge college. In her previous career in the media, she was the co-founder and former CEO of the production company Somethin’ Else. Born in Barbados, she came to England aged three and grew up in East London, the youngest of three children. She was an able reader by the time she started primary school, and her potential was spotted at her secondary school, where she was encouraged to apply to Cambridge. She read philosophy at Fitzwilliam College and, after a brief and unfulfilling spell selling life insurance, she followed her passion for jazz by starting to write for music magazines. In 1989 she joined the radio station Jazz FM. When she was made redundant a couple of years later, she and two former Jazz FM colleagues set up a production company they called Somethin’ Else. Sonita stepped down as CEO in 2009 to concentrate on other ...

39 MINFEB 2
Comments
Sonita Alleyne, Master of Jesus College, Cambridge

Anne Enright, writer

Anne Enright won the Booker Prize for her fourth novel, The Gathering, in 2007, and was appointed the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction in 2015. She has written seven novels, two collections of short stories and a book of essays about motherhood and her work has been widely translated. Born in Dublin in 1962, Anne is the youngest of five children. She was a voracious reader from an early age, finishing every children's book at her local library. When she was 16, she won a scholarship to study at a school in Canada, and then returned to Ireland for a degree in English and Philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin. After taking an MA in Creative Writing at University of East Anglia, with teaching from Angela Carter and Malcolm Bradbury, she worked for six years as a TV producer for the Irish broadcaster RTE. When her TV work left her feeling burned out, she began her writing career in earnest. Her book of short stories, The Portable Virgin, won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in ...

37 MINJAN 26
Comments
Anne Enright, writer
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