Desert Island Discs
Does anyone else love Desert Island Discs?
Each week a guest, called a "castaway" during the program, is asked to choose eight recordings, a book, and a luxury item that they would take if they were to be cast away on a desert island, whilst discussing their life and the reasons for their choices.
Roy Plomley was the host from 1942-1985; Michael Parkinsons 1985-1988; Sue Lawley 1988-2006; Kristy Young 2006-2018; Lauren Laverne 2018- present.
Who is your favorite host? Favorite guests? Do you think DID has been consistent in programming or has gown downhill like most shows.
|by Anonymous||reply 93||July 4, 2023 7:16 PM
Loved Sue Lawley and Kirsty Young, but can’t stand Lauren Laverne’s voice. I barely ever listen any more because it’s so grating.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||September 16, 2022 6:22 PM
I never miss it. I’ve listened to it all my life.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||September 16, 2022 6:23 PM
I enjoy it, OP. Then again I faithfully vote in Classic FM polls every year so it is very much my demographic.
It’s fun to hear what songs are selected by politicians because it is obviously selected by a committee of advisors. 5 classical selections, often containing The Lark Ascending or the duet from the Pearl Fishers, one rock song from their youth, one jazz standard and one quirky family favourite, like George Formby, a Christmas carol or something by Willie Nelson.
I read somewhere that the luxury item is most commonly a bed or sleeping pills. Can’t argue with that.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||September 16, 2022 6:23 PM
I like both Roy Plomley and Sue Lawley equally for different reasons.
Plomely was the old guard. His interviews with John Gielgud, James Mason, Alec Guinness, etc. are delightful. His interview of American actors Christopher Reeve, Lauren Bacall, and Jimmy Stewart are fun. He evens interviewed Princess Margaret.
Lawley does not hold back. She is great interviewer. Listen to her ask Lady Diana Mosley about her Holocaust denial is spectacular. Lawley talked to Richard Dreyfuss about his blame game, Britt Ekland on her being man hungry, American actress Kathleen Turner on her disease, and many more great episodes.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||September 16, 2022 6:24 PM
Roy Plomley interviewing Gregory Peck is lovely.
Granted, I really want to fuck Gregory Peck
|by Anonymous||reply 5||September 16, 2022 6:27 PM
I didn’t like Sue Lawley. She always sounded annoyed with the guests. Kirsty Young was my favourite presenter, but I think Lauren Laverne is not far behind her.
The archive on BBC iPlayer is fascinating as as it goes back so many years.
|by Anonymous||reply 7||September 16, 2022 6:29 PM
Of course, no such thing exists in the USA. I'm sure I'd watch it if it did.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||September 16, 2022 6:32 PM
R4 - what did Richard Dreyfus say?
|by Anonymous||reply 9||September 16, 2022 6:32 PM
R7 Sue Lawley was not annoyed. She asked tough questions that got to the heart of issues.
Her interview with Jeremy Irons is a lot of fun. Especially when he mentions that Claus von Bulow was curious if he was going to play Leona Helmsley since Dershowitz represented her too.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||September 16, 2022 6:33 PM
R8 You can listen on Apple Podcasts or on the links I have picked. I'm American and listen.
R9 You will have to listen for yourself. It is pretentious as hell though. He uses the term "preponderance of history."
|by Anonymous||reply 11||September 16, 2022 6:34 PM
The classiest episode of all time. Roy Plomley interviews Mr. James Mason.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||September 16, 2022 6:41 PM
Here is Sue Lawley interviewing Lady Diana Mosley
|by Anonymous||reply 14||September 16, 2022 6:42 PM
American actress of Kathleen Turner
|by Anonymous||reply 15||September 16, 2022 6:43 PM
American actor Christopher Reeve, appearing in the new film, "The Bostonians."
|by Anonymous||reply 16||September 16, 2022 6:46 PM
I listen to a lot of Radio 4 programmes. I especially like In Our Time and Great Lives. I listen to Today every morning. I have never been able to listen to The Archers for more than a few minutes as the acting is dreadful and the storylines are twee. I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue and the News Quiz are big favourites, but much of the other comedy is shite.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||September 16, 2022 7:04 PM
I just listened to Richard Dreyfus. I excepted much worse, TBH.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||September 16, 2022 7:21 PM
R18 What were your thoughts? He had some good musical selections like Beethoven's 6th and the violin concerto. He is pretentious sounding and blames others though.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||September 16, 2022 7:43 PM
Emma Thompson's Desert Island Disc
|by Anonymous||reply 20||September 16, 2022 8:31 PM
Yes! I adore Desert Island Discs! On Spotify they have their entire archives available.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||September 16, 2022 8:41 PM
Episodes I’ve listened to lately and loved: Jennifer Saunders, Pete Waterman, Omar Sharif, Tennessee Williams, Joanna Lumley, Shirley MacLaine, Paul McCartney, David Gilmour, John Schlesinger, Jeremy Irons. So many to choose from and I’ve discovered lots of music I’d never heard of before and liked.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||September 16, 2022 8:46 PM
Betty Bacall had some good selections. She is very wry and witty, too!
|by Anonymous||reply 24||September 16, 2022 8:49 PM
R24 yes and I bought a John Cheever short story collection based on her suggestion and I was not disappointed
|by Anonymous||reply 25||September 16, 2022 9:10 PM
There are 2 types of guests on DID.
The first type pick 8 song they love and can’t bear to be without. These are more authentic to me.
The other type pick songs that remind them of things in their life and are presented almost in a chronological order. ‘And then my mum died. My mum always loved this song. And then I got married and we danced to this song at our wedding’.
The politician interviews are a real test of sincerity. If a politician is able to talk about why they love a particular song and what it means to them then you know if they’re a liar or trustworthy..
It was clear that Ed Miliband was a wrong un by the choices he made.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||September 16, 2022 9:34 PM
Also Sue Lawley is a cunt. She clearly loathed some of her interviewees. She was such a snob to Nigel Slater going on about the size of his house.
Kirsty Young was great and Lauren Laverne has learned to listen.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||September 16, 2022 9:37 PM
R27 who else? I have never felt she was snooty or loathing the interviewee.
I do judge some people by the songs they pick. At least have one or two classical selections. Have some class.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||September 16, 2022 10:20 PM
R25 seriously though, I never heard of Brahms violin concerto until her DID, so at least one thing is nice.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||September 16, 2022 10:22 PM
DID is not afraid of getting high ranking politicians:
Sir James Callaghan
|by Anonymous||reply 30||September 16, 2022 10:27 PM
They have the most BORING people in the world on most of the time, I mean, just browsing the list >
Ellie Simmonds, swimmer
Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the TUC
Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Unaids
Oti Mabuse, dancer
John Caudwell, businessman
Carl Hester, dressage rider
Tom Ilube, entrepreneur
|by Anonymous||reply 32||September 17, 2022 4:49 AM
here's another I can't wait to listen to
Kate Ewart-Biggs, Deputy Chief Executive, British Council
|by Anonymous||reply 33||September 17, 2022 4:51 AM
Oti Mabuse is one of the most famous women in the UK right now.
And her song choices were incredible.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||September 17, 2022 6:09 AM
[quote][R27] who else? I have never felt she was snooty or loathing the interviewee.
From memory AA Gill found her quite offensive. I find Lawley very hard to listen to.
Her TV interviews are also infamous. She was awful to Christine Keeler and fatshamed Pauline Collins when she was promoting Shirley Valentine.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||September 17, 2022 6:47 AM
Anyone got the link to Maggie Thatcher's?
R35 Shirley Valentine is one of my favourite movies! Sorry if she was rude to Pauline
|by Anonymous||reply 36||September 17, 2022 7:01 AM
I too disliked Lawley. She so obviously had her favourites. She was all over Jack Lemmon, for instance; but found the need to press Gordon Brown again and again about his sexuality. Not the time or the place to come on like an ambitious tabloid hack. When she left a radio critic wrote, 'She won't be missed', and nor was she. Kirsty Young was a great improvement.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||September 17, 2022 7:02 AM
[quote][R35] Shirley Valentine is one of my favourite movies! Sorry if she was rude to Pauline
French and Saunders did a sketch based on the Pauline interview.
Lawley mocked Pauline because of the brief topless seen in Shirley, when Pauline was both OLD (late 40s) and OBESE (normal weight) and should have spent the film dressed in a poncho.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||September 17, 2022 7:30 AM
Lawley was a bitch. I remember her interviewing Christine Keller (of Profumo scandal fame) when they made a film about it, 25 years after the event and she was snooty and dismissive of her on live TV.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||September 17, 2022 7:34 AM
I don’t like the noise of spittle slicking about in Lawley’s mouths.
[quote] Her TV interviews are also infamous. She was awful to Christine Keeler and fatshamed Pauline Collins when she was promoting Shirley Valentine.
It’s a very 1970s1990s style of journalism, very Barbara Walters and Jeremy Paxman trying to wheedle a reaction with mock incredulity, cod psychology and a zinger. In a conversation style interview like DID, as a listener, it is discomforting listening TBH.
Sure, Richard Dreyfuss is your classic selfish addict and low-self-esteem luvvie, but he came off as almost gracious by joking away her diagnoses.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||September 17, 2022 9:43 AM
[quote] Lawley mocked Pauline because of the brief topless seen in Shirley, when Pauline was both OLD (late 40s) and OBESE (normal weight) and should have spent the film dressed in a poncho.
Did she… not realise the POINT of Shirley Valentine?
|by Anonymous||reply 41||September 17, 2022 9:45 AM
Just looked on Twitter to see if anyone had ever commented about the Pauline Collins interview and there was this tweet.
PEOPLE HATE YOU, SUE LAWLEY, THEY HATE YOU!
|by Anonymous||reply 42||September 17, 2022 10:44 AM
I need to listen to Kenny Everett now
[quote]Basically, before Everett even had a chance to speak, Lawley said something along the lines of "He's got the HIV virus", and launched straight into her first question which was, "In fact, Kenny you've had the virus for some time now". Kenny's reply was "Yes, that's right, Sue. [To listeners] Hello, by the way". He was dead 18 months later.
[quote]Lawley didn't clock her insensitivity though - her second question was 'Whenever you get a cold, do you always think 'this time it might be fully-blown AIDS'?'. Horrible woman.
And Hugh Laurie
[quote]Lawley's worst moment? The Kenny Everett intro must be up there, but I'd like to select Hugh Laurie (1996) getting audibly fucked off by being persistently asked about "what Stephen must have been feeling like in Belgium". Really rude. You can hear the snap when he switches from a friendly but cautious "You'd have to get him in this room really" to essentially "I can't speak for him". On hearing that, I'd like to think a nation cheered.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||September 17, 2022 10:50 AM
Also quite funny about DID is that during his tenure as leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn was never invited on. Diane Abbott had appeared in 2008 but Corbyn was never invited on.
When Keir Starmer was invited on in November 2020 Corbyn and his supporters were FURIOUS, they were SEETHING so they arranged a "Castaway with Corbyn" event a few days after Starmer's episode aired where Corbyn picked 10 songs to be castaway with. Starmer came across very well but the Grenfell Fire track was an awful choice.
And to make matters worse the following week it was Arsene Wenger - Starmer and Corbyn both support Arsenal. Wenger was one of the worse interviewees, it coincided with the publication of his book he was promoting and it was clear he has no interest in music. Imagine by John Lennon?? FUCK OFF.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||September 17, 2022 11:01 AM
Love that Sahdie Shaw picked 2 of her own songs.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||September 17, 2022 11:30 AM
[quote]Love that Sahdie Shaw picked 2 of her own songs.
Blimey! DL's gone very Anglo today,
|by Anonymous||reply 46||September 17, 2022 12:32 PM
R36 Attached. You can Google "X Desert Island Disc" and it will show up.
|by Anonymous||reply 47||September 17, 2022 2:02 PM
Ohhhh, so Sue Lawley was the woman behind the “I was pooped!” interview with Karen Carpenter?
|by Anonymous||reply 48||September 17, 2022 3:12 PM
Sondheim did DID twice, the second time with pariah Lawley. As I recall, she didn't dare go for the jugular with God. He chose three of his own works!
|by Anonymous||reply 50||September 17, 2022 3:26 PM
[quote]Ohhhh, so Sue Lawley was the woman behind the “I was pooped!” interview with Karen Carpenter?
Sue Lawley interviewed The Carpenters in 1981 - Lawley askes Karen at 1 minute in if she's had anorexia and Karen replies "I was pooped".
|by Anonymous||reply 51||September 17, 2022 3:52 PM
R51 I don't see the issue?
Lawley heard rumors and was curious if it was true. She is a reporter lol
|by Anonymous||reply 52||September 17, 2022 3:56 PM
[quote]I don’t see the issue?
|by Anonymous||reply 53||September 17, 2022 4:30 PM
Anyway, MY desert island discs, should anyone care are:
1. Pet Shop Boys: Left To My Own Devices (Introspective album version)
2. Neneh Cherry: Buffalo Stance
3. Kylie Minogue: Step Back In Time
4. The Bangles: Ride The Ride
5. Prefab Sprout: We Let The Stars Go
6. Kirsty MacColl: Soho Square
7. Girls Aloud: Untouchable
8. Belinda Carlisle: Circle In The Sand
I CHOOSE MY CHOICE. I CHOSE MY CHOICES, OKAY?
|by Anonymous||reply 54||September 17, 2022 4:52 PM
WOW! that's the gayest selection of songs I've ever seen - you're obviously proud of.
|by Anonymous||reply 55||September 17, 2022 5:05 PM
1. Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto
2. Amarillo by Morning by George Straight (I'm a Texan, so it would make me think of home).
3. Brahms' Piano Concerto No 1
4. Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No 1
5. Wagner's Tannhauser Overture
6. Un bel de from Madama Butterfly, sung my Leontyne Price
7. Beethoven's Ninth Symphony
8. Mahler's Fifth Symphony
Book: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Luxury: endless case of Bordeaux
|by Anonymous||reply 56||September 17, 2022 5:56 PM
What are your Desert Island Discs?
|by Anonymous||reply 57||September 18, 2022 2:24 PM
DIDs isn't just a list your fave songs or music, it's the songs of your life....they need to tell a story. You start in childhood....
|by Anonymous||reply 58||September 18, 2022 3:40 PM
[quote]DIDs isn't just a list your fave songs or music, it's the songs of your life....they need to tell a story. You start in childhood....
The point of the show is that you're stuck on a desert island for however long, so what are the 8 songs you have to take with you.
The people who pick songs that remind them of events in their life have misunderstood the brief. You picked Donna Summer's Hot Stuff because it reminds you of your mother crying as she washed the blood out of her hair after your dad had punched her because the mashed potatoes were lumpy. Why the fuck would you want that memory on a desert island?
|by Anonymous||reply 59||September 18, 2022 4:00 PM
[quote]The people who pick songs that remind them of events in their life have misunderstood the brief.
No. YOU're not getting it.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||September 18, 2022 4:03 PM
I chose eight songs/pieces I love and would never get tired of. For example, I can find something new in Tchaikovsky that Donna Summer could not offer me.
|by Anonymous||reply 61||September 18, 2022 4:08 PM
Typical DL. We cannot have a nice conversation about Desert Island Discs and the songs/pieces you would pick WITHOUT someone wanting to fucking argue .
|by Anonymous||reply 62||September 18, 2022 4:10 PM
^ you mean NOT agree with YOU.
|by Anonymous||reply 63||September 18, 2022 4:18 PM
R63 See. There we go arguing again
|by Anonymous||reply 64||September 18, 2022 4:27 PM
Others post their eight songs, book, and luxury. Let's keep this thread going
|by Anonymous||reply 65||September 18, 2022 6:12 PM
R58, that’s a different show, Private Passions on Radio 3 which is more of a biographical conversation punctuated by type music that informed the subject’s life at various points. It’s less of the interrogatory quality of DID and is often more personal.
And then there is the much shorter Inheritance Tracks, in which subjects pick two pieces: one song they “inherited” in their youth, and one they want to pass on to the next generation.
I’m not British BTW, I listen to these through the Apple podcasts app.
|by Anonymous||reply 66||September 18, 2022 7:45 PM
I like how DID keeps a distance. Roy Plomley didn't give a damn with who you slept with. He wanted to discuss your career, politics, history, science, good music, and literature all over a good laugh and a whiskey.
|by Anonymous||reply 68||September 18, 2022 8:37 PM
[quote][R58], that’s a different show, Private Passions on Radio 3 which is more of a biographical conversation punctuated by type music that informed the subject’s life at various points. It’s less of the interrogatory quality of DID and is often more personal.
[quote]And then there is the much shorter Inheritance Tracks, in which subjects pick two pieces: one song they “inherited” in their youth, and one they want to pass on to the next generation.
There's also a show called Tracks Of My Years where people pick songs that they associate with a specific time of their lives.
|by Anonymous||reply 69||September 19, 2022 7:10 AM
George Henry Hubert Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood, KBE, AM (7 February 1923 – 11 July 2011) was a really good episode. The Earl talked about WWII and The British Royal Family. The Earl is George V's eldest grandchild and one of the first in the QEII's near family to get a divorce. He made his career in opera so his music selections were interesting.
Footnote: His eldest son, David Lascelles, 8th Earl of Harewood, was the Executive Producer for Inspector Morse for two years 1990-1991.
|by Anonymous||reply 70||September 19, 2022 3:20 PM
Gordon Ramsay's DID. Interesting musical selections. Very 1980's and 1990's.
|by Anonymous||reply 71||January 22, 2023 3:41 PM
Sir Christopher Lee's DID is a real treat. So classy and witty. LOVE his opera selections and stories
|by Anonymous||reply 72||January 22, 2023 3:42 PM
a friend who used to work f9r the BBC said Sue Lawley was notorious fo9r basically dragging workmen and junior staff into the loos to have sex with her. 'Fuck me till I fart!' was allegedly heard down the corridor on one occasion.
|by Anonymous||reply 74||January 22, 2023 5:27 PM
just reporting what I was told, R75. However an episode of the newsroom comedy series Drop the Dead Donkey did feature a scene supposedly derived from the story (not with the quote, though with the cubicle sex).
|by Anonymous||reply 76||January 22, 2023 7:19 PM
Please share other favorite episodes
|by Anonymous||reply 77||February 1, 2023 6:39 AM
Graham Norton on DID. This is a fun episode
|by Anonymous||reply 79||May 1, 2023 10:30 PM
Joanna Lumley's second episode of DID is my favorite. A mix of high and low brow, from Turandot to George Michael.
|by Anonymous||reply 82||May 2, 2023 3:56 PM
Mel Brooks has the stoic Roy Plomley in stitches the entire time. Mel also comes off as intelligent and cultured, which he is.
|by Anonymous||reply 84||May 11, 2023 3:35 PM
Today's episode with Stanley Tucci is very good.
|by Anonymous||reply 85||July 2, 2023 8:04 PM
Stanley Tucci was the guest this week.
|by Anonymous||reply 86||July 2, 2023 8:09 PM
So many wonderful episodes, but Tennessee Williams (already mentioned above) was one of my favorites.
|by Anonymous||reply 87||July 2, 2023 8:13 PM
I guess R86 has blocked me!
|by Anonymous||reply 88||July 2, 2023 8:15 PM
I love the episodes with people who have led extraordinary lives, but who remained happily anonymous. Desert Island Discs introduced me to Eric Brown, whose life events are too many to fit into the programme. The BBC actually made another programme to record his memories as a pilot in The Fleet Air Arm, holding 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 to survive a German U-boat bombing.
He attended the Berlin Olympics in 1936, was at the liberation of the Belsen concentration camp, met George VI, interrogated Goering after the war, failed to recognise Neil Armstrong and went on to form a close friendship with him.
|by Anonymous||reply 89||July 2, 2023 8:39 PM
The Hon. Margaret Rhodes, cousin to the late Queen, worked for MI6 during WWII and lived at Buckingham Palace. She somehow ended up sitting out a military coup in Bhutan/Nepal in the company of Ms Shirley Maclaine…
|by Anonymous||reply 90||July 2, 2023 8:45 PM
Mama lived Deshert Island Dishcs!
|by Anonymous||reply 91||July 2, 2023 8:49 PM
Scotland here. A question for US listeners to Radio 4:
Which programmes do you enjoy, and why?
|by Anonymous||reply 92||July 4, 2023 5:26 PM
Princess Margaret, my favorite guest of all time.
She was so Princess Margaret-y that I can't take it Unintentionally hilarious.
|by Anonymous||reply 93||July 4, 2023 7:16 PM