Desert Island Discs was created by Roy Plomley in 1942, and the format is simple: a guest is invited by Kirsty Young to choose the eight records they would take with them to a desert island

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Robert Macfarlane, writer
Robert Macfarlane, writer, shares the soundtrack of his life with Lauren LaverneListen

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, athlete
Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill is an Olympic gold medallist and three-time world champion heptathlete, and is one of the most successful women in British sporting history. She was the face of Team GB during the 2012 London Olympics, and her image adorned billboards and hoardings across the country in the run up to the Games. Born in Sheffield, Jessica discovered sport as a youngster after attending a local athletics camp during the school holidays. By the time she was 13 she was working with a coach and had joined the City of Sheffield Athletics Club. In 2006 she won bronze at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games but in 2008 she suffered an injury to her right foot which dashed her hopes of competing in the Beijing Olympics. She spent the next year working her way back to fitness and by the 2012 London Olympics she was at the peak of her powers. When she crossed the finish line on 4 August ? known as Super Saturday when Team GB won three athletics gold medals in less than an hour ? she took the gold medal with a British and Commonwealth record score which remained unbeaten for seven years. Just 15 months after the birth of her first child, Jessica won the heptathlon world title in Beijing ? her third World Championship gold medal in a row. She won silver at the Rio Olympics in 2016. In October of that year, at the age of 30, she retired from competitive athletics. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinleyListen

Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, veterinary surgeon.
Professor Noel Fitzpatrick is a veterinary surgeon who presents the television series The Supervet. He has pushed the boundaries of treatment available to animals and has developed ground breaking surgery including fitting the world?s first bionic leg on a dog. Noel was born in Ballyfin in Ireland where his father Sean was a farmer. As a very small boy Noel?s job was to count the sheep at night which he credits as the catalyst for his enduring love of animals. He completed his training in Ireland where he worked as a country vet looking after livestock. He moved to England in the 1990s and set up his referral practice in Surrey in 1997. Some of his famous clients include Meghan Markle?s dog Guy and Russell Brand?s cat Morrissey. He has also written two best-selling books based on his experiences of working with animals. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinleyListen

Paul Costelloe, fashion designer
Paul Costelloe is a fashion designer who recently celebrated his 36th year showing at London Fashion Week, making him the event?s longest-standing designer. Paul was born in Dublin where his father ran a successful company making raincoats. He studied at the Grafton Academy of Fashion Design and then moved to Paris where he started a fashion course at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture but felt out of his depth and soon dropped out. He talked his way into a job with the eccentric French designer and performer Jacques Esterel, who designed Brigitte Bardot?s wedding dress, and then spent time in Milan and New York before returning to Ireland where he set up his own label. In 1983 Paul started designing clothes for Diana, Princess of Wales ? a collaboration that lasted until her death in 1997. He created a range of memorable outfits for the Princess of Wales including the tuxedo suit she wore to the Pavarotti in the Park concert at Hyde Park in 1991 where the Italian tenor serenaded her in front of 125,000 people during a torrential downpour. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinleyListen

Margaret Busby, publisher
Margaret Busby is a publisher and editor who was the chair of the Booker Prize jury in 2020. She has spent a life time in the literary world and was the youngest person and first black woman to set up a publishing house when she was twenty three years old. Together with Clive Allison, she created Allison and Busby based in Soho, London. Margaret was born in Ghana in the 1940s and spent her childhood at a boarding school in the UK whilst her parents ran a medical practice in rural Ghana. She studied English at Bedford College, University of London before embarking on her career in publishing. Margaret?s love of poetry was the catalyst for setting up Allison and Busby. They were both totally new to publishing and did not know the usual industry rules. She and her business partner had fifteen thousand, five shilling poetry magazines printed without any means of distributing them . They went on to be an eclectic publishing house championing new work and also reprinting classic texts from writers of all backgrounds. In recent years, Margaret has made time to be a literary judge and has compiled two landmark anthologies Daughters of Africa and New Daughters of Africa which pull together writings by women of African descent from Ancient Egypt to the present day. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah TaylorListen

Richard Wilson, actor and director.
Richard Wilson is an actor and director who became a household name when he played the part of Victor Meldrew in the BBC sitcom One Foot in the Grave. Richard was born in Greenock in Scotland in 1936. As a child he performed in amateur drama productions and harboured a secret desire to become an actor. He left school at 17 and trained as a laboratory technician at Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow. Following National Service in Singapore, he moved to London and at the age of 27 successfully auditioned for a place at RADA. His first role was as a stonemason in Dr Finlay?s Casebook and he later reached a wider audience playing snooty Jeremy Parsons QC in the television series Crown Court. Richard went on to carve out a successful theatre and television career as both an actor and director. He starred in the comedy Only When I Laugh and later in the series Tutti Frutti alongside Emma Thompson and Robbie Coltrane. In 1990 he delighted audiences with his portrayal of the grumpy pensioner Victor Meldrew in One Foot in the Grave, with his catchphrase ?I don?t believe it!? ? a phrase which has haunted Richard ever since. The series regularly attracted an audience of 17 million viewers and Richard won two BAFTAs for his performance. Richard received an award for his outstanding contribution to film and television at the Scottish BAFTAs in 2013. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinleyListen

Yo-Yo Ma, musician
Yo-Yo Ma is a cellist and one of the world's most high-profile classical musicians. He has performed for eight US Presidents, appeared in concert halls across the globe and reached new audiences through film soundtracks and TV shows including The Simpsons and Sesame Street. Yo-Yo Ma was born in Paris in 1955. His Chinese-born parents were both musicians and his father was his first cello teacher. The family moved to the USA when Yo-Yo was seven, and a noted child prodigy, playing for John F Kennedy and Leonard Bernstein. He went on to study at the Juilliard School in New York and at Harvard University. He has recorded more than 100 albums, and his many Grammy awards reveal the range of his musical interests. Along with prize-winning concerto and chamber music discs, and an acclaimed recording of Bach's Suites from unaccompanied cello, he's won awards for folk and tango albums. He is also the driving force behind the Silk Road Ensemble, creating music inspired by the cultures found along the historic trade route linking China and the West. His high-profile appearances in America include the first performance on the site of the World Trade Centre, a year after the 9/11 attacks, and contributions to the inaugurations of Presidents Obama and Biden. A more recent informal solo performance took place at his local Covid vaccination centre in Massachusetts. Yo-Yo Ma has been married to Jill Hornor for more than 40 years, and they Listen



Heather Hallett, former judge and crossbench peer
Heather Hallett, Baroness Hallett of Rye, is a former judge and a cross-bench peer. Called to the Bar in 1972, Heather practised family, civil and criminal law, eventually specialising in criminal law. In 1989 she became a QC and was the first woman to chair the Bar Council in 1998. She was only the fifth woman to be appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2005 and was appointed vice president of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division in 2013. Heather was born in Eastleigh in Hampshire. Her father Hugh was a policeman who worked his way up to the rank of assistant chief constable. With each promotion the family moved house and Heather?s education was disrupted, leading her teachers to conclude that she was unlikely to secure a place at university. Heather proved them wrong and studied law at the University of Oxford. In 2009 she acted as coroner at the inquest into the deaths of the 52 victims of the July 7th London bombings in 2005 and she has taken over the inquest of Dawn Sturgess who died in the Salisbury Novichok poisonings. Heather retired as a judge in 2019 and currently sits as a life peer. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinleyListen

Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, charity CEO
Amanda Khozi Mukwashi is the chief executive of Christian Aid, leading development and humanitarian work in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean. Amanda was born in Twickenham and grew up in Zambia and Rome where her stepfather worked in the diplomatic service. She studied international trade and investment law at the University of Zambia in Lusaka and during this time she began to develop her political outlook and commitment to the issue of social justice. She moved to the UK in 1996 where she took a master?s degree at the University of Warwick. But even with two degrees and considerable work experience she was unable to find a job and retrained as a care worker. She says her time working in nursing homes ?reshaped? and ?humbled? her. Later she worked for the VSO and served with the United Nations Volunteer programme in Germany before landing what she calls her ?dream job? at Christian Aid in 2018. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinleyListen

Alexei Sayle, comedian
Alexei Sayle is a comedian and writer, who began his career just over 40 years ago at the small Comedy Store venue in London, which proved a launch-pad for a new generation of comic stars. Alexei was born in Liverpool, where his parents were loyal members of the Communist Party: their politics informed almost every aspect of the family?s life, including holidays by train to eastern European countries that were then part of the Soviet bloc. He won a place at Chelsea School of Art but didn?t thrive as a painter. He began performing with a theatre troupe and - after answering an advertisement - became the compere on the opening night of the Comedy Store. He soon found himself at the centre of a new wave of British comedy. With his tight suits and often abrasive stage presence, he enjoyed successful stand-up tours, appearances on numerous TV shows including The Young Ones, and even a novelty pop hit. He attempted to launch a career in America, but was fired from a TV series on his 40th birthday. He stepped back from stand-up and devoted himself to writing novels and short stories. More recently, he has returned to live performance, and has also created a number of comedy series for Radio 4. He lives in London with his wife Linda: they have been married for almost 50 years. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah TaylorListen

Brian Greene
Brian Greene is a theoretical physicist, mathematician and writer, whose area of research is string theory. His books and broadcasts distil the complexities of science for a general audience, leading one critic to say appreciatively ?he speaks maths, physics and human.? Born in New York City, his father taught him the basics of arithmetic when he was a toddler and by the time he was five Brian was multiplying 30-digit numbers by 30-digit numbers - just for the pure joy of working things out by himself. At 11 Brian had exhausted everything his maths teacher could teach him but, thanks to his teacher?s resourcefulness, he managed to get extra tuition from a graduate student at Columbia University. After graduating from Harvard in 1984, Brian won a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University to study gravity and quantum mechanics. At Oxford he became captivated by the idea of string theory which was causing much excitement among the physics community at the time. String theory was seen as having the potential to answer life?s big questions about space, time and the universe. Over the years Brian has been at the forefront of scientific discoveries including mirror symmetry and later proving that tears could happen in the fabric of space. Brian is currently professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinleyListen

Billie Piper, actor
Billie Piper is an Olivier Award winning actor and former pop star. She was born in Swindon in September 1982, and her parents nurtured her interests in dance and drama from a young age. After a winning a scholarship to study at the Sylvia Young Theatre School, she moved to London as a young teenager, leaving the family home. By the age of 15, she was a full time pop star. She became the youngest female artist ever to go straight to number one in the UK charts when her debut single was a hit in 1998. Just three years later, after releasing more successful singles and two albums and touring furiously to promote them, Billie left the music industry. She married the DJ Chris Evans, and found herself the frequent subject of newspaper stories. She decided to turn to acting, her first love, and by 2005 she was back in the spotlight playing Rose Tyler in the BBC?s revival of Doctor Who. Since then she has taken on a wide range of acclaimed screen and stage roles, most notably picking up all six available awards for Best Actress ? including the Olivier Award ? when she starred in a new version of Lorca's play Yerma. Her recent TV series I Hate Suzy, which she co-created, has been BAFTA nominated and she has also written and directed her first film, Rare Beasts. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah TaylorListen

classic Desert Island Discs - Desmond Tutu
Sue Lawley talks to former Archbishop of Capetown Desmond Tutu in a programme first broadcast in 1994. Desmond Tutu celebrates his 90th birthday this year.Listen

Classic Desert Island Discs - Helen McCrory
Lauren Laverne talks to the actress Helen McCrory, in a programme first broadcast in 2020. Helen McCrory died in April 2021, at the age of 52.Listen



Classic Desert Island Discs - Kathleen Tuner
Sue Lawley interviews the actor Kathleen Turner in a programme first broadcast in 2000.Listen

Classic Desert Island Discs - Russell T Davies
Russell T Davies is one of the U.K.'s most successful television writers. He spent his teenage years learning his dramatic craft with the West Glamorgan Youth Theatre, and his career in television began in the children's department at the BBC. His first solo hit TV series was the ground-breaking, sexually frank drama Queer as Folk, first broadcast on Channel 4 in 1999. A lifelong Doctor Who fan, he relaunched the series in 2005 for a new generation of viewers. Such was its success, he found himself working around the clock. More recently, he wrote the highly-acclaimed series A Very English Scandal, starring Hugh Grant as Jeremy Thorpe, and the dystopian drama Years and Years. DISC ONE: Julie Covington, Charlotte Cornwell, Rula Lenska - Sugar Mountain DISC TWO: Hora Staccato (1950 version) performed by Jascha Heifetz and Emanuel Bay DISC THREE: The New Christy Minstrels - Three Wheels on My Wagon - DISC FOUR: Leonard Bernstein's Gloria in excelsis, performed by The Norman Scribner Choir DISC FIVE: Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights DISC SIX: The OT Quartet - Hold That Sucker Down (Builds Like A Skyscraper Mix) DISC SEVEN: Neil Hannon - Song For Ten DISC EIGHT: Electric Light Orchestra - Mr. Blue Sky BOOK CHOICE: Asterix and the Roman Agent by by René Goscinny with illustrations by Albert Uderzo LUXURY ITEM: A black Ball Pentol Pen CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Leonard Bernstein's Gloria Listen

Classic Desert Island Discs - Murray Walker
Kirsty Young talks to motor racing commentator Murray Walker, in a programme first broadcast in 2014. Murray Walker died in March 2021, at the age of 97.Listen

Professor Sir Simon Wessely
Professor Sir Simon Wessely is the first ever psychiatrist to be awarded a Regius professorship ? an honour bestowed by the Queen. He is professor of psychological medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King?s College London, and is also a consultant psychiatrist at King?s College Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital. Born in Sheffield to a father who had come to Britain on the Kindertransport, he started his research career working on unexplained symptoms and syndromes, leading progressive and sometimes controversial work on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Disagreement about whether the condition is physical or psychological continues to this day and although Simon?s studies helped develop a treatment programme, there is still no cure. Later he switched his attention to the military, exploring Gulf War Syndrome, PTSD, the risk and benefit of military service, social and psychological outcomes for ex-service personnel and historic aspects of war and psychiatry. In 1996 he established the Gulf War Illness Research Unit which subsequently became the King?s Centre for Military Health Research. He completed a term as president of the Royal Society of Medicine ? the first psychiatrist to occupy the post - and in 2017 he led an independent review of the Mental Health Act. DISC ONE: Think by Aretha Franklin DISC TWO: String Quartet No. 1 (?From My Life?) in E minor (Allegro vivo appassiListen

Maggie O'Farrell, writer
Maggie O?Farrell has written eight novels, a memoir and a children?s book. In 2020 her novel Hamnet won the Women?s Prize for Fiction, and was also named Waterstones Book of the Year. Maggie was born in Norther Ireland. Her parents moved around during her childhood, and she grew up in Wales and Scotland. As a young girl, she was very ill and almost died from encephalitis. She says her lifelong love of reading comes from her long stay in hospital followed by an extended convalescence, when she missed a year of school. Her illness also left her with a stammer, which she believes has profoundly affected her relationship with language. She studied English at Cambridge University, and then looked for work as a journalist, writing poetry in her spare time. When she chanced upon a discarded computer, she decided to write a novel. She attended a creative writing course, where her tutors encouraged her to get her first manuscript published. She lives in Scotland with her husband, the writer William Sutcliffe, and their three children. DISC ONE: Elephant Gun by Beirut DISC TWO: Sit Down By The Fire by The Pogues DISC THREE: Lovesong by The Cure DISC FOUR: Chopin: Scherzo No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 31, composed by Frédéric Chopin, performed by Martha Argerich (piano) DISC FIVE: The Bends by Radiohead DISC SIX: Little Star by Stina Nordenstam DISC SEVEN: Feeling Good by Nina Simone%Listen

Dame Louise Casey, crossbench peer
Baroness Casey of Blackstock is a former civil servant specialising in social welfare, who has worked under five prime ministers. She has taken on some of UK society?s most difficult issues, including homelessness, anti-social behaviour and family breakdown, and has become known for her forthright views. She grew up in Portsmouth and her first job was working on reception at a branch of the Department of Health and Social Security in the late 1980s. At 27 she became the deputy director of the housing and homelessness charity, Shelter. In 1999 she was appointed head of Tony Blair?s new Rough Sleepers Unit, prompting the media to call her the ?homelessness tsar?. She went on to run the Anti-Social Behaviour Unit at the Home Office where she became known as the ASBO Queen. David Cameron appointed her director general of the Troubled Families Programme in 2011. In 2016 she was awarded a DBE for services to families and vulnerable people. During the first COVID-19 lockdown she led the government?s Everyone In campaign which found emergency accommodation for rough sleepers. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinleyListen

Mark Strong, actor
Mark Strong has appeared in more than 60 films, along with numerous TV dramas and plays. His career took off after he won a leading role in the landmark 1996 BBC series Our Friends in the North, and since then his screen work includes dramas such as Syriana, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Zero Dark Thirty and The Imitation Game, as well as the fantasy and comic book worlds of Stardust, Kick Ass and Shazam. In 2015 he won the Olivier best actor award for his London stage performance in A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller, in a production that also won him great acclaim in New York. Mark was born in London, the only child of an Austrian mother and an Italian father. His father left the family when Mark was a baby and has played no part in his life. Thanks to his mother, Mark is fluent in German, and he spent most of his school holidays with his Austrian grandmother. His mother had two jobs to support them both, and Mark attended state boarding schools in the UK from the age of six. His first taste of performing came in a punk rock band at school, but he began his further education by starting a law degree in Germany, before changing course and returning to the UK to study drama. Most recently he has been filming the TV drama Temple, in which he plays a rogue surgeon operating in abandoned tunnels beneath a London underground station. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah TaylorListen



Claire Horton, charity worker
Claire Horton is the former chief executive of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, and is currently director general of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. She joined Battersea in 2010 during its landmark 150th year, spearheading a campaign which transformed the animal rescue service into a UK top 10 charity brand. During her years in charge, income and volunteer numbers quadrupled; new facilities were developed and the charity successfully campaigned for changes in animal welfare legislation. As a teenager Claire volunteered for a number of organisations including Mencap and the Riding for the Disabled Association. At 18 she joined the police force as a special constable, patrolling the streets of Dudley where she lived. Her first position in the charity sector was at the NSPCC and she later worked for the Cats Protection League and the Variety Club of Great Britain. In 2020 she was appointed CBE for her services to animal welfare. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinleyListen

Sophia Loren
Sophia Loren is the first performer to win the Best Actress Academy Award for a role in a foreign language film. She won in 1962 for her performance in Vittorio De Sica?s film Two Women in which she played a mother trying to protect her 12-year-old daughter in war-torn Italy. In 1991, she picked up a second Oscar when the Academy presented her with an Honorary Award for her contribution to world cinema. Born Sofia Villani Scicolone in a hospital ward for unmarried mothers, she was brought up by a single mother in Pozzuoli near Naples during the war years. After success in her first beauty pageant at the age of 15 and starring in photo romance stories for popular magazines, she first came to wider attention in 1953 when she played the title role in the Italian film Aida. She played a pizza seller in De Sica?s The Gold of Naples which is regarded as her breakthrough performance and led to her working on Hollywood movies with a who?s who of co-stars including Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Gregory Peck and Paul Newman. Her most enduring on-screen partnership was with the Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni. In 1966 she married the film producer Carlo Ponti and went on to have two children. In her most recent film The Life Ahead, directed by her son Edoardo Ponti, she plays a holocaust survivor and ex-prostitute who cares for the children of local sex workers. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinleyListen

Malala Yousafzai, activist
Malala Yousafzai is an activist who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize when she was 17 - becoming the youngest winner in its history. Today she is known globally for her human rights advocacy and her ongoing campaign to ensure all children have equal access to education. She was born in the Swat Valley in northern Pakistan where her father Ziauddin was a prominent activist who believed boys and girls should sit side by side in the classroom and co-founded a school which Malala attended. After the Taliban began to establish its presence in the Valley, day-to-day life became synonymous with danger and fear ? people were taken from their homes and killed for speaking out against the regime. Education for girls was forbidden and schools were shut down or bombed. In 2009 Malala began writing an anonymous blog for BBC Urdu in which she spoke out about what was happening in Swat Valley. This made her a target. In 2012 she was shot by a Taliban gunman as she sat on the school bus. Two girls sitting alongside her were also shot. What Malala calls ?the incident? generated headlines around the world. Her injuries were severe and she was airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. After a long and painful recovery she settled in Birmingham with her family. Now 23, Malala graduated from the University of Oxford last year and continues to campaign globally for girls? education through the Malala Fund which she co-founded with her father. DISC ONListen

George McGavin, entomologist and broadcaster
George McGavin is an entomologist, explorer and broadcaster, who has spread the word about the importance of insects to audiences in their millions. Born in Glasgow, he grew up in Edinburgh where he studied zoology at university. Following a PhD in entomology, he went on to teach and research at the University of Oxford. He gave up his post as the assistant curator of the university?s Museum of Natural History after 25 years to follow his dream of becoming a television presenter. He has presented documentaries from far-flung locations including Borneo, Guyana and New Guinea. He has made it his life?s work to uncover the mysteries of the largely uncatalogued world of invertebrates which he says makes up close to 80% of life on earth. In 2018 he was diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer and the following year he turned the camera on himself to present a very personal programme about his diagnosis and treatment. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinleyListen

Monica Galetti, chef and restaurateur
Monica Galetti is a chef, restaurateur and cook book writer, who is also known as a judge on the television series MasterChef: the Professionals. Born on the island of Upolu in Western Samoa, she grew up on the family plantation where her earliest food memories are of collecting eggs and mangoes and peeling bananas for special suppers. When she was eight she moved to New Zealand where her mother and stepfather had emigrated a couple of years earlier. After studying hospitality management and enjoying success in numerous cooking competitions, she travelled around Europe before settling in London where she found work as a commis chef at the Roux family?s restaurant, Le Gavroche. Under the watchful eye of Michel Roux Jr, she rose through the ranks to become Le Gavroche?s first female sous chef. She opened her own restaurant in 2017 where she works alongside her husband David who is head sommelier and co-owner. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinleyListen

Tim Peake, astronaut
Major Tim Peake, is an Army Air Corps officer and a European Space Agency astronaut. He was the first British astronaut to carry out a spacewalk. As a child, he became interested in aviation, visiting air shows with his father and learning to fly as a teenager, although space travel was not yet a passion. He joined the school Cadet Corps and found he was in his element. From there he progressed to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and then into the Army Air Corps in 1992. His military career included service in Northern Ireland and the former Yugoslavia, and he spent several years based in Germany where he met his wife Rebecca. He qualified as a helicopter pilot in 1992, and later became a helicopter instructor. He spent time in the USA, learning to fly the Apache attack helicopter, before becoming a test pilot in 2005. In 2008, he answered an advert from the European Space Agency looking for astronauts. The following year he became one of six successful candidates, chosen from more than 8000 hopefuls. Years of training followed, involving anything from basic dentistry to underwater 'spacewalking', and in December 2015 he headed to the International Space Station for six months. After his return, Tim moved back to the UK to work with industry and engage in outreach work while he awaits his next space mission. He lives in Hampshire with his wife and two sons. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah TaylorListen

Samantha Power
Samantha Power was the USA's youngest ever ambassador to the UN, during President Barack Obama?s second term, and is a writer and academic. She has just been invited to join president-elect Joe Biden's administration. Samantha was born in London but grew up in Ireland. At the age of nine, she moved to the US with her mother and younger brother following the breakdown of her parents? marriage. Her first ambition was to be a sports broadcaster, but watching live footage of events in Tiananmen Square in 1989 led her to change course and she became a war correspondent instead, reporting on the conflict in Bosnia in the early 1990s. After returning to the US, she wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning book in which she examined what she saw as America?s repeated reluctance to confront genocide in the 20th century. In 2013 she was appointed ambassador to the UN. She stepped down in 2017 and became professor of global leadership, public policy and human rights at Harvard. Shortly after this edition of Desert Island Discs was recorded, she accepted the role of Administrator of the US Agency for International Development. DISC ONE: Dancing Queen by ABBA DISC TWO: Morning Has Broken by Cat Stevens DISC THREE: Thousands Are Sailing by The Pogues DISC FOUR: Crazy by Seal DISC FIVE: Boots of Spanish Leather by Mandolin Orange DISC SIX: Why? (The King of Love is Dead) by Nina Simone DISC SEVEN: Tonight Will Be FiListen



David Olusoga, historian and broadcaster
David Olusoga is a historian, writer and broadcaster who has presented a range of programmes including the BBC?s A House Through Time and Civilisations. He is currently professor of public history at Manchester University. Born in Lagos, the second child to a Nigerian father and a British mother, David was brought up by his mother in Gateshead after his parents? marriage broke down. As a child he and his siblings experienced sustained racism and he remembers school as a place of violence and cruelty. He credits his mother?s tenacity and her determination to educate her children for his later success in getting to university and establishing a career in television. His love of history developed from a young age, thanks to one of his teachers who taught him why an understanding of history matters. Watching television documentaries also opened up a world of possibility and David fondly recalls programmes from the 1980s presented by the historian Michael Wood, who made history seem cool in the eyes of the young schoolboy glued to the TV in his Gateshead council house. Last year David delivered the MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival in which he talked candidly about his loneliness at being the only black person on a production team and the difficulties he had trying to explain the racial implications of how, for example, people in Africa were often portrayed on screen. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula MListen

Colonel Lucy Giles
Colonel Lucy Giles is an officer of the British Army?s Royal Logistic Corps and is currently President of the Army Officer Selection Board - the first woman to take on this role. After attending her local comprehensive school in Wincanton, Somerset, she studied Biological Sciences at Exeter University where she joined the University Officers? Training Corps, despite having no military background herself. After what she calls a ?retrospective year out?, she joined the last female-only company at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Royal Corps of Transport in 1992, which became the Royal Logistic Corps the following year. Over a career spanning more than 25 years, she has served in over 20 countries including South Africa, Bosnia, East Timor and Sierra Leone. She was the first female Officer Commanding of 47 Air Despatch Squadron, enabling operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and in 2015 became the first woman Commander of New College, Sandhurst. She was promoted to the rank of colonel in 2018. She is married to Brigadier Nick Post, and they have two children, Jess and Alex. In her spare time, she is a marathon runner. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah TaylorListen

Sir Cliff Richard
Sir Cliff Richard makes a second trip to the island he first visited 60 years ago, when he had just turned 20, but had already topped the UK charts three times. Over the course of his career, Sir Cliff has released over 100 albums and sold well over 250 million records. His chart success in the UK has been eclipsed only by his hero Elvis Presley and one-time rivals, the Beatles. Born Harry Webb in Lucknow, India, Sir Cliff returned to the UK with his family in 1948: money was tight and the family of six shared a room until they were able to move into a council house. Sir Cliff?s father bought him a guitar for his 16th birthday and he initially performed in a skiffle band until he discovered rock ?n? roll and started a new band called the Drifters which later became the Shadows. His first hit single came in 1958 with Move It ? often credited as being the first authentic British rock ?n? roll track ? and he dominated the home-grown music scene of the late 1950s and early 1960s. During his long career Sir Cliff performed on screen in films including Summer Holiday and The Young Ones. He has fronted television shows, twice performed Britain?s entry in the Eurovision Song Contest and starred in two stage musicals. Today, at 80, he is still recording new songs and itching to get back on tour to perform his music in a post-Covid world. Sir Cliff's return to Desert Island Discs after 60 years is record-breaking: it'Listen

Classic Desert Island Discs - Cliff Richard in 1960
Cliff Richard talks about growing up in India and discovering that he had a talent for music; how it feels to leave his teenage years behind him and his intention to embark on his next movie role - a more serious part - in a thriller by Margery Allingham. He confesses to homesickness for Britain during five weeks in America and describes how he deals with fans who want to grab a piece of him.Listen

Minette Batters
Minette Batters is the first woman to become President of the National Farmers' Union, representing 47,000 members. She was first elected to the post in 2018 for two years, and was re-elected in March 2020. Minette runs a tenanted family farm in Wiltshire. The mixed farming business includes cattle, sheep and arable, as well as the conversion of a 17th century barn into a wedding and events venue. Her father was a tenant farmer, and Minette adored helping him as a youngster, but the idea of taking on the farm herself seemed out of the question: her father strongly advised against it. Instead she took a Cordon Bleu course, graduated with distinction and ran her own catering business for 20 years. When her father retired, the lure of the land pulled her back and she took on the tenancy in 1998, despite the misgivings of many of her friends. She runs the farm largely on her own, and her husband works in another industry. Her campaigns on behalf of farmers include the initiatives Ladies in Beef and the Great British Beef Week. This year she has represented the views of NFU members during the Covid-19 crisis and the Brexit negotiations. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah TaylorListen

Professor Sir Jeremy Farrar
Professor Sir Jeremy Farrar is Director of the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation which funds scientific research. He is a member of Sage, the scientific group currently advising the government on Covid-19. He is the youngest of six children and was born in Singapore. His mother was an artist and his father was a teacher, who worked around the world, and the family lived in New Zealand, Cyprus and Libya. After struggling to win a place a medical school, he trained as a doctor in London and then moved to Edinburgh to work as a neurologist. He switched to public health and was for 18 years the Director of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam, where he worked on infectious diseases, including the re-emergence of bird flu in 2004. He was knighted for services to global health in 2019, and is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Fellow of The Royal Society. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah TaylorListen

Helen Oxenbury
Helen Oxenbury is an illustrator of children?s books whose work has featured in many very popular titles for younger readers including the award-winning We?re Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen. Helen has won the Kate Greenaway Medal twice and was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Book Trust in 2018. She attended the Ipswich School of Art and later the Central School of Art in London where she met fellow illustrator and her future husband, John Burningham. After the birth of her children she began illustrating children?s books, working at the kitchen table long after they?d gone to bed. Her work for Ivor Cutler?s Meal One, published in 1971, was praised by Spare Rib magazine for its portrayal of a single mother and her relationship with her young son. Helen came up with the idea of her baby board books in the late 1970s after the birth of her third child who suffered with eczema. Discovering that her daughter could be distracted from scratching by looking at baby catalogues, Helen created a series of board books placing babies and toddlers at their heart. Such a concept was unheard of at the time. From the late 1980s, Helen ensured that the babies and children featured in her books came from different ethnic backgrounds and her work in So Much by Trish Cooke has become a children?s classic. In We?re Going on a Bear Hunt, published in 1989, Helen?s pictures celebrated the joy of adventure and the bond betListen



Arsène Wenger, former football manager
Arsène Wenger was the manager of Arsenal FC for 22 years, becoming the longest-serving and most successful manager in the club?s history. He was born in Strasbourg in 1949 and grew up as the youngest of three children in the nearby village of Duttlenheim, where his parents ran a bistro. There he listened in to the daily conversations about football, which preoccupied the men of the village. After playing for his local team and studying for a degree in economics, Arsène made a career as a footballer in France for a decade, before moving into management. He coached in France, Monaco and Japan before joining Arsenal in 1996. At that point he was a complete unknown in English football, but soon proved his doubters wrong. He took a declining mid-table side to Premier League glory within two years, going on to win two further Premierships and a record number of FA Cups. In 2003-4 his so-called Invincibles achieved a record-breaking run of 49 matches without defeat. He also won a reputation as an innovator, changing his players? diets and contributing to the globalisation of soccer by signing overseas players and scouting young talent from across the world. He was instrumental in building a new home for Arsenal, when the club moved from Highbury to the brand new Emirates Stadium Arsène retired from Arsenal in 2018 and took up a post as FIFA?s head of Global Football Development the following year. He is separated from his partnerListen

Sir Keir Starmer, Leader of the Opposition
Sir Keir Starmer is the leader of the Labour Party, and the leader of the opposition. Named after Keir Hardie, a founding father of the Labour party, he was elected leader seven months ago in the wake of Labour?s heavy defeat in the 2019 general election. He stood for, and won, the leadership on a platform of party unity but his resolve has been tested recently by factionalism and infighting. Following the publication of the highly critical Equality and Human Rights Commission report, he has vowed to tackle the issue of anti-Semitism in the party and heal division within the party ranks. He grew up in Oxted, Surrey, the son of a toolmaker and a nurse. His formative years were clouded by his mother?s debilitating illness: she suffered from Still?s disease, an autoimmune disease, and as a young boy he spent a lot of his time at her hospital bedside. His political awakening came at 16 when he joined the East Surrey Young Socialists and later he was one of the editors of the radical magazine Socialist Alternatives. After university he had a high-profile career as a human rights lawyer representing prisoners on death row and advising the new Police Service of Northern Ireland which was set up as part of the Good Friday Agreement. In 2008 he changed tack and became the director of Public Prosecutions before switching to politics. In 2015 he was elected to the House of Commons as MP for Holborn and St Pancras. DISC ONE%3Listen

David Mitchell, novelist
David Mitchell has published eight novels, two of which ? number9dream and Cloud Atlas ? have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He has also translated two books on autism from Japanese, working with his Japanese wife: their son is on the autistic spectrum. While his work also includes writing for the screen and opera libretti, his main occupation has been, as one critic put it, ?quietly pottering away at the frontier of fiction? for more than two decades. David is the son of two artists, and grew up near the Malverns, where his father worked in the art department of the Royal Worcester porcelain factory. After studying at the University of Kent, he worked in a bookshop, and moved to Japan in the mid-1990s to teach English. Here he met his wife and put his mind to writing. His first two novels were published while still living in Hiroshima. With each standalone novel, David is also adding to what he calls an uber-novel in which all of his books are part of a larger narrative, with characters flitting from one story to another, transported to a different time and place, but bringing a familiarity and a backstory with them. He now lives in County Cork, Ireland, with his wife and two children. DISC ONE: Sunset by Kate Bush DISC TWO: Requiem Op. 33b, For Mixed Choir A Cappela / Fyrir Blandadan Kór A Capella. Performed by Motet Choir Of The Hallgrím's Church, chorus Master: HörðurListen

Hilary McGrady, Director General of the National Trust
Hilary McGrady is Director General of the National Trust. She was born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, in 1966, where her father was a builder while her mother looked after Hilary and her two older siblings. She spent her childhood roaming the fields near her home, 20 miles outside Belfast. She went to art college after school where she met her husband, Frank. Their relationship initially caused difficulty for her family who were staunch Protestants and unionists, while Frank?s came from a Catholic, nationalist area. After finishing her degree in Graphic Design, Hilary worked as a designer before moving into marketing and then into the charity sector for an organisation called Arts & Business. After working on Belfast?s ultimately unsuccessful bid to become European Capital of Culture she joined the National Trust in 2006 as regional director for Northern Ireland. She moved around the organisation, taking on ever bigger roles with every move, becoming Chief Operating Officer in 2014. She succeeded Dame Helen Ghosh as Director General in March 2018. Her major priority for the National Trust over the next decade is to tackle climate change and biodiversity, and she set out a ten-year plan in January 2020 to coincide with the Trust?s 125th anniversary. Hilary lives in County Antrim with her husband. They have three grown-up children, a dog and 16 ducks. She lists her interests as the arts, gardening and hill walking. Presenter%Listen

Chris Boardman, cyclist
Chris Boardman is an Olympic cyclist, businessman and the Cycling and Walking Commissioner for Greater Manchester. Both his parents were keen competitive amateur cyclists and they backed Chris as he gradually became interested in the sport as a teenager. He left school at 16, and trained as a carpenter to fund his cycling, and his love of making things has never left him. He met his wife Sally when they were teenagers and she supported him when he took time off work to train and compete. He became a household name in 1992 at the Olympics in Barcelona, as the first British cyclist to win a gold medal in 72 years. He moved on to road racing and wore the yellow jersey in the Tour de France on three occasions. After retiring from racing, he was instrumental in the success of Team GB cycling at subsequent Olympics, with his focus on how improvements could be made in all aspects of design. He also launched his own range of bicycles catering for elite and everyday cyclists, and as Greater Manchester's Cycling and Walking commissioner, he is finding ways to help people leave their cars at home. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah TaylorListen

Professor Averil Mansfield, retired surgeon
Averil Mansfield is a retired vascular surgeon and was the first female Professor of Surgery in the UK when she was appointed in 1993. She was born in 1937 in Blackpool, where her father worked as a welder on the attractions at the Pleasure Beach. She was an only child and an avid reader when young. After perusing a library book on early advances in surgery, she decided, at the age of eight, that she wanted to become a surgeon. She studied at the University of Liverpool and spent her early working life in the city. Appointed a consultant surgeon in 1972, she moved to London eight years later with her second husband. She became a consultant vascular surgeon at St Mary?s Hospital in 1982 and remained there until her retirement in 2002. One of the leading vascular surgeons in the country in the 1990s, she was a key figure in proving the safety of vital life-saving vascular operations: the stroke-preventing carotid endarterectomy, an intricate procedure to unblock the carotid artery, and surgery to repair a thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm. These surgeries have helped save thousands of lives by reducing the risk of strokes by 50%. In the early 1990s, she set up an initiative called Women in Surgical Training to encourage more women to take up the profession. In addition to becoming the first female Professor of Surgery in Britain, she was also the first elected Chairman of the Court of Examiners at the Royal College of Surgeons of EnglandListen

Baroness Floella Benjamin, DBE
Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE is a Trinidadian-British broadcaster, writer and politician. She became a familiar face to millions of viewers through her work on children's television, most notably on Play School, which she first presented in 1976. She was born in Trinidad in 1949, the second of six children. When her parents emigrated to the UK, she and her siblings were initially left behind with foster parents. After 16 months, the family was able to reunite, when the children travelled to England by sea. At first they all lived in one room in south London. Eventually her parents were able to buy a house in Beckenham, where they lived for 40 years - which is why Floella decided on the title Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham when she entered the House of Lords in 2010 as a Liberal Democrat peer. There was no hint of her later high public profile when she left school at 16 to work in a bank, until she dared to audition for a West End musical during her lunch break. She was successful, going on to appear in numerous London shows, before her move into television. Along with her work in front of the camera, she set up her own TV production company, as well as publishing books and working closely with charities for children and young people. She has also campaigned for high standards in children's broadcasting and more diversity in the creative industries. She was the Chancellor of Exeter University for a decade, starting in 2006, aListen



Samantha Morton, actor
Samantha Morton is an actor and director. She has appeared in films directed by Woody Allen and Steven Spielberg, and is also known for her work on independent productions, often with serious themes such as prostitution and bereavement. She has been nominated for two Academy Awards and won many accolades including a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. Born in Nottingham in 1977, she had a difficult childhood. She was first taken into care as a baby, then spent the next decade between foster parents and her father?s home before being taken into care permanently at the age of 11. She was sexually abused in one of the homes, and left school at the age of 13. She discovered acting when a teacher recommended she apply to the Central Junior Television Workshop which lead to her appearing in TV series including Soldier Soldier, Cracker, and Band of Gold. She went onto appear in the films, Emma and Jane Eyre and received her first Academy Award nomination for her role as a mute laundress in Woody Allen?s 1999 film Sweet and Lowdown. Her second was for her portrayal of a grieving mother in the 2003 film In America. Other roles have ranged from Mary, Queen of Scots, in Elizabeth: The Golden Age to a war widow in The Messenger and the wife of a serial killer in Rillington Place. She made her directorial debut with The Unloved in 2009, a film based on her own experience of the care system. It won the BAFTA Award for Best Single Drama. Sam lives iListen

Yusuf Cat Stevens, musician
Yusuf Cat Stevens is a singer-songwriter who first enjoyed success more than 50 years ago. He was born Steven Demetre Georgiou in July 1948. His Greek Cypriot father and his Swedish mother ran a restaurant in the West End of London, and he helped out there from an early age. He also became interested in music, writing and singing his own songs, partly inspired by the success of The Beatles. Under the name Cat Stevens, he was just 18 when he had his first hit, and soon found himself on tour with Engelbert Humperdinck and Jimi Hendrix. His career came to a sudden halt in 1969, when he contracted tuberculosis and was forced out of the limelight for a year of recuperation. It was also a time of reflection. He emerged a changed man in 1970 - a sensitive singer-songwriter whose albums, including Tea for the Tillerman, and Teaser and the Firecat, sold millions of copies around the world. While enjoying fame and success, he also thought more deeply about religious faith, an interest which increased after he nearly drowned while swimming in the Pacific. He became a Muslim in 1977, changed his name to Yusuf Islam and walked away from music. He soon became one of the UK's most high-profile Muslims, and was often asked to comment about aspects of Islam. For two decades, he didn?t touch his guitar, but in 2006 he made a comeback with an album entitled An Other Cup. He has released three more albums since then and has recently recordListen

Bernardine Evaristo, writer
Bernardine Evaristo won the Booker Prize in 2019 for her novel, Girl, Woman, Other. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London. Bernardine was born in May 1959, the fourth of eight children, to an English mother and a Nigerian father. She grew up in Woolwich in south London, and was educated at Eltham Hill Girls? Grammar School. She spent her teenage years at the Greenwich Young People?s Theatre and, after deciding that she wanted to be a professional actor at the age of 14, did a Community Theatre Arts course at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama. After graduation she founded the Theatre of Black Women with two fellow students in the early 1980s and they began to write roles for themselves. By the late 1980s, she had decided that it was the writing she enjoyed most. Her first poetry collection was published in 1994, followed by a semi-autobiographical verse novel called Lara three years later. More books followed, experimenting with form and narrative perspective, often merging the past with the present, prose with poetry, the factual with the speculative, and reality with alternate realities. Girl, Woman, Other is her eighth book. A longstanding activist and advocate, Bernardine has initiated several successful schemes to ensure increased representation of artists and writers of colour in the creative industries. She is married to David, who she met in 2006, and lives in LoListen

Classic Desert Island Discs - Jack Charlton
The ball rolled past the gap between him and Gordon Banks and into the back of the net. The Germans were one goal up. Jack Charlton, Sue Lawley's castaway, recalls the match which was to bring him to his knees in relief and joy as England went on to win the 1966 World Cup - just one of the crowning moments of a career that could so easily have ended down the pit, except for his talent with the ball. Nicknamed The Boss because of his straight talking, Jack describes his relationship with his brother 'Our Kid' Bobby Charlton and his success as manager of Ireland. Jack died in July 2020, at the age of 85.Listen

Classic Desert Island Discs - Liz Smith
Kirsty Young's castaway is the actress Liz Smith. Her story is a triumph of talent and perseverance over circumstance. Her mother died when she was tiny, her father walked out of her life and for many years she was brought up by her grandmother who was in mourning for her only child and her own husband. For Liz, acting and making people laugh was an escape from the often harsh realities of life, but she had to wait until she was 50 for her first real break - a role in Mike Leigh's film Bleak Moments. By that time, she'd raised her two children on her own with very little money and knew that this was her opportunity to prove what she could do. She won critical acclaim and was later awarded a Bafta for her appearance in Alan Bennett's A Private Function and finally, when she was in her 70s, she became a household name through her roles in The Vicar of Dibley and The Royle Family. Liz Smith recorded this programme in 2008, when she was 86 years old. Favourite track: Only The Lonely by Roy Orbison Book: A very large catalogue Luxury: A complete artist's set.Listen

Classic Desert Island Discs - Terry Jones
Roy Plomley's castaway is the Monty Python comedian Terry Jones, in a programme first broadcast in 1983. Terry Jones died in January 2020, at the age of 77.Listen

Classic Desert Island Discs - Wendy Cope
Wendy Cope is one of England?s most popular and widely-read contemporary poets. Wendy was born in Erith, Kent. Her father was 29 years older than her mother and she was sent to boarding school at the age of seven. Although English was her favourite subject at school, in a bid to defy her English teacher?s expectations, she read history at Oxford. Following graduation she became a primary school teacher. After the death of her father in 1971, Wendy entered psychoanalysis in 1973 and turned to writing poetry. Having attended evening classes in creative writing, one of her poems was published in a collection which brought her to the attention of Faber and Faber. Her first volume of poetry, Making Cocoa For Kingsley Amis, was published in 1986, and became an instant success, and she gave up teaching to become a full time writer. She has since published four volumes of a poetry: Serious Concerns (1992), If I Don?t Know (2001), Family Values (2011) and Anecdotal Evidence (2018) as well as two volumes for children, Twiddling Your Thumbs (1988) and The River Girl (1991). In 2011, Wendy sold her entire personal archive to the British Library, which consisted of 15 boxes of manuscript, including several unpublished early works. Wendy lives in Ely and is married to fellow poet, Lachlan Mackinnon. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy Drysdale Show lessListen



Classic Desert Island Discs - Bryan Stevenson
Kirsty Young's castaway is Bryan Stevenson. An American lawyer, he is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a private, not-for-profit organisation working on death penalty cases, cases of children sentenced as adults, prison and sentencing reform, and issues of race and poverty. His great grandparents were slaves and he himself went to a segregated school in southern Delaware. Although from a poor African American background he made it to Harvard Law School. Since then he has secured relief for over a hundred prisoners sentenced to death. He has argued in front of the Supreme Court six times and won landmark rulings about the sentencing of children for both homicide and non-homicide offences. His TED talk from March 2012 has been viewed over two million times. The programme was first broadcast in 2015. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Maria Balshaw, Director of Tate
Maria Balshaw is the Director of Tate, overseeing four major art galleries: Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate Modern and Tate St Ives. Maria was born in 1970 in Birmingham, and grew up in Northampton, where her father, Walter, was a parks officer, and her mother, Colette, was a teacher. She read English and Cultural Studies at the University of Liverpool and fell in love with the newly opened Tate Liverpool at Albert Dock. After working as an academic for almost a decade, she changed career and headed a government campaign to inspire creativity in schools. In 2006, she became director of the Whitworth gallery in Manchester, where she promoted works by women artists and oversaw a major redevelopment and expansion of the building. The Whitworth won the Art Fund Museum of the Year award in 2015. Maria also took on the roles of Director of Manchester City Galleries, and Director of Culture for Manchester City Council. The Observer called her ?a northern powerhouse in her own right?. She took over leadership of the four Tate galleries from Sir Nicholas Serota in June 2017, and is the first woman to hold this role. Maria has two children from her first marriage and lives in Kent and London with her second husband, Nick Merriman, Director of the Horniman Museum. DISC ONE: Ghost Town by The Specials DISC TWO: Wild is the Wind by David Bowie DISC THREE: It's a Sin by Pet Shop Boys DISC FOUR%Listen

Steve Backshall, Explorer
Steve Backshall is an explorer, naturalist and broadcaster. His BAFTA-winning programmes bring viewers of every generation closer to nature ? from the children's series Deadly 60, featuring close encounters with the most dangerous and venomous creatures on earth, to Blue Planet Live and Springwatch. His interest in the natural world began at a young age, after his parents decided to swap their terraced house for a smallholding with goats, ducks and geese. His big break as a broadcaster arrived when National Geographic offered him the post of Adventurer in Residence and he?s been taking on the most arduous challenges and toughest environments on earth ever since. He ran a marathon in the Sahara and has swum cage-free with great white sharks. His adventures have also brought him many near-death moments. He broke his back while rock climbing and recently almost drowned while kayaking in Bhutan. Steve is married to the Olympic champion rower Helen Glover, and they have a two year old son and twins born earlier this year. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah TaylorListen

Sharon Horgan, writer, actor, producer
Sharon Horgan is a writer, actor and producer best known for co-writing and co-starring in the Channel 4 series Catastrophe with US comedian Rob Delaney. Sharon was born in 1970 in east London, where her parents Ursula and John were running a pub. They moved to Ireland when Sharon was three and eventually set themselves up as turkey farmers. Sharon went to a convent school, then art college in Dublin, before moving to London in 1990, hoping to become an actor. Following six years working at a job centre, she decided to get a degree and enrolled on an English course at Brunel University. She reconnected with Dennis Kelly, who she had acted with previously, and they started writing together. Their breakthrough was the BBC Three series Pulling, first broadcast in 2006, which chronicled the lives of three single women leading unfulfilling lives in an unfashionable part of London. Sharon appeared in films while continuing to write and, in 2014, set up her own production company. In 2015, together with Rob Delaney, she co-wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed Catastrophe, about a couple who discover they're expecting a child after a short affair. Sharon was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Female Comedy Performer and she and Rob won the BAFTA TV Craft Award for Best Comedy Writer in 2016. Catastrophe ran for four series, ending in 2019. Sharon's other writing credits include the acclaimed series Motherland,Listen

Annie Nightingale, DJ
Annie Nightingale was BBC Radio 1?s first female presenter and is its longest-serving DJ, celebrating her 50th anniversary at the station this year. Born and brought up in south west London, she fell in love with the romance and mystery of radio through her father?s meticulous tuning of their home set to broadcasts from exotic places like Prague and Hilversum. On leaving school at 17, she spent a year on a journalism course in central London. After relocating to Brighton, she worked her way up through local newspapers to the national press and magazines and eventually, by the mid-1960s, to TV. She interviewed the Beatles as a young journalist, and gave early support to artists including David Bowie, Ian Dury, Eminem and Primal Scream. In 1970, she was the first woman DJ to join Radio 1 with a Sunday evening show. From 1978 to 1982, Annie was the sole female presenter on the BBC TV music show The Old Grey Whistle Test, the only woman to have held the job. Her excitement for new music and musical genres from acid house to grime, hasn?t wavered. She currently hosts a weekly Radio 1 show called Annie Nightingale Presents? (on air on Wednesdays between 1 and 3 am) and has received countless awards from Caner of the Year to Commander of the Order of the British Empire, which she received this year for services to radio. Annie has a son and a daughter from her first marriage. She is twice divorced and lives in London. Listen

Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of Nato
Jens Stoltenberg is the Secretary General of NATO and a former Prime Minister of Norway. Although he was born into a political family in Norway, he grew up thinking he would become a statistician, before turning to a career in politics. He served as the Prime Minister of Norway twice. During his second term, Norway experienced one of the darkest days in its recent history, when 77 people were murdered in a bomb attack in Oslo and a mass shooting on a nearby island. Before becoming the Secretary General of NATO, a post he has held since 2014, he spent time as a UN Special Envoy on climate change. His term in office as Secretary-General has been extended until September 2022. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor Photo credit: NATOListen

Helen Fielding, author
Helen Fielding, writer and journalist, is best known for creating Bridget Jones, who first appeared in a newspaper column in the Independent in 1995, in the form of a diary detailing the single 30-something?s exploits in London as she tried to make sense of life and love. The column soon acquired a wider following, and Helen turned Bridget?s story into a best-selling book the following year. Born in 1958, Helen grew up in Yorkshire with an older sister and two younger brothers. Her father was a manager at the textile mill next door to where they lived. She read English at Oxford where she became friends with Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson. After graduating, she became a BBC trainee, travelling to Africa for Comic Relief. She later made documentaries for Thames TV before moving into print journalism. To date, Helen has written four Bridget Jones novels, three of which have been turned into feature films starring Renée Zellweger. She spent a decade in Los Angeles at the start of the new millennium and had two children with Kevin Curran, who was a scriptwriter for The Simpsons. She now lives in London. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen



Helen McCrory, actress
Helen McCrory shares the eight tracks, book and luxury she would want to take with her if cast away to a desert island. Helen McCrory OBE is one of the most versatile and critically acclaimed actresses working today. On screen she has played Anna Karenina, Cherie Blair (twice), Harry Potter's Narcissa Malfoy and the Peaky Blinders matriarch Aunt Polly. Her theatre roles range from Yelena in Uncle Vanya to Euripides' Medea. A diplomat's daughter, she spent her early childhood in Africa before continuing her education in the UK. After a bruising and unsuccessful audition at the Drama Centre in London - she was instructed to find out more about life before learning to act - she travelled to Italy where she discovered art and love and came back to try again. This time she passed the audition. In 1993 she made her mark in Richard Eyre's production of Trelawny of the Wells at the National Theatre and went on to perform leading roles on some of London's most prestigious stages, winning two Olivier Award nominations. She was awarded an OBE for services to drama in 2017. She met her husband, fellow actor Damian Lewis, when they both starred in a play called Five Gold Rings. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic Helen and Damian, together with the comedian Matt Lucas, co-founded the Feed NHS campaign which raises money to provide hot meals to frontline NHS workers. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinListen

Mark Johnston, racehorse trainer
Racehorse trainer Mark Johnston is a lynchpin of British flat racing. In August 2018 - when 20-1 shot Poet's Society, ridden by Frankie Dettori, streaked to victory at York - Mark became the most prolific winning trainer in British racing history, saddling 4,194 winners. Based in a 300-acre training yard in Yorkshire, he has never trained fewer than 100 winners each season for the last 26 years including champions such as Attraction, Mister Baileys, Double Trigger and Shamardal. Mark grew up on a council estate in East Kilbride and learned to ride when he was a child. His father was a horse lover who enjoyed a flutter and took the young Mark to the bookies when he placed his bets - although Mark was too young to go inside. As a 14-year-old Mark raced whippets and later studied veterinary medicine at Glasgow University but his dream was always to become a racehorse trainer. In 1986, together with his wife and business partner Deirdre, Mark bought his first yard. He had no money or connections in the racing world and had three-and-a-half paying horses rather than the 12 he needed under the terms of his trainer's licence. In these early days, the horses trained on a nearby beach that doubled up as an MOD bombing range. Johnston horses are known for their front-running style - he believes races aren't won by horses accelerating and passing the other runners, but when the horses in front slow down. He says: "I tell my jocListen

Joe Wicks, fitness trainer and author
Joe Wicks, professionally known as The Body Coach, is a fitness and nutrition coach. Since the lockdown, he has been running daily free virtual PE lessons for children and adults stuck at home. In March he became a Guinness World Record holder after his second PE with Joe class was watched by 955,158 people around the world, a record number of viewers for a live streamed YouTube workout. Getting children to be more active has been a long-held ambition and in 2019 he went on a tour of fifteen schools around the UK delivering High Intensity Interval Training workouts as part of his mission to get school children working out for 15 minutes a day. Born in 1985, Joe?s mother was nineteen when she gave birth to him while his father was in and out of his life with a heroin addiction. He was a hyperactive child whose salvation at school was channelling his excess energy into PE lessons. With a Sports Science degree under his belt, he briefly became a teaching assistant himself, but found it wasn?t for him and set himself up as a personal trainer instead, preaching the importance of combining training with the right nutrition. With the advent of the video function on Instagram, he started posting free 15-second recipes using the name The Body Coach, building up a following of first hundreds, then thousands and eventually millions. His phenomenally successful business began when he created a commercial 90-day plan with workouts and meals. He Listen

Martin Lewis, financial campaigner
Martin Lewis is a financial journalist, campaigner and broadcaster. His high-profile campaigns on bank charges, student finance, and mental health and debt have made headlines, and millions of people subscribe to his weekly money tips email. He founded the Money Saving Expert website in 2003 with just £100 and sold it less than a decade later for £87 million, although he calls himself an 'accidental entrepreneur'. He has since supported numerous groups and causes through charitable donations, most recently setting up a Coronavirus Poverty Emergency Fund to help small local charities. He has also campaigned for financial help and guidance for self-employed people who are unable to work during the current pandemic. Martin grew up in Cheshire and studied at the London School of Economics. After a brief spell working in financial PR, he took a postgraduate course in broadcast journalism with the aim of becoming a commentator on money matters, and he initially worked as a producer and presenter on radio and TV, Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah TaylorListen

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. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

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. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

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. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah TaylorListen



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. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinleyListen

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 McGinleyListen

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. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinleyListen

Classic Desert Island Discs - Lubaina Himid
Lauren Laverne's castaway is the artist Lubaina Himid. The programme was first broadcast in June 2019.Listen

Classic Desert Island Discs - John Cooper Clarke
Lauren Laverne's castaway is the poet John Cooper Clarke. The programme was first broadcast in July 2019.Listen

Classic Desert Island Discs - Albert & Michel Roux
Michael Parkinson's castaways are the restaurateurs and chefs Albert and Michel Roux (broadcast in 1986). Michel died in March 2020 at the age of 78.Listen

Classic Desert Island Discs - Jilly Cooper
Kirsty Young's castaway is the writer Jilly Cooper, best known for her best-selling series of romantic novels The Rutshire Chronicles.Listen



Classic Desert Island Discs - Clive James
The writer, critic, poet and broadcaster Clive James (1939 - 2019) appeared twice on Desert Island Discs - first in 1980, and again in 2000.Listen

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 National Theatre, and Titus Andronicus for the Royal Shakespeare Company. On film, his work includes the first screen portrayal of Hannibal Lecter - renamed Lecktor - in Manhunter, and blockbusters such as The Bourne Identity, X-Men 2, Braveheart and Troy. He received a CBE in 2002, and lives in New York City with his second wife Nicole Ansari. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah TaylorListen

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 from £20 billion to £50 billion. In 2010 she established the 30% Club, campaigning for better female representation on the boards of British companies, and in 2017 she received a DBE for services to diversity in the financial sector. She lives in London with her husband Richard, who gave up full time work to look after their many children. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

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 Samuel Beckett?s Endgame in London. He supports the Trevor Project which works to prevent suicides among LGBTQ youth and which Daniel first became aware of during the Broadway run of Equus in 2008. Daniel has been in a long-term relationship with fellow actor Erin Drake who he met on a film set in 2012. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

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 as a political cartoonist in the late 1980s and has drawn the Observer?s weekly cartoon since 1995, celebrating 25 years at the paper this year. As Children's Laureate, he encouraged children to draw, and championed the importance of school libraries and librarians. Chris is married to Jo, a fellow illustrator and printmaker, with whom he has three grown-up children, among them Katy, another illustrator. Presenter: Lauren LavernListen

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 interviews is important for the health of democracy. She also described herself as 'just about the oldest female TV executive working for a broadcaster'. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah TaylorListen

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 depression. Her recovery was long and painful but she says finally getting a diagnosis enabled her to begin the process of getting better. When the Spice Girls went their separate ways for a while Melanie began a career as a successful solo artist. In 2009 she played Mrs Johnstone in the West End production of Willy Russell's musical Blood Brothers, earning five star reviews and standing ovations. Recently she has been back on stage with the Spice Girls on tListen



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 before accepting a two-week trial, followed by a three-month contract. His football career had finally begun. After impressing as a forward at Palace, he was bought by Arsenal for a record fee in 1991. He was called up to the England squad the same year and would go on to collect 33 caps. He spent his last couple of years in professional football at a number of clubs around the country and in total, he played 581 league games, scoring 387 goals for seven cluListen

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 Strictly: It Takes Two since 2011. In 2018, she cycled 350 miles from Blackpool to Brighton as part of Sport Relief, and to raise awareness of mental health, after her partner Billy Yates took his own life. She began presenting the Radio 2 Breakfast Show just over a year ago. She lives in Sussex with her two children, Woody and Nelly. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah TaylorListen

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 boardroom roles. She served on the BBC Trust for nearly five years, sits on the board of the London Legacy Development Corporation, and founded the Yes Programme to show primary school pupils their future career options. She is a fellow of the Radio Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts. Sonita began her ten year tenure as Master of Jesus College in October 2019. She lives in Cambridge with her partner, the screenwListen

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 1991, and she published her first novel, The Wig My Father Wore, in 1995. Her latest novel, The Actress, is published in February 2020. She is also now a Professor at University College Dublin and teaches creative writing. She met her theatre director husband, Martin Murphy, at university and they have two children. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

Dame Sue Campbell, Director Women's Football at the FA
Dame Sue Campbell is the Director of Women?s Football at the Football Association. The women?s game has become increasingly popular recently and last year the England team, the Lionesses, made it to the World Cup semi-finals. Born in 1948, just outside Nottingham, Sue was sporty from an early age, even changing schools to allow her to play football. She became a PE teacher in Manchester and realised how transformative sport could be, increasing self-esteem, motivation and self-belief. In the mid-1980s, after learning about excellence in sport at Loughborough University and playing netball for England as well as dabbling in the pentathlon, Sue became deputy chief executive (and a year later chief executive) of the National Coaching Foundation, which provided education for coaches at both ends of the spectrum, from parent volunteers to elite coaches. Ten years later, in 1995, she co-founded the Youth Sport Trust to set up a sports activity programme for every primary school in the country. It was hugely successful: in 2003 only 23% of school children were getting two hours of PE a week. By 2008, this figure had risen to 95%. In 2010, the coalition government cut their funding. By this time, back at the elite end of the sporting spectrum, Sue was also in charge of UK Sport, where she presided over Team GB's biggest Olympic medal haul in living memory, at the London 2012 games. In 2016, she took her cListen

Michael Lewis, writer
Michael Lewis is a best-selling non-fiction writer and journalist. He initially worked for an investment bank, and his experiences of Wall Street excess in the 1980s informed his acclaimed first book, Liar?s Poker. Three of his later books ? Moneyball, The Blind Side and The Big Short ? have been adapted into Hollywood feature films. He was born in New Orleans in 1960, where his father was fond of quoting the family motto: 'Do as little as possible, and that unwillingly, for it is better to receive a light reprimand than perform an arduous task.' After studying at Princeton and the LSE, he joined an American bank in London, and wrote articles about the quirks of the industry under a pseudonym. In spite of his father?s opposition, he decided to quit his highly-paid job to become a writer. In Moneyball, he examined how a struggling baseball team used intensive data analysis to find undervalued players overlooked by richer clubs. The Big Short focused on the sub-prime mortgage crisis, and his most recent book, The Fifth Risk, is about the Trump administration?s approach to government. Michael lives in California with his wife, Tabitha Soren, and their three children. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah TaylorListen

Rupert Everett, actor
Rupert Everett is an actor, writer and director whose breakthrough came in 1981 when he was cast as a gay schoolboy in Another Country, Julian Mitchell's play and subsequent film. Rupert later starred in Dance with a Stranger before making a splash in Hollywood playing Julia Roberts's gay confidante in My Best Friend's Wedding. But his movie career took a dive after The Next Best Thing - in which he played the gay father of Madonna's baby - flopped. After a period out of the limelight he turned his attention to writing and won great acclaim for his witty and illuminating memoirs about his life in showbusiness. In 2018 Rupert starred in his directorial debut, The Happy Prince - a film about Oscar Wilde's final years in exile. The film was a decade-long labour of love for Rupert from writing the screenplay to securing the funding and persuading his friends Colin Firth and Emily Watson to join the cast. The film was well-received, with one critic calling it a 'deeply felt, tremendously acted tribute to courage'. Later this year Rupert is starring in the Broadway revival of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinleyListen



Stephen Merchant, writer, comedian and actor
Stephen Merchant first came to fame with the TV sitcom The Office, which he co-wrote and co-directed with Ricky Gervais. He continued to work with Gervais on the series Extras, Life is Short and An Idiot Abroad. His comedy hero as a young man was John Cleese and as a fellow tall West Country boy, he felt he would try his hand at a comedy career. As a teenager, he worked at Radio Bristol, was a wedding DJ and enjoyed drama at school. While at Warwick University, he created his own radio programme, The Steve Show. Those radio production skills encouraged him to send in his CV to a new London radio station, XFM, where the head of speech was Ricky Gervais. Following a successful interview ? conducted in a pub ? Stephen became Ricky?s assistant. Stephen left XFM to join a BBC training scheme. It was the short film he made with Ricky as part of his course which would eventually lead to the creation of The Office. Alongside his successful comedy partnership with Gervais, Stephen has pursued his acting and writing ambitions and this year wrote and directed his first film, Fighting with my Family, based on a family of wrestlers. His performance as a stand-up led to his HBO series Hello Ladies, and he starred in his first stage play, Richard Bean's The Mentalists, in London in 2015. His work has earned him two Golden Globe Awards, three BAFTAs, a Primetime Emmy Award, and four British Comedy Awards. Presenter%3Listen

Heidi Thomas, screenwriter
Heidi Thomas is a screenwriter and playwright best known for Call the Midwife. The BBC TV series, which began in 2012, was originally a six part adaptation of a trilogy of memoirs by Jennifer Worth, recalling her experiences as a midwife in the East End of London. It was an immediate hit, with 10 million viewers a week, becoming one of BBC One?s most popular dramas and a fixture in the Christmas schedules. Born in 1962, Heidi Thomas grew up as the eldest of three children in the leafy suburbs of Liverpool. Her father ran a drain cleaning business while her mother looked after the children, including Heidi's youngest brother David, who was born with Down's Syndrome. Heidi studied English at Liverpool University, supporting herself by selling ladies? underwear at a department store. During a bout of viral hepatitis, which left her unable to apply for jobs when she graduated, she entered a competition for new plays and won a prize for her debut, All Flesh is Grass. During the production,of her next play, Shamrocks and Crocodiles, she met the actor Stephen McGann. They went on to marry, and many years later Stephen was cast as the GP in Call the Midwife. After nearly a decade in the theatre, Heidi made the leap into television, first writing on existing series such as Soldier, Soldier and Doctor Finlay. Her other screenwriting credits include Lilies, based on her grandmother?s recollections, and adaptations of clListen

Professor Russell Foster, professor of circadian neuroscience
Professor Russell Foster is head of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at the University of Oxford, professor of circadian neuroscience and the director of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology. An expert in sleep, he describes it as 'the single most important health behaviour we have'. Born in 1959, as a child he loved his toy microscope and digging up fossils. Despite being labelled ?entirely non-academic? by his headmaster and attending remedial classes for some years, he achieved three science A levels which won him a place at the University of Bristol. There, he developed an early interest in photo-receptors - cells which convert light into signals that can stimulate biological processes. This eventually led to his post-doctoral discovery, in 1991, of a previously unknown type of cell ? photosensitive retinal ganglion cells ? in the eyes of mice. His proposition that these ganglion cells ? which are not used for vision, but to detect brightness ? exist in humans too initially met with scepticism from the ophthalmological community. Russell?s research has made a significant impact, proving that our eyes provide us with both our sense of vision and our sense of time, which has changed the clinical definition of blindness and the treatment of eye disease. He has published several popular science books. Russell is married to Elizabeth Downes, with whom he has three grown-up children. PresenterListen

Asif Kapadia, film director
Asif Kapadia is an Academy Award-winning film director, renowned for his documentaries about the musician Amy Winehouse, the Brazilian motor racing star Ayrton Senna, and the Argentinian footballer, Diego Maradona. Born in 1972, Asif is the youngest of five children. His parents emigrated from Gujarat in the mid-1960s. His father?s ambition to seek his fortune took the family to the US for a short time in the late 70s, but by 1980 they had returned to London. Asif grew up in Hackney, and describes his all-boys secondary school as tough. His mother was ill while he was taking his GCSEs, and he vowed never to sit exams again. At 17, he worked as a runner on a film and so enjoyed feeling part of a crew that he decided he wanted to make a career in the industry. He studied film at the Newport Film School, going on to the Polytechnic of Central London where his graduation film, Indian Tales, was highly regarded. His 1997 Royal College of Art graduation film, The Sheep Thief, shot in Rajasthan in the Hindi language, won a prize at Cannes. He made two feature films, The Warrior which won two Baftas, and Far North, which was filmed close to the North Pole. His first documentary was Senna, which was widely acclaimed and won two Baftas. Asif used the same collage technique - drawing on camcorder snippets, TV news, and entertainment specials ? on Amy, his film about Amy Winehouse. It won an Oscar, a Bafta and a GrammListen

Isabella Tree, writer and conservationist
Isabella Tree is a conservationist and writer of the award-winning book Wilding: the Return of Nature to a British Farm, which tells the story of rewilding a 3,500 acre farm estate in Sussex, which she oversaw with her husband Charlie. The adopted daughter of Michael Tree and Lady Anne Cavendish, Isabella grew up in Mereworth Castle in Kent, and then in Shute House, a vicarage in Dorset. Following her expulsion from two secondary schools, she attended Millfield School as a sixth former, where mutual friends introduced her to her future husband. After reading classics at the University of London, she went on to work as a journalist and travel writer for the Evening Standard and The Sunday Times. Her first book, The Bird Man, about the Victorian ornithologist John Gould, was published in 1991. She married Charles Burrell in 1993 and settled at Knepp, a dairy and arable farm in Sussex. She continued to travel, writing books about Papua New Guinea, Nepal and Mexico. In 2000 Isabella and Charlie closed the farm business at Knepp, and turned the estate into a conservation project, letting the land develop on its own, and eventually introducing free-roaming animals ? cattle, pigs, deer and ponies. Two decades later, the project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife, fungi, and vegetation with extremely rare species like turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons and purple emperor butterflies breeding there.Listen

Stephen Graham
Stephen Graham is an actor, whose credits include key roles in films including This is England and The Irishman, and in TV dramas such as Boardwalk Empire and Line of Duty. Stephen was born in Kirkby just outside Liverpool in 1973. He discovered acting at school, where a starring role in a production of Treasure Island at the age of 10 was a turning point: local actor Andrew Schofield was in the audience and suggested that Stephen should join the Everyman Youth Theatre in Liverpool. After leaving school, Stephen won a place to study drama in London, but left after a year. His first roles as a professional actor, when he once pretended to be his own agent to talk his way into an audition, gave little indication of the success to come. In 2006, his performance as Combo the skinhead in This is England, directed by Shane Meadows, won widespread critical acclaim. More recently, he has played Al Capone in Boardwalk Empire, and the undercover policeman Corbett in the most recent series of Line of Duty. Stephen, who lives in Leicestershire, is married to fellow actor Hannah Walters, who he met at drama school. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah TaylorListen

Desert Island Discs extra
Lauren Laverne introduces extracts from some of her favourite editionsListen



Kimberley Motley, lawyer
Kimberley Motley is an American attorney and the first foreign lawyer to practise in Afghanistan. Born in 1975 to an African-American father and a North Korean mother, she grew up in a poor neighbourhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where hers was the only mixed-race family - and the only family with two parents. Education was very important to her parents, who sent their four children to private schools and also paid for extra tutoring. After completing degrees in Criminal Justice and Law, Kimberley spent five years working as a Public Defender before taking up the opportunity in 2008 to go to Afghanistan for a year to train local lawyers. Her husband, Claude, stayed in the US to take care of their three children. When her one-year contract in Afghanistan came to an end, she decided to stay and started her own private legal practice. Initially she only took on foreign clients, but once she had familiarised herself with the intricacies of local laws and customs, she accepted her first Afghan client. She has gone on to build a thriving practice, with a 70-30% ratio of paid to pro-bono work. Her practice now extends to other parts of the world including Uganda, Ghana and the UAE and earlier this year she published a book about her working life. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

Russell T Davies, screenwriter
Russell T. Davies is one of the U.K.?s most successful television writers. He spent his teenage years learning his dramatic craft with the West Glamorgan Youth Theatre, and his career in television began in the children?s department at the BBC. His first solo hit TV series was the ground-breaking, sexually frank drama Queer as Folk, first broadcast on Channel 4 in 1999. A lifelong Doctor Who fan, he relaunched the series in 2005 for a new generation of viewers. Such was its success, he found himself working around the clock. More recently, he wrote the highly-acclaimed series A Very English Scandal, starring Hugh Grant as Jeremy Thorpe, and the dystopian drama Years and Years. DISC ONE: Julie Covington, Charlotte Cornwell, Rula Lenska - Sugar Mountain DISC TWO: Hora Staccato (1950 version) performed by Jascha Heifetz and Emanuel Bay DISC THREE: The New Christy Minstrels - Three Wheels on My Wagon - DISC FOUR: Leonard Bernstein's Gloria in excelsis, performed by The Norman Scribner Choir DISC FIVE: Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights DISC SIX: The OT Quartet - Hold That Sucker Down (Builds Like A Skyscraper Mix) DISC SEVEN: Neil Hannon - Song For Ten DISC EIGHT: Electric Light Orchestra - Mr. Blue Sky BOOK CHOICE: Asterix and the Roman Agent by by René Goscinny with illustrations by Albert Uderzo LUXURY ITEM: A black Ball Pentol Pen CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Leonard Listen

Wendell Pierce, actor
Wendell Pierce is an American actor best known for his role as Bunk Moreland in the television series The Wire. Since the series ended in 2008, he has made around 40 film and television appearances, including Treme, Selma and the legal drama Suits, in which he played Robert Zane, the father of Rachel Zane, played by Meghan Markle. His theatre credits range from The Cherry Orchard to Death of a Salesman. Born in 1963, the youngest of three sons, Wendell grew up in the Pontchartrain Park area of New Orleans, which was the first middle-class African-American suburban-style development in the city. He graduated from the prestigious Juilliard School in New York and his career got off to a flying start with a small part opposite Tom Hanks in a film called The Money Pit. He hasn?t been out of work since. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed Wendell?s childhood home in New Orleans and he was instrumental in rebuilding his parents? house in Pontchartrain Park. He also built 40 new homes and staged a production of Waiting for Godot on an empty street corner in one of the most devastated districts of the city. He is currently reprising his role as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman on stage in London. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

Dame Glenys Stacey, former Chief Inspector of Probation
Dame Glenys Stacey has spent 40 years in public service, including high profile work as a regulator in key areas of national life. She has just stepped down after her five year term as Her Majesty?s Chief Inspector of Probation during which she criticised the decision to privatise the Probation service calling it ?irredeemably flawed?. Glenys was born in Walsall Wood in the West Midlands, where her father was a painter and decorator for the council and her mother worked full time in Union Locks. She left school at 16 and her first job was in an explosives factory. She became a legal executive before deciding to take A levels and then study law at the University of Kent. She was the founding CEO of the Criminal Cases Review Commission, set up by the government in January 1997, after the miscarriages of justice in the cases of the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four. As Chief Executive of Animal Health, she oversaw the management of the outbreak of foot and mouth in 2007 and then led Ofqual for five years, during the reform of GCSEs and A levels. She was awarded a Damehood in 2016 for her services to education and earlier this year she became a founding Board Member of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, an advisory body established by the government. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

Baroness Arminka Heli?
Baroness Arminka Heli? is credited with persuading William Hague, the former foreign secretary, and the actor and director Angelina Jolie to launch the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) to campaign against rape as a weapon of war. Born in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Arminka fled her home country as violence escalated in the former Yugoslavia and her family appeared on a Serbian death list. Following the intervention of Lady Miloska Nott, wife of the former secretary of state for defence Sir John Nott, she arrived in London as a refugee in October 1992. She completed a master?s degree in international history at the LSE which ignited her interest in politics. Her first Westminster job was filing press cuttings in the House of Commons Library where she was spotted and started working for MPs including Robert Key, Liam Fox and William Hague. When William Hague became foreign secretary in 2010, she joined him as a special adviser and made it her mission to bring compassion and humanity to foreign policy. After watching Angelina Jolie?s directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey, the story of an inter-ethnic love affair set against the backdrop of the war in Bosnia, Arminka persuaded the foreign secretary to join forces with the Hollywood star. The PSVI highlights how sexual violence in conflict zones is often a hidden crime in which the perpetrators go unpunished. In 2014 the PSVI held a global summit in LoListen

Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer & lyricist
Lin-Manuel Miranda is best known as the composer, lyricist and original star of the multi-award-winning Broadway musical, Hamilton. It won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, 11 Tony Awards and Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album. The London production won seven Olivier Awards in 2018. Lin-Manuel was brought up in New York by his Puerto Rican parents, and his creativity and sensitivity to music began when he was a child: he performed in Gilbert and Sullivan?s Pirates of Penzance as a teenager and created films using his father?s camcorder. He attended the elite Hunter school for gifted children and spent his summer holidays in Puerto Rico with his extended family. His first musical, In the Heights, opened on Broadway in 2008, directed by his long-time collaborator, Thomas Kail. It received four Tony Awards including Best Score as well as a Grammy Award for its Original Broadway Cast Album. Among his TV and film acting credits are Fosse/Verdon, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Mary Poppins Returns, and he is currently filming the second series of Philip Pullman?s His Dark Materials for the BBC. He recently collaborated with J.J. Abrams on the song Dobra Doompa, for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens and he contributed music, lyrics and vocals to several songs in the Disney animated feature film Moana. Lin-Manuel supported the relief efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in September 2017, performing HamiltonListen

Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, firefighter
Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton is the Chief Fire Officer for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service. She is one of the most senior women in the Fire and Rescue Service in the UK. After spending some time living on the streets as a teenager, her work as a firefighter began at the age of 18, after she had applied to 31 different fire services. During her career, her interest in psychology and fascination with how people make choices in stressful situations led to her studying for a degree, followed by a PhD. Her research into risk, decision-making under extreme pressure and human error has won awards and she has shared her findings with fire services in other countries. She is also an ambassador for The Big Issue magazine, in the wake of her own experiences of homelessness. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah TaylorListen



Thom Yorke, musician
Thom Yorke has been the front man of Radiohead, one of Britain?s most successful British bands, for 34 years. They have sold over 30 million albums worldwide, and have won three Grammys and four Ivor Novello awards. Their debut studio album, Pablo Honey, was released in 1993, with their debut single, Creep, becoming a big international success. Thom decided on his career at the age of seven, when he lay on the floor between large speakers at a friend?s house and listened to Queen?s Bohemian Rhapsody. He made his own electric guitar when he was 10, and wrote his first song at 11. At his secondary school he joined up with fellow pupils and they formed a band called On a Friday, as that was the only day they were allowed to rehearse. They all went their separate ways as university students, but then signed to Parlophone in 1991 and renamed themselves Radiohead. Thom has collaborated with artists including PJ Harvey and Björk and has composed for film and theatre. His first feature film soundtrack, Suspiria, was released last year. His first classical piece, Don?t Fear the Light, was premiered in Paris this year, and he has also been touring his latest solo album Anima. He is an activist on behalf of human rights, animal rights, environmental and anti-war causes. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

Classic Desert Island Discs: Lemn Sissay
Another chance to hear Lemn Sissay's Desert Island Discs from October 2015. Interviewed by Kirsty Young. As a poet, writer and playwright, much of his work tells the story of his search for his birth parents. Born to a young Ethiopian woman who wanted him temporarily fostered while she completed her studies, he was with a family until he was 12. He would spend the next five years in a number of children's homes where he began to write. On leaving care at 17, he self-published his first book of poetry while on the dole. Several poetry collections, plays and programmes for radio and TV followed and his work has taken him around the world. He was the first poet to be commissioned to write for the 2012 London Olympics and his success has also brought him two doctorates and an MBE for services to literature. He is about to be installed as Chancellor of the University of Manchester, an elected post he will hold for the next seven years. He takes writers' workshops for care-leavers and set up Culture World, the first black writers' workshop. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Classic Desert Island Discs: Judith Kerr
Another chance to hear Judith Kerr, interviewed by Sue Lawley. From February 2004. A writer and illustrator known to generations of children both for her charming Mog picture-books and for her careful rendering of the life of a Jewish child fleeing Nazi Germany. Judith Kerr escaped with her family on the day the Nazis were elected. The following day, police turned up at the doorstep in a belated attempt to confiscate their passports. The Kerr family moved across Europe, trying to support themselves and escape from the nearing threat, until they eventually settled in England in 1936. The family stayed in London throughout the war; surviving the Blitz and in fear of invasion. Judith Kerr wrote an autobiographical trilogy about her experiences and the books - in particular When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit - have been used ever since as a way of explaining to children the horrors of the Nazi threat. Today, they are set texts in many German schools. She was always a keen painter but had never thought it could be a career; it was only when she had two children who enjoyed the tales she told that she decided to try her hand at picture books. Her first book, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, was instantly successful when it was published in 1968 and has never been out of print. But it is probably her series of books about Mog the Cat that have won her most affection with children - over the past 30 years they have sold more than three million copies. [Taken fListen

Classic Desert Island Discs: Daniel Kahneman
Another chance to hear Daniel Kaheneman, interviewed by Kirsty Young in August 2013. Widely acknowledged as one of the world's most influential living psychologists, his many years of study have centred on how and why we make the decisions we do. As a child, he lived in Nazi occupied France and he says that, from a young age, he already had a pretty good idea that he wanted to be an academic. He says "My mother had a big influence ... in fact I credit her with the fact that I became a psychologist ... because she got me interested in people and listening to gossip. I've been fascinated by gossip ever since." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Classic Desert Island Discs: Professor Monica Grady
Another chance to hear Monica Grady, Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University, interviewed by Kirsty Young in July 2015. Well-known in scientific circles, at NASA and the European Space Agency, she came to the attention of the general public with her enthusiastic celebration when, as part of the Rosetta project, the probe Philae became the first-ever spacecraft to land on a comet - 67P - in November 2014. The spacecraft had taken ten years to journey through space and a decade was spent on the preparations. She was born in 1958 in Leeds as the eldest of eight children. She studied chemistry and geology at Durham University and did her PhD on carbon in meteorites at Cambridge, where she worked closely with Professor Colin Pillinger on the Beagle 2 project to Mars. She first worked at the OU in 1983 before joining the Department of Mineralogy of the Natural History Museum, becoming Head of the Meteorites and Cosmic Mineralogy Division. She is married to Professor Ian Wright who is one of the lead scientists on the Rosetta cometary mission and they have one son. She was awarded a CBE in 2012 for services to space sciences and asteroid (4731) was named "Monicagrady" in her honour. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Classic Desert Island Discs: Freddie Flintoff
One of the best players of his generation, he was part of the England team that won the Ashes in 2005, a year that marked his sporting coming of age. On the strength of that historic victory he was awarded an MBE for services to the game, and the public voted him BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Barely out of his pram when he picked up a cricket ball he turned out to bat for an under-14 match when he was just six years old. His debut was not in crisp cricket whites, but in a second hand Manchester United tracksuit, setting the tone for someone who's made a habit of doing things his way. Not least at a 10 Downing Street reception when, somewhat the worse for wear, he weaved into the cabinet room, plonked himself down in the PM's chair and knocked back yet another bottle of beer. Since retiring from the game he's had a go at heavyweight boxing and won the bout. One area where he hasn't come out on top: his sons never listen to his cricket coaching tips. Producer: Sarah TaylorListen

Jo Fairley, businesswoman
Jo Fairley is a businesswoman and writer. She co-founded the Green & Black?s chocolate company with Craig Sams, her husband, and has launched several other successful ventures since then. Jo did not enjoy school, left at 16 with six O-levels and learned shorthand and typing at a secretarial college. She got a job with a magazine publisher and worked her way up through the features department to become the UK?s youngest magazine editor at the age of 23. Her move into chocolate came when she happened to try a couple of squares of a sample sitting on the desk of her future husband, Craig Sams, a health foods entrepreneur. Jo decided that it was the best she had ever tasted. She bought two tonnes of chocolate for £20,000, using all of the proceeds from the flat she had just sold. She and Craig launched Green & Black?s in 1991 and sold the company to Cadbury?s in 2005. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah TaylorListen



Sir Tim Waterstone, businessman
Sir Tim Waterstone is the founder of the bookshop chain that bears his name. Born in May 1939, he was the youngest of three children. His father, who worked for a tea company all his life, served in the Royal Army Service Corps during the war, and so was absent when Tim was very young. Their relationship was difficult throughout his childhood. Tim was educated at boarding schools from the age of six, when his parents went to India for two and a half years. After studying English at Cambridge and a stint working in India, he joined Allied Breweries, moving to WH Smith in 1973. Eight years later he was fired and at this point he decided to open his own bookshop. The first Waterstone?s opened its doors in 1982 when Tim was 43. A further 86 bookshops opened within a decade. In 1993, he sold the company to his former employer, WH Smith. Five years later, he bought it back again as part of a newly formed group, HMV Media, but just three years after that, in 2001, he resigned as chairman. Since then he?s made several unsuccessful attempts to buy back the company which changed hands most recently in 2018. He recently celebrated his 80th birthday and lives in London with his third wife, the television director Rosie Alison. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer, England
Dame Sally Davies is the outgoing Chief Medical Officer for England. She will take up her next post as Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, later this year. She was born in Birmingham in 1949 to academic parents - her father was an Anglican priest and theologian, her mother a scientist. She studied medicine at Manchester University and after two 'brutalising' years spent learning the job on the wards, she welcomed the opportunity to move to Madrid as a diplomat?s wife. However, she decided that she did not enjoy being - in her words - 'an appendage', and so she returned to medicine in the UK, starting in paediatrics and then moving to haematology, specialising in Sickle Cell Disease. Her first marriage didn?t last and her second ended in tragedy when her husband died of leukaemia within months of the wedding. After joining her first research scheme committee in the late 1980s, Sally widened her remit. She became Chief Scientific Adviser to the Health Secretary and, in 2011, Chief Medical Officer for England. Her achievements include creating the National Institute for Health Research, a body to oversee the funding of research in the NHS, and working tirelessly to raise awareness of the dangers of anti-microbial resistance. Sally holds 24 honorary degrees and is about to return to academia, taking up her post as the first woman Master of Trinity College in October 2019. She is married to Willem with whom she has two groListen

John Cooper Clarke, poet
John Cooper Clarke first achieved fame with his poetry during the punk rock era of the late 1970s. Born in Salford in 1949 to Hilda and George, he suffered from tuberculosis as a child and was sent to recuperate with a relative in Wales. He failed his 11 plus exam and was educated at a secondary modern school which he hated. However the one ?rose in a garden of weeds? was his English teacher, Mr Malone, who instilled a love of poetry in John and his classmates. John had various odd jobs after leaving school at 15 and by his mid-20s, he was reciting his poetry in clubs around Manchester. His entry into the punk scene was helped, he says, by ?already looking like a punk?, and despite some initially hostile receptions from audiences waiting for the Sex Pistols or the Buzzcocks, he acquired a cult status, going on to release five albums of his poetry set to music by former Joy Division producer Martin Hannett. By early 1980s, he was also in the grip of a heroin addiction which would see him write very little for over a decade. He cleaned up in the early 90s after marrying his second wife, Evie, and having a daughter, Stella. His star began to rise again in 2007 when one of his poems was used in an episode of The Sopranos and others were included on the GCSE syllabus, which led to collaborations with artists like Plan B and Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

Marcus Wareing, chef
Marcus Wareing is a prize-winning chef, restaurateur, TV presenter and cookery book writer, who gained his first Michelin star at the age of just 26. He grew up in Southport, and by the age of 11 was helping out in his family?s fruit and vegetable business, which dominated his father?s life. Marcus assumed he would join the business, but his father told him to take a catering course instead, as the family firm had no future. When Marcus was 18, he moved to London to work at the Savoy. He loved the experience of life in a high-pressure professional kitchen and was quickly promoted. In 1993 he joined Gordon Ramsay at Aubergine, creating one of the most celebrated London restaurants of the time. He went on to launch a number of Michelin star-winning restaurants, often working with Gordon Ramsay and his company, before a much-publicized falling-out. Marcus now runs a group of restaurants in London, founded with his wife Jane, and since 2014 he has appeared as a judge and mentor on the TV series MasterChef: The Professionals. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah TaylorListen

Sue Biggs, DG Royal Horticultural Society
Sue Biggs is the Director General of the Royal Horticultural Society. She?s been at the helm of the RHS since 2010 and during that time, its membership has grown to more than half a million people. The RHS is also renowned for its spectacular flower shows and garden festivals around the country, including Chelsea, Hampton Court, Chatsworth House and Tatton Park. Sue has had a lifelong love of gardening since her mum gave her a packet of seeds on her seventh birthday. She has enjoyed two very successful careers. Before her tenure at the RHS, she worked in the travel industry for 25 years, identifying new destinations for holidaymakers. She was the first woman to be appointed to the board of Kuoni Travel. In her current role, she strongly believes that horticultural work and expertise do not receive the wider respect they deserve. She was made a CBE in 2017 for her services to the environment and ornamental horticulture industries. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah TaylorListen

Jared Diamond, academic and author
Jared Diamond is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles, although his interests and expertise range far wider, from physiology to ornithology, history to ecology and from anthropology to evolutionary biology. His 1997 book, Guns, Germs and Steel, asked why Eurasian civilizations prospered and conquered others. It won a Pulitzer Prize and has sold more than a million copies around the world. He was born in Boston in 1937 to a physician father and a mother who was a teacher and a concert pianist. She taught him to read when he was three and he also learned to play the piano and developed a love of languages. Thinking his professional life would be in science, he decided to focus on the humanities at school, including Latin and Greek. After graduating from Harvard, he moved to England to pursue a PhD in physiology at Cambridge and became an expert on salt absorption in the gall bladder. He returned to the USA, and then his travels took him to New Guinea where he developed a passionate interest in ornithology and a lifelong love of the island which he?s continued to visit for the past 50 years. He has learned 12 languages, speaking several of them fluently, and has published six books and hundreds of articles. His most recent book, Upheaval, examines how nations cope with crisis and change. Jared lives in Los Angeles with his wife Marie, a clinical psychologist. They have grown-up twin sons. PListen

Emily Eavis, festival organiser
Emily Eavis is co-organiser of the Glastonbury Festival. Together with her husband and her father, she masterminds the booking of bands and oversees the setting up of what is the largest greenfield festival in the world. The site itself becomes the size of Oxford town centre once it?s built and rigged, and when tickets for 2019 went on sale, they sold out within 36 minutes. Born in 1979, she was a small child when her parents, Jean and Michael, were inspired to make the Glastonbury Festival an annual event, although she wasn?t keen on the yearly invasion of the family farm. By her late teens, however, she had changed her views. She left Worthy Farm to study to be a teacher at Goldsmiths College in London but when, at the end of her first year, her mother was diagnosed with cancer, Emily left and went home to help look after her and to help her father run that year?s festival. Emily never went back to university. Motivated by a visit to Haiti to look at Oxfam projects, she spent a few years in London putting on charity gigs, before returning home to work with her father running the festival. She married her husband, Nick Dewey, manager of The Chemical Brothers in 2009. The couple have three children and live on Worthy Farm. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen



Nitin Sawhney, musician, producer, composer
Nitin Sawhney is a composer, musician and producer working in the worlds of music, film, video games, dance and theatre. He has released 10 studio albums, scored over 50 films and television programmes, and is known for his collaborations, with musicians and artists including Paul McCartney, Akram Khan, John Hurt and Andy Serkis. He was born in 1964 to parents who had emigrated from North India the previous year to work in the UK. His father was a chemical engineer while his mother taught English and later worked at the post office in their home town of Rochester. Nitin showed early musical promise when he took up the piano aged five, later also learning flamenco guitar, sitar and tabla. He was bullied at school at a time when the National Front was gaining traction and music became his sanctuary. After abandoning a law degree at Liverpool and completing an accountancy course in Hertfordshire, he became financial controller of a hotel, before leaving to become a full time musician. While at college, he met Sanjeev Bhaskar and formed a comedy duo with him which would become the radio and TV series, Goodness Gracious Me. His breakthrough came with his fourth album, released in 1999, entitled Beyond Skin, which was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. Since then, his career has been in the ascendant: he has established himself as one of the most versatile composers for film, scoring pictures like Midnight?s Children Listen

Professor Monica McWilliams, social scientist
Professor Monica McWilliams is an academic, peace campaigner and former politician. In 1996, she was the co-founder of the Northern Ireland Women?s Coalition political party and was elected to a seat at the Multi-Party Peace Negotiations, which led to the Belfast (Good Friday) Peace Agreement in 1998. She served as a member of the Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly from 1998-2003 and was the Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission from 2005-2011. She continues her academic research into domestic violence and is Emeritus Professor in the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University. She also specialises in conflict resolution and working with women who are in conflict situations. Alongside her academic work and peace work she currently sits on the Independent Reporting Commission for Northern Ireland. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah TaylorListen

Lubaina Himid, artist
Lubaina Himid is a Turner Prize-winning artist, curator and Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire. Lubaina was born in Zanzibar in 1954. Her mother was from Britain and her father was originally from the Comoros Islands. He died from malaria when Lubaina was just a few months old, and so she and her mother returned to England. She studied Theatre Design at the Wimbledon College of Art and began organising exhibitions of works by fellow black women artists in the early 1980s as part of the Black Art Movement. Her own work focuses on black identity, often shining a light on the slave trade and the contribution made by the people of the black diaspora. She was the first black woman to win the Turner Prize, and was also its oldest winner, at the age of 63. She was appointed an MBE in 2010 and a CBE in 2018. She lives and works in Preston. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

Derren Brown, illusionist
Derren Brown, illusionist and mentalist, chooses the eight tracks, book and luxury he wants to take with him if cast away to a desert island. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah TaylorListen

Pat McGrath, makeup artist
Pat McGrath is a renowned make-up artist. She works with the world?s top designers, photographers, editors and models, creating images for the pages of the world?s most glamorous magazines. She and her team also work at the most high-profile catwalk shows in Milan, London, New York and Paris. She born and brought up in Northampton by her mother, who had a passion for fashion and make-up, which she passed onto Pat. In the mid-1980s, as an art student, Pat was captivated by the London club scene ? the Blitz club, Boy George, and Spandau Ballet. By day she took on a number of casual jobs, but her interest in make-up continued and her break came when she was asked to do the make-up for Caron Wheeler, a member of the band, Soul II Soul, on a tour of Japan. Her career took off and within just a few years she was working with John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Dolce and Gabana, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Prada, Lanvin, Calvin Klein and Balenciaga. In addition to her work at the fashion shows and photographic shoots, in 2004 she became the global creative-design director for Procter and Gamble, where she was in charge of Max Factor and Cover Girl cosmetics. She was awarded an MBE for her services to the fashion and beauty industry in 2013 and in 2015 she launched her own cosmetics brand ? Pat McGrath Labs. In 2017 she became beauty editor at large at British Vogue and won the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at thListen

Louis Theroux
Louis Theroux is a television documentary maker. He has received two BAFTAs and a Royal Television Society Award for his work which includes the series Louis Theroux?s Weird Weekends and When Louis Met? Born in 1970, and brought up in south London, he is the son of the American writer Paul Theroux and the BBC World Service radio producer Anne Castle. He was privately educated at Westminster School and read History at Oxford, graduating with a first. He moved to the USA where he was introduced to the American documentary maker Michael Moore and started making segments on unusual subcultures for Moore?s show TV Nation. He was given his own series ? Louis Theroux?s Weird Weekends ? by the BBC in the late 1990s and, after three series, he went on to present two series of When Louis Met?, which included Neil and Christine Hamilton, Max Clifford, Chris Eubank and Jimmy Savile. Since then, he has made dozens of documentaries, many of them in the USA. In 2016, he revisited his encounters with Jimmy Savile in the wake of Savile?s death and the surfacing of allegations of child sexual abuse. The same year, his only feature-length film, My Scientology Movie, was released. His most recent documentaries dealt with sexual assault on American campuses, mothers with post-natal mental illness, and escorting. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

Classic Desert Island Discs: Tracey Emin
Another chance to hear artist Tracey Emin's Desert Island Discs, with Sue Lawley, first broadcast in November 2004. Tracey Emin is one of the most successful and controversial artists to emerge during the 1990s. Her work was championed early on by influential art dealer Jay Jopling and later by the collector Charles Saatchi. Her work is highly autobiographical and confessional. A talented drawer and painter, she has attracted most attention for her art installations - including her tent, Everyone I Have Ever Slept With and the Turner Prize-nominated My Bed. Her art is adored and condemned in equal measure, but wherever she exhibits she attracts queues and has a room at Tate Britain dedicated to her work. She was brought up in Margate.Listen



Classic Desert Island Discs: Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Another chance to hear Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell choose her Desert Island Discs, with Sue Lawley. First broadcast 24th December, 2000. Jocelyn Bell Burnell was only twenty-four when she made the discovery of a lifetime: As she was mapping the universe for her PhD, she chanced upon the radio signal for a totally new kind of star, known as a 'pulsar'. Her find is seen as one of the most important contributions to astrophysics in the twentieth century.Listen

Classic Desert Island Discs: Mary Berry
Another chance to hear Mary Berry's Desert Island Discs with Kirsty Young from 2012. Mary Berry is one of the UK's best-known and respected cookery writers. More than six million copies of her books have now been sold - not bad for a girl who failed her school certificate in English. On television, it is her role as a judge on The Great British Bake-off that has brought her to the attention of a new generation. It was in domestic science lessons that she discovered her love of cooking and she is in no doubt of the importance of teaching cookery in school "When everybody leaves school, whether they are a boy or a girl, what do they have to do in the home? They have to produce a meal. They haven't been taught to do it. I think it should be essential."Listen

Classic Desert Island Discs: Ade Adepitan
Another chance to hear Paralympian and broadcaster Ade Adepitan interviewed by Kirsty Young in 2012. When he's not stuck in a studio explaining the intricacies of Goalball he's reporting from the rainforests of Nicaragua or the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Adversity seems to suit him - he even survived turning up for his first day at school aged 7 in a pink checked suit and bow tie. Inspired by his boyhood heroes Seb Coe and Daley Thompson, who he first saw on TV competing in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, sport became his passion. He says "I think I've done more things with my disability than most able-bodied people would ever dream of doing".Listen

Classic Desert Island Discs: Ricky Gervais
Another chance to listen to the comedian, Ricky Gervais speaking to Kirsty Young in 2007. In just twelve episodes, his show The Office changed the face of British television comedy. At its centre was the comic monster, David Brent, a middle-manager being filmed for a mock-documentary who saw the ever-present cameras as his route to popularity and fame. Ricky Gervais's performance was both excruciating and unmissable - one critic called the programme "among the most affecting and invigorating works of fiction since the turn of the century". As he discusses with Kirsty Young, comedy was the language he grew up with - the youngest of four children, being able to come up with a gag or a smart rejoinder was the linguistic currency of his home. That, he says, is where the 'show-off performer' was born. Now with seven Baftas, two Golden Globes and an Emmy to his name, Ricky Gervais is gratified that his work is recognised and says his aim has always been to bring art into comedy.Listen

Martin Freeman, actor
Martin Freeman is a multi-award winning actor, best known for his roles as the lovable Tim in BBC Two?s The Office and as Dr Watson to Benedict Cumberbatch?s Sherlock Holmes. He also played Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson?s Hobbit trilogy, Lester Nygaard in the US drama series Fargo and Everett K Ross in the film Black Panther. Born in Hampshire in 1971, he grew up in Teddington in south-west London. The youngest of five children, he was just 10 when his father died of a heart attack. As a teenager, he played competitive squash, making the national squad, until he realised he lacked the necessary killer instinct required and switched to youth theatre. He studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama and left in his third year to work at the National Theatre, playing minor roles. He first reached a wider audience when he was cast as Tim in The Office, which was broadcast from 2001 to 2003 and became the first British sitcom to win a Golden Globe. More screen roles followed, including playing Arthur Dent in the film of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In 2010 he first appeared as Dr Watson opposite Benedict Cumberbatch?s Sherlock and went on to win both a BAFTA and an Emmy as Best Supporting Actor. He has continued to work in films, TV and on stage. He appeared in Sherlock with his ex-partner Amanda Abbington. They have two children. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

Jacqueline de Rojas, President of techUK
Lauren Laverne?s castaway this week is Jacqueline de Rojas, the President of techUK, the body that represents 900 companies in the technology sector. She is Chair of the Board of Digital Leaders, co-Chair of the Institute of Coding and sits on the government?s Digital Economy Council. She was born Jacqueline Yu in Kent to a Chinese father and British mother, and moved to Swindon when her mother left the marriage. Jacqueline did well at school, particularly in languages, and went on to take a degree in European Business Studies, spending the first year of her course in Southern Germany. She is fluent in German and French. She married after university and, despite dreams of becoming a BBC newsreader, she went to work for a tech recruitment company. After two years she moved to work for her largest client, the software company, Synon, using her German to manage the company?s distribution in Germany. She has stayed in the tech industry ever since, primarily working for blue chip software companies. She became Managing Director of Informix in 1999, and her last managing director role was a seven month stint at Sage in 2016. In 2013 Jacqueline joined the board of techUK, , becoming its President in 2015. A key focus of her tenure has been to make the case for greater diversity in an industry struggling fill the roles that it is creating, particularly in appointing women. She also works as a mentor for a number of organisatiListen

Marlon James, writer
Marlon James is a writer who won the Man Booker Prize in 2015 for A Brief History of Seven Killings, a novel which centres on an attempt to assassinate Bob Marley. Marlon was the first Jamaican to win the Prize. He was born in Kingston in 1970 and grew up in suburbia. His mother worked as a detective, and his father was lawyer, leading to a family joke that his mum locked criminals up and his dad got them out. As a self-confessed geek, Marlon did not enjoy his time at school, and even pretended that he was not related to his older brother, a fellow pupil, because he thought his lack of cool would embarrass his sibling. After studying English at the University of the West Indies, he worked in advertising as a copywriter. His first novel was rejected 78 times, and he thought he had destroyed every copy of it, until he met novelist Kaylie Jones at a writing workshop and she insisted on seeing it. She showed it to her publisher and his career was launched. The book, John Crow's Devil, was published in 2005. His fourth novel, Black Leopard, Red Wolf, the first of a fantasy trilogy, was published earlier this year. Marlon lives in the United States, where he teaches Creative Writing at Macalester College in Minnesota. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah TaylorListen



Dame Esther Rantzen, broadcaster and campaigner
Dame Esther Rantzen is best known as the presenter of the long-running TV series That?s Life, which began on BBC One in 1973. She was both presenter and producer of the programme, which was hugely successful, regularly reaching 20 million viewers. It featured consumer affairs, vox pops and light-hearted pieces about talking dogs and peculiarly shaped vegetables, along with serious investigations, including reports on the safety of children?s playgrounds and on child abuse. A special edition of That?s Life in 1986 led Esther to set up Childline, the charity which offers support and information for young people. That's Life ended after 21 years and Esther went on to present her own daytime talk show. A fan of reality TV, she?s appeared on Strictly Come Dancing, Celebrity First Dates, Celebrity Stars in their Eyes and I?m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. It was while she was working on That?s Life that she met TV producer Desmond Wilcox. They later married and had three children. A few years after Desmond?s death, Esther wrote a newspaper article about how lonely she felt as a widow. The response inspired her to set up her second charity, Silverline, which offers friendship and advice to older, lonely people. She has received many TV awards over the years and was made a Dame in 2015 for her charity work. She stood unsuccessfully as an independent MP for Luton South in the General Election of 2010. Now 78, she isListen

Trevor Sorbie, hairdresser
Trevor Sorbie is known as an innovative hairdresser and is the founder of the charity, MyNewHair. Born into a family of hairdressers ? both his father and grandfather were barbers ? he spent the first decade of his life in Scotland before the family relocated to Essex. His first ambition was to become an artist, but when he left school aged 15 with no qualifications after being bullied, his father suggested that he could help out at his barbershop. Within three months, Trevor was cutting hair and found that he loved it. Five years down the line, however, he decided to learn about cutting women?s hair and following his training, his first job was at a Vidal Sassoon salon. He would later go on to work at both John Frieda and Toni & Guy, before launching his own salon with his business partner in 1979. He invented several iconic haircuts of the era, including the Wedge and the Chop, and he came up with the technique of scrunch drying. His innovative styles won him the British Hairdresser of the Year award four times. In 2006, he set up his charity MyNewHair to teach hairdressers how to cut and style wigs after his sister-in-law lost her hair in the course of her cancer treatment. Since then, he has trained nearly a thousand hairdressers. He was the first hairdresser to be awarded an MBE by the Queen in 2004. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

Margaret MacMillan, historian
Professor Margaret MacMillan is a Canadian historian, author and broadcaster. In 2018 she delivered the Reith Lectures on BBC Radio 4, in which she examined the tangled history of war and society. She was born in Toronto in 1943, and her interest in history was kindled by the stories her parents told about when they were young and by the historical adventure novels she read as a child. After a long academic career in Canada, she found herself in the international spotlight in her late 50s. Her book Peacemakers, about the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, won the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize and many other awards, and became a best-seller. Margaret is the great-granddaughter of David Lloyd George, who attended the Paris Conference as the British Prime Minister. She has also written books about Nixon and Mao, about Europe?s path to World War One, and about personalities who have shaped history. She became the Warden of St Antony?s College, Oxford, in 2007, and retired from the role in 2017. In the 2018 Queen?s New Year?s Honours List, Professor MacMillan was appointed a Companion of Honour. She continues to research and write. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah TaylorListen

Ann Cleeves, writer
Ann Cleeves is a crime writer best known for two series of novels, both of which have been adapted for television. Vera, for ITV, features her detective Vera Stanhope, and Shetland, for the BBC, focuses on DI Jimmy Perez, who works for the Shetland police. Born in 1954, Ann grew up in Herefordshire and Devon. After secondary school she spent a year providing childcare for a family in London before reading English at the University of Sussex. She dropped out of her degree course, and by chance, was offered a job as assistant cook at the bird observatory in Fair Isle, despite not knowing how to cook, nor anything about birds. She met her husband Tim there, who came as a visiting bird watcher. They spent four years on the tiny tidal island of Hilbre off the Wirral peninsula, where Ann started to write. Her debut novel was published in 1986 and she has published a book a year since then. Her first Shetland novel, Raven Black, appeared in 2006 and won the Duncan Lawrie Dagger, at the time the richest crime-writing prize in the world. Her second breakthrough came when a TV producer picked up a second-hand copy of one her novels featuring her dishevelled detective Vera Stanhope and decided it would make perfect prime-time viewing. In October 2017, Ann received the Diamond Dagger from the Crime Writers? Association, the highest honour in British crime writing, awarded by fellow crime authors. In 2018, she published the final of Listen

Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police
Cressida Dick is Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. She was born in 1960, the youngest child of two university professors. Her parents divorced when she was still at primary school and she and her older siblings grew up in Oxford. Their father died when Cressida was just 11. She read Agriculture and Forest Sciences at Oxford University before spending a year in accountancy. She joined the Metropolitan Police in 1983 where her first beat was on the streets of Soho. After a decade in London, she transferred to Thames Valley Police where she worked her way up to become area commander in Oxford. In 2001 she completed a master?s degree in Criminology, re-joining the Met to head its diversity directorate and, from 2003, Operation Trident, the Met?s gun crime unit. It was in this capacity that she came to wider public attention when, in the wake of the 2005 London transport bombings, an innocent man was shot dead by police at Stockwell tube station. The Met was severely criticised in the aftermath of Jean Charles de Menezes?s death. Cressida Dick was the commander in charge of the operation, but a 2007 trial found that she bore no personal culpability. In 2011, she became Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations responsible for counter-terrorism work, but in 2015 she left the Met to work at the Foreign Office. In February 2017, she made her return to policing when she was the successful candidate in the search for Listen

Bob Mortimer, comedian
Bob Mortimer is a comedian best known for his work with his comedy partner Vic Reeves. For 30 years, he and Vic have appeared in numerous TV series together, including Vic Reeves? Big Night Out, Shooting Stars and The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer. Bob first saw Vic performing in a south London pub: Vic was wearing a Bryan Ferry mask while trying to tap dance with wooden planks strapped to his feet. Bob found this hugely entertaining, and began to take part in Vic?s shows. Bob was born in 1959 in Middlesbrough, the youngest of four boys. His father died in a car crash when he was seven and Bob says he became his mother?s little helper ? although he also set fire to their house after playing with fireworks. As a teenager he dreamed of a career as a footballer, but he ended up studying law at university, and worked as a solicitor in south London. In 2015 Bob underwent triple heart bypass surgery. After this ? in a rare diversion from working with Vic ? he accepted an invitation from fellow comedian Paul Whitehouse to get out of the house and go fishing, which led to a successful TV series, Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah TaylorListen

Wendy Cope, poet
Wendy Cope is one of England?s most popular and widely-read contemporary poets. Wendy was born in Erith, Kent. Her father was 29 years older than her mother and she was sent to boarding school at the age of seven. Although English was her favourite subject at school, in a bid to defy her English teacher?s expectations, she read history at Oxford. Following graduation she became a primary school teacher. After the death of her father in 1971, Wendy entered psychoanalysis in 1973 and turned to writing poetry. Having attended evening classes in creative writing, one of her poems was published in a collection which brought her to the attention of Faber and Faber. Her first volume of poetry, Making Cocoa For Kingsley Amis, was published in 1986, and became an instant success, and she gave up teaching to become a full time writer. She has since published four volumes of a poetry: Serious Concerns (1992), If I Don?t Know (2001), Family Values (2011) and Anecdotal Evidence (2018) as well as two volumes for children, Twiddling Your Thumbs (1988) and The River Girl (1991). In 2011, Wendy sold her entire personal archive to the British Library, which consisted of 15 boxes of manuscript, including several unpublished early works. Wendy lives in Ely and is married to fellow poet, Lachlan Mackinnon. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen



James Rebanks, shepherd and writer
James Rebanks is a shepherd and the best-selling author of The Shepherd?s Life. Born in Cumbria in 1974, he grew up venerating his grandfather, who taught him what he needed to know in order to take over the family farm from his father one day. He found school an irksome distraction, and left aged 15 with two GCSEs. It wasn?t until his early 20s, after he?d developed an interest in reading and had met his future wife Helen, that he decided to return to study at a local college in the evenings. Encouraged by a tutor, he applied for a place at Oxford University, and graduated with a double first in History. After university, he worked in a number of white-collar jobs, in order to boost his income while ensuring he could continue to work on the farm. He breeds two different types of sheep: Herdwicks, which are a native breed to his part of the world, and Swaledales, which he kept out of respect to his father who died in 2015, just before the publication of James?s first book. He began chronicling his life as a shepherd on Twitter in 2012 but is currently taking a break from tweeting. He and Helen have four children. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

Ruth Jones, actor and writer
Ruth Jones is an actor and writer. She co-created and starred in the award-winning TV comedy series Gavin and Stacey, and also wrote and took the title role in the comedy drama Stella, which ran for six series. She grew up in Porthcawl, in South Wales, where the local secondary school nurtured her love of performance. She took to the stage in numerous school musicals, along with fellow pupil Rob Brydon. After studying drama at Warwick University, she struggled at first to find work as an actor. She briefly considered becoming a solicitor, before she won the role of a ninja turtle in Dick Whittington at the Porthcawl Pavilion and gained an Equity card. Her TV work ranges from costume dramas to comedies including Little Britain and Nighty Night. She developed the idea for Gavin and Stacey with James Corden when they were both filming the ITV series Fat Friends. The story of a boy from Billericay who falls for a girl from Barry, Gavin and Stacey began on BBC Three, with Ruth?s role as straight-talking, leather-wearing Nessa winning people?s hearts. She and James wrote every episode, and the finale, on BBC One, reached more than 10 million viewers. Last year Ruth published her first novel, Never Greener, which topped the bestseller lists, and she returned to the stage in the musical play The Nightingales. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah TaylorListen

Jeremy Deller, artist
The Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller is perhaps best known for We?re Here Because We?re Here, a moving and powerful memorial to the Battle of the Somme, and The Battle of Orgreave ? a re-enactment of the confrontation between police and pickets at the height of the miners? strike. Deller doesn?t paint, draw or sculpt and his work encompasses film, photography and installations. At school his creative endeavours were not always appreciated, and at 13 he was asked to leave the art class. His lifelong love of history was ignited by childhood trips to museums with his father, and is evident in the subjects he addresses, from Stonehenge, which he re-created as a giant bouncy castle, to William Morris. He managed to meet Andy Warhol in London in 1986 and went to spend two formative weeks at Warhol?s New York City studio, the Factory. The experience crystallised in Deller the belief that art can come in many forms and that an artist can create their own world of ideas. His memorial to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre will be unveiled in August 2019. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinleyListen

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 DrysdaleListen

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. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah TaylorListen

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 talentListen

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. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah TaylorListen



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. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

Tracey Thorn
Tracey Thorn, musician and writer, is best known as one half of the duo Everything but the Girl. Brought up in Brookmans Park, Hertfordshire, she bought her first guitar, a black Les Paul copy, when she was 16 and her first band was called the Stern Bobs. Shortly after, she formed her own all-female band, Marine Girls, before moving to Hull University to study English. On her first night there, she met her future husband, Ben Watt, and they went on to form Everything But the Girl. Between 1982 and 2000, they sold more than nine million records and toured Europe and America. Despite their success, Tracey did not always enjoy performing live. At 35 she left the pop world to look after her twin girls, who were followed by her son Blake. She took about seven years out to be a full time parent, but since then she has come back to song-writing, recording music and writing: her first memoir Bedsit Disco Queen was a best seller, and she has a fortnightly column in the New Statesman. This year Tracey was presented with the outstanding contribution to music prize, at the AIM independent music awards. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

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. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

Vanley Burke
Vanley Burke is a Jamaican-born photographer often described as the Godfather of Black British Photography. His body of work is regarded as the greatest photographic record of African Caribbean people in post-war Britain. He is motivated by a desire to document culture and history. Vanley was born in 1951 in St Thomas, Jamaica. When he was four, his mother emigrated to Britain to train as a nurse, leaving him in his grandparents? care. His mother sent him a Box Brownie camera as a present when he was ten, and his interest in photography was born. When he was 14 he left Jamaica to join his mother and her husband and their children, in Handsworth, Birmingham, where they ran a shop. Vanley?s fascination with photography continued and he began taking photographs of every aspect of the life of his local community. He also started collecting relevant objects to provide more context for his photographs, gathering everything from pamphlets, records and clothes to hurricane lamps. His archive became so substantial that it is largely housed in Birmingham?s Central Library. In 1977 he photographed African Liberation Day in Handsworth Park, documenting what is thought to be the largest all-black crowd ever to assemble in Britain. In 1983 he held his first exhibition, Handsworth from the Inside, at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, and in 2015 the entire contents of his flat was relocated to the gallery for the exhibition At Home with Vanley BListen

Jacqueline Gold
Jacqueline Gold is the CEO of the retail brands Ann Summers and Knickerbox. She joined the business at the age of 19 for work experience, and faced resistance because her father, David Gold, was the owner. By the time she was 21, she had persuaded the largely sceptical all-male board to invest in her radical idea: to re-invent the Ann Summers brand by selling lingerie and sex toys at women-only parties held in their homes. Along with the parties, there are now over 100 high street shops, with a multi-million pound turnover. Jacqueline?s childhood was difficult after her parents divorced when she was 12. Although she was a shy child, she worked throughout her teens which brought her a degree of financial independence and resilience. Today she?s a strong advocate of female empowerment, supports women in business and has set up the WOW incentive on Twitter. Jacqueline was awarded a CBE in 2016 and was ranked as the 16th wealthiest female entrepreneur by The Sunday Times in 2017. Happily married for the second time, she and her husband Dan underwent several courses of IVF treatment, and she eventually conceived twins. One of the children, Alfie, only survived for eight months. Their daughter, Scarlett is now aged nine. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

Venki Ramakrishnan
Venki Ramakrishnan is a Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist. He is most renowned for his research into the atomic structure of the ribosome - a complex molecule in the cell which translates DNA into chains of amino acids that build proteins, the essence of life. This work eventually secured Venki a Nobel Prize in 2009, which he shared with Ada Yonath and Thomas Steitz. Venki was born in Tamil Nadu, in the south of India. Both his parents were scientists, and both pursued postgraduate studies overseas when Venki was very young. He completed his schooling in India, and then moved to the United States. Life on an American campus in the early 1970s was, he recalls, a culture shock for a self-confessed nerdy young Indian. He completed a PhD in Physics in 1976, but then switched to biology which he felt was a more exciting discipline. His research into the ribosome began when he was working at Yale as a post-doctoral fellow in the late 1970s. He moved to the UK in 1999, joining the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge as a group leader. He was knighted in 2012, and has served as President of the Royal Society since 2015, where he has argued that science should enjoy a central place in the curriculum and in our wider culture. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor Listen

Nile Rodgers
Nile Rodgers is a Grammy-winning composer, musician, and producer. With his own band, Chic, he's been enticing people on to the dance floor since the mid-1970s with hits like Le Freak and Good Times. With over 200 production credits to his name, he has worked on many highly successful albums from Sister Sledge?s We Are Family to David Bowie?s Let?s Dance and Madonna?s Like a Virgin. Born in New York City in 1952 to a teenage mother, he spent his early life immersed in his parents? bohemian, beatnik, and drug-dominated lifestyle. Drugs played a part in Nile's life too from an early age, and he took his first acid trip with Timothy Leary at the age of 15. After learning to play the guitar, he got his musical break touring with the Sesame Street stage show and playing in the house band of Harlem?s Apollo Theatre, where he met bassist Bernard Edwards with whom he developed a productive musical partnership and went on to found Chic. Following the Disco Sucks movement of the late 1970s, Nile and Bernard turned to production, and sprinkled their magic dust on Sister Sledge and Diana Ross. When Nile and Bernard went their separate ways in the early 1980s, Nile forged ahead on his own, working with, among others, Madonna, Michael Jackson, David Bowie and Duran Duran. Nile went into rehab in 1994 and has been clean and sober for the past 24 years and has received successful treatment for cancer twice. He won threListen



Thea Musgrave
Composer Thea Musgrave celebrated her 90th birthday this year, an event marked by celebrations and concerts around the world, including the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh International Festival. She has published more than 150 compositions, including major orchestral works and numerous operas, and continues to write every day. Thea was born in Edinburgh in May 1928, and still has sharp memories of hearing news of the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940. She learned the piano as a child, but had ambitions to become a doctor. She began medical studies at the University of Edinburgh, but after struggling with the sciences, she switched to the music department, which happened to be in an adjacent building. In the early 1950s, she spent four years studying composition with Nadia Boulanger in Paris before moving to London and establishing herself as a prominent member of British musical life. In 1970 she became Guest Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 1971 she married the American opera conductor Peter Mark, and she has lived in the United States since 1972. She was awarded a CBE in 2002, and earlier this year she was presented with The Queen's Medal for Music. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah TaylorListen

Tom Daley
Tom Daley started diving aged seven and by the age of 14 was representing Great Britain at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He has won six British Championships, three European Championships and won the World Championships in 2009 and 2017. Born in Plymouth in 1994, he?s the oldest son of Rob and Debbie Daley. He has two younger brothers. His success at a very young age led to widespread media attention, but as he became famous, he was bullied and had to change schools at the age of 15. His parents encouraged his sporting ambitions and he was always able to spot his father in the crowd at competitions because he?d be waving a huge union jack. In 2006 Rob was diagnosed with brain cancer and despite initially successful treatment, the cancer returned. He died in 2011, missing the London 2012 Olympics, where Tom won a bronze medal in the individual 10m platform event. In 2013 Tom met Dustin Lance Black and they married in 2017. They recently became parents ? through surrogacy ? of a son called Robert. Tom is currently in training for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Cathy DrysdaleListen

Henry Marsh
Henry Marsh is a neurosurgeon, who pioneered a technique of operating on the brain while the patient is under local anaesthetic. The procedure is now standard practice. He is also an acclaimed writer. He was born in 1950 in Oxford, where his father was an academic. His mother came to England as a political refugee from Nazi Germany in the late 1930s. Henry did not initially pursue a career in medicine: after dropping out of university, he found work as a hospital porter, and only then decided to train as a doctor. He was appointed a consultant at St George?s Hospital, London, in 1987. He has spent his career in the NHS, and has also frequently worked abroad, in Ukraine, Nepal, Albania and elsewhere. He retired in 2015, but continues to teach one day a week and to work overseas to help less experienced surgeons. In 2014, he published a memoir, Do No Harm, which was widely praised for its honesty about mistakes in the operating theatre. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Sarah TaylorListen

Danielle de Niese
Danielle de Niese is a soprano who has taken starring roles with leading opera companies around the world. She was born in Melbourne, Australia, to Sri Lankan parents, and at the age of eight she won a national TV talent show, singing a pop medley. When she was ten, her parents moved the family to Los Angeles, so that she could pursue her dream of becoming an opera singer. She also presented a TV programme, L.A. Kids, for which she won an Emmy award at the age of 16. She made her professional operatic debut when she was 15 with the Los Angeles Opera, appeared briefly in Les Miserables on Broadway, and first performed with the Metropolitan Opera in New York at the age of 19, taking the role of Barbarina in a production of The Marriage of Figaro, directed by Jonathan Miller. In 2005 she came to more widespread public attention with her performances as Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare at Glyndebourne, stepping into the role at the last minute when the original Cleopatra was unwell. She first appeared at the Royal Opera House in London four years later, and her international stage career now ranges from baroque operas to new works. She has also presented a number of television programmes about music. She married Gus Christie, the grandson of Glyndebourne's founder, in 2009. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Classic Desert Island Discs: Malorie Blackman
Another chance to listen to the writer speaking to Kirsty Young in 2013. A prolific and multi-award winning author, Malorie Blackman has powered her way to success not just through talent but determination and perseverance. From the careers mistress who told her, "black people don't become teachers," to the 82 rejection letters she received before she was published, significant parts of her life seem to have been spent proving people wrong. A technology whiz, her first career was in computing. As a writer her books have tackled challenging themes: bullying, teenage pregnancy, racism and terrorism. A former Children's Laureate, her own formative years were spent in South London where as a little girl she went from thinking everyone was her friend to feeling, as a teenager, that the world was her enemy. She says, "Good stories made me reassess the world and people as I thought I knew them. Great stories made me reassess myself."Listen

Classic Desert Island Discs: Dame Cicely Saunders
Another chance to listen to the founder of the Hospice Movement speaking to Sue Lawley in 1995. Dame Cicely Saunders talks about her schooldays at Roedean, how she trained as a nurse and much later, as a doctor. When she was 29 she fell in love with a young patient dying of cancer, who bequeathed her a legacy of £500. Starting with that bequest, she raised enough money for a new kind of hospice dedicated to care for the dying. Favourite track: Symphony No 7 in A Major by Ludwig van Beethoven Book: The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations Luxury: Pen and paperListen

Classic Desert Island Discs: Cilla Black
Another chance to listen to the singer and television presenter speaking to Sue Lawley in 1988. Cilla Black reveals her three remaining burning ambitions in life: to make a number-one record, to become a grandmother and to be treated as a real sex symbol - all this with 25 years of singing and compering success behind her. The matchmaker supreme also talks about her legendary early days in Liverpool, her subsequent career and her family. Favourite track: The Long and Winding Road by The Beatles Book: Fables by Aesop Luxury: Manicure set and nail varnishListen



Classic Desert Island Discs: Brian Redhead
Another chance to listen to the journalist and broadcaster speaking to Michael Parkinson in 1986. Brian Redhead presented the Today programme for almost 20 years. He talks about his appearance on Children's Hour as a clarinetist, his early days as a journalist on the Manchester Guardian and his editorship of the Manchester Evening News. Favourite track: Clarinet Quintet in B Minor - 2nd Movement by Johannes Brahms Book: Commentary on the Bible by Arthur Pink Luxury: Taj MahalListen

Classic Desert Island Discs: Sir Michael Tippett
Another chance to listen to the composer speaking to Roy Plomley in 1985. Sir Michael Tippett is regarded as one of the foremost composers of the twentieth century. Other than a period as Director of Music at Morley College, he allowed very little to distract him from composition. His output includes four symphonies, four operas, four string quartets and several concertos. Favourite track: Vespro Della Beata Vergine by Claudio Monteverdi Book: Blank pages Luxury: Egg timerListen

Pam Ayres
Pam Ayres is a poet and broadcaster. Pam was born in the Vale of the White Horse and retains her characteristic Berkshire burr. She is the youngest of six children, and grew up in the company of her four brothers and a sister in a small council house. Although she was interested in writing from an early age, she failed her 11-plus exam and left school at 15 to join the Civil Service and later the Women's Royal Air Force, where she found opportunities to appear in amateur dramatics. She began to perform her comic verse in local folk clubs in the early 1970s and her first break came when she secured a spot on BBC Radio Oxford. In 1975, she won the TV talent show Opportunity Knocks and by the following year she had given up her day job. Pam has sold more than three million copies of her books, and has been called "the people's poet", thanks to her ability to write verse which resonates with a wide audience. Her best-loved poems include Oh, I Wish I'd Looked After Me Teeth, which was voted one of the UK's top ten comic verses in a BBC poll. Striking a very different note, her poem Woodland Burial has become a popular reading at funerals. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Marianne Elliott
Marianne Elliott is the first woman to win two Tony awards for theatre direction: the first for War Horse and the second for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. Both transferred to Broadway from the National Theatre, London, and have gone on to travel the world. Marianne's parents, grandparents and great-grandparents all worked in the theatre. Her father, Michael Elliott, was a founding director of the Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester and her mother, Rosalind Knight, now in her 80s, has enjoyed a lifetime on the stage and is still working. Although Marianne read Drama at Hull University, it wasn't until she was in her late 20s that her career began, when she became assistant director at the Regents Park Open Air Theatre. She went on to follow in her father's footsteps, working at the Royal Exchange, before becoming Associate Director at the National Theatre in London. In 2017 she left to set up her own theatre company with producer Chris Harper. Their next show will be Stephen Sondheim's Company. In addition to all her theatrical prizes, she has just been awarded the OBE for services to theatre in the 2018 Birthday Honours list. She is married to actor Nick Sidi and they have one daughter. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Baroness Newlove
Baroness Newlove is the Victims' Commissioner for England and Wales. She became a campaigner after her husband, Garry Newlove, was murdered by several youths in 2007. Born in Salford in 1961 she grew up in a working class family. Having left school at sixteen she became a copy typist at a magistrate's court and later a committal court assistant. She met Garry when she was 20 and they married and had two daughters. In 1992, when he was just 32, Garry was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He survived and the couple went on to have a third daughter. The family lived in an area of Warrington which was experiencing an increase in anti-social behaviour. In August 2007, Garry went outside to investigate a disturbance and was viciously attacked by some youths in front of his three daughters. Three days later, the decision was taken to switch off his life support. Three youths were subsequently found guilty of Garry's murder and in the wake of the family's experience, Helen set up an initiative called Newlove Warrington to provide support to the young people in the area. She was given a peerage in 2010 and sits on the Conservative benches. She took up various roles in support of victims in the House of Lords, culminating in her appointment as Victims' Commissioner, a post she took up in 2013. She is currently in her second term and will be serving in the post until 2019. Helen remarried in 2012. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: CaListen

Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King won 39 Grand Slams and a total of 20 Wimbledon titles and is regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Born in California in 1943, she was the eldest daughter of Bill and Betty Moffitt. She discovered tennis at the age of ten: at 15 she won in her age bracket at the Southern California championships, and in 1961, she won the women's doubles at Wimbledon with Karen Hantze, the youngest pair to achieve such a victory. In 1968, when professional competitors were admitted to Grand Slam tournaments, she won Wimbledon for the third time and was paid just £750 while Rod Laver, the Men's champion, took home £2,000. So began her campaign for gender equality, which involved boycotting tournaments and setting up their own professional women's circuit. In 1973, then aged 29, she beat the 55-year-old former tennis champion Bobby Riggs in a match which became known as 'The Battle of the Sexes': it remains the most-watched tennis match ever. That year the US Open awarded the same financial reward to men and women and in 2007 Wimbledon followed suit. Billie Jean also founded the Women's Tennis Association and the Women's Sports Foundation in the 1970s. She married her husband, Larry, in 1965 but by the late 1960s, she had realised that she was gay. She was outed by a former lover who sued her for palimony in 1981, and although she won the case, she lost almost all her commercial endorsListen

Philip Treacy
Philip Treacy is one of the most prolific and acclaimed hat designers working in the UK. His work was very much in evidence at this year's Royal Wedding and at Royal Ascot. Meghan Markle wore one of his designs for her first official public engagement as the Duchess of Sussex. Other notable clients include Madonna, Tina Turner, Grace Jones, who has showcased his creations on and off stage, and Lady Gaga, for whom he made a black telephone hat. Originally from Ahascragh, a small village in County Galway, Ireland, Philip learned to sew when he was six years old. He grew up opposite a church and he recalls how, as a young boy, he would go to all the weddings, uninvited, to look at the clothes and in particular the wedding dresses. He went on to study fashion at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, and then won a place on the MA fashion design course at the Royal College of Art in London, graduating in 1990 with first class honours. He enjoyed a meteoric rise to success when fashion stylist Isabella Blow saw his student hat collection. She introduced him to Karl Lagerfeld, who quickly invited him to design hats for Chanel Couture when he was still in his early twenties. He has won the title of British Accessory Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards on five occasions, and was awarded an honorary OBE for services to the British fashion industry in 2007. Presenter Kirsty Young Producer SarahListen



Guy Singh-Watson
Guy Singh-Watson is an organic farmer and founder of Riverford, a major British supplier of organic vegetables through a box delivery scheme. Born in 1960 and the youngest of five children, his parents became tenant farmers in Devon in 1951. He describes himself as "a proper little farm boy", and spent his free time outside, clambering up trees, catching rabbits, rearing his own pig and helping on the farm. Severely dyslexic, he disliked school, but thanks to an aptitude for performing well in exams, he won a place at Oxford University to read Agricultural and Forestry Science, graduating with a First. He briefly joined the family farm, but left to become a management consultant in London and then New York, returning to the farm in 1986. He started cultivating vegetables on three acres of land with a wheelbarrow and a borrowed tractor, and found his niche, moving from three to 18 to 50 acres quite rapidly. Initially, Guy sold to supermarkets, but became convinced that there must be a better way of getting his produce to customers, and set up a veg box scheme in 1993. His company now delivers to around 50,000 homes a week and had a turnover of £56.7 million in 2017. Guy has four grown-up children from his first marriage and an eight-year-old step-daughter from his second marriage to Geetie Singh. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Martina Cole
Martina Cole is a British crime writer, known to her fans as the Queen of Crime. Martina has written 24 novels, 15 of which have topped the original fiction sales charts - more than any other author. She has sold more than 16 million books around the world, and her work has been translated into 29 languages. She also works in prisons, leading reading schemes and writing workshops for prisoners. Martina grew up in Essex, the youngest of five children born to Irish parents. She was expelled from her convent school at 15 for reading a book by Harold Robbins. She married at 16, divorced at 17 and then had a baby at the age of 18. She wrote stories and scripts in her spare time to amuse herself, whilst taking on a series of low-paid jobs, including cleaning, waitressing, stacking shelves and leafletting. At the age of 31, she re-discovered one of her early attempts at a novel, and decided to send it to an agent. She chose Darley Anderson from the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook because she liked the sound of the name. He quickly contacted her and told her she would be a star. He was right: she received an advance of £150,000, then a record for a first time novelist. She has written a best-selling crime novel almost every year ever since. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

John Motson
John Walker Motson, OBE, also known as Motty, has been commentating on football since 1971. He covered more than 2000 games on television and radio, including all the major football championships, 29 FA Cup finals (with an additional five replays), 10 World Cups, 10 European Championships and 200 England games. At the age of 72 he's just retired. Known not only for his footballing knowledge and his voice, he is often recognised by his knee-length sheepskin coat. His passion for football was ignited by his father, a Methodist minister for 40 years, who on his one day off each week would take his only son to watch football. The first game John attended was at Charlton Athletic when he was seven, and the excitement of it inspired him to create scrapbooks of footballing facts and collect match programmes. After five years at boarding school, where he wasn't allowed to play football, he left at 16 after one term doing A levels. He joined the Barnet Press as a trainee reporter and then moved onto the Sheffield Telegraph. When BBC Radio Sheffield, one of the first six local radio stations, came on air, he was one of the reporters pulled in to give match summaries. He then moved to the BBC as a sports assistant in radio, before joining the Match of the Day team on television. He has been supported in his career by his solicitor wife, Annie, who meticulously kept details of every match in thick A4 books which John used forListen

Professor Carlos Frenk
Professor Carlos Frenk is a cosmologist and one of the originators of the Cold Dark Matter theory for the formation of galaxies and the structure of the universe. He has worked at Durham University since 1985, where he was appointed the inaugural Ogden Professor of Fundamental Physics in 2001 and has been Director of the Institute for Computational Cosmology since 2002. Born in Mexico in 1951, he is the son of a German Jewish immigrant father and a Mexican mother with Spanish roots. After completing his physics degree in Mexico, he came to Cambridge University in the mid-1970s to do a PhD in Astronomy. His first postgraduate job took him to the University of California where he worked on a computer simulation of the universe with three fellow cosmologists, disproving the idea that the universe contains hot dark matter and establishing the theory of cold dark matter instead. Professor Frenk's papers have received more than 100,000 citations, making him one of the most frequently cited authors in the field of space science and astronomy. He has won a number of prizes for his work, including the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society. He was awarded a CBE in 2017. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Gillian Reynolds
Gillian Reynolds spent 42 years as the radio critic of the Daily Telegraph before she was headhunted by the Sunday Times at the age of 82. Born into a working class family in Liverpool, her mother ran a market stall and her father was a seaman, but also a gambler. Her mother was determined to ensure that Gillian had a good education, and she was the first in her family to go to a grammar school. She went on to study English at Oxford. She took up an internship in America, where she met her husband, and they returned to Liverpool when she became pregnant with the first of her three sons. She first worked as a radio critic for the Guardian in 1967. She became the first female controller of a commercial radio station when she joined Radio City, Liverpool, in 1974. She moved to London in 1975 when she left her troubled marriage, and secured the job of radio critic for the Telegraph, as well as working as a journalist in television and radio, at one point even co-presenting the Today programme. She chaired the Sony Radio Awards for four years, the only woman to have done so, and the Radio Academy Festival for a decade. She lives alone, but with around two dozen radios, in Notting Hill. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

David Baddiel
David Baddiel is a comedian and writer. Known both for his solo work and for his comedic collaborations with, among others, Rob Newman and Frank Skinner, he has also written a screenplay, a musical and several books. Born in 1964 to Jewish parents, the second of three boys, he was brought up in Dollis Hill, London. His father was a scientist from Swansea and his mother was a refugee, whose family had to flee from Nazi Germany. When David was 13, his older brother Ivor played him sketches by Derek and Clive which kindled his appetite to become a comedian. He read English at Cambridge and became vice-president of the Footlights before starting out on the London comedy circuit. Together with Steve Punt, Hugh Dennis and Rob Newman, he was part of The Mary Whitehouse Experience for Radio 1 and later BBC 2. Rob and David went on to create Newman and Baddiel in Pieces, and were the first comedians to sell out Wembley Arena with a gig in 1993, prompting newspapers to declare comedy "the new rock 'n' roll". David then formed a comedy partnership with Frank Skinner and they hosted Fantasy Football League and later Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned. They co-wrote the lyrics to one of the best-known football songs, Three Lions. In 2005, David took a break from performance and concentrated on writing novels for adults and children's books as well as the script for a film, which became a musical, The Infidel. He returned to stand-up in 201Listen

Dr Sue Black
Dr. Sue Black is a computer scientist, academic and social entrepreneur. She was instrumental in saving Bletchley Park, the home of vital codebreaking during the second world war. Currently an honorary professor at UCL, she founded BCS Women for women in science and the social enterprise Tech Mums, which teaches parents about computing. She is also on an advisory board for the government's digital services. Born in Fareham, Hampshire, she was 12 when her mother died of a brain haemorrhage. She left school and home at the earliest legal age, 16, and by the age of 20 she was the mother of three children. She returned to education by taking a maths access course at night school which led to a degree in computing from London South Bank University in 1993. She gained a PhD in software engineering in 2001 and became a lecturer. She was Head of Department of Computing Science at the University of Westminster before leaving in 2012 to become a technology evangelist. In 2016 She was awarded the Order of the British Empire for services to for services to technology. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen



Sir Peter Lampl
Sir Peter Lampl is a philanthropist who has given over £50 million and worked for 20 years to combat educational inequality. In 1997 he founded the Sutton Trust with the aim of improving social mobility. The Trust has funded over 200 research studies, and it initiates and supports a wide range of programmes, covering everything from early years education to access to the professions. The son of a Viennese émigré, Peter Lampl grew up in modest circumstances in Yorkshire until the age of 11, when his family relocated to Surrey. He attended grammar schools, Oxford University and the London Business School. He worked as a management consultant and businessman in the USA and Europe, and in 1983 he set up the Sutton Company, an international private equity firm. His first move into philanthropy came in the wake of the Dunblane school shootings in 1996, when he funded the campaign which led to a complete ban on the private ownership of handguns in the UK. His interest in social mobility was sparked by his realisation that in recent years "a kid like me had little chance of making it to Oxbridge", noting that his school was now "all fee-paying" and his Oxford college "used to have lots of ordinary Welsh kids, but they're not coming through any more." He received an OBE in 2000 for services to Access to Higher Education, and was knighted in June 2003. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Abi Morgan
Abi Morgan is a screenwriter and playwright best known for TV dramas The Hour, River and The Split and the films Shame, Suffragette and The Iron Lady. She won two Emmy Awards for The Hour, as well as two BAFTAs for Best Single Drama for White Girl and Sex Traffic, and Meryl Streep won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. Born into a theatrical family - her father was a theatre director, her mother is an actress - she only began to write during her university days at Exeter. After graduating, she kept herself afloat by waitressing while continuing to write and had her first play performed professionally in 1998 when she was 30. She's become known for her gritty storylines in the dramas Murder, Sex Traffic, and Tsunami, but has also adapted several books for both the small and the big screen including Brick Lane, The Invisible Woman, and Birdsong. Abi lives in London with her long-term partner, the actor Jacob Krichefski, and their two teenage children. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Classic Desert Island Discs: Sue Townsend
Another chance to listen to the writer speaking to Sue Lawley in 1991. Her most famous creation was Adrian Mole, and, in many respects, his life mirrored her own: like her hero, she came from a poor but not deprived background and always nursed a secret ambition to be a writer. She talks to Sue Lawley about her life and work and carefully selects eight records which remind her of some of the most significant events in her life. Favourite track: Violin Concerto in D by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Book: Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis Luxury: Swimming pool of champagneListen

Classic Desert Island Discs: Annie Lennox
Another chance to listen to the singer-songwriter speaking to Kirsty Young in 2008. Her extraordinary voice has captivated us for decades and, as one half of the group Eurythmics and as a solo artist, she's sold tens of millions of records and won fistfuls of awards. As a teenager, her musical ability was her passport out of her home town of Aberdeen. At that point, a career as a flautist beckoned: but, after studying in London, she felt she could never make her mark as a classical musician. It was a chance encounter with aspiring pop-star Dave Stewart that set her on an entirely different path. For much of the 1980s, all her creative energy went into making music. But when her children were born, she says, her priorities shifted. Now she devotes much of her time and energy to supporting different humanitarian causes. She says: "I need to find meaning in my life to make me happy; and that's been an ongoing struggle." Favourite track: I Say A Little Prayer by Aretha Franklin Book: Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle Luxury: SuncreamListen

Classic Desert Island Discs: Stephen Hawking
Another chance to listen to the theoretical physicist speaking to Sue Lawley in 1992. Stephen Hawking wrote the best-selling A Brief History of Time and was the founder of the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge, where he was also the Emeritus Lucasian Professor. He talked to Sue Lawley about his life and work, and the illness which left him severely disabled, as well as selecting the eight discs he would choose to take to the mythical island. Favourite track: Requiem by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Book: Middlemarch by George Eliot Luxury: Crème brûléeListen

Classic Desert Island Discs: Victoria Wood
Another chance to listen to the comedian speaking to Kirsty Young in 2007. For decades she was one of our best-loved writers and performers. The television series she made - including Acorn Antiques, Dinnerladies and Housewife 49 - won her a devoted following as well as stacks of awards. But, in a moving and open interview, she describes how, as a teenager, she felt she was a misfit - she had few friends, she struggled with her weight and at school she used to steal other people's homework. She joined a youth theatre and it was, she says, the saving of her. She found like-minded people and a sense that she had something to offer. She was very careful about how much of her own life she put into her work. She doesn't mind saying she cuts her pubic hair with nail-scissors, but rarely discusses her children on the stage. Favourite track: What a Fool Believes by The Doobie Brothers Book: A big book by Charles Dickens Luxury: A bumper book of Sudoku with blank pages & pensListen

Classic Desert Island Discs: Hugh Masekela
Another chance to listen to the world famous musician speaking to Sue Lawley in 2004. As a boy growing up in the impoverished townships of South Africa, he was inspired to learn the trumpet after seeing Kirk Douglas play Bix Beiderbecke in Young Man With A Horn. He begged one of his teachers - the anti-apartheid crusader Father Trevor Huddleston - to buy him a horn and in return he promised to stay out of trouble. Hugh soon made a name for himself in South Africa but as the racial tensions intensified during the 50s he decided he had to leave his homeland to get a better music education in America. There he quickly made a name for himself with his fusion of African jazz music and became a 'flower child' playing with some of the great bands of the decade: Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix and the Byrds. He's still probably best known for his number-one track, Grazing in the Grass, which sold four million copies worldwide in 1968. He returned to Africa in 1973, spending the next 17 years working on a range of musical collaborations in Botswana, Liberia, Nigeria, Congo and Guinea. Then, after thirty years in self-imposed exile, he returned to his homeland in 1990. Favourite track: Lilizela Mlilezeli by Mahlathini & the Mahotella Queens Book: Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens Luxury: A keyboardListen



Anne-Marie Duff
Anne-Marie Duff is a stage and screen actor. Born in 1970 to Irish parents, she grew up in a working class household in west London. A shy child and a voracious reader, she took acting classes from the age of 11, but failed to get into drama school on her first attempt. Her second application to the Drama Centre in London was successful and she's barely been out of work since. She started off on stage, but gained more widespread recognition when she took the role of Fiona Gallagher in Shameless, the acclaimed Channel 4 comedy drama. She has since played dozens of roles, both in the theatre and on screen, which range from Queen Elizabeth I to John Lennon's mother, from a penniless suffragette to a retired police officer with skeletons in the cupboard, and from Joan of Arc to Lady Macbeth on Broadway and at the National Theatre. Her performances have been described as having a "multi-faceted, diamond-hard intensity". Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

David Byrne
David Byrne was a founding member of the band Talking Heads. Born in Dumbarton, Scotland, he emigrated first to Canada and then to the USA before the age of ten. He started playing in bands at school and, when art school didn't work out for him, he founded Talking Heads with a couple of friends. They played their first gig, opening for the Ramones, at the legendary New York club CBGB's, in June 1975. Eight studio albums later, cracks were beginning to show in the relations between band members, and by 1991 Talking Heads had officially split up. Since then, he has enjoyed a solo career, and also made films, published photographic books, composed scores for musicals, created art installations and written books. He has received an Academy Award for Best Original Music Score, as well as a Golden Globe and a Grammy, for his soundtrack to the 1987 film The Last Emperor. He and his fellow Talking Heads members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. He lives in New York and has a daughter in her late twenties from his 17 year marriage to Adelle Lutz. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

John Gray
John Gray is a philosopher. His academic career included professorships at Oxford University and the London School of Economics, and visiting professorships at Harvard and Yale in the USA. He retired from academia in 2008, and has dedicated himself to writing full time since then. He is the lead book reviewer of the New Statesman and a regular contributor to the Guardian. Born in 1948 in South Shields, his father was a Tyneside dock worker, his mother a homemaker. A voracious reader as a child, and encouraged by his history teacher at his grammar school, he won a scholarship to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford. Initially of the political Left, he became an advocate of the policies of the Right before the advent of Thatcherism. He then moved again to the Left. He supported the Leave cause in the Brexit referendum. John contends that history is not progressive, but cyclical, and that any improvements other than certain scientific discoveries can be easily lost or reversed. He cites the use of torture against terror suspects as an example. John has written several influential books, including False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism (1998), which predicted the global financial crisis; Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals (2002), which attacked philosophical humanism; and Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia (2007), a critique of Utopian thinking in the modernListen

Matt Smith
Matt Smith is best known as the eleventh Timelord in the BBC One series, Doctor Who. At 26, he became the youngest actor to take the part. His future looked set to be in football: he played at youth level for Northampton Town, Nottingham Forest and Leicester City until a serious back condition ended his highly promising career prematurely. His drama teacher encouraged him to take up acting and he joined the National Youth Theatre and studied drama at the University of East Anglia. He played Lockwood in the National Theatre's touring production of The History Boys and was nominated for an Evening Standard Best Newcomer Award for his performance in Polly Stenham's That Face. He also appeared as a political researcher in the BBC Two parliamentary drama, Party Animals. Despite being a surprise choice to play The Doctor in 2009, he became the first actor to be nominated for a BAFTA television award for his performance in this role, and has won two National Television Awards. When he left Doctor Who at the end of 2013, he appeared on stage as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho: The Musical. In 2016 he took the part of HRH Prince Philip Mountbatten, The Duke of Edinburgh, in the Netflix series The Crown, and received great acclaim, leaving the role at the end of the second series in late 2017. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Dame Minouche Shafik
Dame Minouche Shafik is the director of the London School of Economics and a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. She was born in Egypt but her family had to flee the country when she was four years old, because her parents lost everything during President Nasser's nationalisation programme. Her father, a scientist, found work in America, and Minouche and her sister attended numerous schools there, before she went back to Egypt at the age of 16. She trained as an economist, studying at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and the London School of Economics before receiving her doctorate at Oxford. Minouche Shafik was the youngest ever Vice President of the World Bank, at the age of 36. She later served as the Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Development from 2008 to 2011. She joined the Bank of England as its first Deputy Governor on Markets in 2014, and was a member of the bank's monetary policy committee. She became a Dame in the 2015 June Birthday Honours list. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan is best known for reviving the Batman film franchise and for directing the blockbusters Inception and Dunkirk. His films have taken nearly $5 billion at the box office. Born in London in 1970 to an English father and an American mother, he discovered film-making at the age of seven. In what he describes as "a leap of faith", his father lent him his Super 8 camera - and he's not stopped making films since. From youthful experiments, manipulating his action figures and shooting stop motion animations, he progressed to making short films at university where he read English - although he spent more time at University College London's Bloomsbury Theatre, home to the film society, than the lecture theatre. His first feature film, Following, had enough festival exposure and critical success to secure him his first official budget of $4.5 million to make his next film, Memento. In 2005 he was hailed for reinventing the Caped Crusader in the dark and gritty Batman Begins. He regularly works with the same actors and production team including his long-time producer, his wife, Emma Thomas. The couple's latest film, Dunkirk, is nominated in the best picture category of the Oscars this year and Christopher has a nomination for Best Director. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Chi-chi Nwanoku
Chi-chi Nwanoku is a double bass player and founder of Europe's first professional majority black and minority ethnic orchestra, Chineke!. Chi-chi is the eldest of five children, born to a Nigerian father and an Irish mother. Early on, she discovered two competing passions: playing the piano and 100 metre sprinting. She was aiming to qualify for the 1976 Olympics when she suffered a knee injury which cut short her life as an athlete. Her music teacher then suggested that she could have a career as a musician if she took up 'an unpopular orchestral instrument'. She began learning the double bass a week later. She was a student at the Royal Academy of Music and for over 30 years has played with renowned orchestras, including the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, English Baroque Soloists, London Classical Players and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment , which she co-founded and where she was principal double bass for three decades. In 2015, she set up Chineke! to support, inspire and encourage black and minority ethnic musicians. Last year the Chineke! orchestra made its debut at the BBC Proms, and Chi-chi was awarded an OBE for her services to music. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen



Jack Whitehall
Jack Whitehall, stand-up comedian, actor, sit-com writer and producer is Kirsty Young's castaway. He co-wrote and starred in the sitcoms Fresh Meat and Bad Education. He and his father launched their chat-show Backchat in 2013 and recently made a TV series together travelling around Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. Jack played Paul Pennyfeather in a TV adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Decline and Fall in 2016 and has forthcoming roles in Good Omens and a film about Marc Bolan and David Bowie. The son of the talent agent and television producer Michael Whitehall and the actress Hilary Gish, he grew up in Putney. Sent away to boarding school at 11, he performed his first comedy gig aged 16 while still a pupil. He briefly attended Manchester University before he decided to exchange lectures for laughs and make his way in stand-up: he won the King of Comedy award at the British Comedy Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Garry Kasparov
Garry Kasparov is a Russian chess grandmaster, who became the youngest ever world champion at the age of 22. He is also a writer and a political activist. He grew up in the Soviet Union, the only child of engineer parents. He learned chess by watching his parents play as they worked out chess problems in the newspaper. As a five year old he was fascinated by the mysterious little pieces and the board with its 64 squares. Garry Kasparov's father died when he was seven and it was his mother who guided him on his chess career. As a player, he was nicknamed the Beast of Baku, because of his dynamic style at the chessboard. He became a grandmaster on his 17th birthday and went on to become the World Champion after beating Anatoly Karpov in a now-legendary series of games in the mid-1980s. He played high-profile matches against the IBM computer Deep Blue in 1996 and 1997. Since his retirement from competitive chess, he has written numerous books and become a high-profile political activist. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Christina Lamb
Christina Lamb is chief foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times and travels the world reporting from war zones and hot spots, speaking not just to key protagonists but also seeking out and detailing the daily impact of conflict on civilians. An only child, and brought up in Carshalton Beeches, she was a voracious reader and dreamed of being an explorer. Although she was rebellious at school, and at one point was asked to leave, she won a place at Oxford and went on to edit the university newspaper. While working as an intern for the Financial Times, she interviewed Benazir Bhutto and was invited to her wedding in Pakistan. That experience led to her determination to be a reporter from the front line. Her work has taken her to South Africa, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, and among her best-selling books are two which tell the stories of remarkable young women - Nujeen Mustafa who escaped from Aleppo in her wheelchair, and the Nobel prize-winner Malala Yousafzai. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Angela Hartnett
Angela Hartnett is a chef, TV presenter and cookery writer. She holds a Michelin star and runs her own restaurants. Angela was born in 1968 to an Italian mother and Irish father, and her culinary career has been influenced by her Italian background and her grandmother's cooking. After studying for a history degree, Angela began work in the catering industry before joining Gordon Ramsay at his restaurant Aubergine. In 2002 she took over at the Connaught, London, as the first woman chef to run its restaurant. When it closed five years later, she moved on to open her own restaurant, Murano, in 2008. She achieved a Michelin star in both establishments and has expanded her restaurant business. She has been a regular contributor on some of TV and radio's most popular cookery programmes. In 2007, she was awarded an MBE for Services to the Hospitality Industry.Listen

Charlie Brooker
Charlie Brooker is a satirist, broadcaster and writer. He created the Emmy-award winning series, Black Mirror, and presents Screenwipe and Newswipe which won Best Comedy Entertainment Show award at the British Comedy Awards in 2011. Born in 1971, his career has been influenced both by his early love of technology - he was a keen computer gamer - and by his passion for the anarchic, surreal and experimental comedy of Monty Python and The Young Ones. After creating his own comic while at school, he went on to provide cartoons for the magazine Oink! at the age of 15. He cultivated his acerbic style and satirical pessimism as a writer of games reviews and features for PC Zone magazine. His online creation TVGoHome, an often caustic parody of television listings in the style of Radio Times, brought him to the attention of the Guardian newspaper where he began writing a TV review column entitled Screen Burn in 2000. This was adapted into a BBC Four television series, and various spin-offs, including Gameswipe and Newswipe, followed. The first two series of Black Mirror, an anthology of unrelated dramas focused around the unexpected consequences of new technologies, aired on Channel 4. The third series was released on Netflix in 2016, followed by a fourth at the end of 2017. Charlie is married to former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq and they have two young sons. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

75 Years of Desert Island Discs
75 Years of Desert Island Discs - Kirsty Young ends the programme's anniversary year with some gems from the archive, including the creator of the format, Roy Plomley, actress Bebe Daniels, broadcaster Richard Dimbleby, trumpeter Louis Armstrong, politician Dame Barbara Castle and cellist Jacqueline du Pre. Kirsty also chooses some of her favourite moments with Dame Judi Dench, Sir David Attenborough, comedian Sarah Millican, the surgeon David Nott and rugby referee Nigel Owens.Listen

Bruno Tonioli
Bruno Tonioli, dancer, choreographer and a judge on BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing, is Kirsty's guest. He was brought up in Ferrara, Northern Italy, and was the only child of hard-working parents who hoped he would be an accountant. Bruno wanted to pursue a creative career and joined a raunchy cabaret dance troupe when he was a teenager, and performed across Europe. He went on to train in other areas of dance and choreography and spent the 1980s working on pop videos with The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Bananarama, Boy George, George Michael, Duran Duran and many more. Since 2004, Bruno has been a judge on BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing and is a judge on the American version of the programme, Dancing with the Stars. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen



Christine McVie
Christine McVie enjoyed huge success with Fleetwood Mac, penning many of their signature songs including You Make Loving Fun, Oh Daddy, Little Lies, Everywhere and Songbird. The band has sold more than 100 million records and the album Rumours remains one of the most popular discs of all time, with sales of more than 40 million copies. The album was recorded during 1976 whilst the band members were going through relationship break-ups and the stories of excess and drug taking during the 1970s and 1980s are well documented. In 1998 McVie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Fleetwood Mac and received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. The same year, after almost 30 years with the band, and having a developed a fear of flying, she opted to leave and lived in semi-retirement for the next 15 years, releasing only one solo album in 2004. She bought a Jacobean house in Kent and spent the next four years restoring it. Christine rejoined the band officially in January 2014, and that year she received the British Academy's Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Kelsey Grammer
Kelsey Grammer is best known for his two-decade-long portrayal of psychiatrist Dr Frasier Crane which began on the NBC sitcom Cheers. He continued the role in the hugely successful spin-off series Frasier which ran for 11 years. When the series ended in 2004, it had won a total of 35 Emmys. Born in the Virgin Islands, he was brought up by his mother and maternal grandparents in Florida, after his parents divorced. He studied drama at the Julliard School in New York but left before the end of the second year. He got his big break when he joined the cast of Cheers in 1984. In his personal life Grammer has experienced a great deal of loss - his much-loved grandfather died when he was 12 and his 18 year old sister was murdered when he was 20. His struggles with drink and drugs, now behind him, are well documented. Married four times, he is the father of seven. The winner of multiple awards, he is also a TV producer, director, writer, and known for his voice work: among others he was Sideshow Bob in The Simpsons and Stinky Pete in Toy Story 2. He is currently on stage in London. Presenter Kirsty Young Producer Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Tim Martin
Tim Martin is the chairman and founder of the pub company JD Wetherspoon. He opened his first pub, Martin's Free House, in 1979 in North London. Now the chain employs 37,000 people, in 891 pubs of which 54 are hotels. Travelling from his home in Devon, Tim visits at least ten of them a week taking detailed 'call notes' on the staff, the beer, the quality of the food and even the cutlery. In 2016 he became one of the most high-profile UK business people arguing in favour in leaving the EU. He printed half a million beer mats for his pubs, making the case for Brexit. His success in the pub industry might be in the genes. His father, initially an aerobatic pilot, later worked for Guinness, which took the family around the globe and Tim spent his childhood in both New Zealand and Northern Ireland. He trained for the law but instead chose the career of a publican. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Naomi Klein
The writer and activist Naomi Klein reached an international audience with her first book, the best-selling No Logo, a rallying cry against the power of corporate brands and the replacement of traditional manufacturing jobs with sweatshop labour. Since then, she's turned her intellectual ire on to even bigger terrain - the political and economic systems underpinning capitalism and climate change. The way to save the planet, she says, requires a radical rethink which will address what she calls the "unresolved tensions" between big business and over-consumption. It's no surprise then that her fierce broadsides against the free market ideology have attracted plaudits and opprobrium in equal measure. But, coming from a family steeped in political activism, such polarized reactions come with the territory. Her grandparents were fervent Marxists and she was born in Canada to American activist parents who fled the US in protest against the Vietnam War. Her mother is a feminist filmmaker while her doctor father was heavily involved with the natural birth movement. Growing up in the 1980s, she was a committed shopper and self-confessed "teeny bopper." But at 19 she experienced a dramatic political awakening - after that, she says, "you had to call yourself a feminist." Presenter Kirsty Young Producer Paula McGinley.Listen

Micky Flanagan
Micky Flanagan found mainstream success as a comedian in 2007 with his autobiographical 'What Chance Change?' show at the Edinburgh fringe, where he was nominated as best newcomer. Raised in the East End of London, he left school at 15 with no qualifications and followed his dad into work as a fish porter at Billingsgate fish market. When he quit that job, he spent a summer working in a kitchen in New York, and then returned to London to spend much of the 1980s working in the furniture trade. When his business collapsed he worked as a window cleaner and decorator. He played truant through much of his secondary school career, but in his mid-twenties he studied for a GCSE in English, and later gained a place at City University, London, graduating with Social Sciences degree. He trained to become a teacher, and then discovered comedy through night classes. Sell-out UK tours and appearances on 'Mock the Week' and 'Would I Lie to You' followed, and he's made two TV series for Sky - 'Detour De France' and 'Micky Flanagan: Thinking Aloud'. He's just finished his third tour of the UK and Ireland with his show 'An' Another Fing...' Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Anna Pavord
Anna Pavord, writer & gardener, is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Professor Phil Scraton
Professor Phil Scraton is Professor Emeritus at the School of Law at Queen's University Belfast. A criminologist and author, he's director of the Childhood, Transition and Social Justice Initiative and was lead researcher of the Hillsborough Independent Panel. Born into a working class family in Wallasey in the Wirral in 1949, he attended a seminary at the age of 12. Deciding the religious life was not for him he worked as a bus conductor before attending Liverpool University where he read Sociology. His early work with Travellers and Liverpool's black community led to an interest in deaths in custody and prison conditions. Then, following the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 he would spend the next 28 years researching and writing about the disaster - his book Hillsborough: The Truth was first published in 1999. The Hillsborough Independent Panel's 2012 report led to a second inquest which concluded in April 2016 that the 96 people who died had been unlawfully killed and that fans behaviour had not contributed to the disaster in any way. Phil and his partner, Deena, have lived in Belfast since 2003. He has two grown-up sons from his first marriage. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen



Kay Mellor
Kay Mellor, OBE, is an English screenwriter and director best known for TV drama series including Band of Gold, Playing the Field, Fat Friends and The Syndicate. She has won a Bafta award, along with numerous nominations, and she received a Royal Television Society Fellowship in 2016. She has also worked as an actress, and has written for the stage. Kay was born in Leeds and has lived there all her life. It's also the home of her production company. Her highly successful career now seems worlds away from her early life, when she became pregnant and got married at the age of 16, curtailing her dreams of going to drama school. Later, whilst enjoying motherhood, she decided to return to education, studying for a degree in drama at Bretton Hall College. Upon graduation, she worked in theatre, then at Granada TV as a scriptwriter on Coronation Street before embarking on her own prolific writing career for TV and theatre. She celebrates her Golden Wedding anniversary later this year. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Edna Adan Ismail
Edna Adan Ismail is a midwife and campaigner. As a 12 year old growing up in British Somaliland, her dream was to build her own hospital. It took her some 50 years and all her savings to realise her ambition, and the state of the art hospital she built is a testament to her passion and dogged determination. Nursing and midwifery have been her life since she won a scholarship to study in the UK in the mid-1950s, when she cycled to appointments in her black raincoat to deliver babies all around London. Married at one time to the prime minister of Somalia, she juggled the high profile role of First Lady with shifts at her local hospital. "I was born with this desire to fix things," she says. As her country's first female foreign minister, she broke deep-rooted taboos by publicly condemning the widespread practice of female genital mutilation - FGM. Her opposition stems from personal experience - she was only eight years old when she endured the invasive procedure herself. Now 80, she lives on site at her beloved hospital, where more than 22,000 babies have been born since it opened in 2002. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Paula McGinley.Listen

Jane Gardam
Jane Gardam is best known for her trilogy of novels about an ex-colonial QC nicknamed Old Filth. A writer for both adults and children, she has won two Whitbread awards, the Katherine Mansfield Award and has been shortlisted for the Booker and the Orange Prize for Fiction. Born in 1928, she grew up in North Yorkshire where her father was a schoolmaster at a small independent boys' school. Her mother wrote sermons and was an inveterate letter-writer. After graduating, Jane had a number of literary jobs, but gave up working to raise her three young children. Although she wrote poems as a young girl, her writing career didn't begin in earnest until the day her youngest child started school when she began to write her first book. Since then, she has published more than 30 books, including novels for children and adults as well as short stories and a non-fiction volume about the Yorkshire of her youth. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Sir James MacMillan
Sir James MacMillan is a Scottish composer and conductor. He's one of Britain's most successful living classical composers, with his percussion concerto, Veni Veni Emmanuel, receiving more than 600 performances since its premiere in 1992. He draws inspiration from both the spiritual and the secular: many of his works draw on his Roman Catholic faith, while his passion for Celtic football club provided the initial spark for a piano concerto. James MacMillan grew up in Cumnock, East Ayrshire, traditionally a mining centre. His father was a carpenter, and his grandfather a coal miner. He learned the trumpet and played in brass bands, whilst realising at a very young age that he wanted to make music his life. When he first picked up a recorder at school, and realised that he could change the pitch by putting different fingers over the holes, he says a light went on and he knew that he wanted to write music as well as play it. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Siddhartha Mukherjee
Siddhartha Mukherjee is a cancer specialist. His biography of the disease, The Emperor of All Maladies, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2010. A haematologist and oncologist by training, his research focuses on cancer therapy and gene functions related to blood cells. His latest book, The Gene, goes in search of normality, identity, variation and heredity. Born in India in 1970 he grew up with his extended family in Delhi. In his youth he trained as an Indian classical singer before travelling to the US to study biology at Stanford. At Oxford he was a Rhodes scholar before enrolling at Harvard to study medicine. He is currently Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Columbia University Medical Centre. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Professor Dame Jane Francis
Professor Dame Jane Francis is the Director of the British Antarctic Survey. She is no stranger to surviving in extreme conditions, because for much of her career her research has taken her to the Polar Regions. Travelling with her fossil hammer, her principal interests are in palaeoclimatology and palaeobotany. She specialises in the study of fossil plants, and how they shape our understanding of climates in the distant past, when Antarctica was much warmer. In 2002 she received the Polar Medal, for her outstanding contribution to British polar research, and in 2013 she became the first woman to head the British Antarctic Survey.Listen

Paul Greengrass
Paul Greengrass has directed three Jason Bourne films, starring Matt Damon, Captain Phillips with Tom Hanks in the title role, and the 9/11 film United 93, which earned him an Academy Award nomination. He won a Bafta for the film The Murder of Stephen Lawrence, and he wrote and directed the acclaimed Bloody Sunday. His father was a merchant seaman and his mother a teacher and he grew up in Gravesend in Kent. Expelled from his first secondary school, at his next he made his first film at the age of 16. After learning the craft of documentary-making on World In Action at Granada TV, he turned to making feature films. In October 2017, Paul will receive the BFI fellowship, the British Film Institute's highest accolade. Presenter: Kirsty Young Producer: Cathy Drysdale Photo: Amanda Benson.Listen



Dr Kevin Fong
Kirsty Young's castaway is Dr. Kevin Fong. He is a consultant anaesthetist at University College Hospital London, and an expert on space medicine. He is a senior lecturer in Physiology at UCL and the co-director of the Centre for Aviation, Space and Extreme Environment Medicine. Born to parents who had come to the UK from Mauritius, he grew up in London. His parents put great emphasis on education - which they had both missed out on in their youth. Kevin's first degree was in astrophysics and he went on to study medicine. He has combined his love of space with medicine and has spent time working at the Johnson Space Centre in the US. He has been a consultant anaesthetist since 2010, but has kept pursuing his interests in extreme environments from space to altitude and depth. He has made many television documentaries about his field of interest and gave the 2015 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, is Kirsty Young's castaway. She worked for Google at the beginning of the tech boom before joining Facebook in 2008. Raised in Miami Beach, Florida, she studied economics at Harvard. She became chief of staff for Larry Summers, Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton, before moving to Silicon Valley. Sheryl published her first book called Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead in 2013 which tried to answer the question why so few women reach the top echelons of their professions. In 2015, her husband of eleven years and father of their two children, Dave Goldberg, died suddenly while they were on holiday. In her second book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, she describes her struggles in dealing with this sudden loss. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Jayne-Anne Gadhia
Kirsty Young's castaway is Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Chief Executive of Virgin Money. She is currently the government's Women in Finance Champion. She worked for Fred Goodwin at RBS just prior to the financial crisis before returning to Virgin Money in 2007. A mother of one, she endured many miscarriages and has written about her experience of post-natal depression following her daughter's birth. An only child, she was brought up first in the Midlands, then in East Anglia. She was one of very few girls to attend a newly co-educational boys' school where she was bullied. Following a year spent working in an unemployment office she went to Royal Holloway College in London where she met her future husband, Ash, to whom she's been married for 33 years. Earlier this year she published her autobiography. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

John McEnroe
Kirsty Young's castaway is the tennis player and commentator, John McEnroe. He won three singles and five doubles Wimbledon titles, four singles and four doubles at the US Open and was ranked number one in the world for four consecutive years in the 1980s. Born in New York, he didn't pick up a tennis racquet until the age of eight, but his talent was quickly spotted and he began to compete in junior tournaments. In 1977, aged 18 and between high school and university, he qualified for the main draw at Wimbledon and reached the semi-finals where he lost to Jimmy Connors. By the end of the tournament his on-court behaviour - shouting, haranguing umpires and abusing his racquet - earned him the nickname 'Superbrat'. He made his first Wimbledon final against Bjorn Borg in 1980. In one of the finest matches in history, despite winning a tiebreak 18-16 to win the fourth set, he lost the match. He beat Borg the following year to win his first Wimbledon singles title. 1984 was the best year in John's career: he won 82 out of 85 matches he played, but it was also the year when he was beaten at the French Open by Ivan Lendl, who replaced him as number one. John married the actress Tatum O'Neal in 1986. They divorced in the mid-1990s and he has been married to the singer Patty Smyth since 1997. Since retiring in 1992, in addition to his role as tennis commentator, he has been a coach and runs his own tennis academy. He still plays Listen

Sue Perkins
Kirsty Young's castaway is the comedian and TV presenter Sue Perkins. She and her friend Mel Giedroyc first appeared as a comedy duo at the Edinburgh Fringe over 20 years ago and together they presented the first seven series of The Great British Bake Off. Born at the end of the 1960s, Sue grew up in Croydon, the eldest of three siblings. By her own description a "shy and awkward" child, she nonetheless made it to Cambridge University to study English. She and Mel met at a Footlights open mic gig soon after she'd arrived. Their first joint high-profile success was landing a new live daytime programme on Channel 4 called Light Lunch, which turned them into household names. Sue also formed a second presenting partnership, making historical food programmes with Giles Coren. When she was 38 she was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour which left her unable to have children. Sue has been in a relationship with the TV presenter Anna Richardson since 2013. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Professor Carlo Rovelli
Kirsty Young's castaway is the theoretical physicist, Professor Carlo Rovelli. His book 'Seven Brief Lessons on Physics' became one of the fastest-selling science titles of all time, catapulting him from the world of academia into the global spotlight. Committed to bridging the gap between science and art and making complex scientific issues comprehensible for the lay person, he is currently Professor of Physics at Aix-Marseille University. Born in Verona, and an only child, he was encouraged to learn, to be independent and dreamed of travelling through space. By the age of 12 his long-standing rebellious streak was visible and he would later interrupt his university career to travel. Now in his early sixties, his academic career has seen him work in Europe and America and among the scientific community he is best known as one of the founders of Loop Quantum Gravity theory. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Stella McCartney
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the fashion designer Stella McCartney. Born the middle child of Paul and Linda McCartney, Stella's early years were a paradox: she would either spend her days riding ponies, sharing one of two bedrooms with her sisters in a farmhouse, and generally mucking around in the countryside - or touring the world with her parents' band Wings and spending time in the company of stars such as David Bowie and Iggy Pop. Amid the tours and travelling, she believes her parents offered her a vital childhood gift: normality. Stella attended the local school and went on to win a place at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design to study fashion design. Two years after a graduation show that made the headlines because the clothes were modelled by Stella's friends Kate Moss, Yasmin Le Bon and Naomi Campbell, she landed the job of Creative Director at the French fashion house Chloé. During her four years there, she transformed its fortunes. In 2001, she set up her own label in a joint venture with Gucci. Throughout her career, she has never used leather, fur, feathers or animal skins. She now operates 51 freestanding stores in locations including Manhattan, Mayfair, and Milan, and her collections are distributed through shops in over 70 countries. Her signature style is described as combining sharp tailoring - learned in Savile Row where she would spend her evenings whilst at Saint Martins Listen



Jed Mercurio
Kirsty Young's castaway is Jed Mercurio. Creator of Line of Duty, and an award-winning TV writer, producer, director and novelist, he is one of the few British script-writers to work as an American-style show-runner. A former hospital doctor and RAF officer, he has been ranked among UK television's leading writers by TV industry magazine Broadcast. His Italian parents moved to the UK after the Second World War and he was brought up in Cannock in the Midlands. Keen on science as a child, with dreams of becoming an astronaut, he studied medicine at Birmingham University. While there, he applied for the RAF medical doctor programme and learned to fly. While he was working as a hospital doctor, he answered an advertisement in the British Medical Journal seeking advisors for a medical TV drama. Despite negligible writing experience, he went on to script the BBC medical drama Cardiac Arrest. Its continuing success led him to leave medicine and embark on a successful career as a scriptwriter. His chief works for TV are the series Line of Duty, Bodies, The Grimleys and Cardiac Arrest. He's also written books: Bodies; Ascent; American Adulterer, and for children, The Penguin Expedition. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Rick Wakeman
Rick Wakeman, musician and composer, is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs Producer: Paula McGinley.Listen

Sonia Friedman
Kirsty Young's castaway is the theatre producer, Sonia Friedman. Acclaimed as the most influential producer in British theatre today, she has produced over 160 new shows. They include Funny Girl with Sheridan Smith, Jerusalem starring Mark Rylance, Benedict Cumberbatch's Hamlet, the record-breaking Book of Mormon and the musicals Legally Blonde, and Dreamgirls. Her productions both here and on Broadway have won numerous awards, including a record-breaking 14 Olivier Awards in 2014, and nine this year for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Brought up in a creative, if unconventional, household, she left school at 16. After a stage management course at Central School of Speech and Drama, she cut her teeth at the National Theatre, worked with Harold Pinter, Richard Eyre and Tom Stoppard and then co-founded Out of Joint, a leading touring theatre company, with Max Stafford-Clark. She was named Producer of the Year for the third year in a row at The Stage Awards, and this year she also claimed number one spot in The Stage 100, a chart of the most influential people in British theatre, overtaking Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Elif Shafak
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the Turkish writer Elif Shafak. Elif Shafak has published ten novels and several volumes of non-fiction and her work is translated into 47 languages. She is the most widely read female novelist in Turkey today. Born in 1971, she was raised by a single working mother and also, for the first ten years of her life, by her grandmother in Ankara. Her mother's job as a diplomat led to a move to Madrid when Elif was ten years old - and so began a peripatetic life which has taken her to places as diverse as Jordan and Germany, the United States and finally to London where she has lived for the past seven years. Elif wrote her first novels in Turkish, but began writing in English shortly after the start of the new millennium. English, she says, has given her a new freedom to write about sensitive issues in Turkey. Her books draw on diverse cultures and reflect her interest in history, philosophy, spiritualism and Sufism. One commentator has said of her work: "Stepping into the writing of this Turkish-born author for the first time is like breaking through the back of a children's wardrobe and walking into a whole new multicultural world of lives and histories - and, above all, fabulous stories." She is a regular columnist both for English as well as Turkish papers and also writes lyrics for rock musicians. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Demis Hassabis
Kirsty Young's castaway is Dr Demis Hassabis. An artificial intelligence researcher and co-founder and CEO of DeepMind, he is also a neuroscientist, a computer games designer, an entrepreneur, and in his youth, a world-class chess player. Born in 1976, he was introduced to chess aged four and, by the age of twelve, was the world's second-highest ranked player for his age. With his winnings, he bought himself a PC and taught himself to code. After taking his A Levels two years early, before going to university he worked on one of the most successful computer games of the 1990s, Theme Park. He graduated from Cambridge with a double first, and returned to the computer games industry, founding his own company in his early twenties. His passion had long been artificial intelligence and he says everything he's done has been part of a long-term plan to "solve intelligence" and then use intelligence "to solve everything else". He gained a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience where he deliberately chose to study topics where AI had failed so far: memory and imagination. After stints at MIT and Harvard, he co-founded his company in 2010, which was then acquired by Google in January 2014. In March 2016 their computer programme, AlphaGo, beat a world champion Go player at the game having taught itself how to play through a combination of two techniques - deep learning and reinforcement learning. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Liz Lochhead
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the writer and poet Liz Lochhead. She was the Makar, the Scottish national poet, between 2011 and 2016. Liz was born in Motherwell, not far from Glasgow, in 1947. She was always drawing at school and so decided to study at the Glasgow School of Art, where she didn't enjoy the drawing, but did start writing. After winning a poetry competition, she started performing her poems at readings in Scotland. She published her first pamphlet of poetry, Memo for Spring, in 1972, after a publisher heard her at a reading. After her second volume of poetry was published in 1978 and she won the first Scottish/Canadian Writers' Exchange Fellowship which took her to Toronto for a year, she was able to give up her job as an art teacher and start writing full time. From the early 1980s, she started writing plays as well as poetry, and has also adapted classic Greek and French plays for the stage. She was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2015. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Ed Sheeran
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Ed Sheeran. His songs have brought him two Grammys, four Brit awards and global success. Shortly after the release of his latest album, Divide, tracks from it occupied nine of the top 10 places in the UK singles chart. Born into a creative family, Ed had piano and cello lessons as a youngster and briefly sang in a local church choir. At the age of 11, seeing Eric Clapton play Layla on TV at the Queen's Golden Jubilee concert inspired him to take up the guitar. Ten years later, Ed himself was performing at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert. Ed left school and home at 16 to focus on playing gigs in London. Despite relentless performing he failed to secure a recording contract and decided to try his luck in America. During a successful stint performing in Los Angeles, he came to the attention of the Academy Award-winning actor and musician Jamie Foxx, and within months of returning to the UK he'd signed a record deal. His first single, The A Team, became a top ten hit around the world and won him an Ivor Novello award, and his second and third albums topped the UK and US charts. In 2015 he performed at Wembley Stadium as a solo artist for three nights to capacity crowds, and this year he is headlining the Pyramid stage on the final night of Glastonbury. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen



Arundhati Roy
Kirsty Young's castaway is the writer, Arundhati Roy. She won the Booker Prize for her first novel, The God Of Small Things, which has been translated into 40 languages and became the best-selling book ever by a non-expatriate Indian. After a gap of 20 years, her second novel will be published in June. Brought up in Kerala, her Syrian Christian mother left her marriage when her children were young and set up a small school where Arundhati and her brother were educated. Raised to be independent, aged 16, Arundhati left home to study architecture in Delhi before being introduced to the film world by her second husband. Since the publication of The God of Small Things in 1997, she has continued to write non-fiction, using her influence her to focus on tackling injustice. She has campaigned against India's nuclear programme, dam-building, globalisation, religious intolerance and the inequality of Indian society. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Amanda Levete
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the architect Amanda Levete. She won the Stirling prize in 1998 for the Media Centre at Lord's Cricket Ground which she designed with then husband, the late Jan Kaplicky. Later this year the Victoria and Albert Museum in London will open her extension, featuring a new entrance, courtyard and gallery. Brought up in Richmond, the oldest of three children, she showed her independent spirit early on, and left school at 16. She discovered architecture while on a Foundation year at art school and was offered a place at the Architectural Association, even though her portfolio didn't feature a single drawing of a building. Since setting up her own practice in 2009, her creative endeavours have included the Museum of Art, Architecture & Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon, a retail and hotel complex in Bangkok, and the MPavilion Queen Victoria Gardens in Melbourne. In 2016 her practice won competitions to transform the Galleries Lafayette building in Paris and create a new mosque in Abu Dhabi. She has also designed furniture, stackable football pitches and set up a pop-up restaurant serving nothing but tinned fish. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Marian Keyes
Kirsty Young's castaway is the writer Marian Keyes. Her twelve novels to date have sold 35 million copies and are published in 33 languages. Some of her novels have been adapted for the screen. She has also published three volumes of journalism. Marian was born the eldest of five children in Ireland in 1963. While she was academically successful at school, she says she wasn't taught to think for herself, which left her ill prepared for university where she studied law. After completing her degree, but failing to get apprenticed to a law firm in Dublin, she moved to London. She spent her twenties working as a waitress, and began drinking heavily. She went into rehab for her alcoholism when she was 30. Her fortunes changed once she was sober: she sent some short stories she had written the previous year off to a publisher and had her debut novel published in 1995. Marian has described each of her books as "a comedy about something serious" and says they are a reflection of who she is: "I'm very bleak, really melancholic. But I've always used humour as a survival mechanism. I write for me and I need to feel hopeful about the human condition. So no way I'm going to write a downbeat ending. And it isn't entirely ludicrous to suggest that sometimes things might work out for the best." Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Jimmy Carr
Kirsty Young's castaway is the comedian and television presenter Jimmy Carr. He is the son of Irish immigrant parents and grew up in Berkshire. Despite being dyslexic, he got good enough A levels to study at Cambridge University. After graduating with a degree in Political Science, and working for a major multinational company in London, Jimmy had what he calls an 'early midlife crisis', during which he lost his Catholic faith and was generally unhappy. He attended lots of therapy courses in an attempt to find out what would make him happier and eventually set out on the road to becoming a comedian. He quickly got a reputation for his fierce work ethic, heading up annually to the Edinburgh Fringe, touring with a new show virtually every year, and hosting many a Channel 4 panel show including 8 Out of 10 Cats and the Big Fat Quiz of the Year. He has also made a name for himself by becoming what he has called "the king of the inappropriate", drawing criticism for making jokes about sensitive subjects. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Dame Katherine Grainger
Kirsty Young's castaway is the Olympian and rower, Dame Katherine Grainger. A six-time rowing World Champion across a variety of classes, her silver medal at Rio in 2016 made her the most successful female British Olympic athlete ever, having won medals in five consecutive games. Born in Glasgow in 1975, her parents were teachers. At school she earned a black belt in karate, and it wasn't until she went to Edinburgh University that her passion for rowing was truly ignited. Winning silver medals at the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Olympics, Katherine finally ceased to be the sport's eternal bridesmaid when, with her partner Anna Watkins, she won gold in the Double Sculls at the 2012 London Olympics. After two years away from the sport, Katherine returned in 2014, to win her fourth silver and fifth overall Olympic medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics with her new partner, Vicky Thornley. Alongside her sporting achievements, she gained an Honours degree in Law from Edinburgh, a Masters in Medical Law from Glasgow University and was awarded a PhD in Homicide Sentencing from King's College London in 2013. She was made the fourth Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University in 2015 and became a Dame in the 2017 New Year Honours. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Sir Antony Beevor
Kirsty Young's castaway is military historian, Sir Antony Beevor. His books about some of the key battles of the Second World War are best-sellers and have been credited with reinvigorating the whole genre. There was little indication of this future success while he was boarder at Winchester public school where he failed to pass either his History or his English A levels. During the five years he spent in the army, including two years at Sandhurst for officer training, he studied history under the great military historian, John Keegan. On deciding he wanted to be a writer, his first three novels had limited success, and he was encouraged by his publishers to draw on his experience of army life and turn his talents to military history. His ground-breaking work Stalingrad was based on what he discovered in the Russian military archives and won him the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hawthornden Prize. In his book Berlin: the Downfall 1945, he wrote about the mass rapes of German women committed by the Red Army at the end of the war. He was knighted in the 2017 New Year honours list. He is married to the writer Artemis Cooper. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

June Brown
June Brown is best known today for her role as the long-suffering chain-smoking Dot Cotton (now Dot Branning) in the BBC TV soap EastEnders. She arrived on a three month contract in 1985 and is still in the show. She was nominated for a BAFTA in 2008. She celebrates her 90th birthday in February 2017 and has no intention of retiring as acting "keeps her alive". June was born in Suffolk and brought up in a music-loving family. Towards the end of World War Two, she joined up, choosing the WRNS where she worked as a cinema operator showing training films and newsreels to the sailors. She did some acting during that time and after a brief and unsuccessful job in an office, she was one of very few chosen to receive a classical training at the Old Vic Theatre School. From there she joined the Old Vic Theatre Company where she worked with such greats as Edith Evans, Laurence Oliver and Albert Finney. Her roles included Lady Macbeth and Ibsen's Hedda Gabler. She had five children in relatively quick succession and continued acting on TV and the London stage, often putting her youngest in a pram and going in the guard's van on the train to the theatre. Throughout her time on EastEnders she has occasionally ventured away to direct or take part in other television series. In 2009 she stripped down to nothing as Jessie in the stage production Calendar Girls. She was 82. She was awarded an MBE for services to drama and charity in 2008Listen



Nigel Owens
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the rugby union referee Nigel Owens. His steely authority and quick wit on the field have won him worldwide praise - he's widely regarded as one of the best referees in the business for the impact he makes on the flow and coherence of a game. In 2015 he became the second Welsh official since 1991 to referee a World Cup Final - in a memorable match between New Zealand and Australia. Born and raised in a small village in Carmarthenshire, he first picked up the whistle aged 16, when it became clear to both his teacher and himself that he wouldn't make much impact as a player. A former school technician and farm worker, he broke through onto the international refereeing circuit in 2005 and took charge of his first Test when Japan hosted Ireland in Osaka that summer. In 2007 he became one of the first high-profile sports professionals to come out as gay - a courageous move in a sport which often defines the word macho. He has spoken about this decision as being the biggest challenge he has ever faced - even more so than officiating an international match under intense scrutiny in front of 95,000 spectators and a global TV audience. The severe depression he experienced coming to terms with his sexuality culminated in an attempt to take his own life in his twenties. He now says the unwavering support he has received from the rugby authorities, the players and the fans has enabled him to be true to himself Listen

David Beckham
David Beckham is Kirsty Young's guest as Desert Island Discs celebrates its 75th Anniversary. As a professional footballer he's the only Englishman to win the league titles in England, Spain, the US and France. He spent the bulk of his career as a midfielder for Manchester United, winning the Treble - Premiership, FA Cup and Champions League - in 1999, before moving to Real Madrid in 2003. He headed to the US to play for LA Galaxy in 2007, and ended his career at Paris Saint-Germain in 2013, retiring in May that year. Born and raised in East London, the middle child of Ted and Sandra, David Beckham discovered football early and spent hours kicking a ball around at the local park with his father. At the age of seven, he played for his first team, Ridgeway Rovers, before coming to the attention of Manchester United while attending the Bobby Charlton Soccer School. He became a trainee with Manchester United in 1991, and progressed to make 265 first team appearances, winning the Premier League six times, the FA Cup twice and the UEFA Champions League once. He played for England from 1996 to 2009 and captained the side for six years. He has been married to Victoria Adams - known as Posh from the Spice Girls - since 1999 and they have four children. Since retiring from professional football in 2013, David has spent more time on his work with UNICEF which he has supported since 2005. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Desert Island Discs at 75
Kirsty Young celebrates 75 years of Desert Island Discs with some of the wonderful voices in the archive and chooses some of her favourite interviews from her 10 years as presenter. From Dustin Hoffman to Maya Angelou, Stephen Hawking to Victoria Wood, we have glimpses into the castaways' lives and times. Coronation Street stalwart, Betty Driver explains why she chose a song she hates to take with her to the island, Dawn French recalls the infamous 'puddle' scene in the Vicar of Dibley and legendary broadcaster Richard Dimbleby describes his very early days in broadcasting. Cilla Black, interviewed in 1964, describes how her career began, Ian Fleming talks about the early days of James Bond and Louis Armstrong reveals how he first began playing the trumpet. Extracts from the programmes of all the previous presenters - Roy Plomley, Sue Lawley and Sir Michael Parkinson - include the voices of Baroness Barbara Castle, Alfred Wainwright, Russell Harty, Jacqueline de Pre, Catherine Cookson and Lady Thatcher. Kirsty's favourite moments include Noel Gallagher remembering being forced to dance at his wedding, Sarah Millican explaining why she chose the Frog Chorus and Sir David Attenborough's choice of disc - the Lyre Bird. Castaways also explain their choice of luxury, introduce a diverse selection of their choice of discs and describe what they would do to survive on the desert island.Listen

Caitlin Moran
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the writer Caitlin Moran. A columnist for The Times newspaper for 25 years, she's published five books and co-wrote the Channel 4 sitcom Raised by Wolves. The eldest of eight children, and raised on benefits on a council estate in Wolverhampton, she was taken out of school by her parents aged eleven and educated herself at the library and by watching television, reading all the classics and learning from popular culture. She started writing early and after winning several writing competitions, her first novel, The Chronicles of Narmo, was published when she was just sixteen. She became a music journalist for Melody Maker and, not long after that, started writing regular columns for The Times covering everything from politics and feminism to musings on her own background. She is currently finishing her sixth book and writing several film scripts. She has been married to the music journalist Peter Paphides since 1999 and they have two daughters. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Wayne McGregor
Kirsty Young's castaway is the choreographer Wayne McGregor. Despite his background in contemporary dance, he has been resident choreographer at the Royal Ballet - the first from outside the company - for the past ten years. He has brought to Covent Garden a fascination with technology, a passion for collaborative efforts with visual artists and musicians, and he is renowned for drawing inspiration particularly from the field of science. Born in Stockport in 1970 to Scottish parents, he was inspired by the John Travolta films he watched and took ballroom, disco and Latin American dance classes. After studying choreography at the University of Leeds and spending a year at the José Limón dance school in New York, he returned to the UK and at the age of 22, founded his own company. He made his first professional piece in 1993, and choreographed Dame Judi Dench in Sondheim's A Little Night Music at the National Theatre in 1995. He received his first commission from the Royal Ballet in 2000 and it was his 2006 work Chroma which clinched him the job as resident choreographer. He works on a wide range of projects away from the stage, including films, music videos, and opening and awards ceremonies, and continues to choreograph for his own company and others around the world including Paris Opera Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, La Scala Milan, New York City Ballet and the Australian Ballet. He has won numerous prizes for his work%2Listen

Pinky Lilani
Pinky Lilani, who was awarded a CBE in 2015 for services to women in business, is the founder of the annual Asian Women of Achievement Awards and the Women of the Future Awards. She also runs her own company, which uses Indian food as a means of team-building, and has published two cook books. Pinky was born in Calcutta, now Kolkata, where her parents were affluent and very sociable. They employed one of the best cooks in the city, so Pinky grew up surrounded by people and food. While she enjoyed eating, she had no experience of cooking. When she moved to London with her husband, who she married three weeks after their first meeting, she was unable to cook. After many culinary disasters, she returned to India and the kitchen in her family home, where the household cook shared his expertise. Back in the UK, she started teaching evening cookery classes which in turn led to a role consulting for one of Britain's best-known food companies, who manufacture Asian staples including chutneys, breads and curry pastes. In 2001, she published her first cookery book and set up in business to satisfy the two great loves of her life: food and people. In 1999, she founded the Asian Women of Achievement Awards and seven years later she added the Women of the Future Awards to her portfolio. Both of these have continued to be held annually, drawing high-profile support from, among others, Theresa May, Cherie Blair, the Duchess ofListen

Sir Kenneth Grange
Sir Kenneth Grange is a designer. He's been designing elements of our everyday lives for the past six decades. Born in London in 1929, he went to Willesden art school aged fourteen and four years later he left and embarked on a remarkable career. He is still working today at 87 years old. "Why would I stop? I mean, if a bloke can play the piano, you don't stop him playing it, do you?" His long career stretches from the early days of modernism to the digital age. One of his first big jobs was working for the Festival of Britain in 1951. He was co-founder of the design studio Pentagram, led a life with strong echoes of TV's "Mad Men" for a while, and his work has infused the texture of the UK. His designs include the first parking meter, the Intercity 125 train, the Kenwood mixer, the Morphy Richards iron, the Wilkinson triple razor, bus shelters, the black cab, the Parker 25 pen and the Anglepoise lamp. He's also the reason we no longer get wet when we fill our cars with petrol: he designed petrol station forecourts with roofs. In 2013 he was knighted for his services to design, and in 2016 an Intercity 125 was named Sir Kenneth Grange. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen



Gareth Malone
Gareth Malone is a choirmaster who has coaxed and cajoled people from nervous adults to reluctant teenagers to open their mouths and sing for the pure joy of it - in front of television cameras. Gareth's first two TV series, which charted his attempts to build successful choirs in schools with little or no tradition of singing together, both won major awards, and gripped and inspired viewers. He has since also worked widely on TV with adult groups from a wide range of backgrounds, and his Military Wives Choir even hit the top of the charts at Christmas. Once described as a human tuning fork, Gareth loved music from an early age - and as he recalls, his parents and grandmother took a strong interest in his own youthful performances, from his very first school concerts. As a teenager, he felt an outsider amongst his fellow pupils, because he found his music teacher so inspiring. After time spent as a youth worker, and as a music educator, Gareth's TV series have taken him all over the country becoming - in his words - "an evangelist for music.".Listen

Bruce Springsteen
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Bruce Springsteen. His career has brought him 20 Grammys, two Golden Globes, an Academy Award and his albums sell in their millions around the world. He grew up in New Jersey where the Catholic church played a central role in his early life. The family teetered on the brink of poverty, and his first guitar was rented, rather than bought. He spent his apprentice years as a musician and singer with local bands before landing a record deal in 1972. When 'Born to Run' was released in 1975 it turned him into a household name. His first Top Ten single was 'Hungry Heart', ahead of his most successful album 'Born in the USA' which was released in 1984. In spite of having long transcended the environment he grew up in, Springsteen has remained a chronicler of blue-collar lives. His records are frequently a political commentary on the struggles of ordinary Americans. In the Nineties he settled into family life with his wife Patti Scialfa who sings with his E Street Band. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Davina McCall
Davina McCall is an English television presenter. She began her career on MTV before moving to Channel 4 with the cult hit Streetmate. She was the presenter of Big Brother during its run on Channel 4 between 2000 and 2010 and enjoyed it so much that she planned her family around the transmission schedule. All three of her children were born in September. Davina hosts a variety of prime time and popular programmes including ITV's Long Lost Family which seeks to reunite family members. Her own childhood was complicated. Her French mother was an alcoholic and drug user, and Davina was largely brought up by her father and grandparents. After a difficult childhood, she moved to London with her father and step-mother, and during some wild teenage years, she became a drug user. She has been clean since she was 25. Alongside her television presenting career, she has a large following with her fitness DVDs and healthy food cookbooks. In 2014, she undertook a 500 mile triathlon for Sport Relief raising more than two million pounds. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Sir Philip Craven
Sir Philip Craven is the President of the International Paralympic Committee and a former wheelchair basketball athlete. Craven represented Great Britain in wheelchair basketball at five editions of the Paralympic Games, from 1972 to 1988. He also competed in track and field athletics and swimming at the 1972 Games. He won gold at the wheelchair basketball World Championships in 1973, and bronze in 1975, as well as two gold medals (1971, 1974) and a silver (1993) at the European Championships. He also won gold at the European Champions Cup in 1994, and gold at the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games in 1970. Sir Philip Craven has been passionate about sport all his life. He was born in Bolton and educated at the University of Manchester, where he graduated with a geography degree in 1972. He grew up the younger of two boys to parents Herbert and Hilda who ran a floristry shop. He spent his childhood playing lots of cricket, climbing trees and trainspotting. Then when he was sixteen, he fell whilst rock climbing and broke his back. He was paralysed from the chest down and lost the use of his legs. He became a wheelchair user, went on to university and became a wheelchair basketball player. He met his French wife, Joscelyne when he was working as a sports trainer in Brittany. They have been married for 42 years and have two children and three grandsons. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Emma Bridgewater
Emma Bridgewater is a British ceramic designer and businesswoman. She set up her pottery business in 1985 in Stoke-on-Trent, when many other manufacturers in the city were either closing down or going overseas. Her pottery is instantly recognizable, decorated with polka dots, stars, hearts or elegant lettering using 19th century sponge-printing techniques. It is an unlikely career for someone who studied English at University. Together with her husband, illustrator Matthew Rice, Emma Bridgewater has played a part in keeping the pottery tradition alive in Stoke-on-Trent. The factory also now hosts an annual literary festival. She was awarded a CBE in 2013 for services to industry. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Nicola Adams
Kirsty Young's castaway is Nicola Adams. She made history when she won the first ever Olympic gold medal in women's boxing at London 2012, retaining it in Rio 2016. She is the first woman fighter to hold European, World, Commonwealth and Olympic titles. Having watched classic Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard fights on TV as she was growing up, she entered the ring for the first time at a working men's club when she was only 13. When she was 14, her mother contracted meningitis and for several months Nicola looked after herself and her younger brother. She turned to acting in order to help fund her boxing training, appearing as an extra in Coronation Street and Emmerdale. She first represented her country when she was 18. In 2009 it was announced that women's boxing would feature for the first time at the London Olympics, although before her selection for Team GB she fell down stairs and had to recover from a fracture in one of her vertebra. In 2012 she topped The Independent newspaper's Pink List of the most powerful LGBT people in public life, was made an MBE for services to boxing in 2013 and received a 'Paving The Way' award at the 2016 Mobo awards. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Yotam Ottolenghi
Kirsty Young's castaway is the cookery writer and restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi. His food mixes the flavours of the Middle East and the Mediterranean and has been credited with changing the way many eat and cook, fuelling the surge in popularity of cooking ingredients including wakame seaweed, orange blossom, pomegranate seeds and za'atar. Born to a German mother and an Italian father in Jerusalem, he grew up enjoying a wide range of culinary influences and he loved food from an early age. After completing a master's degree at Tel Aviv University, he enrolled in a six-month cookery course at Le Cordon Bleu school in London. While working as a pastry chef he met his future business partner, Sami Tamimi, a Palestinian also from Jerusalem, and they opened their first deli in London's Notting Hill in 2002. He has written a weekly food column for The Guardian since 2006 and has published five cookery books, as well as opening four more delis and a restaurant. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen



Ali Smith
Ali Smith is a Scottish writer. Born in Inverness in 1962, the youngest of five children by seven years, she says, "I grew up completely alone but with all the comforts of knowing I had a cushioning family structure around me - and yet I could free myself from it." After reading English at Aberdeen and nearly completing a PhD at Cambridge, she started down an academic path, winning a lectureship at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, but she soon decided that academia wasn't for her. She gave herself three years in which to make it as a writer. By then she had moved from writing poems, for which she had discovered an aptitude aged eight, to short stories. Her first collection, Free Love and Other Stories, was published in 1995. Since then she has written novels, including How to Be Both, and The Accidental, as well as plays. Nominated three times for the Booker Prize, her fiction has won numerous literary awards including the Goldsmiths Award, the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award, and the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Michael Bublé
Kirsty Young's castaway is the singer, Michael Bublé. Born in Burnaby, British Columbia, as a young boy he spent hours listening to his grandfather's record collection which featured the stars of the Great American songbook - Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Ella Fitzgerald. At sixteen he was singing at venues often in exchange for the free plumbing services his grandad offered to get him on stage. But it took ten years of plugging away at restaurants, clubs, and corporate gigs before he met David Foster, a music producer at Warner Brothers. His released his first eponymous debut album in 2003. Since then he has won four Grammy Awards and sold 55 million records. He is married to Argentinian actress Luisana Lopilato and they have two young sons. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Jackie Kay
Kirsty Young's castaway is the poet and writer Jackie Kay. Born in Edinburgh in 1961 to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father, she was adopted as a baby by a white Scottish couple, Helen and John Kay, and grew up in Bishopbriggs, Glasgow. Her father worked for the Communist Party and her mother was the Scottish secretary for CND. She began to write seriously at the age of 17 when recovering from a moped accident, and while reading English at the University of Stirling she became a feminist and politically active in the arena of gay and lesbian rights and racial equality. Her first book of poetry, the partly autobiographical The Adoption Papers, was published in 1991 and won the Saltire Society Scottish First Book Award. She won the 1994 Somerset Maugham Award for Other Lovers, the Guardian Fiction Prize for Trumpet and in 2010 published Red Dust Road, an account of her search for her biological parents. She is now Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University and Chancellor of Salford University and was appointed Makar - Scotland's Poet Laureate - in March 2016. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Dr Robert Langer
Kirsty Young's castaway is the scientist Dr Robert Langer. Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he is the most cited engineer in history, and was awarded the prestigious US medals of both Science and of Technology and Innovation. A pioneer of many new technologies including controlled release drug delivery systems and nanotechnology, Langer is also regarded as the founder of tissue engineering in regenerative medicine where synthetic structures are used to provide the scaffolding on which new skin, muscle, bone and potentially entire organs can be grown. Born in Albany, New York, in 1948, Langer's interest in science was kindled by the Gilbert chemistry, microscope and building sets he was given as birthday presents by his parents. He studied chemical engineering at Cornell University before getting his Doctor of Science from MIT in 1974. His enthusiasm wasn't fired up by the many job offers from oil companies he received, preferring to apply to work in the medical sector. After many unsuccessful applications, he was hired by Dr Judah Folkman, a surgeon at Harvard, who tasked Langer with isolating a compound to restrict blood vessel growth in order to stop a tumour from growing. His work at the interface of medicine and engineering led to him being awarded the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering in 2015. He attributes his success to "a combination of stubbornness, risk taking, perhaps being reasonably Listen

Stephen Hough
Kirsty Young's castaway is the concert pianist and composer Stephen Hough. He discovered he liked playing the piano when he went to visit his aunt's house and could pick out more than one hundred nursery rhymes on her piano. After much pestering, his parents bought him a cheap second hand piano from an antique shop. He went on to become one of the youngest students at the Royal Northern College of Music before winning a scholarship to The Juilliard School in New York. His career began in 1983 after winning the Naumberg Piano Competition. He divides his time between New York and London and performs all over the world. He also has a prolific recording career and has won many awards for his discs. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Christiane Amanpour
Kirsty Young's castaway is the journalist and broadcaster Christiane Amanpour. Her career as a reporter was forged in some of the world's most hostile environments from Bosnia to Rwanda and Iraq to Israel. From the early '90s onwards she was so ubiquitous on screen that her peers in the press pack coined the darkly comic phrase "where there's a war, there's Amanpour." Born to an Iranian father and a British mother, she initially wanted to be a doctor, but the Revolution in Iran in 1979 galvanised her political consciousness and she turned to journalism. Her first major assignment was in Saudi Arabia where she covered the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. She describes her time in Bosnia as a life-changing experience which made her determined to tell the stories of ordinary people caught up in the chaos of conflict. During her career she has interviewed some of the biggest names on the world stage from Bill Clinton and Tony Blair to Robert Mugabe and Colonel Gaddafi. The winner of 11 Emmy Awards, she now anchors her own nightly television show on CNN although she can be whisked away at a moment's notice to cover major disasters around the globe. She has borne witness to some of history's worst atrocities but what gets her through is her eternal optimism and the courage and dignity of humanity. Producer: Paula McGinley.Listen

Joyce DiDonato
Kirsty Young's castaway is the mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato. Winner of two Grammy Awards, she is best known for her interpretations of Handel, Mozart and Rossini operas. Born into a Catholic family in Kansas, she was the second-youngest of seven children. Her love of music was awakened by watching her late father directing the local church choir. Her first ambition was to become a music teacher, but watching a televised performance of Don Giovanni during her third year at college ignited her interest in opera. After acceptance onto Houston Grand Opera's young artist programme, she overhauled her technique and went on to win second place in 1998's Operalia competition. Her first big role came in 2002 singing Rosina in The Barber of Seville in Paris and she made her debut at New York's Metropolitan Opera in 2005 at the age of 36. Since then her star has shone brightly and she has performed across the operatic spectrum, from contemporary works, such as Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking to Strauss and Handel. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen



Nadiya Hussain
Kirsty Young's castaway is the baker and winner of The Great British Bake Off in 2015, Nadiya Hussain. One of six children born to Bangladeshi parents in Luton, it was her father - a restaurateur - who encouraged her to cook. Having grown up in a culture where dessert wasn't common, her love of baking was awakened by her Year Ten home economics teacher. She had an arranged marriage to Abdal in her early twenties and stayed at home to bring up their three children until her husband encouraged her to apply for the Bake Off. She was selected and over 15 million viewers watched her beat her fellow finalists Tamal and Ian. Since winning Bake Off, Nadiya has been writing a column for the Times Magazine and has published her first cook book. She also has further books and a TV programme in the pipeline. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Michael Heath
Kirsty Young's castaway is the cartoonist Michael Heath. He's been working for newspapers and magazines for sixty years and sold his first drawing to the Melody Maker in the 1950s. For the past twenty five years he's been the cartoon editor of The Spectator magazine. Born in London in 1935, his early schooling was interrupted by the Second World War and by the age of twelve he was still unable to read and write. Both his parents drew professionally and after one unhappy year at art college, Michael left to pursue a freelance career as a cartoonist. During his prolific career, Michael has created many cartoon strips including 'Great Bores of Today' which ran for nearly thirty years in Private Eye and 'The Regulars' which was centred on his Soho drinking crowd who included the writer Jeffrey Barnard and the artists Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Jilly Cooper
Kirsty Young's castaway is the writer Jilly Cooper. Her long writing career spans newspaper columns for the Sunday Times and the Mail on Sunday, non-fiction books on class, marriage and animals in war and novels that sell in their millions. Her romances set in the late seventies - including 'Bella', 'Harriett', 'Imogen' and 'Prudence' - were followed by 'Riders' in 1985, the first of her Rutshire Chronicles. Set mainly in the Cotswolds, they are racy and raunchy page-turners exposing the scandalous - and often hilarious - goings on among the British upper classes. Born in 1937 in Essex, she was brought up in Yorkshire and enjoyed a happy childhood surrounded by dogs and ponies. At boarding school she earned the nickname, 'the unholy terror' and having failed to get into Oxford and being sacked from a number of jobs for her inability to type, she turned to journalism before publishing her first book, 'How to Stay Married' in 1969. She married Leo Cooper in 1961 and, unable to have children of their own, the couple adopted Felix and Emily in the late 1960s. The couple were married for 52 years before his death in 2013. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Professor Dame Ann Dowling
Kirsty Young's castaway is the engineer and international expert on aircraft noise reduction, Professor Dame Ann Dowling. The first female president of the Royal Academy of Engineering, one of her passions is encouraging more young people, particularly women to choose engineering as a career. In 1998 she became the first female professor of Engineering at Cambridge University and went on to be the first female head of the Department. As a child she was fascinated with how things worked, taking her bike apart aged six, and even dismantling the electric lights in her dolls house. Later, an over enthusiastic session with her chemistry set caused the conservatory curtains to briefly catch fire. A passion for aeroplanes led her down the path of aeroacoustics and aircraft noise reduction alongside her hobby of flying airplanes. She was awarded the DBE for services to science in 2007 and was appointed to the Order of Merit in 2016. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Levi Roots
Kirsty Young's castaway is the entrepreneur, Levi Roots. His business success began following an appearance on BBC Two's Dragon's Den in 2007. With guitar in hand, he sang about his 'Reggae reggae sauce' which he had been selling for years at London's Notting Hill Carnival. Both Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh invested in the business and within six weeks, his sauce was bottled and on supermarket shelves. Recipe books, TV shows and a restaurant, or 'rastaurant' followed. He is the youngest of five children born in Jamaica. When he was four, his parents went to build a new life in the UK. Each year one of his siblings came to join the family in Britain. When Levi was 10, he left his much loved grandmother behind, never to see her again. Unable to read or write when he started school, he caught up quickly. He became a Rastafarian as a teenager. Following school, he became an apprentice engineer but left that to pursue a career in music. In his late twenties, he went to prison for five years. His time inside would prove to be a turning point for him. Music continued to play an important part in his life and he was nominated for a Best Reggae Act MOBO award in 1998. A father of eight, he lives in Brixton, London. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Nicole Farhi
Kirsty Young's castaway is the designer and sculptor Nicole Farhi. Born into a Turkish family in France, Nicole's interest in fashion was present from an early age. As a child, she used to design clothes for her paper dolls; as a teenager, she was taken to couture shows in Paris by her stylish aunts. Aged eighteen, she enrolled in fashion school in Paris and began selling her design sketches to earn a little pocket money, thus setting out on a career as a freelance designer. In the early 1970s, she met the British entrepreneur Stephen Marks who was just starting the retail chain French Connection where she became chief designer, and it was he who encouraged her to set up her eponymous label in 1982. Her fashion empire would eventually extend to New York, London and Tokyo before being sold in 2010, and Nicole herself left the business in 2012. Since retiring from fashion, Nicole Farhi has dedicated herself to her other passion - sculpture. She sculpts predominantly in clay and then casts her works in different materials including glass, bronze and concrete. She has been married to the playwright Sir David Hare since 1992. Producer: Christine Pawlowsky.Listen

Matthew Barzun
Kirsty Young's castaway is the US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Matthew Barzun. Born in New York City as the second of four children to Roger Barzun, a lawyer, and his wife Serita Winthrop, he was brought up in the small Massachusetts town of Lincoln. He followed in the family tradition and read History and Literature of America at Harvard University, taking a break for a year to work as a teaching assistant in Cape Town. After graduating he worked for an internet start-up company in San Francisco, where he became chief strategy officer. He left in 2004 after getting involved with fundraising for John Kerry's failed presidential campaign. He was in the audience for Barak Obama's, 'there are no red or blue States, just a United States' speech in 2004 and subsequently went to work for him, fundraising for Obama's 2008 bid for the White House. When President Obama won, he appointed Matthew as Ambassador to Sweden only to recall him to take up the role of National Finance Chair for the 2012 re-election campaign. Matthew is credited with developing a 'low dollar' model of funding, where many pay a few dollars for tickets to political events. In July 2013, he was nominated as the new Ambassador to the UK by President Obama, a post he took up in August 2013 and which ends in January 2017. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen



Sara Khan
Kirsty Young's castaway is Sara Khan. A British Muslim human rights activist, she's the director of Inspire, a counter-extremism and women's rights organisation which she co-founded in 2009. Born in Bradford in 1980 to Pakistani parents, she decided to wear the veil when she was thirteen changing her mind eighteen years later. She studied Pharmacy at the University of Manchester but never felt she was fulfilling her potential, and set up Inspire in her home. She has been at the heart of various campaigns to raise awareness of her cause from Jihad Against Violence to #MakingAStand which encouraged women in particular to stand up against extremism. In 2009 she was listed in the Equality and Human Rights Commission Muslim Women's Power List and in 2015 was included in BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour Power List. She is currently sitting on the Department for Education's Due Diligence and Counter-Extremism Expert Reference Group and on the Government's Community Engagement Forum. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Barrie Rutter
Kirsty Young's castaway is the actor and theatre director Barrie Rutter. He is the founder and artistic director of the touring theatre company Northern Broadsides. There was nothing in his background to suggest he'd spend his life on stage. He was brought up by his father, who worked nights unloading fish in Hull. There were no books in his childhood home and he discovered his passion for theatre whilst at secondary school with the help of his English teacher who spotted his talent for performing. His first role was as the Mayor in Gogol's, 'The Government Inspector'. He was a member of the National Youth Theatre where he appeared with Helen Mirren and went on to study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. After a career in the National Theatre and the RSC, in 1992 he founded Northern Broadsides which stages Shakespeare plays, other classical works and new writing with the aim of presenting "Northern voices, doing classical work in non-velvet spaces". Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Warwick Davis
Kirsty Young's castaway is the actor Warwick Davis. His career began thanks to his grandmother who heard a radio advert calling for short people to be in the latest of George Lucas's Star Wars films. He played his first role as an Ewok in Star Wars when he was 11 years old and found himself on set with his childhood heroes. Since then he's worked on all the Harry Potter films, appeared in TV sitcoms, documentaries, horror movies, quiz shows and Christmas pantomimes. Born with Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia Congenita (SED), a rare disorder of bone growth which results in dwarfism, the view of his doctors was that he'd be wheelchair bound and unlikely to live beyond his teens. Now in his mid-forties, he is married with two children of his own. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

David Nott
Kirsty Young's castaway is the surgeon, David Nott. He works across three London hospitals performing general, vascular, trauma & reconstructive surgery. In addition, for the past two decades, he's spent several weeks every year working in conflict zones around the world for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Born in Carmarthen, Wales, he was brought up by his grandparents until he was four while his parents finished their training - his Welsh mother became a nurse, his Indo-Burmese father an orthopaedic surgeon. He studied medicine at St Andrews University and completed his medical and surgical training in Manchester and Liverpool before becoming a consultant general and vascular surgeon working in London. He first volunteered to go into a war zone in 1993 when he travelled to Sarajevo. Since then he has worked in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Chad, Haiti, Yemen, Nepa, Gaza and Syria. In 2016 he and his wife, Elly, set up the David Nott Foundation, a charity which funds the training of local doctors to work in conflict zones and hostile environments. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Professor Louise Richardson
Kirsty Young's castaway is the political scientist and Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University Professor Louise Richardson. She was born in Ireland, is one of seven children and has gone on to have an international career as an academic with a particular expertise in terrorism. She has been consulted by many politicians for her knowledge and insight. After many years as a Harvard Professor, she came to Britain to be the first female Vice-Chancellor of St. Andrews University. Since January 2016, she has been the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University and is the first woman to hold the post. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Berry Gordy
Kirsty Young's castaway is the producer Berry Gordy. He founded the Motown record label and his musical empire made worldwide stars of Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Jackson 5 and Marvin Gaye. The second youngest of eight children, he was brought up in Detroit. He left school at sixteen to become a Featherweight boxer, and served as a soldier in the Korean war before making music his career. His first foray into the music business was a jazz record store in Detroit but he was out of step with popular taste and he became bankrupt. It was whilst working on a a car production line that he came up with the idea of setting up a record label. The combination of his song-writing skills and entrepreneurial spirit took Motown music to the top of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic and to the centre of American culture during a pivotal moment in America's civil rights history. He was friends with Dr Martin Luther King and recorded some of his speeches on the Motown label. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Inga Beale
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the business woman, Inga Beale. She has been the CEO of Lloyd's of London since January 2014 and was the first woman to hold the post in the 325 years since the insurer was founded in 1688. She is the middle child of a Norwegian mother and an English father and grew up in Newbury, Berkshire. Her career in insurance began in London in the early 1980s, but she tired of the predominantly male culture of the industry and left the City in 1989 to go travelling for a year. On her return she worked for the Prudential and then for GE Solutions, the insurance arm of General Electrics, where the work took her abroad. She left GE in 2006 to turn around a failing Swiss company, before joining the Zurich Insurance Group. Her last role before joining Lloyd's as CEO in 2014 was as chief executive of Canopius, a privately held Lloyd's insurer. In 2015, she topped a power list of the world's leading 100 LGBT executives. She is openly bisexual after coming out in 2008 and has been married to her husband since 2013. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen



Tom Hanks
Kirsty Young's castaway is Tom Hanks. From 'Big' to 'Sleepless in Seattle', 'Captain Phillips' to 'Apollo 13', his long and distinguished film-making career has brought him multiple awards and many plaudits. He's the recipient of eight Emmys, one Bafta and four Golden Globes and was the youngest ever actor to be given a lifetime achievement award by the American Film institute. The voice of Woody in the 'Toy Story' films, he won the first of his two Oscars in 1993 for Philadelphia and again the following year for Forrest Gump. His parents split up when he was 5 and he went to live with his father. By the age of 10 he'd lived in ten different houses in five different cities. He loved school and developed a passion for history which is reflected in the film he made with Steven Spielberg, 'Saving Private Ryan' and the TV mini-series 'Band of Brothers' and 'The Pacific' which he also produced. His latest film is 'Hologram for The King'. He is married to the actor & producer, Rita Wilson. Producer: Cathy Drysdale The podcast version of this programme is an extended version of the broadcast interview.Listen

John Timpson
Kirsty Young's castaway is the businessman, John Timpson. He is chairman of his eponymous high street retailers and the business is in his blood: started by his great-grandfather in 1865 it is now run by one of his sons. Although he fulfilled his family's expectations by running the family firm, he's a man who ploughs his own furrow as all his staff are given the day off on their birthday, and can use the company's holiday homes for free. A proponent of what he calls 'upside down management', his employees, all of whom are called 'colleagues', enjoy an unusual degree of autonomy in the running of the individual shops and 10% of the company's employees have spent time in prison. Married to his late wife Alex for over 47 years, together they fostered 90 children. He has written several books on leadership and pens a weekly business advice column. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Gloria Steinem
Kirsty Young's castaway is the writer, feminist & activist, Gloria Steinem. At the forefront of the second wave of feminism, she came to prominence after publishing an article entitled "After Black Power, Women's Liberation" in 1969. Two years later she co-founded the feminist magazine Ms. As an activist, she has spent much of her life travelling, giving talks and lecturing. Born in 1934 in Ohio, her father was a businessman who ran a lake-side resort in the summer and packed up his family at the first sign of frost to travel cross-country in a caravan selling antiques. Her mother had been a newspaper journalist and later suffered a nervous breakdown before Gloria was born. She became her mother's sole carer aged eleven when her parents divorced. It was only following their separation, having settled down in a house in Toledo, that she spent her first full year at school. After high school, she read politics and government and then traveled around India for two years on a fellowship. On her return, she established herself as a writer in 1960s New York and co-founded Ms. magazine in 1971. Since then, her writing has appeared in innumerable magazines, newspapers, anthologies, television commentaries, political campaigns, and film documentaries in America and internationally. In 2013 she was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest honour, by Barack Obama. Producer: Cathy DrysdListen

Yinka Shonibare
Kirsty Young's castaway is the artist Yinka Shonibare MBE. His work has populated museums around the globe, with a vivid, subversive and often tragi-comic presence; exploring themes of cultural identity, post colonialism and the impact of globalisation. A Turner Prize nominee in 2004, he has exhibited at the Venice Biennial and internationally. His 'Nelson's Ship in a Bottle' became his first public art commission when it was one of the art works chosen for the Fourth Plinth in London's Trafalgar Square. Born in London, his parents moved the family back to Nigeria when he was three. Later he returned to Britain to finish his education but his plans to study art were brutally interrupted when he was 19 contracted the disease, Transverse Myelitis, which attacked his central nervous system and rendered him paralysed from the neck down. He had three years of intensive rehabilitation before beginning again at art school. He went on to study at Goldsmiths and was part of the Young British Artist generation. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Dr Dame Sue Ion
Kirsty Young's castaway is the engineer and nuclear scientist Dr Dame Sue Ion. The first woman to be awarded the highly prestigious President's Medal by the Royal Academy of Engineering, she has worked her way to the heart of an industry that remains very contentious. Her passion for understanding how and why the world works the way it does first began as she tinkered for hours at her parents' kitchen table with a little chemistry set. Today she goes into schools to encourage more girls to take up engineering and her enthusiasm for the subject has galvanised many to take up the discipline. Producer: Paula McGinley.Listen

Hugh Bonneville
Kirsty Young's castaway is Hugh Bonneville. Known around the world for his portrayal of Lord Grantham in ITV's hugely popular Downton Abbey, he made British audiences laugh with his portrayal of the hapless Ian Fletcher in the BBC comedies Twenty Twelve and W1A and charmed audiences of all ages as Mr Brown in the animated film, Paddington Bear. His immense range as an actor has ensured he's seldom been out of work since joining the National Theatre in 1987, but his thespian leanings started much earlier - writing, performing & even creating tickets for his very own dramatic productions - performed for his family at home. He was born in London to a surgeon and a former nurse and grew up with two older siblings. At junior school he refused to let a teacher put him off his passion for acting which he continued to pursue while doing a degree in Theology at Cambridge. He chose an acting career over law, and following a brief time at drama school, his first professional role was "bashing a cymbal" in A Midsummer Night's Dream at London's Regent's Park theatre in 1986. He joined the National the following year and achieved his ambition of being a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1991. His television debut was as a conman in the ITV drama Chancer and his first appearance on the big screen was in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, directed by Kenneth Branagh. He appeared opposite George Clooney in the 2014 film The Monuments Men andListen

Dame Zaha Hadid
Kirsty Young's castaway is the architect, Dame Zaha Hadid. The first woman to be awarded architecture's highest honour, the Pritzker Prize, she designed the Aquatic Centre for London 2012, Glasgow's Riverside Museum and has twice won the Stirling Prize - first for the MAXXI museum in Rome and secondly for her design for the Grace Academy school in Brixton, London. She recently became the first woman in her own right to receive the RIBA Gold Medal. She was born in Baghdad in 1950 where her father was a prominent member of the opposition National Democratic Party. After attending school there, she travelled to Switzerland and England to boarding school before returning to London in 1972 to study at the Architectural Association. In 1983 she won her first competition to design the Peak Leisure Club in Hong Kong. It gained her international recognition though it was never built: her first building was the Vitra Fire Station in Germany in 1993. In the late 1990s she built a contemporary arts centre in Cincinnati & a BMW car manufacturing plant in Leipzig. She won competitions to design a new opera house in Cardiff but it was never realised and her first permanent building in Britain was a Maggie's Cancer Care Centre in Scotland built in 2006. She has designed stations for the Nordpark Cable Railway in Innsbruck, Austria and in 2010 the Opera House in Guangzhou, China. In 2014 she became the first woman to win the Design Museum's Design Listen



Ben Saunders
Kirsty Young's castaway is the polar adventurer Ben Saunders. In his own words he "specialises in dragging heavy things around cold places". He's one of only three people to have skied solo to The North Pole and he holds the record for the longest solo Arctic journey ever on foot. After traversing Russia and the frozen crust of the Arctic Ocean, his most recent adventure was to triumph where, a century before, Captain Scott and his men failed. Ben successfully retraced that ill-fated Terra Nova route by making the eighteen hundred mile journey through Antarctica-and-back, entirely on foot. When he's not wrapped up somewhere cold, he is a motivational speaker. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Professor Dame Carol Black
Kirsty Young's castaway is Professor Dame Carol Black. She is Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, and is a special adviser to the Department of Health and Public Health England. She is also Chair of the Board of the Nuffield Trust, the health policy think tank. She read History at Bristol University before beginning her medical career with encouragement from Dame Cecily Saunders, the founder of the hospice movement. She was Head of Rheumatology at London's Royal Free Hospital from 1989-1994, and was Medical Director of the hospital between 1995 and 2002. She's an international expert on scleroderma, a skin and tissue auto-immune disease, and is the second woman to become President of the Royal College of Physicians. She was made a Dame in 2005 for her services to Medicine. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Bill Gates
Kirsty Young's castaway is Bill Gates. He sat at his first computer while still at school in Seattle, wrote his first computer programme aged just 13 and went on to co-found the company Microsoft, becoming one of the key figures of the technological revolution. In 2000, he and his wife, Melinda, launched the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which has given to date over $34 billion to projects aimed at reducing health inequality around the world. Born into a professional family - his father was a lawyer, his mother a former teacher who later became involved with volunteer work - he was introduced to the idea of 'giving back' at an early age. An avid reader as a child, he attended Harvard where in his sophomore year he and Paul Allen developed software for the first micro-computers. The company would go on to achieve huge success with its Windows operating system. By 1987, Gates had become the world's youngest self-made billionaire, then worth $1.25 billion. Consistently listed as the Richest Man in the World, he stepped down as CEO of the company in 2000 although he remained as Chairman until 2014. These days his primary focus is his philanthropy. In 2010, Gates and his friend Warren Buffett announced the Giving Pledge which aims to inspire the wealthy people of the world to give away the majority of their net worth to worthy causes. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Sigrid Rausing
Kirsty Young's castaway is the philanthropist and publisher Sigrid Rausing. Founder of one of the UK's largest philanthropic foundations, her trust has given away around £230m to human rights causes since it began. Brought up in Sweden, she is currently the publisher of Granta Books and the editor of Granta Magazine and her work spotting and developing new writers stems from her lifelong love of literature. As the granddaughter of Ruben Rausing, who founded food packaging company Tetra Pak, she is a member of one of Britain's richest families. Her interest in human rights was sparked as a child by a love of animals and hearing her parents talk about the Holocaust. Producer: Paula McGinley.Listen

Sir Anthony Seldon
Kirsty Young's castaway is the educationalist and writer, Sir Anthony Seldon. Now Vice-Chancellor of Buckingham University, he was the Master of Wellington College. He has written, co-written and edited more than 30 books, including political biographies of Prime Ministers Churchill, Blair, Brown and Cameron. He had to take his 'A' levels twice before going on to read PPE at Oxford and doing a PhD at the LSE, before embarking on his teaching career. His first headmaster job was at Brighton College and then he went onto be Master of Wellington College. During his tenure, the school became co-educational, set up partner schools in China, and introduced a more holistic approach to learning with happiness classes and stillness sessions added to the curriculum and in 2009 the state secondary Wellington Academy was founded in Wiltshire. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Royal Society of Arts and in 2014 was knighted for services to education and modern political history. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Alex Crawford
Kirsty Young's castaway is the Sky TV news correspondent Alex Crawford. She's won the Royal Television Society's Journalist of the Year award an unprecedented four times - reporting from the world's worst war zones and hot spots. Where most people would do anything to stay well away from trouble she seems drawn to danger , whether it's covering the Ebola crisis in Liberia, hunting for Rhino poachers in South Africa or being first on the scene as the drama of Libya's revolution unfolded. She spent the first five years of her life in Nigeria, where her family survived two political coups. After childhood in Zambia and subsequently what was then Rhodesia, she came back to Britain as a teenager to go to boarding school and then got her first job as a trainee reporter on the Wokingham Times. She's been shot at, arrested and interrogated. But it's a job she loves and is still passionate to do. For her, there should be no 'no-go' areas for journalists and journalism remains an essential pillar of freedom and democracy. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Colm Toibin
Kirsty Young's castaway is the writer Colm Toibin. Best-known for his novels "Brooklyn" - now made into a film - "Nora Webster" and "The Master," he has been nominated for the Booker Prize three times. Born in 1955 in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, the second youngest of five children, Colm's life changed suddenly when his father died after a long illness when he was twelve. He says he has been dealing with the trauma which resulted in his writing ever since. After attending St Peter's College in Wexford and University College Dublin, he spent three years in Barcelona teaching English before returning to Ireland. He worked as a journalist until his books began to get published. He once told a class he was teaching that "you have to be a terrible monster to write. I said, 'Someone might have told you something they shouldn't have told you, and you have to be prepared to use it because it will make a great story. You have to use it even though the person is identifiable. If you can't do it then writing isn't for you. You've no right to be here. If there is any way I can help you get into law school then I will. Your morality will be more useful in a courtroom.'" Producer: Christine Pawlowsky.Listen



Patricia Greene
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Patricia Greene. For nearly sixty years she has played the role of Jill in Radio 4's The Archers which celebrates its 65th anniversary on January 1st 2016. Over the decades the storylines have followed her character through one marriage, four children and since 2010, widowhood. Born in Derby in 1931, Paddy's love of acting began early on inspired by her father who was a keen amateur actor. As an only and independent child she was surrounded by the adult world and would often eavesdrop as she hid under the kitchen table. Her parents loved entertainment and would take her to the cinema every week to see Hollywood romances or comedies. After attending a grammar school she went to the Central School of Speech and Drama in London in 1951. She wanted to be a classical actress, but then a phone call from the Archers production office changed her career path and she joined the cast initially on a six week contract in 1957. Her character Jill went onto marry the farmer Phil Archer, and is still there with a recent storyline seeing her return to Brookfield, the family farm. Patricia has been married twice and was widowed in 1986. She was awarded an MBE in 2007. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Commander Chris Hadfield
Kirsty Young's castaway is Chris Hadfield. He was the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station and took part in three space missions spending a total of 166 days orbiting the Earth. He has spent over 14 hours doing two space walks. He flew his first eight day mission into space in 1995 during which he visited the Russian space station Mir. In 2001 he paid his first visit to the International Space Station to help install Canadarm2, a robot arm helping to build the station which was launched three years previously. In 2012 he began his final five month stay in space on board the ISS. It was on this mission that his videos of life in space - including a film of him singing David Bowie's Space Oddity and accompanying himself on guitar - led to him enjoying a huge following on social media. Chris was born in 1959 in Ontario, the second of five children: his father was a pilot and the family lived on a farm. He mapped out his future career aged nine when he watched Neil Armstrong become the first person to walk on the moon in 1969. In pursuit of his dream Chris first become an Air Cadet, then attended military college, becoming a fighter pilot and then a test pilot, as well as an aeronautical engineer. He finally achieved his ambition of becoming an astronaut in 1992. He went onto become the Chief of Robotics at the NASA Astronaut Office and Chief of International Space Station Operations at the Johnson Space Centre in HousListen

Kylie Minogue
Kirsty Young's castaway is Kylie Minogue. With seven number ones and ten million singles sold in the UK, she is the third-biggest selling female artist in Britain and has sold around 70 million records worldwide. Born in Melbourne in 1968, Kylie and her sister Dannii began their careers as child actors on Australian television. At 17, Kylie landed the role of Charlene Mitchell in the soap opera Neighbours and her on-screen wedding to Jason Donovan's character Scott Robinson was watched by twenty million people in the UK alone. Her recording career began after she was spotted singing at a charity event in 1987. Within months she had released a cover version of "Locomotion" which became the biggest-selling Australian single of the decade. Following the single's success, her first hit with record producers Stock, Aitken and Waterman was "I Should Be So Lucky": her debut album sold seven million copies. At the age of 21, a romance with INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence led to a change in her image. In 2000, inspired by 1970s disco and assisted by gold hot pants, her single "Spinning Around" became her first British number one for a decade. She also sang to an estimated global audience of 3.7 billion at the closing ceremony of the Sydney Olympics. In May 2005 she was diagnosed with breast cancer: following treatment she resumed the tour 18 months later. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Atul Gawande
Kirsty Young's castaway is the surgeon, author and former Reith lecturer, Atul Gawande. A general and endocrine surgeon in Boston, he is professor in both the Department of Health Policy & Management at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Department of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Born in Brooklyn, he is the son of two doctors who came to the US to study medicine. After graduating from Stanford and studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford, he embarked on a brief political career, working for Bill Clinton's presidential campaign and on his health and social policy in the White House following his election. When Clinton's health policy reform floundered, Atul returned to Harvard to finish the medical degree he'd started after Oxford. During his surgical residency he began writing for the online magazine Slate and he's been writing for the New Yorker since 1998. His 2009 article "The Cost Conundrum" was cited by President Barack Obama during his attempt to get the healthcare reform legislation through Congress. Atul has published four books to date about the achievements, but also the limitations, of medicine. In 2014 he presented the BBC's Reith Lectures, delivering a series of four talks titled The Future of Medicine. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Sandi Toksvig
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Sandi Toksvig. Host of BBC Radio 4's News Quiz until June 2015, she is also a writer and comedian and recently entered the world of politics, helping to found the Women's Equality Party. Her parents were both broadcasters: her mother worked as a studio manager and announcer before she married, her Danish father's job as a foreign correspondent took the family around the world. Sandi and her siblings spent much of their childhood in the United States and when she was "asked to leave" yet another American school, her parents sent her to boarding school in England. She soon decided to lose her strong American accent and went on to Cambridge, where she performed in the Footlights. In addition to writing, her most recent acting role was in Call the Midwife and she continues to appear regularly on TV and radio shows as a panelist: she is to start as the next host of QI, taking over from Stephen Fry. She's also Chancellor of Portsmouth University.Listen

Gurinder Chadha
Kirsty Young's castaway is filmmaker Gurinder Chadha. Writer, director and producer behind the films Bend it like Beckham, Bhaji on the Beach and Bride and Prejudice, she began her career as a BBC news reporter. She was born in Kenya to Sikh parents and grew up in Southall in West London. Her political awakening came in her teens in the 1970s against the backdrop of the National Front and race riots in the capital. The bands she listened to, including the Clash, the Jam and the Specials, were fixtures at the Rock Against Racism concerts which galvanised her desire to make a difference. Bend it Like Beckham, which launched the career of Keira Knightly, is now a hit musical on the West End stage. Her next film, Viceroy's House, tackles the Partition of India in 1947. She was awarded an OBE in the 2006 Queen's Birthday Honours List for her services to the British Film Industry. Producer: Paula McGinley.Listen

Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon
Kirsty Young's castaway is the Right Honourable Nicola Sturgeon, MSP. Leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and the fifth First Minister of Scotland in the devolved era, she is the first woman to hold either post. The eldest of two daughters, she was brought up in Irvine and attended the local Dreghorn Primary School. A studious child, she was encouraged in her interest in current affairs by a teacher and joined the SNP aged 16. At 21, she was the youngest candidate in the 1992 General Election, contesting the safe Labour seat of Glasgow Shettleston. She learned a lot about electoral defeat in those first years, but after several unsuccessful attempts, she was elected to the Scottish Parliament as a list MSP for Glasgow in 1999. She served as the party's shadow minister for education, and later for health and for justice and was elected deputy leader of her party in 2004, standing on a joint ticket with Alex Salmond. When the SNP won the highest number of seats in the 2007 election, she was appointed deputy First Minister. She also took on responsibility for the SNP's independence referendum campaign. In November 2014, following the No vote in the Scottish independence referendum and the subsequent resignation of Alex Salmond, Sturgeon was elected leader of the SNP and became First Minister of Scotland. She's been awarded the Scottish Politician of the Year award three times and in 2015 was judged to be the Most InfluListen



Lord Indarjit Singh
Kirsty Young's castaway is the broadcaster and religious leader, Lord Indarjit Singh. Creator of The Sikh Messenger newspaper and co-founder of the Inter Faith Network he also has the distinction of being the first member of the House of Lords to wear a turban. He was appointed as a crossbench life peer in 2011. He has contributed to Radio 4's Thought for the Day from a Sikh perspective for more than thirty years and arrived in Britain in 1933. He began his career as a mining engineer and in later life has been involved in inter-faith community work. In the New Year Honours 2009 he was awarded the CBE for services to inter-faith and community relations. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Marjorie Wallace
Kirsty Young's castaway is the mental health campaigner and Chief Executive of SANE, Marjorie Wallace. After leaving University College London with a psychology and philosophy degree, her first job in the media was working on The Frost Programme with David Frost. She went on to produce religious programmes and became a current affairs reporter and director for the BBC. She joined the Sunday Times Insight team as an investigative journalist and wrote a series of articles highlighting the financial and emotional plight of young Thalidomide victims. Her articles on mental illness - The Forgotten Illness - elicited a huge public response and in 1986 she founded the mental health charity SANE. She has received numerous awards for her journalism and books and has twice won the Campaigning Journalist of the Year award. In December 2008 she was awarded the CBE for services to mental health. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Keith Richards
Keith Richards, member of the Rolling Stones, is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs. Keith was born in Dartford and grew up as an only child. He and Mick Jagger went to the same primary school, but then lost touch until meeting again at Dartford train station in 1961 and discovering they shared a taste in blues music. Keith picked up his love of the guitar from his grandfather and honed his skills whilst at art college. If one single, living person could be said to personify rock n' roll then it is surely him. He's been making music and causing havoc for over half a century and counting. His song writing, singing and guitar playing have helped to make The Rolling Stones a stratospherically successful group and his early and single minded dedication to the triumvirate pursuits of sex and drugs and rock and roll made him a counter-culture icon. No surprise then that as a boy he would go to sleep at night with his arm around his first guitar. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Professor Sue Black
Kirsty Young's castaway is Professor Sue Black. She is Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology at the University of Dundee, founder and past President of the British Association for Human Identification and heads the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification in Dundee. Brought up on the west coast of Scotland and in Inverness, she fell in love with biology at secondary school and read Human Anatomy at the University of Aberdeen. After graduation she worked at London's St Thomas' Hospital as an anatomist and police began to call on her to help identify bones. In 1999 she travelled to Kosovo, tasked with investigating the site of a mass shooting. She has worked in areas of conflict including Iraq and was part of the team helping to identify victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. She was awarded an OBE in 2001 for her services to forensic anthropology. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Lemn Sissay
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Lemn Sissay. As a poet, writer and playwright, much of his work tells the story of his search for his birth parents. Born to a young Ethiopian woman who wanted him temporarily fostered while she completed her studies, he was with a family until he was 12. He would spend the next five years in a number of children's homes where he began to write. On leaving care at 17, he self-published his first book of poetry while on the dole. Several poetry collections, plays and programmes for radio and TV followed and his work has taken him around the world. He was the first poet to be commissioned to write for the 2012 London Olympics and his success has also brought him two doctorates and an MBE for services to literature. He is about to be installed as Chancellor of the University of Manchester, an elected post he will hold for the next seven years. He takes writers' workshops for care-leavers and set up Culture World, the first black writers' workshop. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Alison Balsom
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the musician, Alison Balsom. Widely considered the finest classical trumpet player of her generation, she's performed in all the great concert halls of the world, winning a huge amount of fans and a string of awards for her ability to exquisitely convey the many voices of her chosen instrument. As a child she had dreams of being a part-time trumpet player, astronaut and jockey - she's only 36 so there's time yet for the other two; but whilst she is solely devoting her energies to her instrument her belief in the power of music seems endless. In between gigs, rehearsals, recordings and motherhood, she's found time to travel to Uganda and Liberia as patron of Brass for Africa, with the heartfelt conviction that she can transform the lives of street children by teaching them to play. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
Kirsty Young's castaways this week are the comedy writers Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran. They've been at the rock-face, mining for laughs, for over 40 years and they've given us plenty of gems ... amongst them monologues in the '70s for Frankie Howerd, the era-defining character Alan B'Stard MP, star of The New Statesman, and now the successful revival of their long running and much loved sitcom "Birds of a Feather". Grammar school boys from North London they first met as ten year olds at a youth club, growing up to have 'real jobs' in the civil service and journalism, before finally embarking on the precarious business of making a living from putting words into other people' mouths. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen



Dame Judi Dench
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Dame Judi Dench. Born into a family with dramatic leanings, she followed one of her older brothers, Jeffery, to drama school. Having abandoned ideas of becoming a set designer, she made her professional debut as Ophelia at the Old Vic in 1957. An illustrious stage career followed in Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet in 1960, in Cabaret in 1968 and as Lady Macbeth for Trevor Nunn in 1976. On TV she found huge success in sitcoms - appearing with her husband, the late Michael Williams, in A Fine Romance and with Geoffrey Palmer in As Time Goes By. She received an Oscar nomination for her first big-screen part as Queen Victoria in Mrs Brown; Shakespeare in Love won her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress; Mrs Henderson Presents, Notes on a Scandal, Iris, and Philomena followed. She played the part of 'M' in the James Bond films seven times and is about to appear as Paulina in Sir Kenneth Branagh's production of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. Married to Michael Williams for 30 years, their daughter, Finty, is also an actress. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Dr Bill Frankland
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Dr Bill Frankland. Frequently referred to as the "grandfather of allergy", his achievements include the introduction of the pollen count to the British public and the prediction of increased levels of allergy to penicillin. Born in Cumbria in 1912, Dr Frankland turned 103 in March. He studied medicine at Oxford and worked at St Mary's hospital in Paddington, London, before war intervened. He signed up to the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), but spent over three of the six years he spent in the army as a prisoner of war in Singapore. After the war, he began work in the dermatology department at St Mary's, but quickly switched to allergy which became his passion. During the fifties he served as a registrar to Alexander Fleming who had discovered penicillin back in 1928. In 1954 he published a seminal research paper about a double-blind randomised trial proving that pre-season pollen injections greatly reduced the symptoms of hay fever sufferers. He has treated high profile patients including Saddam Hussein and given evidence in court - possibly the oldest expert witness to do so. He continues to work in a private practice and has remarked, "I really don't know what people do when they retire at 65.".Listen

Ruth Rogers
Kirsty Young's castaway is the chef and restaurateur, Ruth Rogers. Born in America, she has become one of the UK's most celebrated cooks. Despite not being a trained chef, she set up The River Café with her business partner, the late Rose Gray, in 1987. The focus was on high quality, seasonal produce cooked the Italian way. Many of today's top chefs including Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Theo Randall, Sam Clark and Allegra McEvedy began their careers in their kitchen. The café was awarded a Michelin star in 1997. The youngest of three children, Ruth Rogers' parents were both immigrants and very political. In the late sixties, she left America and moved to London where she joined other Americans protesting against the Vietnam War. In 1969 she met the architect, Richard, now Lord, Rogers and they married in 1973. The couple moved to Paris when Richard Rogers and his partners won the contract to design the Pompidou Centre. There she learned the importance of seasonality: subsequent visits to Italy shifted her passion to Italian cooking. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Professor Monica Grady
Kirsty Young's castaway is Monica Grady, Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University. Well-known in scientific circles, at NASA and the European Space Agency, she came to the attention of the general public with her enthusiastic celebration when, as part of the Rosetta project, the probe Philae became the first-ever spacecraft to land on a comet - 67P - in November 2014. The spacecraft had taken ten years to journey through space and a decade was spent on the preparations. She was born in 1958 in Leeds as the eldest of eight children. She studied chemistry and geology at Durham University and did her PhD on carbon in meteorites at Cambridge, where she worked closely with Professor Colin Pillinger on the Beagle 2 project to Mars. She first worked at the OU in 1983 before joining the Department of Mineralogy of the Natural History Museum, becoming Head of the Meteorites and Cosmic Mineralogy Division. She is married to Professor Ian Wright who is one of the lead scientists on the Rosetta cometary mission and they have one son. She was awarded a CBE in 2012 for services to space sciences and asteroid (4731) was named "Monicagrady" in her honour. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Noel Gallagher
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the musician, Noel Gallagher. He was the principal songwriter of the band Oasis - his younger brother, Liam was the lead singer. Born to Irish parents, as a child he spent his summers visiting his mother's family in rural County Mayo, in sharp contrast to the Manchester council estate where they lived. He taught himself to play the guitar and loved music: he was road manager for the Inspiral Carpets before joining Liam in Oasis. Their debut album in 1994 marked the beginning of the band's rise to fame as part of the Britpop movement. In 1996 they played in front of 250,000 fans over two consecutive nights at Knebworth and following the Labour landslide in 1997, Noel attended what became known as the Cool Britannia party held in Downing Street by Tony Blair. Oasis won six BRIT Awards and two Ivor Novello Awards before disbanding in August 2009. He's since formed his own band - Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Imtiaz Dharker
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the poet and artist, Imtiaz Dharker. Winner of the Queen's Gold Medal for her work, her life seems a perfect reflection of the inter-relatedness of The Commonwealth. Born in Pakistan she was no more than a few months old when the family packed up their belongings and flew four thousand miles to start a new life - exchanging the blistering, dusty lanes of Lahore for the blustery, rain-slicked roads of Glasgow. Her father worked hard and, from scratch, built a big, successful business and a comfortable life for his children. But the immigrant fairytale came undone when his restless, well-educated, westernised daughter married in secret, running away to Bombay. Her parents disowned her and she would never see her mother again. Her work centres on themes of freedom, cultural intolerance, everyday life and gender politics.Listen

Freddie Flintoff
Kirsty's castaway this week is the former England cricketer Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff. One of the best players of his generation, he was part of the England team that won the Ashes in 2005, a year that marked his sporting coming of age. On the strength of that historic victory he was awarded an MBE for services to the game, and the public voted him BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Barely out of his pram when he picked up a cricket ball he turned out to bat for an under-14 match when he was just six years old. His debut was not in crisp cricket whites, but in a second hand Manchester United tracksuit, setting the tone for someone who's made a habit of doing things his way. Not least at a 10 Downing Street reception when, somewhat the worse for wear, he weaved into the cabinet room, plonked himself down in the PM's chair and knocked back yet another bottle of beer. Since retiring from the game he's had a go at heavyweight boxing and won the bout. One area where he hasn't come out on top: his sons never listen to his cricket coaching tips. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen



Harry Rabinowitz
Kirsty's castaway this week is the conductor and composer Harry Rabinowitz. His list of credits and collaborations read like a Who's Who of 20th century music - Gracie Fields, Charles Aznavour, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Matt Monro & Barbra Streisand are only a handful of the stellar names who've benefitted from his talents. He's conducted a lot of movie scores too, including Chariots of Fire and The Talented Mr Ripley; indeed the late director Anthony Minghella described him as "the UK's best kept secret". It wasn't an illustrious start; his first job was playing sheet music for prospective customers in a Johannesburg department store - he was fired after 6 weeks. His first go at conducting was enhanced not by an elegant baton of the finest Maplewood but a rolled up old newspaper. He's almost a hundred years old now, still plays the piano every day and only retired from the concert platform six years ago at the age of 94. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Stephen Fry
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Stephen Fry. Comedian, actor, writer, director, presenter & award-ceremony host - his list of accomplishments is long, varied and impressive. His younger years were troubled and with a propensity for stealing and lying, he was expelled from two schools and imprisoned for credit card fraud. The turning point came when he knuckled down and won a scholarship to Queens' College, Cambridge, where he read English and joined the Cambridge Footlights, becoming lifelong friends with Emma Thompson and Hugh Laurie. His career highlights include the fruits of his collaborative work with Laurie - from A Bit of Fry and Laurie to Jeeves and Wooster, he played Lord Melchett in Blackadder and Oscar Wilde on the big screen. He is a best-selling author of fiction and three volumes of autobiography, is the voice of the Harry Potter audio books and presents BBC Two's QI. He has also spoken of his experience of mental health issues and in 2006 he made a documentary exploring the effects of living with Bipolar - it won an Emmy Award. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Rebecca Adlington
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Rebecca Adlington - Britain's most successful female swimmer. A multiple medal winner and record breaker she's packed a lot in at a young age, first grabbing the nation's attention by winning two golds at the Beijing Olympics and breaking a world record into the bargain. When she got back home she was granted the Freedom of Mansfield and the Mayor gave her a pair of golden shoes. The Queen opted for the more conventional approach, bestowing an OBE. She went on to win two more medals at the London 2012 Olympics and when all the cheering and flag waving had died down and the games were over she announced her retirement. She's hardly been a slouch since - appearing regularly on TV, getting married and in recent months getting ready for the birth of her first child, a daughter, who was born Monday 8, June, 2015. She's only 26. One of three sisters, family life was dominated by early morning training session at the local pool and it wasn't long before little Becky was out of the shallow end and heading for the fast lane ... The Sherwood Baths are now renamed The Rebecca Adlington Swimming Centre. Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Lisa Jardine
Professor Lisa Jardine, academic, biographer and public thinker, is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs. Historian, biographer, public thinker, mathematician - her proclivities are wide ranging and well regarded with prize winning books on subjects as diverse as Sir Christopher Wren, Seventeenth century Holland, Erasmus and women in the time of Shakespeare. Her current day job is leading the Department of Renaissance Studies at University College London, she's also a prolific writer and broadcaster. If that all seems a little ivory tower for your tastes think again; as Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority for many years she was at the sharp end of the complex conundrums and high emotion that surround the artificial creation of life, leading the world in developing the legal framework that governs IVF treatment. Her rigour and originality, then, are greatly admired and both seem to have been in evidence since the beginning - her schoolgirl contemporaries had pictures of Elvis by their beds. Lisa had other ideas, as a teenager she gazed lovingly at a photo of a brilliant mathematician. She says: "I only do things I love, and I love everything I do ..." Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Pamela Rose
Kirsty Young's castaway is Pamela Rose. Now aged 97, she was a Bletchley Girl who spent her war years working in total secrecy, painstakingly indexing snippets of information that would prove vital to the the war effort. Alan Turing and his fellow cryptanalysts would eventually break the Enigma Code and it's said that this breakthrough shortened the war by two years. Born into a musical family, she first took to the stage at boarding school. Pamela's lifelong ambition to be an actress was interrupted by the war and the invitation to work at Bletchley. Despite finding the work in the indexing section of Hut 4 something of a disappointment at first, she and her fellow workers still managed to have fun and she met her husband Jim at a hop when he asked her to dance. They married after the war and it wasn't until nearly sixty years later and after Jim's death that she would finally achieve her dream of acting on the West End stage. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Jimmy Wales
Kirsty Young's castaway is the internet entrepreneur Jimmy Wales. He is best known as the co-founder of the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia. He grew up in Huntsville, Alabama and was the eldest child of a grocery store manager and his wife who ran a primary school where Jimmy and his siblings were educated. After acquiring a degree in finance and working as a trader in Chicago, his first serious foray into the online world was with the web portal Bomis, before branching out with a project called Nupedia, an online encyclopedia with entries written by scholars and published after undergoing peer review. Wikipedia launched in 2001 and now exists in 287 languages and is the 7th most accessed website in the world with over 20 billion page views per month. It can be edited by anyone though relies on a core of around 5,000 volunteers who are responsible for the majority of the content. It is Jimmy's aim to create "a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Helen Browning
Kirsty Young's castaway is the farmer, and Chief Executive of the Soil Association, Helen Browning. Born and brought up on the farm in Wiltshire she runs today, she told her father she wanted to be a 'proper farmer' aged just 9. By the time she was 24 her father had passed the reins on to her and not long after, she made it entirely organic. Inspired by five of her great aunts who, after the First World War, began farming themselves, today she continues to run the family farm, her own meat business and the local pub. Awarded the OBE in 1998 for services to farming, she is chair of the Food Ethics Council, has served on the Curry Commission into the Future of Farming and Food and was appointed Chief Executive of the Soil Association in 2010. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen



Sir Bradley Wiggins
Kirsty Young's castaway is the cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins. Winner of four Olympic gold medals, six track World Championship gold medals and the first Briton to win the Tour de France, cycling is in his blood. His parents met through the sport - his Australian father was himself a professional, his British mother a keen follower. His father left the family when Bradley was still a toddler and it was his mum, Linda, who helped him pursue his dreams of being a champion cyclist. Inspired by Chris Boardman's success at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics by the age of 16 he'd won gold, silver and bronze at the Junior National Track Championships and was called up to the National Squad. He was Junior World Champion at 18. Knighted following his achievements in 2012, he's soon to attempt the world record for the furthest distance cycled in an hour and plans to return to the track in the Team Pursuit at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Paul Hollywood
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Paul Hollywood. One of the UK's leading artisan bakers, he's a judge, together with Mary Berry, on BBC One's the Great British Bake Off. The programme enjoyed viewing figures of 15.6m for the 2014 final and has won two BAFTAS. Born and brought up in Wallasey in the Wirral, Paul studied sculpture at art school before joining his father's bakery business. He went on to work at the Chester Grosvenor, Cliveden and was head baker at The Dorchester. Following his success at some of the UK's top hotels, he travelled extensively through Cyprus, Egypt and Jordan discovering ancient techniques for baking bread. It was in Cyprus that he first appeared on camera. On his return to the UK he began his TV career co-presenting two series with the chef James Martin. Paul has judged five series of The Great British Bake Off and celebrity versions for Sport Relief and Comic Relief - all alongside Mary Berry. He has published several best-selling books on baking and is a regular contributor to food magazines and writes a column for The Daily Telegraph. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Pat Albeck
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the designer Pat Albeck. Born in Hull, Pat went to art school there when she was 16. In 1950, she earned a place at The Royal College of Art to study textile design and moved to London. As Britain emerged from the austerity of the war years, Pat began her career designing bold and exciting fabrics for the fashionable dress design company of the time, Horrocks. In the 60 years that have followed, her designs have graced pottery, paper, furnishing fabrics as well as over 300 tea towels - a record which has brought her the unofficial title 'Queen of the Tea Towel'. Producer: Isabel Sargent.Listen

Robin Millar
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the record producer, Robin Millar. One of the UK's most successful record producers with over 160 gold, silver and platinum discs, he has over forty-four number one records to his credit. His 1984 production of Sade's debut album, 'Diamond Life', was named one of the best ten albums of the last thirty years at the 2010 Brit Awards. He experienced problems with his eyesight from birth, especially in the dark, and had tunnel vision. Aged 16, a diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa was confirmed and he was told that he would eventually lose his sight completely. On leaving school he studied law at Cambridge before becoming a music producer. The production of Sade's second album coincided with the loss of his remaining sight. In 2012 he underwent a retina implant which gave him some sight but the success was brief and later his body rejected it. He works with a number of charities, mentors young musicians and was given a CBE for services to music in 2010. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Bryan Stevenson
Kirsty Young's guest this week is Bryan Stevenson. An American lawyer, he is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a private, not-for-profit organisation working on death penalty cases, cases of children sentenced as adults, prison and sentencing reform, and issues of race and poverty. His great grandparents were slaves and he himself went to a segregated school in southern Delaware. Although from a poor African American background he made it to Harvard Law School. Since then he has secured relief for over a hundred prisoners sentenced to death. He has argued in front of the Supreme Court six times and won landmark rulings about the sentencing of children for both homicide and non-homicide offences. His TED talk from March 2012 has been viewed over two million times. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Julia Samuel
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the psychotherapist, Julia Samuel. Counsellor for Paediatrics at London's St Mary's hospital, Paddington, she works with parents whose children have died and children who've experienced loss themselves. She is a Vice President of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, an Honorary Fellow of Imperial College and Founder Patron of The Child Bereavement Trust - now Child Bereavement UK. One of five children, she was born into the banking line of the Guinness family. She describes her childhood as rather old-fashioned - her governess was an important figure in her life. As a young woman she worked in Paris and then set up her own interior decorating business. But it was her work with the charity, Birthright that lead to her finding her vocation as a counsellor. In the late 1980s she met and became close friends with Princess Diana who was both a supporter of the Child Bereavement Trust and godmother to her son. Today Julia Samuel is one of Prince George's godparents. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Jonas Kaufmann
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the tenor, Jonas Kaufmann. Frequently referred to as one of the greatest singers of his generation, both his parents fled East Germany for Munich between the end of the war and the Berlin wall being erected. Jonas was brought up singing in choirs, playing the piano and listening to a range of classical music. When he was seven, he was enthralled by seeing his first opera - Madam Butterfly. He studied Maths at university, but soon changed to music and quickly started getting professional singing work. Since then he has taken on many of the great roles for tenors, at opera houses around the world - Don Carlo, Don José (Carmen), Alfredo (La Traviata), and Cavaradossi (Tosca). He is also known as a singer of 'Lieder' & renowned not only for the beauty of his voice but for his musical range. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen



Mark Rylance
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the actor, Mark Rylance. Born in Kent and brought up in America where his father was a teacher, Mark played Hamlet for the first time while he was still at school. Since then he has become particularly well known for his acclaimed and award-winning Shakespearean stage roles. He won an Olivier and a Tony award for his portrayal of Johnny 'Rooster' Byron in Jez Butterworth's 'Jerusalem' onstage in both Britain and the United States. He has also appeared in a number of film roles, was the first artistic director of The Globe Theatre - a post he held for a decade - and his portrayal of Thomas Cromwell in the BBC Television adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall has now brought him to a wider audience. Producer: Isabel Sargent.Listen

Dan Pearson
Kirsty Young's guest this week is the garden designer, Dan Pearson. His style is governed by a desire to create a sense of place and he is drawn to wild plants and gardens. Aged just five he discovered this passion, while building roof gardens for his collection of trolls and spent the summer watching the plant and animal life in a pond created by his father. He gave up A' levels in favour of apprenticeships at RHS Wisley and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and then spent several years working abroad, studying plants in their natural environment. His first large-scale project was creating a garden for Frances Mossman, a colleague of his mother's, who asked him to design the garden at her Northamptonshire plot. He won more clients through word of mouth and set up his own garden design company in the late 1980s. His work has since taken him all over the world and he has designed five award-winning gardens for the Chelsea Flower Show. Amongst his current projects he is creating a design for London's proposed Garden Bridge. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Professor Angie Hobbs
Kirsty Young's castaway is Angie Hobbs, Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield - a role which has brought her to the attention of a large audience. Brought up in Surrey, she was the youngest of three children. Her older sister died when Angie was just 11 years old. To begin with, she did not flourish at school, but went on to earn a place at Cambridge where she gained a first class degree in Classics and subsequently a doctorate. A career in academia has followed - after many years at the University of Warwick, she moved, in 2012, to the University of Sheffield. Producer: Isabel Sargent.Listen

Professor Peter Piot
Kirsty Young's castaway is the Director of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Professor Peter Piot. As a microbiologist he is known for his research into viruses and into the public health aspects of sexually transmitted diseases, and, more recently, on the politics of AIDS and global health. Born in Leuven in Belgium, he studied medicine and in 1976, as a young researcher at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, he was sent a blood sample of a Belgian nun living in what was then Zaire who had fallen ill with a mysterious disease. On investigation, Piot and his colleagues realised it was a virus they'd not seen before which they went on to identify as Ebola. He then travelled to Zaire to help quell the outbreak. Later, back in Antwerp, he developed an interest in sexually transmitted diseases and joined the World Health Organisation's Global Programme on HIV/AIDS in 1992. Appointed as Executive Director of the newly created Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS in late 1994 his major successes were putting AIDS on the political agenda and achieving a reduction in the price of antiretroviral drugs. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Julia Cleverdon
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the campaigner, Dame Julia Cleverdon. As head of the charity, Business in the Community, she fine-tuned to perfection the art of persuasion. A phone call from her and many of the big beasts of the business world - the "pinstripes" she calls them - stride from their boardrooms intent on giving something back to society. Her energies and endeavours have powered countless corporate social responsibility programmes. In a life dedicated to public service, she has charmed not only chief executives but apparently royalty too - HRH the Prince of Wales is a long time supporter and collaborator. She seems keenly aware that not everyone has her good fortune of a first class education and top drawer connections - when she's not harrying the blue chip brigade, she's inspiring young people from all sorts of backgrounds to follow her example and get involved in social action. She says, "one of the most important leadership roles is to grow people. It is very much like gardening. You tend them and apply fertiliser. But sometimes you have to prune them to make them grow stronger." Producer: Paula McGinley.Listen

Jo Malone
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the business woman, Jo Malone. If her name automatically conjures the citrusy scents of lime, basil and mandarin or spicy notes of amber and lavender then you're doubtless one of the customers who flock into the eponymous stores to buy the products that have made her a household name. Aged nine, she would grind sandlewood and strain juniper at the kitchen table. 17 years later fashionable London flocked to her little salon in Chelsea to be massaged with oils and unguents. In the 1990s the brand went international and the fragrance made her fortune when she sold the business. If this all sounds like a fragrant little fairy tale, crisply wrapped in a signature black grosgrain bow, it isn't. Severely dyslexic she left school at 14. Her dad was a talented painter but a chronic gambler too, and home life was sometimes hand-to-mouth. Later, and at a time in her life when she should have been enjoying her success and her toddler son, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Finally fully recovered she decided to start again from scratch. She says, 'I love sharing my story, and I'm not frightened of people seeing the cracks as well as the strengths. I think the things that are sad and difficult are just as important.' Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the scientist, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, who is best known for her work in the field of neuroscience and stroke research. She is now President and Vice-Chancellor of Manchester University. She claims that her decision to enrol at Queen Elizabeth College in London in the '70s was made not on the basis of their superior teaching on the function of living systems, but rather the institution's proximity to Kensington High Street. Anyway, she gained a first class degree and then bagged a PhD in just two years. Could it be that her interest in how we keep the human body alive and functioning began when, aged eight, she contracted primary tuberculosis and was so ill she spent 18 months at home? She says, "Like most academics my fate was sealed during my PhD, I fell in love with research and vowed I would do it until retirement. I was also sure that I would do my utmost to avoid any of those nasty administrative jobs." Producer: Christine Pawlowsky.Listen



Ray Winstone
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the actor Ray Winstone. Nil By Mouth, Sexy Beast, Vincent, The Sweeney - he's probably best known for totally authentic tough-guy, geezer-parts. But his work has more range and nuance, encompassing roles as varied as Henry VIII, Magwich in Great Expectations and the lead in Beowulf. Beyond the screen the man himself almost seems to come from a bygone era, when a fellow worth his salt always wore a dapper three piece suit and was handy with his fists. In his youth as a boxer he won 80 of his 88 fights and it seemed for a while that a whiff of menace had followed him out of the ring and onto the streets. However he says, "I'm not like the geezers I play: loads of things scare me in everyday life but you have to hide a bit and put on a front. I cry at movies, I cry at scripts, I cried when West Ham got back into the Premiership - I'm even frightened of spiders." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

The Most Reverend Justin Welby
Kirsty Young's castaway for Christmas week is The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby. Ordained as a priest in 1993, 19 years later he was appointed to lead the Anglican communion of over 77 million people spread across 167 countries. Hardly a front runner when the job vacancy came up he said that it would be "a joke" and "perfectly absurd" if he were appointed. His faith has brought him high office but when he 'found God' at university, it gave him something a good deal more significant: a sense of much needed comfort after an often turbulent and uncertain childhood. Although his mother's side of the family provided stability, his father was an alcoholic and his childhood was punctuated by his parents' early divorce and significant money worries - one particular Christmas was spent hungrily staring out of the window as his father lay in bed all day. He says, "When the church is working it is the most mind-bogglingly, amazingly, extraordinarily beautiful community on earth. It heals, it transforms, it loves, and it changes society." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Sarah Millican
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the comedian, Sarah Millican. Her every woman yet no-holds-barred style of comedy has brought her sell-out tours and several of her own highly successful TV series. Revelling in normality and drawing on the difficult, intimate and often excruciating moments of being human, she dares to say what most of us are thinking, only she's much funnier. A Geordie, born in South Shields, her dad was an engineer down the mines and her mum was a hairdresser. They encouraged their daughter in her storytelling and performing even though her childhood shyness meant she'd recite her poetry from behind the living room curtains. Later it was pain that first propelled her onto the stage when a broken early marriage provided the catalyst she needed to find the courage to confront the glaring judgement of the audience's gaze. Her rise was then rapid. Within four years she was awarded the Best Newcomer prize at the Edinburgh Fringe. She says, "People come along and think, 'oh she's being too rude'. They don't realise I'm just like this at home. People think I'm prim and proper at home but I'm not - I'm just me transplanted onto the stage". Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Julie Bentley
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the Chief Executive of the Guide Association, Julie Bentley - or, more accurately, Girlguiding. The name change is surely a clue to the evolving nature of an organisation determined to be relevant and useful to girls in the 21st century. Indeed being relevant and useful is how Julie Bentley has spent her entire working life. From her early efforts at an HIV charity to running the Family Planning Association she says her passion lies with helping young people develop confidence and direction. Never a Brownie or Girl Guide herself, she was brought up in what she describes as "a happy working class family in Essex" and it took her a little while to find her own self assurance and sense of purpose. A painfully shy child, who was bullied at primary school, she later went on to become Head Girl, but left school with very few qualifications. In her 30s she used a bequest from her mother to fund her Master's degree. She says of the Girl Guides, "It is not about itchy brown uniforms and sewing and baking. It is a modern, contemporary, vibrant organisation." Producer: Christine Pawlowsky.Listen

Damian Lewis
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the actor, Damian Lewis. As part of the wave of British talent that's crashed onto America's shores in recent years his impact has made a deep impression on the creative landscape. His role as Sergeant Brodie in Homeland saw him win both an Emmy and Golden Globe and along with Band of Brothers, The Forsyte Saga and a long list of other credits, he now ranks as one of our most well recognised and highly regarded performers. Things didn't always look so peachy: aged 11, and in the school production of Princess Ida, he forgot the entire third act and stood mute in front of a packed auditorium. Tellingly, rather than scuttling into the wings with shame he soldiered on and by 16 he knew performing was, more than anything, what he wanted to do. He says, "I am a person who is ambitious. I'm ambitious to get the very best from every moment and even if that's just taking my children to the zoo ... I want it to be the best it can be.".Listen

Rt Hon Theresa May
Kirsty Young's castaway is the Right Honourable Theresa May MP - the longest serving Home Secretary in fifty years. For those who think her political lineage seems directly descended from the Iron Lady, Theresa May's metal has certainly been stress-tested in the past few weeks. She's apologised twice in parliament for having failed to appoint a suitable head to lead the historical child abuse inquiry; a minister in her department resigned, claiming working with her had been like "walking through mud". Then there has been the controversy over the non-vote on the European Arrest Warrant and finally news this week that 1 in 5 crimes are unrecorded. Just as well that she has a reputation as a woman who knows her own mind and is willing to speak it. She famously said the Conservatives were perceived as the 'nasty party'. Her excoriating speech to the Police Federation dealt head on with long-term corruption and incompetence in their ranks and was received with stunned silence. So unflinching, resilient, driven and, if a recent poll is to be believed, a popular choice among Conservative voters to be the next Prime Minister. She has, so far, remained tight-lipped on any ambition to lead her party. She says, "I think you have to believe in what you're doing - that's key. If you do believe you are doing the right thing - that gives you resilience".Listen

John Agard
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the poet John Agard. His work is studied widely in British schools. He was the BBC's first poet in residence and along with WH Auden and Philip Larkin, he's a recipient of The Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. Born in Guyana he arrived here in the mid-1970s already playing with words like some people play with musical notes. If his style is often satirical, his subjects provide wincing realism - examining the scars of slavery or the historical myopia of a shared past judged solely through European eyes. He says he believes that "the poet keeps us in touch with the vulnerable core of language that makes us what we are." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen



Captain Eric 'Winkle' Brown
Kirsty Young's guest is former Royal Navy test pilot Captain Eric 'Winkle' Brown - the programme's 3000th edition. The Fleet Air Arm's most decorated pilot, his life reads like a handbook in beating the odds. Landing on a flight deck is acknowledged as one of the most difficult things a pilot can do. Eric Brown has held the world record for the most flight deck landings - 2,407 - for over 65 years. He was one of only two men on his ship, HMS Audacity, to survive a German U-boat bombing. In a long and remarkable life he has witnessed first-hand momentous events in world history, from the Berlin Olympics in 1936 to the liberation of the Belsen concentration camp. Flying, he believes, is in his blood. He originally climbed into the open cockpit of a Gloster Gauntlet as a child to sit on his father's knee. Thirty years later he would pilot Britain's first ever supersonic flight. He says: "It's an exhilarating world to live in. There's always that aura of risk - you come to value life in a slightly different way." Producer: Paula McGinley.Listen

Wendy Dagworthy
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the fashion designer, Professor Wendy Dagworthy. During her time as Head of Fashion at both Central St Martins and The Royal College of Art she has taught students who've gone on to great success - Stella McCartney, Erdem and Antonio Berardi among them. Her skill lies partly in understanding the significance of a well cut pattern or a nicely turned seam, but also the warp and weft of a notoriously fickle industry. At just 23, she was the toast of the catwalks with her own label selling round the world and worn by the likes of Bryan Ferry, Boy George and Mick Jagger. Dubbed 'the high priestess of fashion', her creative talent, however, wasn't recession-proof and her business went under in the late 80's. Given that reinvention is the lifeblood of fashion it seems she was tailor made for a new direction; collecting her O.B.E. in 2011 for services to the fashion industry, she wore a Perspex hat designed by a former pupil. She says, "we want students to take risks - like we did when we were younger. There were no set rules, there was no one to follow - you just did it yourself." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Roger Graef
Kirsty Young's guest is filmmaker and criminologist, Roger Graef. Pioneering in his chosen subjects and style, for the past fifty years he has shone a spotlight on hitherto hidden areas of society and influenced the entire genre of modern day documentary making. His films on key institutions like the Police have not just helped change attitudes but policy too. A New Yorker and Harvard graduate, he first came to Britain to study Shakespeare: his London debut as a theatre director was a Tennessee Williams' play. He soon realised that the drama and storylines of real life were where his heart and talents lay. He says, "What I want on my gravestone is 'Here Lies Roger Graef - he made a difference ...' and people are telling me that I have. But I don't think about it because there's so much left to do." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Debbie Wiseman
Kirsty Young interviews the composer Debbie Wiseman. Her work is wide ranging, but her talents are most often employed in crafting lyrical, melodic scores for film and TV. Her credits include Land Girls, Judge John Deed, Haunted and Father Brown. Now a visiting Professor at the Royal College of Music, her unlikely introduction to the piano came at the age of 8 when she found a bashed up old instrument sitting in the corner of a hotel dining room. Producer: Isabel Sargent.Listen

Sir Roy Strong
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the historian, gardener and diarist Sir Roy Strong. He stormed the establishment in the 1960s - a proto-meritocrat, in possession of a sharp mind, fizzing ambition and a brown velvet frock coat. An avowedly unhappy and clever child he turned first to history and then art for stimulation and solace, setting down a template for a working life that would lead him to be the youngest ever director of the National Portrait Gallery and, later, to run the The Victoria and Albert Museum. Such early success left him with a fundamental problem - having fulfilled his wildest dreams by the age of 38 - what was he to do with the rest of his life? He would go on to publish his diaries and together with his wife Julia, created a garden at his home in Herefordshire, the Laskett. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Sally Wainwright
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the writer Sally Wainwright. TV is her chosen medium and Last Tango In Halifax, Happy Valley or Scott & Bailey are watched by millions of viewers. Her ear for dialogue and talent for story-telling place her among the cream of small screen dramatists: she majors in whip-smart phrasing and plot lines that twist the innards with their tension, but never strain plausibility. Her passion for every day drama was honed at her mother's knee: in the 60's and 70's as Mrs. Wainwright watched Coronation Street, young Sally tuned in too, developing an affinity with the power of the portrayal of language as it is spoken and life as it is lived. She would later go on to write for the show. She says, "When I was seven I started writing down the things people said - it was something I just had to do. I think I was born with it - it's like being able to draw or paint." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Marin Alsop
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the conductor, Marin Alsop. Music Director of both The Baltimore Symphony and The Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, she is a maestro with a mission: music, she believes, is a powerful vehicle for social change. She had the good fortune to be brought up in "a household that exuded possibility" and was filled with music - both her parents played professionally. She took up the piano aged two, swapped to the violin at 6 and then aged 9, saw Leonard Bernstein at work and made the decision that conducting would be her career. Much later she would go on to be mentored by the man who inspired her. It bores her when interviewers ask why there aren't more women conductors - nonetheless her capacity to maximise the few opportunities she was given as a young woman making her way in an exclusively mans' world gives one a flavour of her indomitability. Her day-to-day job after all is working out how to convince 100 experts to do what she wants. She says, "maybe it's being an only child: you want to bring people together and create this big family feeling, I don't know what it is but I always gravitated towards organising." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen



Steve McQueen
Kirsty Young's castaway is the artist and director Steve McQueen. These days his talents are well recognized - his art has won The Turner Prize and his most recent movie, "12 Years A Slave" scooped an Academy Award, a Bafta and a Golden Globe. He wasn't always as lauded: at school in West London he was "shoved to one side" in the belief that the best he could hope for was to earn a living as a manual labourer. Instead he portrays the extremes of what human beings put themselves and others through. Expression is where his heart lies - he describes it as "dancing with ghosts". Along with reaching the top of two professions he has also managed to please the diverging demands of his parents - his father wanted him to get a trade, his mother urged him to do what he wanted. He says, "I want to make films that are essential. We're all going to die and we haven't got a lot of time on this planet. Life goes very quickly, so we might as well make films people will go to see because they need it or want it." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Malcolm Gladwell
The writer Malcolm Gladwell is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs. Always concise, frequently counterintuitive and unexpectedly beguiling, his work orders the world in a way that gives fresh insights into human behaviour. He believes that a knowledge of people's backgrounds is necessary to understanding their success; his own achievements may presumably then be attributed, not just to his keen mind and polished prose, but also to his parents - an English mathematician and a Jamaican psychotherapist. He says, "I am the bird attached to the top of a very large beast, pecking away and eating the gnats.... I am someone who draws inspiration from the brilliance of others and repackages it ... I am a populariser, a simplifier and a synthesizer." Producer: Sarah Taylor.Listen

Guy Garvey
Guy Garvey, musician and frontman of Elbow, is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert island Discs. Front man of the group "Elbow" his voice and lyrics have helped the band win pretty much every music prize going ... headlining Glastonbury too, and playing at the closing ceremony of the London Olympics. Yet his image is that of an everyday, low key, unassuming bloke ... except that he isn't, he's penning and performing songs filled with intimacy, optimism and lyricism, that strike a chord with millions of fans. For a long while his devotees were well versed in the art of delayed gratification - Elbow's debut album was released 11 years after the band members first made music together. He writes his songs in his journal and has been keeping a diary since he was 14. Maybe it was the peace and calm of the blank page that first appealed - one of 7 kids he says he was brought up "in a house full of women that were singing, shouting, arguing, fighting over the bathroom. I'm ruined by these women, spoilt rotten".Listen

Dame Wendy Hall
Fellow of both the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society, Dame Wendy fought long and hard to prove that her type of web science was highly significant and here to stay. If algebraic topology and open hypermedia systems really aren't your thing, Dame Wendy is also in demand as a brilliant communicator on, what can seem to outsiders to be, impenetrable topics. Her parents were from humble beginnings and it was clear from the get-go that their first born had a budding flair for numbers: aged six she was charged with teaching a group of schoolmates maths. The first in her family to go to University she rejected Cambridge, judging it "too stuffy". She says, "I get too excited about stuff. I love my life and am passionate about web science, women in science and shopping". Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Doug Allan
Doug Allan is Kirsty's castaway this week. He's spent thirty-five years capturing unique footage of animals in some of the most remote and least hospitable places on earth. If you've watched fuzzy little polar bear cubs frolic in the frozen wilderness or slick killer whales eerily circling their prey, the spellbinding footage is his. David Attenborough, a long- time collaborator describes his work, simply, as "extraordinary". A trained biologist he first made a living diving into the icy rivers of Scotland searching among the mussel-beds for pearls; a useful early lesson in patience and coping with the cold. His subsequent dedication to a working life in the wilderness has bagged him a slew of Baftas and Emmys but there's also been an emotional toll - he's coped with periods of depression and is twice divorced. He says, "Big animals are my passion. I particularly love working with large mammals because they're intelligent and you can develop a relationship with them" And he's at his happiest at -18 degrees centigrade!Listen

Anne Reid
Actress Anne Reid is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs. For a long time the bedrock of Anne Reid's successful career seemed to be her perfectly nuanced portrayal of a variety of northern mums - what she calls "skirt and jumper roles". Her first major role was playing Valerie Tatlock in Coronation Street - her character's funeral was watched by millions. In 2003 the skirt and the jumper came off when she and Daniel Craig starred in the highly acclaimed movie The Mother, about a frumpy looking woman in her late 60s who passionately seduces her daughter's boyfriend. Anne Reid has appeared in Victoria Wood's comedy series Dinnerladies and is currently playing Celia in BBC drama Last Tango in Halifax about two widowed septuagenarians finding love again. She says, "...inner talent gives you that ease. It's not a remarkable thing - just a knack that gives you a very nice life." Producer: Paula McGinley.Listen

Sir Michael Marmot
Professor Sir Michael Marmot is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs. He's an epidemiologist who has spent his career studying what the key factors are in leading a long and healthy life and how your income and post code can affect your longevity. Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health and Director of the Institute of Health Equity at University College London, Sir Michael specialises in what are known as the social determinants of health: how where we are in the wealth and status pecking order directly influences our chances of illness, disease and lifespan. Why is it, for example, that in 2014 in the same British city the average life expectancy for a man in one post code will be 82 but just a few miles away it's 54? His work has influenced politicians around the globe. His pioneering research is often at odds with wider societal concerns over what are known these days as lifestyle choices - like smoking, not taking any exercise or eating junk ... he says simply "what I contribute to the policy debate is that I bring evidence - I don't do the skulduggery of politics.".Listen



Lily Allen
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the singer-songwriter Lily Allen. Less than a decade ago she dipped her toe in musical waters by releasing her demos on social media, this summer she's one of the headline acts at Glastonbury. It's 29 years since she first appeared at the festival; back then she was a new-born being carried through the crowd in swaddling. Indeed, she was as good as baptised at the font of celebrity culture - her dad, Keith, is an actor and writer, her mum, Alison, is an award-winning film producer - for a time her step-dad was Harry Enfield. So, it seems almost inevitable that she's ended up at the centre of a media-saturated life. Except that in all likelihood she would have been propelled there entirely by her own endeavours: her lyrics are witty and wise-ass and capture concisely what it is to be a savvy, young woman today. She says, "the only thing I can do really is write lyrics and the only way I know how to do that is by being honest and doing it with integrity because otherwise there's no point". Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Judy Murray
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Judy Murray. A tennis coach since she was 17, she's the current British captain of the Fed Cup, the premier team competition in women's tennis, and was herself at one time ranked 8th in Britain - achievements worth celebrating. But what she's best known for is being the ultimate tennis mum. Both her sons have reached the top flight of the game - one as Wimbledon mixed doubles champion, the other becoming the first Brit to win the men's singles in 77 years. In the moments after Andy Murray's heroic win on Centre Court last year it was to her he turned pumping his fists and roaring - as if to say 'we have done it'. Judy's many followers on social media know how she spends her time - countless hours travelling up and down the country coaching and working to inspire children to take up the game. She says, 'I've always been competitive. I'm like Andy, or maybe he's like me - I wear my heart on my sleeve. And when something is great, then yep, I am right into it'. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Raja Shehadeh
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the Palestinian author and human rights activist, Raja Shehadeh. Born in Ramallah in the West Bank, his life and writing has been dominated by displacement, struggle and a search for justice. His father was murdered in 1985 and aside from chronicling the unhappy history of his family and his homeland, he's also co-founded the Palestinian human rights organisation Al-Haq - which monitors and documents violations by all sides in the Middle East conflict, publishing reports and detailed legal analysis on its findings. Amid the heavy weight of his work he somehow finds time to nurture a glorious garden growing grapevines and pomegranates. He says of his work, "When you write your thoughts and feelings and emotions ... then you can move on to new ones. Otherwise, they will keep rotating in your mind and you will go in circles".Listen

Tamara Rojo
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the ballerina Tamara Rojo. On stage she is a principal dancer for the English National Ballet and when the curtain comes down she performs the role of the company's artistic director. World-renowned as a stunning, emotional and dramatic performer, it must surely be a very different set of characteristics she employs off stage, marshalling her company of dancers and propelling the organisation's creative journey. She was just five years old when, sheltering from the rain she found herself in the school gym, instantly beguiled by the peace and order of a dance class. Despite her father's attempts to widen her horizons with music, sport and art lessons - her path in life was set. She says, "Life on stage is like nothing else. I've never done heroin but I'm sure that's what it's like. Every feeling and sense exploding. Every nerve in your body complete awake". Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Biddy Baxter
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the TV producer and former Blue Peter editor Biddy Baxter. In charge of Blue Peter for 23 highly successful years, she was responsible for the coveted Blue Peter badges, the multi-million pound charity fundraising appeals and a nationwide lust for something called sticky-backed plastic. Her masterstroke was getting the young audience involved; although the programme's weekly postbag of around seven thousand letters must have given her a few headaches. In spite of some early careers advice that, "no one from Durham has ever got into the BBC", her determination to make a career in broadcasting won out and across the decades her steely reputation kept the show at the top of the ratings and steered it through quite a few mishaps and the odd spot of 'scandal'. She says simply, "It was an exercise in trying to make children feel as if they belonged.".Listen

Rene Redzepi
Rene Redzepi, Danish chef, is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs. His restaurant, Noma, in Copenhagen has been named 'best in the world' for a fourth time, and holds two Michelin stars. His cooking captures not just the essence of his homeland - using ingredients like reindeer tongue, sea buckthorn or fish scales - but also a strong flavour of 'now'. He believes traditional notions of luxury are outdated. A sense of 'time and place' are his kitchen's guiding principles. His childhood was split between Denmark and Macedonia, where he spent his summers foraging in the woods. He as good as stumbled into catering, because he couldn't think of anything better to do, but pretty quickly realised that cooking allowed him to dream. He says, "The day when there is no more to do is the day when you're burned out. There are endless possibilities - it's just whether you can see them or not ... and right now I see plenty.".Listen

Alison Moyet
Kirsty Young's castaway is the singer, Alison Moyet. She's won three Brit awards, sold tens of millions in record sales and her career has spanned over 30 years. It all kicked off in 1981; just three months after forming her first band "Yazoo" she was on Top of The Pops performing her first hit. Given that remarkably smooth start it might be tempting to think her achievements have come easy - they haven't. She found growing up tough, had prolonged agoraphobia and depression and weight problems cast their shadow. Now in her early fifties she says, "I was always an odd girl, I managed to alienate a lot of people. I felt like a square peg in a round hole in the music industry and created a lot of neurosis for myself." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen



Jack Dee
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the comedian, Jack Dee. Comedian, actor and writer, his persona is that of the laconic miserabilist - his hit sit-com was called "Lead Balloon" and his autobiography entitled "Thanks For Nothing". That is only part of the picture: even though show business was in the family - his great grandparents were in music hall - his early working life ranged all over the place. From grafting in the kitchens of The Ritz to working in an artificial leg factory - at one point he even seriously considered the priesthood. He says his caustic, ironic, sarcastic comedy comes from "a sort of realism. You can't escape the dark stuff in life ... and my way of dealing with that is to absorb it into my life so that it's no longer worrying for me." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Sir Andre Geim
Kirsty Young's castaway is the Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Professor Sir Andre Geim. Born in the Soviet Union, his early years were spent in Sochi with his grandmother, a meteorologist. And it was perhaps her small weather station on the beach that sparked an early interest in science. As a student his intellect was rigorous but his timing was also spot on:"glasnost", the political movement that swept open the Iron Curtain, enabled him to travel and study throughout Europe, finally settling at Manchester University. It was his work developing the substance graphene that won him science's highest prize. Graphene has many exciting properties: it is the thinnest and strongest material ever discovered; using it, electricity can travel a million meters a second; it has unique levels of light absorption and is flexible and stretchable. Of his research he says, "It's like being Sherlock Holmes but being a detective of science. It's trying to find things out using very limited information ... like a hair on your coat, or dirt on your shoes, or some lipstick - the winner is the one who needs the fewest hints to get the answer". Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Dame Claire Bertschinger
Kirsty Young's castaway is the nurse & humanitarian Dame Claire Bertschinger. She's worked for The Red Cross in over a dozen countries including Sudan, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Liberia amid the sort of raw human suffering that most of us find - even on the TV - almost unbearable to witness. It was through Michael Buerk's landmark news reports of the Ethiopian famine 30 years ago that she first grabbed our attention. We saw her as a young nurse surrounded by thousands of starving people and forced, daily, to make the truly terrible decision of choosing who to feed. Throughout the years she's won numerous plaudits and awards: her Florence Nightingale Medal is given "to honour those "who've distinguished themselves in times of war by exceptional courage and devotion to the wounded, sick or disabled." She says, "I don't live just to eat and sleep and get money to have a nice house ... I have to create value - I have to do something in life." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Murray Walker
Kirsty Young's castaway is the broadcaster Murray Walker His commentating career began in 1948 and he finally hung the lip mic at the end of 2001. His trousers-on-fire style of delivery brought excitement, emotion and fanatical obsession to Formula 1 - for many motor racing fans he was motorsport. He was a petrol-head before the term had even been coined; his father, one of the top motorbike racing champions of his day, ignited his son's life-long love of big noisy engines. He's talked British fans through so many of the sport's greatest victories - Damon Hill crossing the finish line to win the World Title brought an audible lump to his throat. But also, inevitably, there have been great tragedies too - his live commentary on Ayrton Senna's fatal crash in 1994 was possibly his most professionally demanding. He says, "I have always believed that Formula One, with its highs and lows, is the ultimate distillation of life." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Lord Richards of Herstmonceux
Lord Richards of Herstmonceux, former Chief of the Defence Staff, is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs. He was a soldier for 42 years, rising through the ranks to the very top becoming the principal military advisor to government. Shrewd, swashbuckling and outspoken, he is now retired from one of the most successful military careers of modern times: so illustrious he's been knighted twice. The campaigns he led in East Timor, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan are well documented and most recently his counsel against military intervention in both Libya and Syria helped guide the Government through the most complex of international strategic defence decision-making. He is possibly less well known for his private passions - tennis, skiing, sailing and the action man credentials must surely be further boosted by the fact that he once spent an evening as Joan Collin's bodyguard. He's also partial to a spot of karaoke. Born in Egypt into a military family he grew up with some understanding of the very particular strain that comes with a life in the forces. Just as well because in 35 years of marriage he and his wife have moved home 29 times. He says: "I see myself as a moral soldier. I do not associate the military with wars and bloodshed in the narrow sense. I associate the military with doing good, bringing down tyrants, with releasing people's ambitions for their children." Producer: Cathy DrysdalListen

Mairi Hedderwick
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the author and illustrator Mairi Hedderwick. Her most famous creation is a little red-haired character called Katie Morag who - in wellies and a kilt - has skipped her way through fourteen books and a 26-part TV series. Katie lives on the imaginary Isle of Struay with her parents, siblings, cousins, granny and prize-winning sheep Alecina. Like her creator she relishes the rhythms and freedoms particular to life on a wee Scottish island. But that's where the similarities end - the author was born and brought up an only child on the mainland of the lowlands. She lost her father when she was just twelve and says she was never part of a close-knit family. As a grown-up, all she wanted was to quit the rat race and be an island crofter, but after a decade she left her dream behind in favour of a more stable income and a secondary school for her children. She says, "I have a notion that children's writers explore unresolved questions in their own childhoods. I certainly do." Producer: Christine Pawlowsky.Listen

Professor Hugh Montgomery
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Professor Hugh Montgomery. His area of academic specialism is intensive care medicine and he's also known for his pioneering genetic research into the ACE fitness gene - which determines our capacity for either strength or endurance. In themselves significant achievements. But he is also, a children's author, an ultra-marathon runner and the current holder of the world record for playing piano underwater. At the age of only 15 he was also part of the dive team that investigated the treasures of The Mary Rose. He says, "I've learnt that life can end randomly and pointlessly at any time. I don't want to be on my death bed and think 'damn! I wish I'd learnt to paint and write songs'". Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen



Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean
Kirsty Young's castaways this week are the ice skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean. It's 30 years since they enthralled the world winning gold at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. So memorable, it was truly a "where were you when" moment: the answer for most of us seems to have been in front of the television as 24 million people tuned in to watch their purple chiffoned, passionate, pitch-perfect display. Their enduring partnership is the stuff of sporting legend - British, European, World and Olympic champions - their synchronicity on and off the rink is fascinating. Both brought up in Nottingham, both only children, they took to the ice within a couple of years of each other. Jayne grew up to work as an insurance clerk, Chris was a policeman. They always seemed so normal, so nice, so much like the boy and girl next door. What a neat trick - in reality their originality, training regime and relentless pursuit of perfection has seen them push the boundaries of their chosen sport to rank among the world's elite. Part of our fascination with them also stems from the long scrutiny over their personal relationship. Never mind that over the decades they've both married other people and had children, as recently as last year they finally admitted to a brief teenage 'dabble'. They say, "It's an unusual relationship that we have. ... Of course we love each other. You wouldn't be able to do all that we do withListen

Dame Elish Angiolini
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the lawyer Dame Elish Angiolini. The first woman to become both Scotland's Solicitor General and Lord Advocate she's currently principal of St Hugh's College Oxford. It's a long way from Govan where her father heaved bags of coal round the streets and there wasn't always money for the meter. She was the youngest of four and by her own admission being "gabby" was the only way she got heard. It's an early skill that seems to have served her pretty well - in the legal establishment she gained a reputation as a gutsy moderniser, unafraid to challenge the system. Among her innovations a pioneering support scheme for vulnerable victims and establishing the National Crimes Sex Unit for Scotland - the first of its kind in Europe. Her predisposition to seeing things from the victim's point of view might have something to do with her own experience - in 1984 she was badly injured in a rail disaster that killed 13 others - including the two men sitting opposite her. She says "... Advocacy is a great life skill. If you go to your bank manager asking for an overdraft, or if you barter at a market, you are employing advocacy skills. It is all about empathy and charisma." Producer: Paula McGinley.Listen

Bob Harris
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the broadcaster, Bob Harris. Known affectionately as Whispering Bob, he's rarely been off our air waves in the past 44 years. His big break came standing in for John Peel and he was so good that not long after he was given his own show on Radio 1. Throughout the seventies he also hosted the true music-fans' must see show, The Old Grey Whistle Test. His beard and tank top were almost as legendary as some of the guests - The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and John Lennon were among the line up. However with the arrival of punk things got personal. The closest his family ever got to showbiz was when his dad, a policeman, clambered on stage to arrest the singer PJ Proby when his trousers split. Young Bob did follow his dad into the force but music and above all else radio were his obsession. Much like his recording heroes, his own life has something of the rock n' roll vibe - three wives, eight children, a spell of bankruptcy and coping with prostate cancer. Yet through it all his skill, knowledge and love of broadcasting has always endured. He says, "I'm a music anorak, a fan who got lucky ... from the moment I bought my first record aged 11, I couldn't wait to share music with others." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Sir Ben Ainslie
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the sailor Sir Ben Ainslie. Eleven times World and 9 times European Champion he's also the most successful sailor in Olympic history. As he crossed the finishing line at the London 2012 Games, winning his fourth gold, the crowd gave a rousing rendition of Rule Britannia: indeed he rules the waves with such a ruthless will to win it seems somewhat contradictory that on dry land he comes across as an unassuming bloke from Cornwall. He was eight when, in a duffle coat and wellies, he made his first solo journey in a little wooden boat. Ever since sailing has been his obsession. He's brave, strong and skilled, but it's his tactical nouse and maverick streak that sets him apart. In last year's America's Cup he turned a 1-8 defeat into a 9-8 win for the US. Whether he can do the same for his home team may be his next big challenge. He says, "The desire to win is still the same as ever ... if it wasn't there, that would be a worry. Motivation has never really been a problem for me." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin. The first black woman to be chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen and also to the Speaker of the House of Commons, she's also kept busy with her work in less rarefied surroundings - ministering to two churches in the east London borough of Hackney. It's all a long way from the crystal waters and swaying palms of her birthplace, Montego Bay, where brought up by her Auntie Pet she coped with poverty and separation from her mother. She did however have a sense, from the age of just 14, that her future lay in faith. She wasn't wrong and the combination of her belief and dynamism has taken her to as close to the top as The Church of England will currently allow. If they do eventually permit women bishops it's easy to imagine she'd be a shoe in. She says "Oh I have lots of ambition. You can't be Jamaican and not be ambitious. My ambition is to enjoy life. My ambition is to do everything I do to the best of my ability." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Nicola Benedetti
Kirsty Young's castaway is the violinist, Nicola Benedetti. She had her first violin lesson at the age of four, and by the age of eight, she was leading the National Children's Orchestra of Scotland. By the grand old age of ten she was boarding at the Yehudi Menuhin School and receiving lessons from the great man himself. Her big break came when she won the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition - the first Scot to win it. Lucrative recording contracts followed together with a hectic programme of concerts. Still only 26, she is now world-renowned as a soloist and chamber musician. Of Italian descent, her family wasn't particularly musical though the qualities of discipline, hard work and perseverance meant that fun & freedom came after music practice. Passionate about the importance of classical music in education, she walks the talk, committed to developing young musical talent through charity work and masterclasses & she received an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen for these services in 2013. She says, "when I teach seven year olds and they can play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, I say 'that's amazing! Well Done!' And then occasionally Mum would remind me "do you remember what you were playing at that age?" Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Ray Mears
Kirsty Young's castaway is woodsman Ray Mears. A traveller to the world's remotest corners and a renowned expert in bushcraft, wild cooking and survival techniques, he's one of very few castaways who would genuinely relish the challenges of a desert island. Those of us not possessed of his spirit and skill can live vicariously through his exploits on TV and through his survival handbooks. Enlightening and entertaining the sofa-bound masses is only one strand on his hand whittled bow: he's also trained elite troops for The British Army and in 2010 he was called on by police to help them track the fugitive killer, Raoul Moat. It was survival skills of a different type he needed when he lost his first wife Rachel to cancer: he met his second wife Ruth at a book signing and they share not just a love of each other, but also of the great outdoors. He says of the wild: "I can see nature; I feel it intuitively and I can understand what can't be written." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen



Ant and Dec
Kirsty Young's castaways are the TV presenters Ant & Dec - Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly. The kings of Saturday night prime time, their careers and firm friendship spans twenty-odd years beginning as child actors on Byker Grove and currently hosting Britain's Got Talent, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and their eponymously named Saturday Night Take Away. Their specialty is what are known in the business as "shiny floor shows" - programmes that involve big budgets, big audiences and, frequently, big egos. Yet their partnership exists well beyond the four walls of a TV studio. As 13 year olds they bonded over a mutual appreciation of Newcastle United FC and Wham: they pledged themselves to be best buddies forever and now live just a few doors down from each other. When Ant got married Dec was best man. They say, "without doubt, the best thing to come out of the last twenty years, the greatest thing we've ever achieved, our biggest success, has been our friendship. And nothing will ever change that." At the end of the programme, Ant and Dec each chose their favourite track to save from the waves: Ant's was Morecambe & Wise's "Bring Me Sunshine" while Dec chose "Wichita Lineman" by Glen Campbell.Listen

Miranda Hart
Kirsty Young's castaway is Miranda Hart. She writes and stars in the hit sitcom "Miranda" and has congaed her way to the top of TV comedy by exploiting the universal truth that awkwardness lies at the heart of the human condition. Slapstick and misunderstanding underpin her work along with the impression that she's just a really, jolly, lovely 'girl': her father was a naval commander and her mother has devoted much of her life to tending a glorious garden. Making her mark has been something of a slog. After her first appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe it was another 11 years before she could give up her job as a P.A. - for a good while she was photocopying scripts rather than performing them. She says: "I started writing comedy because it was more fun inside my head than the real world, but that's no longer true." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Gillian Clarke
Kirsty Young's castaway is Gillian Clarke. Wales's National Poet, she has received the Queen's Gold Medal for her work. She writes about everything from dinosaurs to suicide, but the potency and power of nature is a recurring motif. Although she's recognised for her significant and distinguished contribution to her homeland's literature and culture, her verse has been translated into ten languages and she regularly receives fan mail from South America, Pakistan and most countries in between. Aside from writing, her main project in life is the conservation of her own small patch of West Wales - restoring hedges, conserving bluebells and tending sheep take up her spare time. She says, "A poem is the only work of art you can have for nothing. Read it, memorise it, copy it into your notebook and it's yours." Producer: Paula McGinley.Listen

Barbara Hulanicki
Kirsty Young's castaway is Barbara Hulanicki, designer and creator of Biba. Today her creativity spans fashion, illustration, interior design and architecture but it was the success of the label Biba that first made her name; launching a high street revolution with its opulent-looking but entirely affordable high fashion. According to Twiggy, "she changed fashion in England singlehandedly". A newspaper advert for a £3 pink gingham dress in 1963 kicked things off and by the seventies her London department store was a throbbing temple to all things skinny-fitted in plum, mulberry, green, brown and black. Romantic, mysterious, nostalgic and very profitable. But when it all turned sour with her business partners, she and her husband Fitz walked away, leaving behind the hugely popular creation that had made her name. The fantasy and perfection of her creations were a far cry from the harsh reality of her childhood; born in Poland just before the Second World War, the air of privilege that surrounded her family was traumatically punctured when her father, a diplomat, was assassinated. She says "Now whenever I finish something I take some photographs and say 'goodbye'. When you lose everything, you realise that the only thing you have is what's in your head." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Clare Balding
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the broadcaster Clare Balding. The BBC TV coverage of London's 2012 Olympics was her triumph and much like Team GB she'd been in training for her big moment for quite a while. She's worked on five Olympic Games, four Paralympics, three Winter Olympics and a great deal of horse racing. It's on the turf that's she's most at home - her father was a champion racehorse trainer and for a number of years she herself was a leading amateur flat jockey. The first pony she ever rode, as a toddler, was a gift from the Queen; she went to public school and Cambridge but her life hasn't been an entirely easy ride. She has coped with thyroid cancer, being forcibly "outed" by the tabloid press and in her own words being "a disappointment from the moment" she was born. She says, "This may sound nauseating but I'm a very happy person. I love my work, I love my life and I'm told by those who know and love me that it's a bit like living with Tigger". Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Rt Hon Ed Miliband
Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, joins Kirsty Young to choose his Desert Island Discs. He's been in charge of his party for three years and was the youngest leader they'd ever elected. But that fact got somewhat lost in the drama that surrounded his coronation: famously, he stood against his brother, David. To say the younger brother's victory upset the political apple cart would be something of an understatement. Politics is in his pores. His mother was a human rights campaigner, his father a renowned Marxist academic. Both parents came from Jewish families who settled in Britain having only just survived the Nazis. Looking though his CV - clever comprehensive schoolboy, degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford, an intern for Tony Benn, Economics lecturer at Harvard, Special Advisor to Gordon Brown - it's clear, for him, there's only ever been one abiding passion. He says, politics "is not something I chose. It's not something I learned from books, even from my Dad's books. It was something I was born into." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Malorie Blackman
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the writer Malorie Blackman. A prolific and multi-award winning author she has powered her way to success not just through talent but determination and perseverance. From the careers mistress who told her, "black people don't become teachers," to the 82 rejection letters she received before she was published, significant parts of her life seem to have been spent proving people wrong. A technology wiz, her first career was in computing. As a writer her books have tackled challenging themes: bullying, teenage pregnancy, racism and terrorism. Currently Children's Laureate, her own formative years were spent in South London where as a little girl she went from thinking everyone was her friend to feeling, as a teenager, that the world was her enemy. She says, "Good stories made me reassess the world and people as I thought I knew them. Great stories made me reassess myself." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen



Alfred Brendel
Kirsty Young's castaway is the classical pianist, Alfred Brendel. A performer of world renown, his career spans seven decades, and he is particularly famous for his interpretations of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Liszt. An Austrian who's lived in the UK for many years, he was born in 1931 in what is now the Czech Republic. Although not from a musical family, he began playing the piano aged six and gave his first recital aged 17. Largely self-taught, in addition to his live performances, he's enjoyed a long and successful recording career. Revered for his intellect and individual and original take on the world, he is also a published poet and essayist. He says, "I regard pessimism as a sign of intelligence. Optimism is a very welcome and life-enhancing feature, a gift, but not necessarily a realistic outlook. I am a pessimist who enjoys being pleasantly surprised." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Sir Ken Robinson
Kirsty Young's castaway is the educationalist Sir Ken Robinson. Creativity - how to nurture it, develop it and marshal its power - is his preoccupation. He believes that too many people have no sense of their true talents and passions, and his internationally renowned talks to teachers, business and government leaders argue that - contrary to popular myth - creativity and innovation can be developed in a deliberate and systematic way. What we need, he thinks, is a learning revolution. His own erudition began in a crowded house on Merseyside in the fifties, full of visitors, noise and laughter. His front door was just a hundred yards from Everton football club, but his boyhood dreams of playing for The Blues ended when he contracted polio. The first of his six siblings to pass the 11-plus and win a scholarship to one of Liverpool's best schools, his education would fundamentally shape the rest of his life. He says "If a teacher hadn't seen something in me that I hadn't seen in myself, my life might have gone in a very different direction." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Professor Tanya Byron
Professor Tanya Byron, clinical psychologist and TV presenter, is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs. Tanya has spent the last twenty years in clinical practice, helping children, young people and families deal with some of the most difficult parts of life - depression, anxiety, aggression, self harming and drug addiction. She came to public prominence through her television work, books and advice columns and it would seem that she had the perfect background to cope with life in the spotlight - her father was a successful tv and theatre director and her mother worked variously as a nursing sister and a model. A highly dramatic family tragedy ignited her interest in what spurs people to behave the way that they do. She says of her work "I do have a particular desire to enable young people, on the cusp of what could be the most extraordinary life, to live ... and live well." Producer: Isabel Sargent.Listen

Jeremy Hutchinson
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the former barrister and member of The House of Lords, Jeremy Hutchinson.His life spans eleven decades of British history and he has spent much of it at the very centre of the action. Born during the First World War, he was brought up in the company of some of the greatest artists and writers of the day.In World War II, he escaped his bombed-out ship clinging to a life raft with Lord Mountbatten.At the Bar he played a central role in many of the seismic trials of the day - among them defending the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover against obscenity charges and Christine Keeler in the Profumo Affair trial. His brilliance in cross-examination inspired John Mortimer's creation of the character Rumpole of The Bailey.He enjoyed two long marriages - his first to the actress Peggy Ashcroft, his second, for 40 years, to June Osborn, and he spent 23 years as an active member of The House of Lords.He says, "I had the luck to live when the world of the Establishment was being dismantled. The whole of one's career was to do with what was going on in society."Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Chris Packham
Kirsty Young's castaway is the naturalist, Chris Packham.TV presenter, filmmaker, writer, photographer, every bit of his work revolves around wildlife. If he's not busy telling us why we should love midges he's enthusing about the hearing capacity of a barn owl. His passion for animals is clear, what they think of him remains a little more uncertain; he's been attacked by a baboon, charged by lions and bitten by a puff adder.His obsession with the natural world began early when a predictable boyhood fascination for tadpoles and ladybirds grew to encompass mosquito larvae, lizards, snakes and bats. As a teenager he collected badger droppings by day and pogoed with electric blue hair at Clash gigs by night.These days he distinguishes himself by his impressive knowledge of his subject and his outspoken views on everything from countryside culls to the problems with cat owners.He says, "I'll never rest until I've tried to do my own small bit in terms of changing the environment so it's a better place. I won't do it for my grandchildren because I won't have any and I won't do it for yours. I'll do it because it's the right thing to do."Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Carolyn McCall
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is businesswoman Carolyn McCall.Currently Chief Executive of easyJet, she's one of only three women in Britain in charge of a FTSE 100 company. Prior to that she ran the Guardian Media Group.An only child, she was brought up in Bangalore and Singapore. She spent a short time as a teacher in a comprehensive school and has also brought her wisdom to the boardroom table at Lloyds Bank, Tesco and New Look.In amongst the corporate strategizing she also managed to have three children in three years.She says, "I think it's mad not to have self-doubt ... but I think it's really dangerous when that self-doubt becomes total insecurity or lack of confidence or lack of momentum, or lack of belief in yourself."Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Lee Mack
Kirsty Young interviews the comedian Lee Mack. He writes and stars in the BBC One hit show "Not Going Out". His stand-up tours do great business and his lightening sharp comedy reflexes are also put to good use on a number of prime-time panel shows. His first ever performance was doing impressions for his school mates, but it took him more than ten years to pluck up the courage to step on stage. Leaving school with two O'levels and a cheeky grin, he had a stint as Red Rum's stable boy and a bash at being a professional darts player. He says of his comedy career "I'm the kind of person that, if I don't think it's hard work, I worry that it's not worthwhile. I have to feel as if I've struggled a bit." Producer: Isabel Sargent.Listen



Zadie Smith
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the novelist and critic, Zadie Smith. First published at just twenty four her debut novel "White Teeth" garnered huge attention and praise. As a result she suffered the unnerving experience of doing her literary growing up in public. Yet in spite of the scrutiny she blossomed. In the 13 years since, her novels, essays and short stories have brought numerous literary prizes and critical praise. Born to a Jamaican mother and a British father she was brought up in Willesden, North London where many of her characters live. She began writing at the age of 5 and was a voracious reader - devouring the greats of literature. Now she divides her time between Willesden and New York where she teaches creative writing. She describes herself as "an English novelist enslaved to an ancient tradition" and yet her chosen areas of exploration could not be more of the moment. She says, "I'm really interested in what memory feels like ... we only have snapshots of the past ..." she continues to declare that writing isn't about "being experimental, it's about finding something true." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Daniel Kahneman
The psychologist Daniel Kahneman, who won the 2002 Nobel Prize for Economics, is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs. Widely acknowledged as one of the world's most influential living psychologists, his many years of study have centred on how and why we make the decisions we do. As a child, he lived in Nazi occupied France and he says that, from a young age, he already had a pretty good idea that he wanted to be an academic. He says "My mother had a big influence ... in fact I credit her with the fact that I became a psychologist ... because she got me interested in people and listening to gossip. I've been fascinated by gossip ever since." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Eve Stewart
Kirsty Young's castaway is BAFTA award-winning production designer, Eve Stewart. Her big screen credits include Les Miserables, The King's Speech and Vera Drake and for TV The Hour, Upstairs Downstairs and Call The Midwife. Responsible for locations, scenery and all the props she is renowned for creating entirely convincing, cohesive worlds that capture a beguiling sense of time, place and spirit. Not even the requirement for nine tons of Scottish seaweed or noiseless rubber rosary beads will defeat her. Her trademark is her relentless attention to detail and she slavishly trawls the archives for visual clues and references. It would seem that the bug bit her early - she says: 'When I was a little girl I used to have lots of doll's houses. Now I have lots of big ones and get to do it on a bigger scale.' Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Mary Robinson
Kirsty Young's castaway is Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and ex-UN Commissioner for Human Rights. Her professional life has been defined by public service at the very highest level and she appears the epitome of the cool-headed pragmatist. And yet she is also something of an enigma: a committed Catholic who fought hard to legalise contraception and divorce; an elected head of state with both a noble bearing and a common touch. As a lawyer she lead from the front championing controversial causes at home in Ireland and fiercely defending human rights at the UN. She also has a habit of making history - she was Ireland's first female president and the first Irish Head of state to meet Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace. She says of her life and work "over the years I have given many talks and taken part in many discussions on leadership: women's leadership, political leadership, business leadership, grass roots leadership. But the element of leadership that really fascinates me is moral leadership." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Russell Brand
Russell Brand, comedian & actor, is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs. Actor, comic, writer, Russell Brand is a compelling cultural phenomenon who in 2006 was, in his own words, "plucked from a life of hard drugs and petty crime and rocketed into the snugly carcinogenic glare of celebrity." Along with an athletic wit and a florid turn of phrase he specialises in going too far - reckless acts of self-destruction and a degree of chaos seem to be his companions along life's winding path. It's been five years since he rocked the foundations of the BBC with what became known as the Ross Brand scandal. He's since gone on to international success with a movie career, best-selling books and all the trappings of life on the "A" list. His most recent notable appearances have included testifying to a Parliamentary Select Committee on the importance of funding for drugs rehabilitation programmes and an appearance as a panellist on Question Time. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Val McDermid
The writer, Val McDermid, is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs. Crime fiction is Val's chosen genre and the millions of novels she sells examine and dissect the darkest recesses of human behaviour. Domestic violence, murder, abduction - it's difficult to imagine a subject she'd shy away from. She once described herself as "A mixture of hard bitten cynical hack and Pollyanna". Brought up in a secure home by parents who were very happily married, she was the first Scot from a state school to win a place at St Hilda's college, Oxford. She was just 16. After graduation she chose tabloid journalism as her trade and by all accounts fitted right in with the hard working, bolshy, boozing culture at the time. She says "I think there are three elements to any literary career. You have to have a modicum of talent, you've got to work hard . and you've got to be lucky." Producer: Isabel Sargent.Listen

Jane Somerville
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the cardiologist Jane Somerville. Now an Emeritus Professor in her discipline at Imperial College London she's gained a worldwide reputation for her pioneering work on congenital heart disease. She began studying medicine in the early 1950s when only a very few women were admitted through the doors of medical school. Since then she's been responsible for ground-breaking advances in cardiovascular treatment and founded the World Congress of Paediatric Cardiology. She had something of a role model in her mother, a hard-working, clever, successful woman too. Her early years as a pupil at a boys' school in Wales must also have prepared her for making her way in such a heavily male-dominated profession. She has a reputation for being straight-talking, and her late husband used to urge her to be more "prudent", but, she says, "it wasn't fun to be prudent: it was much more fun to be mafioso and naughty." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen



Steven Pinker
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker. An author and Harvard professor he's been named by Time Magazine as one of the world's 100 most influential scientists and thinkers. The psychology of violence and where language comes from are just two of his specialist subjects. Bill Gates is officially a fan, the man who sends him hate mail related to his work on irregular verbs is not. It would seem that whenever he publishes yet another best-selling book controversy is never far behind - his recent contention that we live in an "unusually peaceful time" drew opprobrium from many quarters. Born and brought up in Montreal his parents encouraged vigorous debate around the dinner table - indeed it was his mother's interest in the psychology of language and linguistics that sparked his own. He says "I appreciate what my parents did for me beyond words. Not in making me what I am, but in my view of what's important in life, what I think about and cherish." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Hugh Laurie
Kirsty Young's castaway is the actor, Hugh Laurie. If life were straightforward he'd be marooned on the island because of his achievements as an Olympic rower. But his early promise on the water was scuppered by a bout of glandular fever - so he's had to make do instead with life as a worldwide entertainment superstar. Very British comedy, very big budget movies, very successful syndicated TV drama - his 30 year career has taken him from A Little Bit of Fry & Laurie to a big bit of broadcasting history: his role in the U.S. show House ran for 8 series and had a global audience of 81 million. So why now does he feel the need to risk his stellar reputation by making music too? He says, "as soon as I acknowledge to myself that something is frightening and carries the risk of public humiliation I feel like I have to do it." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Alexandra Shulman
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the editor of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman. In spite of being in charge of one of our leading 'style bibles' for more than 20 years, her reputation is that of someone rather down to earth. She thinks designers cut clothes too small, refuses to let superstars have photo and copy approval and when she was first appointed editor, she'd never even been on a fashion shoot. During her tenure Vogue's circulation has increased. Her first job as editor was with the men's magazine GQ and she's had spells at Tatler, the Sunday Telegraph and writing a weekly column for the Daily Mail. She says, "Vogue is not my personal taste, really. I think of it more as a kind of newspaper, reporting on what's out there." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Conrad Anker
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the mountaineer Conrad Anker. Some of us choose a life in I.T. or event planning - Conrad Anker has opted to swing from a nylon stepladder 19,000 feet up a cliff with a dose of trench foot and a wedge of stale cheese for supper. It may seem an odd way to spend one's life but it's his way. One of the world's elite climbers he's credited with a long list of first time ascents. He's also summited Everest three times. During one renowned climb he discovered the icy corpse of the legendary George Mallory who had perished along with Sandy Irvine as they tried to scale the peak - in nothing more than hobnail boots and tweeds - in 1924. When he isn't exploring the far corners of the world's wilderness he's at home in Montana with his wife Jennifer, the widow of his best friend Alex Lowe, who was killed by an avalanche that narrowly missed Conrad himself. He says of his life, "Most people are so risk averse. The world is full of couch potatoes ... we climbers should get government stipends for keeping the risk-taking gene pool alive." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Sir Mervyn King
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the out-going Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King. He has been in charge during a period of unprecedented global financial turmoil yet under his leadership the Bank of England has emerged as one of the world's most powerful central banks. He may have grown used to the pink tails coats and top hats of his attendants in Threadneedle Street but his background was far from privileged. His father worked on the railways and then became a teacher; his mother was a housewife and sang in the church choir. Their son studied hard and gained a top first at Cambridge before going on to teach at MIT and the London School of Economics. Throughout his demanding public life he has been sustained by his twin passions for cricket and Aston Villa football club. His other great love appears to have been an intriguingly slow burn: he first met Barbara, the woman who would become his wife, in 1970 - they married in 2007. He says, "Being the Governor of the Bank of England is actually the easiest job I've ever done; you're in charge & you've got tremendous support." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Deborah Bull
Kirsty Young's guest this week is the ballerina, writer and broadcaster Deborah Bull. The Royal Ballet, where she was a principal dancer for almost two decades owes a debt of gratitude to the Janice Sutton School of Dance in Skegness. It was there, aged 7, two floors above a fish and chip shop and a row of amusements arcades - and having practiced "good toes, bad toes" - that she knew precisely what she wanted to do with her life. After many years of success at the top of her profession, she said goodbye to her childhood dream and jetéd into her life's next act - for a time serving as Creative Director of The Royal Opera House and more recently working far beyond Covent Garden promoting creativity and cultural partnerships across Britain. She says "I always thought I'd feel a passionate sense of loss when I stopped dancing. What was absolutely wonderful was, as the volume turned up on the new career, the volume turned down on the old one." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Alice Walker
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the Pulitzer Prize winning writer Alice Walker. Author, poet, feminist and activist, it was her novel The Color Purple that brought her worldwide attention and acclaim. The story of a poor black girl surviving in the deep American south, between the wars, it is a landmark work, disturbing and exhilarating in equal measure. If one subscribes to the idea that "art is a wound turned to light", then Alice Walker's early life proved crucial to her future creations. Shot and blinded in one eye by her brother's BB gun it was through the isolation of her injury that she began to write. She once described poetry as "medicine". She has also said, "I know the world's a mess, but there's so much that's gorgeous in it. I wish everybody could have what I have." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen



Damien Hirst
Kirsty Young's guest this week is the artist Damien Hirst. Life, death, desire, fear, beauty, horror - his creative preoccupations are standard fair; his art - using sharks, maggots, butterflies, glass, formaldehyde and even sometimes paint - is not. His best known works have become iconic symbols of contemporary culture and his exhibitions and auctions attract attention the way a carcass attracts flies. Growing up in Leeds his mother was something of an early artistic influence - she had dots painted on the front door and whenever Damien said he'd finished a drawing, she'd lay another sheet of paper down and tell her son "carry on." He once said, "People don't like contemporary art but all art starts life as contemporary. I'm sure there were people in caves going 'I like your cave but I hate that crap you've got on the wall'." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Sir Sydney Kentridge
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Sir Sydney Kentridge QC. Widely regarded as a leading advocate of the 20th century, he continues to make his mark in the 21st; he recently appeared for the first time in the European Court of Justice and at the end of last year he spent the actual day of his 90th birthday working in the English Supreme Court. Born in South Africa, he was first called to the bar there at the end of the 1940s and played a leading role in some of the most significant political trials of the apartheid era. 'Understated, controlled, relentlessly rational' - and with devastating cross-examination skills - the verdict of one of his clients - Nelson Mandela. He himself says "I hope there's only one thing about my professional life of which I've boasted and which I think, as a lawyer, is unique on my part - I have acted as an advocate for three winners of The Nobel Peace Prize. I don't think anyone else has done that." Producer: Isabel Sargent.Listen

Jasvinder Sanghera
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the writer and campaigner Jasvinder Sanghera. She has counselled government and travelled widely advising on how to put a stop to forced marriage and so called honour violence. At 14, Jasvinder was shown a picture of the stranger thousands of miles away she was to marry and in the face of intimidation she fled her family, chose her own husbands and gained a first class degree. Her books have shone a piercing light on the veiled world of shame, brutality and coercion that some young women endure whilst Karma Nirvana, the pioneering charity she set up and runs, offers refuge and practical help. She says, "my life has had to take paths where responsibility was the key thing. Now I'm at a point in my life where I'm more content than I've ever been. I've reconciled the disownment." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Julie Goodyear
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the actress Julie Goodyear. For a quarter of a century her Coronation Street character Bet Lynch set the gold plated standard for big, brassy, back chatting blondes. Behind the bar of the Rovers Return her bosom swathed in leopard-print and her head piled high with platinum curls she was Manchester's answer to Mae West. Her MBE was awarded for her services to drama - and when she left the series in 1995, her departure pulled in 19 million viewers. Yet whatever the scriptwriters came up with it was never as dramatic as the life she's lived beyond The Street. She got pregnant at 17, her second husband abandoned her for their best man, and in 1979 she was diagnosed with cancer and told she'd a year to live. She's now married to her fourth husband. She says, "If anyone should be interested in an epitaph for my life, I would like them to consider, 'At least she tried." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

David Almond
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the writer David Almond. Most of his work is for children but the adults who populate the juries of heavyweight literary prizes really like it too. The accolades began with his first novel Skellig published in 1998 when he was 47; it won the mighty "Whitbread Children's" award and then many others besides. Ever since, he's been acclaimed for his ability to craft complex, philosophical narratives with strikingly down to earth characterisations. He grew up just outside Newcastle in a big, Catholic family and his childhood features heavily in his stories. He says "Each of my books has had to be written - there was something that had to come out." Producer: Alison Hughes.Listen

Rankin
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the photographer Rankin. He started out doing fashion shoots and is very good at making pretty young things look even prettier. But his work and influence have spread well beyond the glossy pages of style bibles. From Congolese war widows to canoodling pensioners his skill is capturing a moment of spontaneous and often surprising truth. He should really been doing peoples' tax returns - he went to college to study accountancy - but his head was turned in his halls of residence where the arts students seemed to be having all the fun. Within a few years Kate Moss was posing for him in nothing but a fedora and leather boots. However his reputation for raunch was put on the back burner the day he photographed Her Majesty The Queen - his picture of a serene and smiling monarch now hangs in The National Portrait Gallery. Photography is he says "like a seduction. It's a relationship compressed into a moment." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Uta Frith
Professor Uta Frith, developmental psychologist, is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs. Uta Frith's groundbreaking work on autism has revolutionized our understanding of the condition; overturning the traditional, long-held belief that the root of the problems are social & emotional; discovering instead that autism is the result of physical differences in the brain. She arrived in Britain from Germany in the early 60s for a two-week course in English. Half a century later, and groaning under the weight of myriad fellowships and awards, with an honorary DBE to her name, she is one of the grand dames of British science. In retirement she continues to mentor and encourage fellow women scientists, not least in her networking group "science&shopping" - an aim being to have some fun. She says her metaphor for the brain "is that of a garden that is full of the most interesting, different things ... that have to be cultivated and constantly checked." Producer: Alison Hughes.Listen



Jonathan Agnew
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the cricket commentator Jonathan Agnew. Known simply as "Aggers" to the army of fans devoted to Test Match Special, his charm, knowledge and ready wit have gained him a place in the heart of anyone who loves the game. His own infatuation began as a young boy at boarding school and along with his talent and determination it took him all the way to the top of the sport. He played for Leicestershire and England. His transition from the crease to the commentary box was cemented by one of the most memorable moments in broadcasting history - the notorious "legover" comment that prompted the legendary Brian Johnston to dissolve into helpless, prolonged giggles live on air. He says "The great thing about our job is that you have no pre-conceived idea about what is going to happen - you have no script - the cricket is the script". Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Julie Burchill
Kirsty Young's guest is the writer Julie Burchill. As a columnist and author she is a committed non-conformist - daring the world to take issue with her vociferous life and work and depending on whom you ask is either a 'Marxist critic' or 'a right wing columnist'. As a child she used to hide away when potential playmates came to call, at 17 she was writing for the NME and in the decades since she's plied her trade at The Times, The Guardian and The Daily Mail amongst others. She's also written twenty odd books and her autobiography is entitled "I Knew I Was Right". Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Sir Terry Leahy
Kirsty Young's castaway is Sir Terry Leahy, the businessman and former CEO of Tesco. His first job with the company was as a teenager when he worked as a shelf-stacker, but he made his name transforming the supermarket from a lack-lustre brand into Britain's biggest retailer. His ascent to the very top was marked by a fundamental understanding of his customers' needs and a single minded determination, powered, he says, by a fear of failure. He says of himself, "I was a relatively shy guy from a council estate and an unlikely chief executive, I'm quite happy not to be in the limelight".Listen

Aung San Suu Kyi
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Aung San Suu Kyi. The programme was recorded on location in Naypyitaw, Burma in December 2012. Now Leader of Burma's opposition party, she has dedicated her life to fighting for human rights and democracy in her homeland. A figure of world renown, she is known in Burma as simply "The Lady" and her integrity, determination and grace have provided a beacon of hope to a nation oppressed and exploited by decades of brutal military dictatorship. President Obama says she is an "icon of democracy" and Desmond Tutu calls her "a remarkable woman ... ready to work for the healing of her motherland". Her renown has come at significant personal sacrifice: she endured nearly 20 years of house arrest and persecution, exiled from her children and apart from her British husband who died from cancer in 1999. She says "It takes courage to feel the truth, to feel one's conscience because once you do, you must engage your fundamental purpose for being alive. You can't just expect to sit idly by and have freedom handed to you." Producer: Cathy Drysdale Both the on-demand and the download audio of this programme are an extended edition of the original broadcast.Listen

Beryl Vertue
TV producer Beryl Vertue is Kirsty Young's castaway on Desert Island Discs. In the famously fickle world of telly where last year's hero is this year's zero she has stood the test of time. Indeed in TV circles the noun "vertuosity" is defined as "the ability to make enormously successful sitcoms for British television and then sell the formats to the American market". The cast list of her working life is a who's who of quality broadcasting and includes Jack Lemmon, Galton & Simpson, Frankie Howerd, Jack Nicholson and most recently Benedict Cumberbatch. She started out typing Goon Show scripts in the mid 50s, accidentally became an agent, and as a producer she has risen to the very top of her industry, with hits including the rock musical Tommy, the sit-com Men Behaving Badly and the drama series Sherlock. She says "it's terribly important not to know too many rules. If you know rules and obstacles you spend a lot of time dealing with them. If you don't know there's a rule you just do it." Producer: Alison Hughes.Listen

Martin Carthy
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Martin Carthy. A highly influential figure in the world of traditional music, about fifty years ago he was at the forefront of the English folk revival - inspiring not just his fellow countrymen, but Bob Dylan and Paul Simon too. Now he's part of a folk dynasty. His wife is the celebrated singer Norma Waterson and their daughter Eliza is as renowned for her fiddle playing, as she is her voice. Martin, on the other hand, was brought up in an atmosphere that encouraged him to rise above his station - there was music in his Anglo-Irish background, but it wasn't encouraged and rarely if ever talked about. He says, "In my opinion there is no such thing as bad music. There may be bad players or bad singers but I don't like the idea of inferior music". The producer was Isabel Sargent.Listen

Sir Howard Stringer
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Sir Howard Stringer. Now Chairman of the Board and formerly CEO of Sony, he was surely the only Chief Executive who was a decorated Vietnam vet as he knelt before the Queen to be knighted. It gives you something of an idea of the breadth and height of his achievements. Born in Cardiff he went to 11 different schools before his 16th birthday and it clearly gave him restless feet. In the mid-sixties he headed to America where his first job was answering phones for the Ed Sullivan Show. He loved TV and it felt the same about him. He's won a raft of Emmys for his productions and worked with all the big beasts of the broadcasting jungle including Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather and David Letterman. He has spent the last few years commuting between New York, Tokyo, London and Hollywood - the first and so far only westerner to run the Japanese giant Sony. He says - "I think I'm a bit prone to new adventures. The same damned impulse that got me in trouble by sending me to America in the first place compels me to take challenges when offered them." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen



Anya Hindmarch
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the designer and businesswoman, Anya Hindmarch. Given her first handbag by her mother at 16, she knew that her future lay in fashion. At 18 she went to Florence to immerse herself in Italian style, and ended up deep in the world of Florentine leather, getting samples made up of a duffel bag she'd spotted. An initial run of 500 bags sold out. Fast forward 25 years and her eponymous fashion business is globally successful with her designs much sought after. She's also known for her conscience and designed a canvas tote called "I'm not a plastic bag" as part of an environmental campaign to highlight our over use of plastic bags. She combines all this with a hectic family life. She met and subsequently married a widower 12 years her senior when she was 25. He had 3 children aged under 5 and they've added a further two to the clan. She says her life is like "juggling and dancing while having one arm and one eye at the same time". Producer: Alison Hughes.Listen

Dawn French
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Dawn French. Her career started back when dungarees were considered a legitimate fashion choice and she's built her reputation on borderline surreal skits and glowingly warm characterisations. Brought up in a forces family she had to move schools a lot and found making people laugh helped to make them her friends. Since then it's made her a household name and she may be moments away from becoming a 'national treasure'. Double act partner, sit-com star, sketch show performer, writer, actor, Dawn has made us laugh for years. So does she ever feel overwhelmed by people's expectations? She says "I tell myself that I'm the sort of person who can open a one-woman play in the West End, so I do .... I am the sort of person who writes a book - so I do". Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Sister Wendy Beckett
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the nun, writer and broadcaster Sister Wendy Beckett. For over 40 years she's lived the life of a hermit, rising every day at midnight to spend seven hours praying. Her home is a caravan in the grounds of a Carmelite Monastery where she spends her days in silence - speaking only once a day to the nun charged with delivering her daily food rations of skimmed milk, cold cooked vegetables and two rice crackers. Her self-imposed isolation has only been broken by the - frankly rather unlikely - occurrence of a television career. She is the nun who knows about art and her passionate and pithy critiques of the world's great works and hidden treasures have won her many devoted fans. With decades of solitude and prayer under her belt she seems, unlike nearly every other guest, to be perfectly cut out for a stretch alone on a desert island. She says "It's my apostolic duty to talk about art. If you don't know about God, art is the only thing that can set you free". Producer: Christine Pawlowsky.Listen

Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles. After flirting with Communism in his teens he joined the Conservative party and enjoyed a heady rise through local politics, heading up Bradford City Council in the 1990s. He tells Kirsty about his early life above a shop in Keighley, how Mrs Thatcher got him an interview to be a candidate for MP, and how a prolonged hug from David Cameron softened the blow of a disastrous appearance on Question Time. Producer: Alison Hughes.Listen

Dustin Hoffman
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Dustin Hoffman. In spite of his Aunt Pearl telling him he wasn't good looking enough to be an actor for the past forty-five years he's been crafting landmark movie performances. He is that rare and apparently contradictory thing - a character actor and a superstar. The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy, Lenny, All The President's Men, Marathon Man, Kramer v Kramer, Tootsie, Rain Man, Wag The Dog, and Last Chance Harvey are just a handful of the movies that contribute to an unparalleled body of work: he is the only actor in history to have top billing in three films that won Best Picture Oscars. Now in his mid-70s he is making his directorial debut. He says "I'm always fighting to break through... I'm trying to show you the part of me that wants to love, wants to kill, that wants to find my way out, that feels there is no way out." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Edmund de Waal
Kirsty Young's castaway is the artist and author, Edmund de Waal. His ceramics are on display in many of the world's major museums. They're delicate pots in shades of white and cream, informed he says by a great deal of thinking about literature. His written work has also won him several awards; his book "The Hare With Amber Eyes" traces the rich and dramatic story of his family's Russian Jewish heritage and the diaspora in Odessa, Paris, Vienna, and Tokyo. He says, "I make pots and I write. I'm not one of those people who by mistake became a potter or by mistake is a writer - they are both completely entwined." Producer: Isabel Sargent.Listen

John Lloyd
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the director, producer and writer, John Lloyd. His work has been making us laugh for over thirty years: Spitting Image, Not The Nine o'Clock News, Blackadder and QI are just a handful of the programmes he's helped to create. If the comedy work ever dries up he could open a shop selling second hand Baftas - he's won a stack of them and a Grammy and an Emmy. Which isn't to say it's been an easy ride - fall outs, multiple sackings and missed opportunities have peppered his stellar career in comedy. He says, "I like starting things ... there are starters and finishers in life, that's the great divide ... I like the fight and the passion and the difficulty - well I don't like it, but it's what I do". Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen



Blanche Marvin
Kirsty Young's castaway is the critic, actress, and producer Blanche Marvin. Blanche has been immersed in the theatre for seven decades. She worked with James Mason, Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr and Peter Ustinov and calmed the nerves of Tennessee Williams. She brought Samuel Beckett to an American audience and persuaded Peter Brook to launch a series of awards to encourage artistic risk-takers. A doyenne of the West End, she's at nearly every opening night and her reviews are read by producers on Broadway - looking for the next hit that could cross the Atlantic. She says: "people say, how can you go to the theatre for 50 years and still be enthusiastic? Every time I go, I think, Oh, I'm going to see something, I'm going to be surprised!" Producer: Isabel Sargent.Listen

Tidjane Thiam
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is businessman Tidjane Thiam. He's chief executive of the Prudential, but he's about as far from the archetypal "man from the Pru" as you can get. The seeds of his success were sown amid the complex political terrain of the Ivory Coast with an extended family heavily involved in politics and a father imprisoned for his beliefs. His life quickly took on an international flavour from West Africa to Morocco, Paris to Washington, but in his early 30s a coup in his homeland left him high and dry. He says "I had no job, no career, nothing at all. It taught me a lot about myself. If you've been in a situation where you have nothing there's nothing much you're afraid of." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Hilary Devey
Hilary Devey, businesswoman and TV star is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs. The very incarnation of entrepreneurial spirit, Hilary Devey built a haulage network business from scratch, which now employs nearly eight thousand people and has an annual turnover of £100 million. She has a successful media career and is one of the current incumbents of the TV programme Dragons Den. The real drama in her life has happened off screen. The skeleton in her parents' closet reappeared in her own life. She's been married and divorced three times, her only child has battled drug addiction and a severe stroke nearly killed her in 2009. Despite this, she remains ambitious and energetic in the business world and says that there's no such thing as a glass ceiling. Producer: Alison Hughes.Listen

Mona Siddiqui
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the academic & commentator, Mona Siddiqui. Born in Karachi and brought up in Huddersfield, she's a rarity - a female Muslim theologian. As Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at Edinburgh University her analysis regularly sheds light on controversial issues affecting the Muslim faith. Her calm & reasoned standpoint can be heard regularly on the Today programme's Thought for the Day. Brought up in a house stuffed full of books, her academic promise revealed itself early on and despite dallying with the idea of journalism as a career, she finally followed the path her mother wanted for her - academia. She says, "I like to be in places where I feel my voice can be heard and I can say things of some value." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Noah Stewart
Kirsty Young's castaway is the American opera singer, Noah Stewart. He's a hit in opera houses around the world and his solo CD has topped the classical charts. Yet for a long time the closest he managed to get to the stage was as a receptionist at Carnegie Hall. He won a scholarship to the prestigious Juilliard School in New York though while waiting for his big break, he waited tables and did voice overs for Sesame Street. Blessed not only with rich, clear tenor tones he also possesses the good looks of a Hollywood film star. Brought up by his single mother in Harlem, he still lives with her when he's not travelling the world and says of the neighbourhood he grew up in, ... "for me it was hard to be there ... because I just didn't see many successful black men around... there were just not many of us who made it out". Producer: Christine Pawlowsky.Listen

Celia Birtwell
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the designer Celia Birtwell. In the ephemeral world of fashion she has endured; Marian Faithfull wore her creations in the 60s, Kate Moss is a fan today. Whimsical prints and flattering forms are her signature style and the vintage creations that she designed with her then husband Ossie Clarke now change hands for a small fortune. Her new ranges are highly collectable and fly off the high street rails too. Never one of the fashion world's flamboyant self promoters she has, none the less, a face known to millions - as a long time friend and muse to David Hockney she is the woman at the centre of his famous painting "Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy". She wants her work to be relevant because and says "there's nothing worse than being out-dated. If that happens and I feel I'm past it, I'll stop". Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen

Ade Adepitan
Kirsty Young's castaway is the Paralympian & broadcaster Ade Adepitan. Wheelchair basketball's his sport and this year he partnered Claire Balding anchoring the television coverage of the 2012 London Paralympics. When he's not stuck in a studio explaining the intricacies of Goalball he's reporting from the rainforests of Nicaragua or the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Adversity seems to suit him - he even survived turning up for his first day at school aged 7 in a pink checked suit and bow tie. Inspired by his boyhood heroes Seb Coe and Daley Thompson, who he first saw on TV competing in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, sport became his passion. He says "I think I've done more things with my disability than most able-bodied people would ever dream of doing". Producer: Cathy Drysdale.Listen



Goldie Hawn
Kirsty Young's castaway is Hollywood's prototype dizzy blond, Goldie Hawn. Like most things in Tinseltown the image is somewhat at odds with the reality. Goldie is an Academy Award winner and producer who's been on the A list for 40-odd years, starring alongside Peter Sellers, Walter Matthau and Woody Allen. She's now transmuted from fantasy pin-up to best selling author - she writes parenting manuals and spearheads a childhood learning initiative. She tells Kirsty about her journey from dancing in sleazy go-go bars to bagging an Oscar, how she coped with the difficulties her early success brought her and how she met her husband of 29 years, Kurt Russell.Listen

Craig Brown
Kirsty Young's castaway is the critic and satirist Craig Brown. A prolific writer, he's lampooned everyone from DH Lawrence to Victoria Beckham and, earlier this year, he became the first journalist to win three separate prizes at the British Press Awards. He showed early promise - when he was 14 he started writing spoofs of Harold Pinter plays, and his characters have their own entries in Who's Who. Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Baroness Campbell
Kirsty Young's castaway is the campaigner Baroness Jane Campbell. She was born with a degenerative condition and her parents were told she would not survive infancy. Now in her mid-fifties and a cross-bench peer, she's spent her adult life campaigning for equality for disabled people and was one of the leading voices behind the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995. She recalls: "I found myself sitting in the middle of Westminster Bridge bringing the traffic to a standstill. The police didn't know what to do with us - whether to pat us on the head or, you know, put handcuffs on us. They were quite confused." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Mary Berry
Mary Berry is one of the UK's best-known and respected cookery writers. More than six million copies of her books have now been sold - not bad for a girl who failed her school certificate in English. On television, it is her role as a judge on The Great British Bake-off that has brought her to the attention of a new generation. It was in domestic science lessons that she discovered her love of cooking and she is in no doubt of the importance of teaching cookery in school "When everybody leaves school, whether they are a boy or a girl, what do they have to do in the home? They have to produce a meal. They haven't been taught to do it. I think it should be essential." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Akram Khan
Kirsty Young's castaway is the dancer and choreographer Akram Khan. A child of Bengali immigrants, he started learning Indian dance almost as soon as he could walk. Talent-spotted in his teens, he went on to spend two years touring the world with Peter Brook's Mahabharata. A keen collaborator, he's worked with everyone from prima ballerina Sylvie Guillem to disco queen Kylie Minogue. He says he was a shy boy and dance allowed him to communicate properly for the first time: "It was like being allowed to speak - and people taking notice of that and that's another problem because then you want people's attention all the time, so, every dinner party we went to, I said, Mum, are they going to ask me to dance? It became an addiction." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Simon McBurney
Kirsty Young's castaway is the actor, writer and director Simon McBurney. It's 30 years since he set up the ground-breaking theatre company Complicite. It brought extraordinary physical deftness to the stage and its productions won every plaudit going - from an armful of Olivier awards to the Perrier prize for comedy. His mainstream credits range from TV roles in the Vicar of Dibley and Rev, to screen credits for The Last King of Scotland and Harry Potter. On stage, he's directed Katie Holmes and Al Pacino to critical acclaim in New York. Of his unconventional directing style, he admits: "Some people have said, it's a bit like going into the jungle with some mad explorer - who everybody knows doesn't have any idea where he's going - but somehow he gives people some sort of confidence to keep on going." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Martina Navratilova
Kirsty Young's castaway is the legendary tennis player, Martina Navratilova. In an extraordinary career she's won 59 Grand Slam titles - her last just a few weeks short of her fiftieth birthday. Her life off the court has been equally eventful - she grew up in communist Czechoslovakia and, as a teenager, threw rocks as Soviet tanks rolled in; tennis offered a way to see the world and she defected to the US when she was 18 years old. After thirty years at the top of her profession she retired - and says she finally found time for the rest of her life: "Tennis really was a total commitment, you didn't have much time for anything else. So, when I quit, I was going through something emotionally that most people go through when they're 18, 20 years old. Really having the time for personal relationships, developing friendships and taking the time with everybody. I think I've caught up by now." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen



Charles Jencks
Kirsty Young's castaway is the architectural critic and writer Charles Jencks. Born in America, for the past four decades he has lived and worked in Britain - where his designs are as likely to be found in sculptural landscapes as buildings. Perhaps his most significant legacy, though, is the work he did with his late wife, Maggie Keswick. They worked together to design Maggie's Centres - a series of practical and beautifully-designed buildings to give information and support to people with cancer. He says: "When you have cancer, there's many things which you have to do aside from the struggle - it's not just a medical problem, it's a social problem - of how you tell the children, how you tell your boss - and above all, as Maggie said, it's not to lose the joy of living." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

John Bishop
Kirsty Young's castaway is the comedian John Bishop. Growing up on a Merseyside council estate, his early ambition was to play football for Liverpool - otherwise, he thought he might find a way out by winning the Pools or joining a band. The youngest of four children, his family were, he says, the kind that filled factory floors rather than lecture halls. Now a hugely popular stand-up comedian, it was a failing marriage and a sense of desperation that led him, one night, to a comedy bar. He decided to give it a try - it turned his life, and marriage, around. "There was a time where the stand-up was the thing that I think kept me sane - it was like therapy and if I stopped doing it, I would go backwards." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Ahdaf Soueif
Kirsty Young's castaway is the Egyptian writer and commentator Ahdaf Soueif. She was the first Muslim woman to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize and, from an early age, her life has been divided between Egypt and Britain. She was among the crowds in Tahrir Square last year, witnessing the uprising at first hand, and describing events for the world's media. She says: "Every once in a while there would be a surge of a few meters forward, as your friends, who were being killed at the front, gained you those three metres and your job, as the masses, was to move forward and hold the three metres." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Doreen Lawrence
Kirsty Young's castaway is the campaigner Doreen Lawrence. The life she thought was hers ended when her son Stephen was murdered by a group of young white men on a street in London in 1993. In the years since, her campaigning has resulted in a shift in public attitudes, laws being changed and policing methods overhauled. She set up a charity in her son's memory and has been awarded an OBE for services to community relations. She says: "My son was special and I think, what happened to him, I just wanted everyone to know and learn about him - but all the other things, the OBE, I'd swap all of that just to have my son back. When your children are young you take them for granted, because you think they're going to be there forever." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Margaret Rhodes
Kirsty Young's castaway is Margaret Rhodes. As the first cousin to the Queen, she has a unique insight into the life of the royal family. She used to spend her summer holidays at Balmoral with the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret while, during the war, she worked for MI6 and lodged at Buckingham Palace. She attended the Queen's wedding and coronation and, in later life, worked as an assistant to the Queen Mother. Remembering the Queen's coronation, she says: "We had only just recovered from six or seven years of deprivation and blackouts and rationing - it was like the sun suddenly coming out behind a lot of very dark clouds and I think everybody felt that with a new young Queen, a whole new era was opening up. It was somehow exciting." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Denise Robertson
Kirsty Young's castaway is the agony aunt and writer Denise Robertson. She is, she says, one of life's survivors -- yet she seems to have had more than her fair share of tragedy; she's been widowed twice, dealt with financial hardship and lost a child to cancer. She's written dozens of novels and for more than forty years been an agony aunt on local radio, papers and television. She says: "There have been times when I've thought, just as I get things right, fate steps in and kicks the steps from under me. But then you pick yourself up again. When I started out, there used to be a joke, that one day I'd open a letter without saying, 'Oh I remember when that happened to me'." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Peter Ackroyd
Kirsty Young's castaway is the novelist, historian and biographer, Peter Ackroyd. As a child he used to walk the streets of London with his grandmother - an experience that, he believes, fostered his own love for the city. He was appointed literary editor of The Spectator when he was just 23 and has gone on to write dozens of books since. He has written a biography of London, as well as books about people he calls 'cockney visionaries' such as Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins and, now, Charlie Chaplin. Yet, of the work he's produced so far, he says: "Every book for me is a chapter in the long book which will finally be closed on the day of my death. So that final book is the one which gives me a sense of achievement." Producer: Christine Pawlowsky.Listen



Baroness Hollins
Kirsty Young's castaway is Baroness Sheila Hollins. An Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, she has specialised in the health and welfare of people with learning disabilities; advising on policy and influencing attitudes. She started off as a GP, turning to psychiatry after finding a huge proportion of her patients were suffering from emotional and social problems. One of her four children has a learning disability and that has brought a focus to her professional ambitions. She says: "In many ways, I've always thought that our children are going to be different to any expectation we had of them and really the joy of parenthood is discovering who your children really are." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Tim Minchin
Kirsty Young's castaway is the composer and performer Tim Minchin. As a comic and musician he has sold out London's O2 Arena and won legions of fans. He wrote the songs for the Royal Shakespeare Company's musical Matilda - the production of Roald Dahl's children's story has been a smash hit on the West End, won seven Olivier awards and is due to transfer to Broadway next year. He says: "I'm not a magical thinker - I don't think I need my special undies on or my special pencil - I'm not superstitious about the process. I just took my childhood of reading Dahl and said, 'I know what this is' and wrote some songs." Producer: Isabel Sargent.Listen

Jamie Cullum
Kirsty Young's castaway is the jazz pianist and singer Jamie Cullum. His interview was recorded in front of an audience at St George's in Bristol and launched Radio 4's More Than Words Festival. Despite failing his grade four piano exam and, by his own admission, barely being able to read music, Jamie Cullum has become hugely popular. He is particularly celebrated for his live shows and in this very special recording, he performed three of his musical choices. Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Anna Ford
Kirsty Young's castaway is the broadcaster Anna Ford. One of the first high profile women in news, she worked for Granada, ITV and the BBC before retiring after more than thirty years on our screens. One of her professional pairings was presenting the News at 10 with Reginald Bosanquet, she remembers how he would try to unsettle her during broadcasts: "I adored Reggie, he would land either obscene poems or love poems on my script just before I was to about to read it to camera and I would catch just a sight of this and it was almost impossible not to laugh." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Jackie Mason
Kirsty Young's castaway is the American comedian Jackie Mason. His one-man shows have been pulling in audiences for more than fifty years. Like his father, grandfather and great-grandfather before him, he trained initially as a rabbi - and quickly acquired a reputation for being very funny. "The people who heard my sermons kept saying to me; 'Rabbi, why aren't you a comedian?' I said to myself, maybe I should take the hint." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Patsy Rodenburg
Kirsty Young's castaway is the renowned voice coach Patsy Rodenburg. Her work at the National Theatre and the RSC has spanned decades and her students include Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Maggie Smith and Daniel Day Lewis. But her work takes her away from the stage too - she has coached politicians and helped offenders in prison. She says: "I did some work on Hamlet in a top security prison and the guy playing Claudius was a murderer and he spoke, 'Oh my offence is rank, it smells to heaven', and he just broke." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Brian Moore
Kirsty Young's castaway is the former rugby player and commentator Brian Moore. As a player he was ferociously competitive, he says his approach to the game was almost pathological and it earned him the nickname 'the pitbull'. By the time he retired, he'd earned dozens of England caps and played in three grand slams. But he discovered the obsessive determination he'd shown as a player was not so useful off the pitch. "In sport, the 'I won't give up', 'carry on training' and 'going again and again and again', that's rewarded because people say isn't that fantastic - but when it comes to normal life, you can't solve everything like that." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen



Lord Prescott
Kirsty Young's castaway is the former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. In this frank interview, he describes life in the highly political home where he grew up, the impact that failing the school 11+ exam had on him and the gradual kindling of his own ambitions. He speaks of his debt to his wife Pauline and how for many years of their marriage he underestimated her. He describes, too, the inferiority complex which dogged him for much of his adult life: "All the attacks on me because of my grammar and kind of background, aggressive style - it used to ruff up a few feathers and whilst I would never let it show, certainly deep inside me I felt a bit inferior." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

James Corden
James Corden, actor and writer of Gavin & Stacey, is Kirsty Young's castaway is the actor and writer . As a child he longed to act - he found early success in Alan Bennett's play The History Boys and became a household name for the TV show he devised and co-wrote, Gavin and Stacey. These days he's starring in the West End in the comedy One Man, Two Guvnors. It is due to transfer to Broadway in the spring and he says: "I'm well aware that this could well be the best part that I ever play on stage - it's a gift for any actor who has any interest in comedy. It feels like all my dreams come true." Record: Days Like this - Van Morrison Book: A book to learn the piano Luxury: A piano Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Denise Lewis
Denise Lewis, Olympic gold medallist, is Kirsty Young's castaway. Her discipline was the heptathlon and it was at the 2000 Sydney Olympics that she leapt, threw, sprinted and hurdled her way on to the winner's podium. An only child of a single mother, she says her mum had always had ambition for her - and was there to witness her success. She said: "Her face said it all, there were tears in her eyes and for me it felt like, yes mum, we've done it together". Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Sir David Attenborough
Kirsty Young's castaway for the 70th anniversary edition of Desert Island Discs is Sir David Attenborough. He has seen more of the world than anyone else who has ever lived - he's visited the north and south poles and witnessed most of the life in-between - from the birds in the canopies of tropical rainforests to giant earthworms in Australia. But despite his extraordinary travels, there is one part of the globe that's eluded him. As a young man and a keen rock-climber, he yearned to conquer the highest peak in the world. "I won't make it now - I won't make it to base camp now - but as a teenager, I thought that the only thing a red-blooded Englishman really should do was to climb Everest." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Vikram Seth
Kirsty Young's castaway is the author Vikram Seth. His novel A Suitable Boy was nearly a decade in the writing, but it was a huge and immediate hit and won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. He is now working on a follow-up novel called A Suitable Girl. He's due to finish work on it in 2013 - 20 years after the original work was published. The pace of work, he admits, is slow: "The sound of deadlines pushing past is one of the sounds that authors are most familiar with - it's very much in the gestational period." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Paul Johnson
Kirsty Young's castaway is the writer and historian Paul Johnson. He writes, he says, out of a desire to 'put things right' and more than fifty books and thousands of articles have flowed from his pen. His opinions have provoked, offended and enraged plenty of people over the years and sweeping works about modernity, morality, art and philosophy, sit alongside fiercely opinionated biographies and essays. He says: "I like to be, in general, in agreement with what most people think, but I also like to be a little bit independent and individual and, thank God, I've been allowed to do that all my writing life." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Dame Monica Mason
Kirsty Young's castaway is the director of the Royal Ballet, Dame Monica Mason. Her working life has been dedicated to dance. When she joined the Royal Ballet at fifteen she was the youngest dancer to be admitted to the company and, during her career, its legendary choreographer Kenneth MacMillan created five roles for her. She became director ten years ago and is due to step down this summer. She says: "I couldn't bear it if I thought that, behind closed doors, somebody was saying 'she's here again, you know', so I shall keep my distance and only go in when asked." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen



Sir Terry Wogan
Kirsty Young's castaway is the broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan. His career has spanned more than five decades and includes the chat show Wogan, the Eurovision Song Contest, the quiz Blankety Blank and for many years being the host of Radio 2's breakfast show. He says: "You have to create a kind of little club - you are not talking to an audience, you are talking to one person - and they are only half listening anyway. It's a mistake to think that everyone is clinging to your every word." Producer: Corinna Jones.Listen

Professor Brian Cox
Kirsty Young's castaway is the scientist Professor Brian Cox. In the press he's been called 'the pin-up professor' and his enormously popular TV series have been credited with creating the 'Brian Cox effect' - a surge in the number of would-be scientists applying to university. As a teenager he decided he wanted to be a rock star; he toured the world as a member of the band Dare and performed on Top of the Pops with his second group D:Ream. He says:"I hope, we're beginning to treat ideas almost like we treated rock and roll - I hope so, it would be wonderful, wouldn't it, if ideas were the new rock and roll?" Producer: Corinna Jones.Listen

Julian Fellowes
Kirsty Young's castaway is the creator of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes. He won an Oscar for his screenplay for Gosford Park and went on to write other feature films including The Young Victoria and Vanity Fair. Downton Abbey, which he created and writes, has been an enormous TV success with a huge audience. "Of course" he says, "if I had a clear understanding of why it had done so well, I would continue to write shows that attracted record viewers for the rest of my life." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Eve Pollard
Kirsty Young's castaway is the journalist and former editor Eve Pollard. She was groomed for success by Rupert Murdoch, but made an editor by Robert Maxwell. Her career has spanned glossy magazines and tabloid journalism, breakfast television, biographies and novels. When she first worked on Fleet Street, she says, women were such a rarity that the male reporters didn't know what to make of her. "Any woman who has a high flying job, they don't know who to compare you to - you're not their mum, you're not their sister, you're not their wife - so they make you a sort of monster-nanny figure." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Sir Martin Sorrell
Kirsty Young's castaway is the businessman Sir Martin Sorrell. He's been called "the world's most influential ad man," and is the founder and chief executive of the world's biggest advertising agency, WPP. He was 40 when he left Saatchi and Saatchi to be his own boss, he says: "When I started off, what I wanted to do was to build a company and manage it - I wanted to be an entrepreneur and be a manager." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Bear Grylls
Kirsty Young's castaway is the adventurer Bear Grylls. His first career was with the SAS, but he was forced to leave after a parachute jump went wrong and he broke his back in three places. As he recuperated, he rekindled his childhood ambition of climbing Mount Everest - he went on to become the youngest Briton to reach its summit. His TV series, Born Survivor, has a global audience of more than a billion people who regularly watch him eating the apparently indigestible and risking his life by pitting himself against nature. Married with three young sons, he says: "The unresolved struggle in my life is the fact that I have a job that has an element of danger to it and at the same time I have a gorgeous family - three young boys that are the pride of my life." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Robert Hardy
Kirsty Young's castaway is the actor Robert Hardy. He became a household name as the vet Siegfried Farnon in the hit TV series All Creatures Great and Small and, to a younger generation, he is the Minister of Magic in the Harry Potter films. But the role he is best known for is Winston Churchill - he won a Bafta for his performance in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years. He believes actors are born rather than made and his own ambitions crystallised when, as a very young boy, he was a page boy at a wedding: "I walked down the aisle with my head held high and as I went, every eye was turned towards me and something inside me said, "That's it, get every eye on you". Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen



Anna Scher
Kirsty Young's castaway is the drama teacher Anna Scher. It's more than forty years since she set up her theatre school and it has launched the careers of Kathy Burke, Martin Kemp, Pauline Quirke and Patsy Palmer to name just a few. It started out as a lunchtime drama club - and very quickly grew. Anna Scher says: "There were enormous classes - about seventy in a class - and a lot of those pupils were non-readers and so I fell into improvisation by chance. I found that it was a very effective way of character training." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Francesca Simon
Kirsty Young's castaway is the children's author Francesca Simon. Educated at Yale and Oxford she initially thought she'd pursue an academic life - but within weeks of her son's birth, found that ideas for children's stories started flowing. She's now written twenty books featuring her creation Horrid Henry and they sell in their millions. She sees Horrid Henry as sitting within the long tradition of anarchic characters in children's literature. She says: "Everyone responds to Henry because I think everyone feels - however conventional they seem on the outside - that they are rebellious and unconventional, and Henry really taps into that." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Lord Victor Adebowale
Kirsty Young's castaway is the crossbench peer and social entrepreneur Lord Victor Adebowale. For the past decade, when not in the House of Lords, he has devoted his time to overseeing services for people who are homeless, suffer from drug or alcohol addiction and have mental health issues or learning disabilities. To many, they are the most disadvantaged people in society, but he says that's not a term he finds useful: "I find it very difficult when people use words like 'bottom of the pile' and 'disadvantaged' - you'd be amazed that the veneer that separates people who don't think they're at the bottom of the pile from people who are is quite thin." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Mark Gatiss
Kirsty Young's castaway is the writer and actor Mark Gatiss. His childhood passions have fuelled his adult creative life. As a boy he says he was drawn towards the macabre and gothic - while his teachers remarked that his school essays resembled scripts for Hammer horror films. He has written for - and acted in - Dr Who, was one of the creators of The League of Gentlemen and his re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes for a contemporary TV audience was a huge success. He says: "When I was a kid, anything supernatural drew me, I would try and find it in anything - Gardeners' Question Time - I would look for something." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Michael Johnson
Kirsty Young's castaway is the athlete Michael Johnson. He is the only person ever to hold world records in the 200 and 400 metres at the same time and, by the time he hung up his legendary gold trainers, his haul of medals included five Olympic golds. His upright running style earned him the nickname 'the duck'. He says: "They called me a really fast duck! I was ranked number one in the world - I'm so far ahead of the other people, why am I the one that's wrong?" Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Vidal Sassoon
Kirsty Young's castaway is the veteran hairdresser Vidal Sassoon. He developed the architecturally precise bobs and cropped styles that were a defining look of the 1960s. Mary Quant, Mia Farrow and Twiggy were among the glamorous clients who came to his salons in London and Beverly Hills. His scissors and ambition lifted him out of the grinding poverty of his childhood - he spent six years in an orphanage because his mother could not afford to keep him at home. Now aged 83, he says:" I've had the best adventure you could possible have, for a kid that started from nowhere." Record: Mahler's 8th Symphony Book: The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky Luxury: A dozen bottles of Vidal Sassoon hair shampoo Producer: Isabel Sargent.Listen

Anne Wood
Kirsty Young's castaway is the children's TV producer Anne Wood. Her creations - which include Teletubbies, Rosie and Jim and In the Night Garden - have delighted millions of children around the world. She says she is driven by her fascination with children's creative development - and was horrified by the critical response when Teletubbies was first screened. "I wanted to make a programme that had love in it," she says, "You'd have thought I'd started World War Three the response that happened - it's innocent fun, that's all it is." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen



Arthur Edwards
Kirsty Young's castaway is the royal photographer Arthur Edwards. He is a Fleet Street legend and, for more than thirty years, has captured the most memorable moments of the House of Windsor - from the first tentative pictures of a teenage Lady Diana Spencer to the balcony kiss at the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton. He's travelled the world, met the Pope and seen inside the Oval Office and the Kremlin - it's a life far removed from his early life in the East End of London where money was very tight and his mother saved up her wages as a cleaner to buy him his first camera. Record: Panis Angelicus Book: A photographic album with pictures of his family Luxury: An inexhaustible supply of tea and a kettle Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Martin Clunes
Kirsty Young's castaway is the actor Martin Clunes. He became a household name in the 1990s in the comedy "Men Behaving Badly" and, in the years since, has performed at The National Theatre, presented a number of natural history documentaries and become the gruff GP in the comedy drama "Doc Martin." His prominent ears are among his trademarks and he reveals that early in his career he turned down an opportunity to have them pinned back. He said: "I just didn't fancy it - maybe I hadn't noticed them". Record: Sailing - Rod Stewart Book: Puckoon by Spike Milligan Luxury: An electric guitar Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Danny Baker
Kirsty Young's castaway is the broadcaster and writer Danny Baker. He is a Sony Gold award winning broadcaster with one of the most recognisable voices on our airwaves and his numerous radio and TV shows have brought him legions of fans. As a writer, he has put words in the mouths of Jeremy Clarkson, Ricky Gervais, Chris Evans and even the legendary George Burns. Despite the successes, he says he's never plotted his next career move: "No plan - certainly no plan - you've only got to look at the incredible way this is all botched together and yet I don't feel that's somehow lucky when you look around at some of the half-wits and boss-eyed bozos who people this business - and they're running departments. All of this is an ant-hill that somebody's kicked over, and I happen to be one of the more bumptious ants." Record: I've Grown Accustomed to her Face Book: The Most of S J Perelman Luxury: My blue suede shoes Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Heather Rabbatts
Kirsty Young's castaway is the businesswoman Heather Rabbatts. Born in Jamaica and raised in Britain, her early years were unpromising and she left school with just a few O levels. But after evening classes, she studied law and became a barrister before making her name as the youngest council chief in the country. She's at home in the toughest business environments - from Millwall Football Club to the Royal Opera House - and says: "I definitely like being in charge and I've always felt that I can gather everyone's spirits and energies to take that jump into the unknown together." Record: Que Sera Sera by Corinne Bailey Rae Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Luxury: A solar powered digital photo album Producer: Isabel Sargent.Listen

Michael McIntyre
Michael McIntyre interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs. In less than five years he's gone from being an unknown stand-up with debts of more than £30,000 to become one of the most successful comedians in the business - with awards, chart topping DVDs and sell-out arena shows under his belt. He says: "I was on the circuit for years, I did get more and more in debt - it really did drag on and I just couldn't get a break. But when my chance came, I'd envisaged it so many times, I wasn't even nervous. I knew I could do it." Record: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered - Ella Fitzgerald Book: The Complete Prose of Woody Allen. Luxury: A pen Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

John Graham
Kirsty Young's castaway is the crossword compiler John Graham. Now aged 90, he works under the name Araucaria and, for more than fifty years, has infuriated, intrigued and entertained with fiendish clues and mind-twisting anagrams. Like his father and grandfather he became a vicar but, when divorce forced him to leave the church, crosswords provided an unlikely source of revenue. Of the skills needed to dream up cryptic clues, he says: "So much of it is something that goes on unconsciously. You see the word, you play with it in your mind, you don't actually think about the punters at all at that stage, you try and do it for yourself. I hope that it equips one for life in the sense that it makes one think more clearly and that can only be good." Record: Haydn - The Heavens are Telling Book: The complete works of Saki. Luxury: A telescope Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Tony Robinson
Kirsty Young's castaway is the actor and broadcaster Tony Robinson. His Baldrick to Rowan Atkinson's Blackadder turned idiocy into an art form and the series went on to become one of our best-loved comedies. The role changed his life but, he says, when he first saw the script he didn't think much of it: "It was only about eight lines of dialogue and none of them were funny - but it was with these incredible people. On the one hand, I thought what a lousy part and on the other hand I thought, I'd love to work with these people". Record: The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down - The Band Book: Middlemarch - George Eliot Luxury: A luxury bed and mattress. Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen



Dame Harriet Walter
Kirsty Young's castaway is the actress Dame Harriet Walter. She has been a stalwart of the stage for more than three decades - winning great acclaim for her work with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. Performing ran in the family - her uncle is the actor Christopher Lee and she remembers how, as a child, he would make her shriek by putting on his famous 'Mummy' walk to scare her. She turned down a place at Oxford because she knew she wanted to act - only to find that the drama schools weren't keen on her... she was turned down five times before securing a place. She says she has never thought about making clever career choices, but, in the year in which she has been made a dame, turned sixty and married for the first time, she says it has all turned out better than she ever expected. Record: My Baby Just Cares for Me - Nina Simone. Book: The complete works of Isabella Bird. Luxury: A flute Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Len Goodman
Kirsty Young's castaway is the international dance judge, Len Goodman. He became a star of Strictly Come Dancing and the US show Dancing with the Stars, after a forty year career as a ballroom dancer and judge. Born in London's east end, as a kid he was a barrow-boy, selling fruit and veg on his grandfather's stall. He went on to work on the docks as a welder. But come Saturday night he would don his best threads and head for the Embassy ballroom in Welling. He was in his sixties when he found international fame and it was, he says, perfect timing. "If it had happened when I was thirty, I'd have been one these people that would be seen rolling out of nightclubs drunk, with a couple of dolly-birds on my arm. The pilot was on my sixtieth birthday and I think it was the perfect age because I was sensible by then, my feet were planted firmly on the ground." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Andrea Levy
Kirsty Young's castaway is the writer Andrea Levy. Born in London to Jamaican parents, she has spent much of her career describing the experiences of Caribbean immigrants and cementing the role they have played in British life. Her books have found both a large and appreciative audience as well as critical success - Small Island was named Whitbread Book of the Year, while Long Song, was shortlisted for the Man-Booker Prize. Her achievements are all the more extraordinary because she says she didn't read her first novel until she was 23 years old. She says: "The reason I write is because I am exploring my heritage - and there's still a lot of that story untold." Producer: Isabel Sargent.Listen

Alfie Boe
Kirsty Young's castaway is the singer Alfie Boe. He is one of our most popular tenors and, highly unusually, is a sell-out success in both opera houses and musical theatre. The youngest of nine children, he left school to work as a mechanic - before being plucked off the shop-floor for stardom. However, while he's at home on the stage, you won't necessarily find him in the stalls: "I like good singers, I don't necessarily like one genre of music, I just like good singers, good voices and good songs," he says, adding: "I never go to the opera.... it's just not my world." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Roger Waters
Kirsty Young's castaway is the musician Roger Waters. As one of the founding members of the band Pink Floyd, he has seen huge critical and commercial success. But in 1985 he walked away from the group and years of acrimony followed. They were reunited for one final performance, twenty years later, for Live 8. It was a moment many of their fans thought they would not live to see and it was, he says, highly emotional. "We did a run through on the Friday night and it was remarkable, there were about fifty or sixty people working on the site, putting out rubbish bins or whatever it was they were doing and they all stopped and at the end they all applauded - that was a very moving moment." Record: Mahler - Symphony No.5 in C Sharp - 4th movement Book: All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy Luxury: A grand piano Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Debbie Harry
Kirsty Young's castaway is the singer Debbie Harry. Her group Blondie started out in seedy New York bars and went on to achieve international success - selling tens of millions of albums along the way. She was ultra cool - a striking beauty with platinum hair and a sneer. Now aged 65, her trademark look continues to serve her well, she says: "As far as ageing goes it's rough - I try my best - I'm healthy and I exercise like a fiend. I'm glad that I've had all the radical experiences in my life - it suits me." Record: Mahler's Symphony No.5 in C sharp Minor -4th movement Book: War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy Luxury: Paints and papers Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Kwame Kwei-Armah
Kirsty Young's castaway is the actor, director and playwright, Kwame Kwei-Armah. His creative output spans both high art and popular culture. He became a household name starring in BBC One's Casualty, but at the same time he was pursuing a career in writing and his award-winning plays have been staged at the National Theatre. He's just finished a stint as the artistic director of The World Festival of Black Arts in Senegal and his next posting is to the US, where he's taking over a theatre in Baltimore. Throughout his life, he says, he continues to be inspired by the joyful atmosphere he grew up in. "My home was so warm, so full of life and noise. Most of my theatre I call the theatre of my front room. My memory was just this citadel to love and joy." Record: Fight the Power Book: The complete works of August Wilson Luxury: A basic word processor Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen



Molly Parkin
Kirsty Young's castaway is the doyenne of bohemian living, Molly Parkin. She left the Welsh valleys to train as a fine artist in London and was a successful painter then teacher before becoming a fashion writer and novelist. She is as well known, though, for her lifestyle as her work. She adopted a hedonistic approach to life - smoking and drinking through the night and picking up numerous lovers along the way. Now aged 79 she prefers to live alone and says she has found a calmer way of living. "I have been blessed, and made it my business, to surround myself with larger than life characters," she says, "love, on a very profound level comes unexpectedly and brilliantly." Record: Good Golly Miss Molly Book: The History of the Colony by Sophie Parkin Luxury: Her entire outfit including her Andrew Logan brooch Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Prof David Phillips
Kirsty Young's castaway is the President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Professor David Phillips. His love of science has taken him on an extraordinary journey. At the height of the Cold War, he swapped a post in America for a place at the Academy of Sciences in Moscow, where he partied with the Bolshoi and was interrogated by the KGB. He is also Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at Imperial College, but, despite his eminence, he admits his students had a 'professor button' fitted onto their hi-tech lasers. It was, he explains, a knob he could twiddle while showing visitors around the lab, but it wasn't connected to the machinery and meant he didn't ruin his students' experiments. Record: The Marriage of Figaro Book: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy Luxury: A piano with music Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Cath Kidston
Kirsty Young's castaway is the designer Cath Kidston. Cheerful and practical, her products nod towards the 1950s. She began with ironing board covers but these days you can listen to a radio decorated with one of her designs, pitch one of her tents or decorate the children's bedroom with her cowboy wallpaper. In her own room as a child she used to play at keeping shop. These days her business has a turnover of more than £50 million. "I really felt, from very, very early on, I was onto something with the notion of what I was doing," she says. "I remember feeling I'd really overstepped the mark when I opened my second shop - thinking, that's probably going a stage too far." Record: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life Book: The Larousse French/English dictionary Luxury: A hot water bottle Producer: Isabel Sargent.Listen

Felicity Green
Kirsty Young's castaway is the pioneering fashion journalist Felicity Green. As hem-lines headed north in the early 60s she was hitting her stride in Fleet Street. She was the first woman on the board of a national paper and, as society changed, she kept right up with it. She introduced readers to Mary Quant, Biba and Twiggy and, on one memorable occasion, gave Harold Wilson's wife Mary a home perm. Now in her mid-80s she is still mentoring students at St Martin's College and says "I have never been fashionable - fashion needs to be followed at a very, very respectful distance. My blue-print for fashion is to be simple and stylish." Record: Chan Chan Book: Finishing the Hat by Stephen Sondheim Luxury: A bronze sculpture by Giles Penny Producer: Rachel Simpson.Listen

Terry Gilliam
Kirsty Young's castaway is the animator and director Terry Gilliam. He first planted his foot-print on our cultural landscape more than thirty years ago - back then, it was a huge, animated foot which squashed everything beneath it and became one of the defining images of Monty Python's Flying Circus. In the years since, his film credits have included Brazil, Twelve Monkeys and The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus. Now aged 70, he's directing his first opera. He says: "I've always liked the extremes, the edges. I like to know where the cliff is, but you only find out by stepping off." Record: Ein Heldenleben Book: Dictionary Luxury: A mirror Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Martin Sheen
Kirsty Young's castaway is the actor Martin Sheen. In recent years he has won great acclaim and a Golden Globe for playing the leader of the free world in the hugely successful political drama The West Wing. He's made more than a 100 movies, including Apocalypse Now, Badlands and The Departed. For him, work is often a family affair, in Wall Street he acted alongside his son Charlie Sheen and in his latest movie, The Way he was directed by another of his children - Emilio Estevez. But away from the film set, he's an activist and campaigner - he's been arrested around 70 times and is motivated, he says by faith and conscience above politics. Record: Knockin' on Heaven's Door Book: The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky. Luxury: A full set of golf clubs and a bag of golf balls. Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Dame Anne Owers
Kirsty Young's castaway is the former Chief Inspector of Prisons, Dame Anne Owers. A long-time human rights campaigner, she's spent years immersing herself in the problems of people on the margins of society. During the time she was Chief Inspector, the prison population expanded hugely. "The thing that saddened me greatly is that our prisons became better places but they also became places that soaked up a lot of money and into which we put a lot of people. My view is a lot of that money could have been better spent doing things that stopped people getting there in the first place and therefore prevented there being victims of crime." Record: Handel's Messiah Book: An Anthology of British poetry Luxury: A solar powered word processor Producer: Isabel Sargent.Listen



Lawrence Dallaglio
Kirsty Young's castaway is the former England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio. He was capped 85 times for England, played in three Lions tours and led his club side, Wasps, to the top of the premiership five times. Yet, he says, he only started playing rugby seriously after the death of his sister, Francesca. She died in the Marchioness disaster on the Thames when he was 16 and her death, he says, blew his world apart. "Losing my sister was devastating. It made me more determined to do something to bring my parents together. When I first took up rugby, I took it up not for sporting reasons, I needed something to grab onto, I needed an olive branch." Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Celia Imrie
Immediately recognisable as one of Britain's most versatile actresses she's worked in television, theatre and films over the past four decades. While she's taken roles at the Royal Shakespeare Company and in big budget films, it's her instinct for TV comedy - working alongside Victoria Wood and Julie Walters - that has made her a household name. Audiences loved the spoof soap opera Acorn Antiques and she won an Olivier Award for her role in the stage production. In the early days, though, she remembers the camera crews were unsure what was going on. "I do remember the cameramen watching what had been a very slick show up until Acorn Antiques and then just thinking, 'Why is this bit so bad? Why is the scenery swaying in the background?'" Record: Tiptoe Through the Tulips Book: The Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable Luxury: A cut glass crystal chandelier with candles Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Howard Jacobson
Kirsty Young's castaway is the writer Howard Jacobson. After many years of swiping at literary prizes, last October he walked off with the biggest one going, the Man Booker. His book, The Finkler Question, was a study of what it meant to be Jewish in England. It's a subject that has been very near to Howard Jacobson's heart. He says: "My sense of myself has always meant being on the outside. On the outside as a Jew, looking into gentile England, but also on the outside of Jewishness too. I have always felt myself to be on the outside of everything." Record: You're a Sweetheart Book: The Oxford Book of English Verse Luxury: A never ending supply of pressed shirts and trousers Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Jon Snow
Kirsty Young's castaway is the journalist Jon Snow. For the past 21 years he's been the face of Channel Four's nightly bulletins where, along with his patent enthusiasm and vigour for dissecting the day's stories, he's noted for his natty line in neckties and socks. He's a highly experienced foreign correspondent too - he's reported from Haiti, New Orleans, Washington and East Africa among many locations. However it was in El Salvador that he found his name on the list of people who might be targeted by death squads. It was, he says, something of a 'badge of honour'. "I cry on location", he says, "and it's a good thing, because otherwise you bottle it up and come home bonkers." Record: Petite Messe Solennelle Book: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin Luxury: A set of watercolours and an endless supply of paper Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Betty Driver
Kirsty Young's castaway is the veteran Coronation Street actress Betty Driver. For more than forty years she's been pulling pints and dishing up her hot-pot in the Rovers Return. But her career in showbusiness started decades before she took up residence on Britain's most famous street. She was a child when her mother put her on the stage and she toured the country with an act that showcased her stunning singing voice - it brought success but not happiness. "I did it for over twenty years," she says, "and hated every day of it." Although she has been working now for an incredible 80 years, she says: "I just love work and I will never retire. They'll have to shoot me to get rid of me!" Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Rt Hon Alex Salmond
Kirsty Young's castaway is the First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond. He has spent his political life campaigning for Scottish independence. As a schoolboy he stood in classroom elections - back then, he won on the canny ticket of half-days for all and replacing the school milk with ice-cream. He was a child when he realised he had a knack for public performance - he was a boy soprano who seemed to have a promising career ahead of him. He says: "If you can sing in front of thousands of people when you're ten or eleven then being Scottish First Minister is nothing in comparison." Record: Joe Hill sung by Paul Robeson Book: The complete works of Robert Burns Luxury: A Sand Wedge & endless golf balls for playing golf. Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Gyles Brandreth
Kirsty Young's castaway is Gyles Brandreth. A former Conservative MP, he is also a some-time actor, broadcaster and prolific writer who has authored biographies, diaries, stage plays and mysteries. Pursuing a political career has been, he says, the over-riding ambition of his life. However the happiest moment came not from politics, but when he was performing in a West End show that he had written himself. These days, his ambitions are to return to the stage and the role he wants to take on is Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. "I have no complaints" he says; "my life has been one long series of tomato and marmite sandwiches. I've always had what I wanted." Record: I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face sung by Simon Cadell Book: The Complete plays of Anton Chekhov Luxury: Michelangelo's Pietà Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen



Tony Iveson
Kirsty Young's castaway is the veteran RAF pilot Tony Iveson. Aged 21, he survived being shot down in his Spitfire over the North Sea during his first taste of combat in the Battle of Britain. Unusually for a fighter pilot, he then went on to join Bomber Command and the famous Dambusters squadron, sinking the German battleship The Tirpitz and winning a Distinguished Flying Cross. Aged 89 he returned to the skies, becoming the oldest man to fly a Lancaster bomber: "Well, I got out of that aeroplane and looked at it and it and thought how did we do it?" he says. "I know it was a long time ago and I was young and fit and a professional flier. But I thought about some of my friends who had been lost and it was an emotional experience." Record: Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor Book: A volume of Somerset Maugham's short stories Luxury: Two established vines and a tin bath to make wine Producer: Rachel Simpson.Listen

Sandie Shaw
Kirsty Young's castaway is the singer Sandie Shaw. With her melodic, velvety voice, bare feet and Sassoon bob she was the epitome of everything that was swinging about the '60s. She was just 17 when she first topped the charts with Always Something There to Remind Me and went on to become Britain's first Eurovision winner with Puppet on a String. She loathed the song at the time, but has recently come to terms with it after recording a new version which is, she says, rather forlorn. Along with the highs have been terrible lows - years that she calls her dark ages, when, without money or creative freedom, she felt hopeless. It was Buddhism that turned her fortunes around and became central to her life. Now, she says, she cannot believe the journey life has taken her on and she is preparing for a final flourish as a performer. Record: None of them! Book: Lecture on The Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life by Daisaku Ikeda Luxury: Omamori Gohonzon Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Nick Park
Kirsty Young's castaway is the Oscar-winning animator Nick Park. His most famous creations are Wallace and Gromit: Gromit the silent but wise dog; Wallace, his well meaning owner with notably less brain-power. They now hold the same place in the nation's heart at Christmas that Morcambe and Wise once occupied. They are old-fashioned and quintessentially British - as familiar as bread and butter, or hoping the rain holds off - but their appeal is international. The world they inhabit is one of Jacobs cream crackers and tea-strainers - so it's little surprise that in real life too Nick Park's own creature comforts are modest: "The thing is, I have everything I want really. I've got my little house, I've got a campervan, I love the British countryside, I'm not after yachts or things like that." Record: I Forgot that Love Existed - Van Morrison Book: A Collins Bird book Luxury: My own 'Amazing pair of binoculars' Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Sir Torquil Norman
Kirsty Young's castaway week is the aviator, inventor and arts patron, Sir Torquil Norman. He comes from a family where derring-do is in the DNA - his grandfather was a pioneering airman, his grandmother an adventurer and his father also a keen pilot. Torquil ended up in the toy trade where the skills needed were, he says, a close attention to detail combined with the outlook on life of a seven year old. He was, he admits, perfectly qualified. In retirement he set about his biggest project - he bought a disused railway engine shed and raised tens of millions of pounds to safeguard its future as a venue for performing arts and a centre for young people. Record: Nobody Knows You when You're Down and Out - Bessie Smith Book: Book by his father: Nigel Norman - Verses 1911 - 1943. Luxury: A miniature still with a little ice-making machine attached to it to make dry martinis.Listen

Frances Wood
Kirsty Young's castaway is the writer and historian Frances Wood. As head of the Chinese collection at the British Library she is the gatekeeper to some of the rarest printed texts in the world. Her life has been immersed in the language and culture of the Far East and, along the way, she's spent time learning how to throw hand-grenades, plant rice in the paddy-fields and bundle Chinese cabbages. She was in China in the final months of Mao Zedong's regime and remembers being aware of the sense of national unease: "There were the bodies that floated down the Pearl River to Hong Kong - you did get a real sense of foreboding. You did know that the whole country was on edge." Producer: Leanne Buckle Record: Don Carlos Book: A copy of Chinese dictionary Cihai, (which means Sea of Words) from the 1930s Luxury: The War Memorial outside Euston Station.Listen

Robert Harris
Kirsty Young's castaway is the best-selling writer Robert Harris. He was, apparently, a political junkie from a young age; he was just six when he wrote the essay: 'Why me and my dad don't like Sir Alec Douglas Home' and he also had an early realisation that he wanted to grow up to be a writer. His first novel - Fatherland - imagined a world after the Nazis had won World War II. It sold more than three million copies and made him a household name. "I can remember I wrote the opening sentence and I practically had to go and lie down afterwards," he said, "the possibilities of it - and the feeling that I'd finally arrived at what I wanted to do - it was overwhelming." Record: Every Day I write the book - Elvis Costello Book: Scoop by Evelyn Waugh Luxury: A nightly fragrant bath.Listen

Alice Cooper
Kirsty Young's castaway is the rock musician Alice Cooper. As a teenager he says it was British music that he tuned in to - listening to The Beatles, The Yardbirds and The Who. He realised that while rock music had many heroes, there were few villains - that was the territory he marked out for himself. He developed his trademark look - blackened eyes, straggly hair and glamorous clothes - and set about designing live shows that were gleefully gory and macabre. While critics have described him as 'the world's most beloved heavy metal entertainer', it took him a while to untangle himself from his creation. "For a long time I honestly didn't know where I began and Alice ended. My friends at the time were Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and I was trying to keep up with them. And I realised when they all died that you didn't have to be your character off stage." Record: Work Song - The Butterfield Blues Band Book: Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut Luxury: An indoor golf driving range Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen



Anna Del Conte
Kirsty Young's castaway is the cookery writer Anna Del Conte. Born to a wealthy Milanese family, she arrived in Britain in 1949 where her Italian ingenuity with food was sorely needed in a nation still facing rationing and no olive oil. Her books, starting with Portrait of Pasta in 1976, helped to change all that, and established her as a food hero for younger cooks like Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith. She has still more to teach however: whatever you do, she says, you shouldn't serve bolognese with spaghetti as it's just the wrong shape. Tagliatelle is much better. Record: Part of the duet from the first act of Otello Book: The Leopard by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa Luxury: Extra virgin olive oil.Listen

Ian McMillan
Kirsty Young's castaway is the poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan. Thirty years ago he was working in a factory gluing together tennis ball halves. Then he got a grant, chucked in his job and devoted himself to writing and performing. These days he's known as the Bard of Barnsley and his appeal stretches from the terraces of his local football club to the balcony of the London Coliseum... he is poet in residence at both Barnsley FC and the English National Opera... He still lives in the village where he was born and he considers and analyses British culture from his very particular vantage point in south Yorkshire. He says: "You can do the universal in the local, I always think. You can see all the changes that have happened all over the world in the 20th and 21st centuries in microcosm." Producer: Leanne Buckle Record: 4' 33" - John Cage Book: The Long and The Short of It: Poems 1955-2005 by Roy Fisher Luxury: A tandem bike with wooden models of his family on the front.Listen

Lang Lang
Kirsty Young's castaway is the Chinese pianist Lang Lang. He was five years old when he gave his first public recital in front of an audience of 800 people. It was a pivotal moment and from that point on it was clear where his future lay. His parents were both musical too but, during the cultural revolution, had not been able to pursue their own ambitions. Lang Lang was born under the one-child rule and so he was, he says, their only chance. Their aim was that he should become the No.1 pianist in China and in the years that followed, family life was sacrificed to that end. Still only 28 years old, he is a phenomenon in the classical music world - he played to a global audience of four and a half billion people for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics and, when he returns to China, he says he is mobbed in the streets. Producer: Leanne Buckle Record: The Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 played by Vladimir Horowitz Book: The Analects of Confucius. Luxury: Two feathered pillows.Listen

Nick Clegg
Kirsty Young's castaway is the Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg. Of his career, he says: "Joining the Liberal Party was a no brainer for me - when you're a young man, you don't get a calculator out saying 'Am I going to get to power?' you get propelled forward by idealism". Yet this week more than any other, critics have questioned whether his interest in power has meant his ideals have had to take a back seat. In this candid conversation, he describes the behind-the-scenes negotiations that underpinned the coalition and he shares the personal trauma when, after his wife and baby son had both been dangerously ill, he wondered whether a political career would place too heavy a burden on his family. Producer: Leanne Buckle Record: Schubert - Impromptu No.3 in G flat major Book: The Leopard by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa Luxury: A stash of cigarettes.Listen

Michael Mansfield
Kirsty Young's castaway is the barrister Michael Mansfield. He is one of Britain's leading QCs - the Birmingham six, the Marchioness disaster, the Stephen Lawrence trial and the death of Jean Charles de Menezes are only a handful of the high profile cases he's been involved in. He describes himself as a 'radical lawyer' and says he's been educated by the cases he's taken on. He has become, he says, increasingly angry and radical over the years. "I do feel that reputation, standing up for principle, is one of the few ways in which a difference can be made." Record: The Goons - What's the Time, Eccles? Book: The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine as his Bible: and The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz Luxury: A drum kit.Listen

Sarah Doukas
Kirsty Young's castaway is the founder of Storm model agency, Sarah Doukas. She has never, she says, had a normal career - after running away from school, she ran bric-a-brac stalls in London and Paris and then lived in America before returning to Britain. She enjoyed a stint as a model herself (her speciality, at only five feet two inches tall, was perching on car bonnets so they seemed bigger in advertising pictures). But she discovered she had a knack for spotting future talent and is best known for finding a 14 year old Kate Moss and turning her into an international star. "I'm a terrible old rocker" she says, "I always knew my life would be unconventional." Producer: Leanne Buckle Record: Mercy Mercy Me by Marvin Gaye Book: The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin Luxury: A photo album of all my family.Listen

Johnny Vegas
Kirsty Young's castaway is the entertainer Johnny Vegas. As a stand-up comic he made his name as one of the most brilliant and unpredictable acts on the circuit. His stage persona was a belligerent drunk who would heckle his own audience. But the more successful he became, the more the similarities between his own life and his stage character seemed to blur. "I found popularity through self-destruction" he says, "and that can be quite addictive". In recent years, he has cut down on his drinking, lost weight and now got engaged - all part of a plan to ensure he reached his 40th birthday and could be a proper father to his young son. "Life's actually turned around and been very good to me," he says. Producer: Leanne Buckle Record: Hurt - Johnny Cash Book: The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. Luxury: A Kiln.Listen



Sir Tom Jones
Kirsty Young's castaway is the singer Sir Tom Jones. In a career spanning fifty years he's sold 150 million albums and his hits have included It's Not Unusual, What's New Pussycat? and Delilah. As a child it was assumed he'd follow in his father's footsteps and become a miner. But he developed TB when he was twelve and doctors warned his parents against sending their only son to the pit; they said his lungs were too weak. Now aged seventy, he has no plans to retire. "Singing's like breathing to me", he says, "my voice drives me, it tells me that I have to do it". Producer: Leanne Buckle Record: A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On Book: The Rise and Fall of the British Empire -Lawrence James Luxury: A Bucket and Spade.Listen

Kathy Burke
Kirsty Young's castaway is the actor and director Kathy Burke. She became a household name for her comedy performances, working with Harry Enfield to create the characters Kevin and Perry. She won critical acclaim for serious roles and picked up the Best Actress award at Cannes for her portrayal of an abused wife in the film "Nil By Mouth". Her early life had been tumultuous - her mother died before she was two and her father was often drunk, leaving her older brother ran the family home. She was a teenager when she discovered acting and, she says, it was the saving of her. Producer: Leanne Buckle Record: Bad Romance by Lady Gaga. Book: The Complete works of Graham Linehan. Luxury: A life size laminated photo of James Caan from Dragon's Den.Listen

Lord David Cobbold
Kirsty Young's castaway on Desert Island Discs is Lord David Cobbold. He was just 32 years old when he took over the ancestral pile Knebworth House and he succeeded in turning a crumbling corner of the establishment into one of the best rock concert venues in the world. Over the past forty years, everyone from Led Zeppelin to Paul McCartney to Robbie Williams has played there. The concerts have not only allowed him to keep the house in private hands, but have also given him a front-row seat to some of the most celebrated performances in rock history. Record: Pink Floyd - Brain Damage Book: Zanoni by Edward Bulwer-Lytton Luxury: A fishing rod Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Jimmy Mulville
Kirsty Young's castaway is Jimmy Mulville. He began his life in comedy as a performer and writer but success in front of the camera clearly wasn't enough - he set up the production company Hat Trick and has turned out a huge number of hits, including "Have I Got News for You", "Father Ted" "Room 101" and "Outnumbered". But he says that for many years he was a ticking time bomb - he became addicted to drugs and alcohol and, after triumphing over them, also fought cancer. These days, he is the father to four children and says he looks back with an overwhelming sense of gratitude at how his life has unfolded. Producer: Leanne Buckle Record: In My Life - The Beatles Book: The Complete works of P G Wodehouse Luxury: A solar powered espresso machine.Listen

Lynn Barber
Kirsty Young's castaway is the interviewer Lynn Barber. A master of the profile interview, her razor-sharp observations have earned her the nickname the Demon Barber and won her a stack of awards. Although critics say her articles are hatchet jobs, she disagrees: "I think that people are well served by quite blunt or quite rude questions because it forces them to fight back and come back strongly," she says. Producer: Leanne Buckle Record: Macushla sung by John McCormack Book: The Complete F Scott Fitzgerald Luxury: A cyanide pill.Listen

Tim Robbins
Kirsty Young's castaway is the Oscar-winning actor, writer and director Tim Robbins. His film credits include The Shawshank Redemption, Dead Man Walking, The Hudsucker Proxy and Mystic River. Brought up in an artistic and creative household in New York's Greenwich Village, he was always encouraged to sing and perform. After talking politics around the dinner table as a teenager he would, on occasion, spend his evenings working the lights for the local drag act. Indeed it was on stage, rather than in front of the camera, that Tim Robbins developed his own acting style: "It gave me a discipline to still the anarchic energy I had," he says: "A rigid discipline to an emotional truth and the ability to have that at my fingertips." Producer: Leanne Buckle Record: A Case of You -Joni Mitchell Book: A Matchbook Luxury: A Surfboard.Listen

Dr Gwen Adshead
Kirsty Young's castaway is the forensic psychotherapist Dr Gwen Adshead. A consultant at Broadmoor Hospital, it is her job to try to understand the behaviour of some of the most vilified people in our society. The Victorian institution in Berkshire is home to more than two hundred men; all people who have been convicted or accused of the most dangerous violent behaviour. Her life outside work seems impossibly normal - bringing up her children, singing in a choir and gardening fill her spare time. Of her work, she says: "Other people's minds are so fascinating I can't think of anything more interesting and I can't understand why everyone isn't a psychiatrist." Producer: Leanne Buckle Record: James Taylor - Shower the People Book: Biggest book of poetry available. Luxury: Pen and paper.Listen



Dame Fanny Waterman
Kirsty Young's castaway is Dame Fanny Waterman. It was during a sleepless night, more than forty years ago, that she came up with the idea of launching a piano competition in Leeds. Since then it's become a world renowned event and been a springboard for many of our most celebrated pianists including Radu Lupu and Murray Perahia. Although she is now 90 years old, she still teaches masterclasses and continues to be involved with every detail of the competition. "They call me Field Marshal Fanny" she says, "I am a busy breeches." Record: Radu Lupu- Piano Concerto No.3 Book: The Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith Luxury: A grand piano and a stool.Listen

Tony Adams
Kirsty Young's castaway is the footballer Tony Adams. He's one of the few people who know at first hand the pressures and joys of captaining the England team. And, after signing as a schoolboy for Arsenal, he is the only man ever to have led a championship winning team across three decades. The drama and successes of his life have been as remarkable off the pitch as on it. He found sporting glory despite being an alcoholic and even served time in prison for drink-driving. But his journey of recovery has been a remarkable one. He went back to studying, developed a love of literature and the arts and put his own money into a charity to support other sports men and women recovering from addiction. It's a transformation that his former team-mates have described as 'heroic'. Now, he is heading to Azerbaijan to become a manager, he is planning, he says, to build the Tony Adams team. Record: Monty Python's Always Look on the Bright Side of Life Book: The book of Alcoholics Anonymous Luxury: Football.Listen

Lewis Gilbert
Kirsty Young's castaway is the film director Lewis Gilbert. His career started in the 1920s when he was a child actor in silent movies. Over the next seven decades, he went on to direct Hollywood blockbusters as well as landmark British films. His directing credits include Reach for the Skies, Alfie, Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine - as well as three Bond films. Depite his numerous successes, though, he remains haunted by the film he didn't make: he spent years working with Lionel Bart and planning how Oliver! might look... only for the project to slip through his fingers. Record: I'll String Along with You Book: A book of poems Luxury: A football Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Frank Skinner
Kirsty Young's castaway is the comedian Frank Skinner. As a football-obsessed comic whose stand-up routines were peppered with details of his personal life, he became the poster-boy for the 'Loaded' generation. Beneath the surface, though, he seems to be full of contradictions. He was expelled from school when he was a teenager - but went on to gain a masters degree; he has long been obsessed with Elvis Presley - but now says he feels a tingle when he goes to the opera. Although he had long enjoyed entertaining his friends, he was 30 before he realised where his future lay. "I was an unemployed drunk going nowhere," he says, "And then comedy turned up. Comedy saved my life" Record: The Fall Book: Teach yourself French Luxury: A ukulele.Listen

Gyorgy Pauk
Kirsty Young's castaway is the violinist Gyorgy Pauk. In a career spanning fifty years, he has played with all the best orchestras and continues to teach masterclasses around the world. He grew up in Hungary and, after both his parents were taken to labour camps, he was brought up by his grandmother. His parents died during the war and it was, says Gyorgy, a miracle that he and his grandmother survived in the Budapest ghetto. For years afterwards, he says, he would carry food with him because he was so scarred by the hunger he'd felt. His musical talent was his passport to the West and, when he was 22 years old, he fled first to France, then to Holland and finally to Britain where he has lived for nearly fifty years. Of his early years, he says: "There were times when you were punished if you were listening to the radio. That's when it started to get to me - realising that I was not free. Music is international, it has to be worldwide." Record: Bach's Andante from the Second Sonata in A Minor Book: How To Be An Alien by George Mikes Luxury: A N'espresso machine Producer: Leanne Buckle.Listen

Dame Stephanie Shirley
Entrepreneur Dame Stephanie Shirley joins Kirsty Young on Desert Island Discs. As a child, she escaped Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport - travelling across Europe for two days in a train with a thousand children and just two adults. She went on to set up a computer programming company which made her a millionaire many times over. But she has given away most of her fortune and now is an ambassador for philanthropy. Her determination throughout it all, she says, has been to prove that hers was a life worth saving. Record: Mozart- Sonata in C, K. 545 Book: AA Milne - Winnie The Pooh Luxury: Mother and Child by Henry Moore.Listen

Rob Brydon
The comedian and actor Rob Brydon joins Kirsty Young on Desert Island Discs. Growing up in Port Talbot, South Wales, he discovered performing when he was a teenager and says he came alive when he was on stage: so much so that he left school with only a couple of O Levels. For years, he made a comfortable but unfulfilling living recording voice-overs and working on a television shopping channel. He always dreamed of working in comedy, though, and eventually it was 'Marion and Geoff' and then 'Gavin and Stacey' that made him a household name. Record: Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen Book: Collected works of Dylan Thomas Luxury: A guitar.Listen



Fay Weldon
The writer Fay Weldon joins Kirsty Young to choose her Desert Island Discs. The author of dozens of novels, essays and radio and TV dramas, she says she spends so much time inventing characters and storylines that the distinction between fact and fiction has become blurred. As a child, Fay Weldon believed she had a second sight - seeing people who weren't there and hearing voices that no-one else could hear. As an adult, her perceptive nature has served her well too and she says: "I think I know what goes on in other people's heads - more than most people do." Record: Rockin' My Life Away -Jerry Lee Lewis Book: Kennedy's Latin Primer Luxury: A shotgun.Listen

Emma Thompson
Kirsty Young's castaway is Emma Thompson. Sense and Sensibility, The Remains of the Day, Much Ado About Nothing and Howards End are just a handful of her notable screen credits in a dazzling career that has seen her pick up Oscars for both acting and writing. She appears to have pulled off that rare trick of being both a star and one of us - she famously keeps her brace of Oscars in the downstairs loo, still lives across the road from her mum and holidays in a cottage in Scotland where, she says, she and her husband spend a third of the year 'digging in like a pair of old potatoes.' Record: Corarsik Book: Homer's Odyssey Luxury: A saucepan - heavy bottomed with a removable handle.Listen

Frank Cottrell-Boyce
Kirsty Young's castaway is the writer Frank Cottrell Boyce. His film credits include Hilary and Jackie, Welcome to Sarajevo and 24 Hour Party People. He's also written TV soaps, radio and stage plays and children's novels. These days children are his main audience and, as a father of seven himself, he should know what they want. He not only tests his ideas on them, but they keep him focused: 'I need them in the house to make sure I'm not watching telly, or having a four-hour bath - the fact that they're there makes me work.' Record: Miserere by Allegri Book: The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin Luxury: A ferris wheel.Listen

Duncan Bannatyne
Kirsty Young's castaway is entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne. He made his name appearing on the TV show Dragons' Den as a no-nonsense investor with an eye for the bottom line. He made his fortune in nursing homes, health clubs and hotels. Quite something, given that aged 30 he was a deck chair attendant who had been thrown out of the Royal Navy for attempting to throw his commanding officer overboard. He says, 'When you've got a criminal record, no qualifications, no references, the best option is starting your own business - because no one can stop you.' Record: Love Changes Everything Book: The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follet Luxury: A pillow.Listen

Maggie Aderin-Pocock
Kirsty Young's castaway is space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock. She has, she says, a special relationship with the moon, one that started when she first saw The Clangers as a small child. As a teenager she made her own telescope so she could study the moon more closely. Now she makes highly technical optical equipment for satellites, but says she still harbours desires to go into space - her dream job is building a telescope on the moon. She says: 'From the age of three, I wanted to get into space and I still do. It's been the driving force of my life really, that desire to get out there one day.' Record: As by Stevie Wonder Book: Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon Luxury: A telescope.Listen

June Spencer
Kirsty Young's castaway is actress June Spencer. She is one of the best-loved matriarchs in broadcasting. As Peggy Woolley in The Archers, she's the only original member of the cast still in the show. It's 60 years this spring since the pilot episodes were first broadcast and, although she is now aged 90, June has no plans to retire. She says, 'It's a great bonus for me that The Archers has run as long as it has, and I've gone along with it.' Record: Concierto de Aranjuez played by John Williams Book: Three Men in a Boat, by Jerome K Jerome Luxury: A Scrabble board.Listen

Sir Clive Woodward
Kirsty Young's castaway is the former England rugby coach Sir Clive Woodward. He took England to World Cup glory in 2003, becoming the first ever northern hemisphere side to win the trophy. He well understands the pressure and the glory of top-flight sport, which is just as well, as he's now Director of Elite Performance for Team GB's 2012 Olympic effort. He says, 'It is the coach's job to refuse to compromise. If you do, you will come second'. Record: Take That, Greatest Day Book: Dave Pelz, Short Game of Golf Luxury: Sand wedge and golf ball.Listen



Henry Blofeld
This week Sue Lawley's castaway is the cricket commentator Henry Blofeld. Blofeld's become known as much for his musings on pigeons, planes, double decker buses, tea ladies, cakes and his catchphrase 'my dear old thing' as he is for his cricket commentary. As a teenager he showed great promise as a cricketer and was even thought good enough to play for England until his dreams were dashed after a serious accident when his bike hit a bus. He dropped out of Cambridge and toyed with the idea of a career in merchant banking before realising his true vocation. Advised in his early years to 'paint a picture' for his listeners, 'Blowers' has since gone on to become a much-loved stalwart of the Test Match Special team. [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs] Favourite track: Cricket commentary by Brian Johnston, Jonathan Agnew, John Arlott Book: A Pelican at Blandings by P G Wodehouse Luxury: Personal photo album Listen

Colin Montgomerie
Sue Lawley's guest this week is Colin Montgomerie. One of the biggest earners in the history of golf, he's ranked number three in the world. Despite having a natural talent for the game, he'd never expected to play it professionally. Having applied for a job with a sports management company, his interview took place on the golf course. He played so well that the company persuaded him to become one of their stars. [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs] Favourite track: Sailing by Rod Stewart Book: Any book by Michael CrichtonListen

John Peel
The castaway in this week's Desert Island Discs is Radio 1 disc jockey John Peel. For over 20 years the guru of pop fans, he'll be talking to Sue Lawley about his life at public school, his work as a DJ in the States in the early 1960s, his family, his passion for Liverpool Football Club and, of course, his lifelong passion for pop music. [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs] Favourite track: Teenage Kicks by The Undertones Book: Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell Luxury: FootballListen

Kenneth Williams
The castaway this week is Kenneth Williams who, for 40 years, has occupied a unique place on stage, screen and radio. In conversation with Michael Parkinson, he recalls his long career which has ranged from working on radio classics like Hancock's Half Hour and Round the Horne to being a regular member of the cast in the Carry On films. [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs] Favourite track: 1st Movement from Spring Sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven Book: The Golden Treasury by Francis Palgrave Luxury: Crate of CologneListen

Clive James
Roy Plomley's castaway is broadcaster and writer Clive James. Favourite track: Baby Love by Diana Ross and The Supremes Book: Book about how to build a plane out of palm fronds and coconut fibre by Willy Messerschmitt Luxury: Space invadersListen

Lauren Bacall
Roy Plomley's castaway is actress Lauren Bacall. Favourite track: My Mistress' Eyes (Sonnet 130) by William Shakespeare Book: Collected Short Stories by John Cheever Luxury: Sun tan lotionListen

Jacqueline Du Pre
Roy Plomley's castaway is cellist Jacqueline Du Pré. Favourite track: Piano Quintet In A Major by Franz Schubert Book: Thesaurus by Roget Luxury: Pencils and paperListen





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