Desert Island Discs: Archive 2005-2011

Desert Island Discs: Archive 2005-2011

United Kingdom

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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