Episodit

  • Lea Salonga was just 18 when she became an international theatre star, taking a leading role in the world premiere production of the musical Miss Saigon in 1989. Her performance - first in London, then on Broadway - won her Olivier and Tony awards. She has provided the singing voice for two Disney princesses, and has become a strong advocate for better Asian representation on stage and screen. She was born in Manila in the Philippines, where she made her professional stage debut in 1978 at the age of seven in a production of The King and I. Further roles in musicals followed, and she recorded a best-selling solo album when she was 10.

    Lea planned to become a doctor before she was invited to audition for Miss Saigon, and her immediate success launched a performing career in which she has made history many times. She was the first Asian woman to win a Tony for an acting role, the first Asian actor to star in Les Misérables, the first Filipino artist to sign a record deal with an international label and the first person to voice two different Disney princesses - Mulan and Jasmine in Aladdin, in which she sang A Whole New World, which won the Oscar for Best Original Song. She has appeared in numerous international stage productions, as well as television shows, films and singing tours.

    Earlier this year she starred in and made her debut as a producer on the musical Here Lies Love on Broadway: written by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, it focuses on the life of Imelda Marcos, wife of Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

    In September, Lea returned to the London Stage in 'Old Friends' , a musical tribute to Stephen Sondheim.

    She has performed for six Filipino and four American presidents.

    DISC ONE: Feed The Birds (Tuppence a Bag) - Julie Andrews, The Disney Studio ChorusDISC TWO: Days and Days -Judy KuhnDISC THREE: Billie Jean - Michael JacksonDISC FOUR: Tsismis - Ryan CayabyabDISC FIVE: Gymnopédie No. 1. Composed by Erik Satie and performed by Philippe EntremontDISC SIX: Intro: Singularity - BTSDISC SEVEN: Baby Mine - Betty Noyes DISC EIGHT: Snooze - Agust D ft. Ryuichi Sakamoto & WOOSUNG

    BOOK CHOICE: The Complete Far Side by Gary LarsonLUXURY ITEM: A typewriter CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Snooze - Agust D ft. Ryuichi Sakamoto & WOOSUNG

    Presenter Lauren LaverneProducer Sarah Taylor

  • Professor Dame Lesley Regan is the Government’s first Women’s Health Ambassador for England. She is one of the main drivers behind the upcoming Women’s Health Strategy which aims to tackle the gender health gap and improve services for women.

    As a former president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists – only the second woman to hold that post in its 94-year history – she shone a light on historically taboo subjects from period problems and contraception to the menopause.

    Lesley was born in London in 1956. When she was seven she told her father that she wanted to be a doctor and although the sciences weren’t her strongest subjects at school, she won a place at the Royal Free Hospital Medical School in London in 1975.

    In 1991 she was appointed a senior lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at St Mary’s Hospital in London and consultant at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. The following year she set up the Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic at St Mary’s which is the largest miscarriage referral service in the world.

    In 2020 she was appointed a DBE for services to women’s healthcare.

    DISC ONE: Mr Bojangles – Nina Simone DISC TWO: Symphony No. 5 in C Sharp. Composed by Mahler and performed by Berliner Philharmoniker DISC THREE: Agnus Dei. Composed by Bach and performed by Iestyn Davies, (counter-tenor), The English Consort, conducted by Harry BicketDISC FOUR: I Cried for You - Katie MeluaDISC FIVE: Norma: Act I, Scene 1: Casta diva (Norma/Coro) Composed by Vincenzo Bellini and performed by Maria Callas (soprano), The Teatro Alla Scala Orchestra, conducted by Tullio Serafin DISC SIX: The Best – Tina Turner DISC SEVEN: Metamorpheme – Shakespeare and the BibleDISC EIGHT: Clarinet Concerto In A, K. 622 - II. Adagio. Composed by Mozart and performed by Karl Leister (clarinet) and Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Herbert Von Karajan

    BOOK CHOICE: The Works of George EliotLUXURY ITEM: Marmite on toastCASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: The Best – Tina Turner

    Presenter Lauren LaverneProducer Paula McGinley

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  • Patrick Grant is a designer, clothing entrepreneur and a judge on the BBC TV programme The Great British Sewing Bee.

    Patrick was born in Edinburgh in 1972. His interest in clothes and in making things was evident from a very early age, along with a love of sport: his father was a rugby coach and trained Patrick and his friends. Some of his friends went on to represent Scotland and Patrick played for Scotland's under-19 team.

    He studied Material Science and Engineering at Leeds University and worked in industry for a decade. Then, after spotting an advertisement in a newspaper, he bought an ailing Savile Row tailoring company. It was almost an impulse buy, at great financial risk. After a shaky start, he turned the business around, and within five years he was named menswear designer of the year at the British Fashion Awards. Patrick went on to buy a factory in Blackburn, Cookson and Clegg. He is passionate about British manufacturing, and set up Community Clothing with the aim of making good quality affordable day wear.

    He has been a judge on The Great British Sewing Bee since the programme began in 2013. He divides his time between London, Blackburn and the Highlands.

    DISC ONE: Les Fleurs - Minnie Riperton DISC TWO: My Heart’s in the Highlands - Else Torp and Christopher Bowers-BroadbentDISC THREE: Do You Wanna Funk - Sylvester DISC FOUR: Big Time Sensuality, the Fluke Magimix - Björk DISC FIVE: Harry Patch (In Memory of) - RadioheadDISC SIX: Kill Dem - Jamie xx DISC SEVEN: Get Better - alt-J DISC EIGHT: I Saw - Young Fathers

    BOOK CHOICE: Green Woodwork: Working with Wood the Natural Way by Mike AbbottLUXURY ITEM: A complete set of woodworking tools CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Kill Dem - Jamie xx

    Presenter Lauren LaverneProducer Sarah Taylor

  • Dame Donna Langley is chairman and chief content officer for the NBC Universal Studio Group, the first British woman in history to run a major Hollywood film studio. She green lit Christopher Nolan’s latest film Oppenheimer and was one of the earliest and most ardent supporters of the Abba movie Mamma Mia.

    She was born in London and brought up on the Isle of Wight. She always knew she was adopted as a baby, which she says made her feel special within her family. She left London for Los Angeles when she was in her early twenties, looking for adventure rather than following a career plan.

    In LA, she worked in a club on Sunset Boulevard before taking up an internship with a film producer. Later she worked as an assistant at the production studio New Line Cinema, and in 2001 she joined Universal Studios as senior vice president of production.

    She says her decision to say yes to a film is based on her gut instinct and whether she loves it. She is a champion of original content and early on in her career backed Straight Outta Compton – the story of the hip hop band NWA – and later Get Out, directed by Jordan Peele. She currently oversees major franchises including Fast and Furious, Despicable Me and Jurassic World.

    Dame Donna lives in California with her husband and two children.

    DISC ONE: Thank You For The Music - AbbaDISC TWO: Zorba the Greek - Mikis Theodorakis DISC THREE: La Wally - composed by Alfredo Catalani and performed by Wilhelmenia FernandezDISC FOUR: This is the Day - The The DISC FIVE: It Was A Good Day - Ice CubeDISC SIX: Never Is a Promise - Fiona Apple DISC SEVEN: All My Friends - LCD Soundsystem DISC EIGHT: Come Home (feat. André 3000) - Anderson Paak

    BOOK CHOICE: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez LUXURY ITEM: Tarot cards CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: All My Friends - LCD Soundsystem

    Presenter Lauren LaverneProducer Paula McGinley

  • Greg Jackson is the founder and CEO of Octopus Energy. The company is the UK’s second largest domestic energy provider with over five million customers and is one of Europe’s leading investors in renewables.

    Greg was born in Germany in 1971 where his father was a surveyor in the army. The family returned to the UK a few years later and, following his parents’ divorce, Greg and his two younger siblings were brought up by his mother in Halifax. He describes his mother’s fortitude in bringing up three children on a tight budget as inspirational.

    Greg left school at 16 to write video games but returned to education a few years later to complete his A-Levels. He went on to study economics at Cambridge University and then joined Procter and Gamble’s graduate scheme where he worked in marketing.

    He became managing director of a mirror business when he was still in his twenties and then began flexing his business acumen by investing in a series of tech start-up businesses. In 2015 he secured £10m in investment to start a new energy company.

    Greg has two sons and lives in west London.

    DISC ONE: The Only Way is Up - Yazz & The Plastic PopulationDISC TWO: Run To The Hills - Iron Maiden DISC THREE: Shipping Forecast (BBC Radio 4) Read by Eugene Fraser DISC FOUR: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For - U2DISC FIVE: Dizzy - The Wonder Stuff and Vic Reeves DISC SIX: The Gambler - Kenny RogersDISC SEVEN: One Day Like This - ElbowDISC EIGHT: Rockaway Beach - Motörhead

    BOOK CHOICE: The Apollo Guidance Computer: Architecture and Operation by Frank O'Brien LUXURY ITEM: A pinball machine CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: One Day Like This - Elbow

    Presenter Lauren LaverneProducer Paula McGinley

  • Katherine Ryan is a Canadian comedian and writer. Her edgy and provocative routines have led to sell-out tours, comedy specials on television and her sitcom series The Duchess. Based on her experience at the time, the Duchess tells the story of a successful, happily single mother and Katherine wrote it out of frustration because she believed no one else was telling a story like hers on screen.

    Katherine was born in Sarnia in Ontario where she attended a local French-speaking primary school. The school celebrated the arts and Katherine became a musical theatre enthusiast who could sing, dance, write and act.

    Later she moved to Toronto where she studied city planning and worked for a branch of the restaurant chain Hooters. She credits the latter with teaching her the value of being entertaining and smart.

    In 2008 she relocated to London with her boyfriend and a few years later she got her big break as a comedian, performing on the panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats. By now a single mother to daughter Violet, she developed a rapport with audiences by sharing stories from her own life – both funny and sad. She describes her tendency to connect with her fans in this way as her “language of love”.

    In 2019, while filming an episode of the BBC series Who Do You Think You Are in Canada, she met up with her high school boyfriend, Bobby. They hadn’t seen each other for 20 years but the spark was still there and later that year they married in Denmark and went on to have two children together.

    The programme was recorded on September 6th.

    DISC ONE: Spice Up Your Life - The Spice Girls DISC TWO: The Real Slim Shady - Eminem DISC THREE: La Isla Bonita - MadonnaDISC FOUR: Soul One - Blind MelonDISC FIVE: 22 - Taylor SwiftDISC SIX: Psychic City (Classixx Remix) - YachtDISC SEVEN: Crash Into Me - Dave Matthews BandDISC EIGHT: 16 Shots - Stefflon Don

    BOOK CHOICE: The Highway Rat by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel SchefflerLUXURY ITEM: A hat and skincare setCASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Spice Up Your Life - The Spice Girls

    Presenter: Lauren LaverneProducer: Paula McGinley

  • Lucinda Russell is a Scottish racehorse trainer. Her stables in Kinross have sent out almost 900 winners, including two Grand National champions. She is one of only two Scottish trainers and four women to have celebrated a Grand National win since the event began in 1839, and her yard is the most successful in the history of Scottish jump racing.

    Lucinda was born in Edinburgh in 1966. Although she didn’t come from a racing background – her father ran the family’s whisky business – she was obsessed with horses from a very young age. After many years of pleading, she finally got her first pony at the age of 10. A few years later the family moved from Edinburgh to Arlay Farm near Milnathort in Kinross-shire, where she still trains her horses today.

    After studying psychology at the University of St Andrews, Lucinda began riding competitively, which she funded by buying and training horses before selling them on. She took out her professional trainer’s licence in 1995 and built up her stables on the family farm.

    Lucinda’s first success at the Grand National was in 2017 with One for Arthur, ridden by Derek Fox. She had helped buy the horse for the owners, two self-described ‘golf widows’. She was awarded an OBE for services to horseracing in the Queen’s Birthday Honours the following year. Then in 2023 she won again with Corach Rambler.

    Lucinda runs her stables with her partner the former National Hunt jockey Peter Scudamore.

    DISC ONE: Some Nights - Fun. DISC TWO: Forever Young - Alphaville DISC THREE: Wand'rin' Star - Lee MarvinDISC FOUR: Piano Man - Billy JoelDISC FIVE: This Is The Day - The TheDISC SIX: To Win Just Once -The Saw DoctorsDISC SEVEN: Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Andy Williams DISC EIGHT: Andante, Andante - ABBA

    BOOK CHOICE: Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery by Andris J. Kaneps, Kenneth William Hinchcliff, and Raymond J. Geor LUXURY ITEM: A camper van CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Andy Williams

    Presenter Lauren LaverneProducer Katy Hickman

  • Adrian Edmondson first shot to national fame in 1982, playing the studded punk Vyvyan in the TV sitcom The Young Ones, set in a seedy student flat. The cast largely came from the developing alternative comedy scene, and included Rik Mayall and Alexei Sayle.

    Adrian was born in Bradford in 1957. He spent time as a child in Cyprus, Bahrain and Uganda, following his father who worked as a teacher for the armed forces. He attended a boarding school in Yorkshire from the age of 11, where he often rebelled against its rules and restrictions, but enjoyed performing in school plays.

    He headed to Manchester University to study drama, where he soon met Rik Mayall. They bonded over their shared interests in comedy, double acts, violent slapstick and the plays of Samuel Beckett. It was the start of a long performing partnership and friendship, which included the anarchic TV comedy and long-running touring show Bottom and a production of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot on the West End stage.

    Adrian has also worked widely as an actor and musician, including an acclaimed appearance as Scrooge for the RSC, and performances with the reunited Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.

    Adrian married Jennifer Saunders in 1985, and they have three daughters.

    DISC ONE: Downtown - Petula Clark DISC TWO: A Song of the Weather - Flanders & Swann DISC THREE: Sugar, Sugar - The Archies DISC FOUR: On My Radio - The Selecter DISC FIVE: Jole Blon - Vin BruceDISC SIX: Saturday Gigs - Mott the Hoople DISC SEVEN: I’m Bored - Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band DISC EIGHT: Wide Open Spaces - The Chicks (formerly The Dixie Chicks)

    BOOK CHOICE: Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett LUXURY ITEM: A tab of acid CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Wide Open Spaces - The Chicks

    Presenter Lauren LaverneProducer Sarah Taylor

  • Shirley Collins first enjoyed success as one of the leading figures in the British folk revival of the 1960s. She initially performed with her sister, Dolly Collins, and also collaborated with other folk luminaries to create some of the era’s most beloved albums. In the past decade she has made an acclaimed return to the concert stage and the recording studio.

    Shirley was born in Sussex in 1935. She can still recall how her grandfather used to sing folk songs to comfort her while they were sheltering during German air raids in the early 1940s.

    Alongside her career as a singer, in the 1950s she travelled to the American South with Alan Lomax, where they made field recordings of blues and folk musicians, helping to create a significant archive.

    Later in her performing career, Shirley found that she could no longer sing, following a distressing betrayal in her private life. She stepped away from music and was silent for many years, taking on other work, including a stint in a job centre Then, in her 80s, she found her voice again. In 2016 she released her first new album after a gap of almost four decades, and she has since released two more albums.

    Shirley lives in Sussex, not far from her childhood home.

    DISC ONE: Chiling O Guiry - Concerto CaledoniaDISC TWO: The Birds in the Spring - The Copper Family DISC THREE: Who Would True Valour See - Maddy Prior & The Carnival BandDISC FOUR: Dear Father, Pray Build Me a Boat - Sheila Smith DISC FIVE: 61 Highway Blues - Mississippi Fred McDowellDISC SIX: Poor Sally Sits a-weeping - Dolly CollinsDISC SEVEN: A Heart Needs A Home - Richard & Linda ThompsonDISC EIGHT: Going Home - Mark Knopfler BOOK CHOICE: A collection of Brodie detective novels by Kate Atkinson LUXURY ITEM: A solar powered fridge filled with Italian Ice cream and two lipsticks CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Poor Sally Sits a Weeping

    Presenter Lauren LaverneProducer Sarah Taylor

  • Toto Wolff is CEO and Team Principal of the Mercedes Formula 1 motor racing team. He has led the team to an unprecedented seven consecutive drivers’ championships – six with Lewis Hamilton - and eight consecutive constructors' championships. He is the most successful manager in Formula 1 history, and arguably one of the most successful managers in any sport.

    Toto was born Torger Wolff in Vienna. When he was eight his father was diagnosed with a brain tumour and died when Toto was 15. Toto found himself looking after his mother and sister from a young age which he believes contributed to the strength of character he developed as an adult.

    Toto's original ambition in motorsport was to be a driver, and he started competing in his late teens. Following the deaths of drivers Ayrton Senna and then Roland Ratzenberger, his sponsor withdrew support, which forced him to give up his dream. He turned his attention to business and made a fortune as an entrepreneur.

    In 2009 he bought a stake in the Williams Formula 1 team and four years later bought a 30% stake in the Mercedes team.

    Toto is married to the former racing driver Susie Stoddart and they divide their time between the UK and Monaco. Their six-year-old son Jack is already showing an interest in karting.

    DISC ONE: Unfinished Sympathy - Massive Attack DISC TWO: Mama - Genesis DISC THREE: Money Can’t Buy It - Annie Lennox DISC FOUR: Iron Sky - Paolo Nutini DISC FIVE: We Are The Champions – QueenDISC SIX: Another Day in Paradise - Phil Collins DISC SEVEN: Fallen - Lauren Wood DISC EIGHT: The Power of Love - Frankie Goes to Hollywood

    BOOK CHOICE: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre DumasLUXURY ITEM: Diving fins and a maskCASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Fallen - Lauren Wood

    Presenter Lauren LaverneProducer Paula McGinley

  • Simon Woolley, Lord Woolley of Woodford, is principal of Homerton College at Cambridge University. He is the first black man to head an Oxbridge college. He is a co-founder of Operation Black Vote, which campaigns for greater inclusivity in politics, and became a crossbench peer in 2019.

    Simon spent his early years in an orphanage in Leicester before being fostered and then adopted by a white couple who also adopted his brother Mick. He left school at 16 to work as a car mechanic and then moved to London where he embarked on a successful career in sales. In 1988 he completed a one year access course which provided the pathway to university and a degree in English and Spanish.

    In 1996 Simon was one of the co-founders of Operation Black Vote, a non-partisan organisation which encourages voter registration and community engagement, aiming to give a voice to all sections of society.

    He was awarded a knighthood for services to race equality in 2019 and took up his current role as principal of Homerton College in 2021.

    DISC ONE: I Want You Back - The Jackson 5 DISC TWO: Green Green Grass of Home - Tom Jones DISC THREE: Manhattan - Ella FitzgeraldDISC FOUR: Titanium (Morten Future Rave Mix) - David Guetta (feat Sia) DISC FIVE: Hagamos Lo Que Diga El Corazón - Grupo NicheDISC SIX: Dreamland – Composed and performed by Alexis Ffrench and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by James MorganDISC SEVEN: Cowboy bebop tank! - Niyari DISC EIGHT: For Once in My Life - Stevie Wonder BOOK CHOICE: Football in Sun and Shadow by Eduardo GaleanoLUXURY ITEM: A razor blade CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: For Once in My Life - Stevie Wonder

    Presenter Lauren LaverneProducer Paula McGinley

  • Jill Scott is the second most capped England footballer ever, playing for her country 161 times. Before her retirement last year, she played in ten major international tournaments and was part of the England team who beat Germany to win the 2022 European Championships.

    Jill was born and brought up in Sunderland, and excelled in a range of sports from an early age. She won the London mini-marathon when she was 14 but her heart was in football. She played for a boys junior football team until she was asked to leave when she was nine years old. Fortunately her mother found a girls team for her.

    She began her senior career when she was a teenager, initially playing for Sunderland before moving on to Everton and then Manchester City, where she won all the domestic trophies. She was renowned as a highly competitive midfield player, who scored 27 goals for England.

    She lives in Manchester with her partner Shelly, where they co-own a coffee shop. .

    DISC ONE: (Something Inside) So Strong - Labi SiffreDISC TWO: So Good - Boyzone DISC THREE: Step by Step - Whitney Houston DISC FOUR: Sunday Morning - Maroon 5DISC FIVE: The Climb - Miley Cyrus DISC SIX: My Love is Your Love - Whitney Houston DISC SEVEN: Mysterious Girl - Peter Andre DISC EIGHT: Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond

    BOOK CHOICE: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ by Sue Townsend LUXURY ITEM: A notebook and pens CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: The Climb - Miley Cyrus

    Presenter Lauren LaverneProducer Sarah Taylor

  • Peter Doig is one of Britain’s most successful living artists. His paintings have been exhibited at major galleries around the world, winning wide critical acclaim and selling for tens of millions of pounds at auction, setting sales records.

    Peter was born in Edinburgh in 1959, but grew up in Trinidad and Canada, where his father had chosen to work. Peter was partly educated at a Scottish boarding school, but didn't enjoy the experience. He returned to Canada, dropped out of education, and at the age of 17 found work on a gas rig in the rural west. He decided to move to London, largely attracted by the post-punk music scene, and from 1979 until the late 1980s, he trained as a painter at art schools in the capital, as well as spending time back in Canada.

    While his contemporaries among young British artists in the 1990s often created large-scale installations, sculptures or videos, Peter dedicated himself to painting, often working with very large canvases, creating atmospheric, mysterious landscapes acclaimed for their use of colour.

    In 2002, echoing his own childhood, he and his family moved to Trinidad, where he set up his studio. The island became his main home for almost two decades, before he moved to London in 2021.

    Presenter Lauren LaverneProducer Sarah Taylor

  • Stanley Tucci is an actor, director and writer who is known for his roles in a broad range of feature films including the Devil Wears Prada, Julie and Julia and the Hunger Games. More recently he has whetted the appetites of television viewers with his food and travel series Searching for Italy.

    Stanley’s grandparents left Calabria in southern Italy for a new life in America, where his parents were born. Stanley himself was born in Peekskill, New York, and grew up in the nearby hamlet of Katonah. He studied drama at the State University of New York and in 1985 made his debut in John Huston’s film Prizzi’s Honour. In 1996 he co-wrote, co-directed and starred in Big Night about two brothers who run a struggling Italian restaurant. The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance film Festival. In 2002 he starred in Sam Mendes’s Road to Perdition and he played a serial killer in Peter Jackson’s film the Lovely Bones. He published his first cookbook in 2012.

    Stanley lives in London with his wife, the literary agent Felicity Blunt, and their family.

    DISC ONE: Let It Be - The Beatles DISC TWO: Compared to What (Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival) - Les McCann & Eddie Harris DISC THREE: Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K. 622 - II. Adagio. Performed by Karl Leister (clarinet) and Academy of St Martin in the Fields, conducted by Sir Neville Marriner DISC FOUR: The Weakness in Me - Joan Armatrading DISC FIVE: What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong DISC SIX: Tchaikovsky: Serenade for String Orchestra in C Major, Op. 48, TH 48 - I. Pezzo in forma di sonatina: Andante non troppo - Allegro moderato. Performed by Berliner Philharmoniker and conducted by Herbert von KarajanDISC SEVEN: A Foggy Day (In London Town) - Frank Sinatra DISC EIGHT: Not Dark Yet - Bob Dylan

    BOOK CHOICE: Westward Ha! by S J Perelman LUXURY ITEM: Art supplies CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong

    Presenter Lauren LaverneProducer Paula McGinley

  • Kate Mosse OBE is a British novelist and broadcaster. She is the author of ten novels and short story collections, including The Joubert Family Chronicles and the best-selling Languedoc Trilogy. She has also written four works of non-fiction including her memoir about caring, An Extra Pair of Hands. In 1996 she co-founded the Women’s Prize for Fiction.

    Born in Chichester, she studied English at Oxford University and had a very successful career in publishing before writing her first book about pregnancy. Her novel, Labyrinth, published in 1995 and set in Carcasonne, became an international bestseller which enabled her to give up her publishing job and write full time.

    Kate lives in Chichester with her husband, Greg Mosse, and her mother-in-law, Grannie Rosie. She is a Visiting Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester, a Patron of the Chichester Festival for Music, Dance and Speech, and President of the Festival of Chichester.

    She was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to literature and women.

    DISC ONE: Morning Has Broken - Cat Stevens DISC TWO: These Boots Are Made for Walkin' - Nancy Sinatra DISC THREE: Station to Station - David Bowie DISC FOUR: Walls Come Tumbling Down - The Style Council DISC FIVE: I Will Survive - Gloria GaynorDISC SIX: Piano Concerto in G Major, M. 83. Composed by Maurice Ravel. Performed by Martha Argerich and London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Claudio AbbadoDISC SEVEN: Dancing Queen - Abba DISC EIGHT: La chanson des vieux amants - Jacques Brel BOOK CHOICE: Four Quartets by T.S. EliotLUXURY ITEM: A jukeboxCASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Piano Concerto in G Major, M. 83, composed by Maurice Ravel and performed by Martha Argerich and London Symphony Orchestra

    Presenter: Lauren LaverneProducer: Sarah Taylor

  • Adam Kay is a writer whose memoir This is Going to Hurt; Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor won the Book of the Year prize at the National Book Awards and has sold over three million copies. It was adapted for television as a BBC series that won four BAFTAs this year, including Adam’s award for best drama writer.

    Adam was born in Brighton in 1980 and studied medicine at Imperial College London. In 2004 he started working as a junior doctor, specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology. In 2010 he left medicine following a catastrophic incident in surgery.

    He had kept a diary throughout his medical career, partly to help cope with the long shifts and stressful environment that came with life as a hospital doctor. In 2016 Adam read from his diaries for a show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the positive reception he received from audiences encouraged him to use them as the basis for a memoir. The book became a publishing sensation, and Adam has published further books and enjoyed considerable success with his live performances.

    Adam lives in Oxfordshire with his husband James.

    DISC ONE: Chopsticks - LiberaceDISC TWO: Mis-shapes - Pulp DISC THREE: Chopin: Waltz No. 14 in E Minor, Op. posth. (no intro) Composed by Frédéric Chopin and performed by Vladimir Ashkenazy DISC FOUR: Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat - Stubby Kaye, Original Cast Chorus (from Guys and Dolls) DISC FIVE: Forgot About Dre - Dr Dre & Eminem DISC SIX: Poisoning Pigeons - Tom Lehrer DISC SEVEN: A Lady of a Certain Age - The Divine Comedy DISC EIGHT: San Diego Serenade - Tom Waits

    BOOK CHOICE: York Notes for the Complete Works of ShakespeareLUXURY ITEM: A diary and pen CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: San Diego Serenade - Tom Waits

    Presenter Lauren LaverneProducer Paula McGinley

  • Claudia Rankine is a poet, essayist and playwright. She is best known for her book Citizen: An American Lyric which combines short stories about everyday injustices experienced by people of colour with poems telling the stories of black men who died during confrontations with the police. The book won several awards in the US and the UK’s Forward Prize for best collection in 2015.

    Claudia was born in Kingston, Jamaica and at seven followed her parents to New York City where they had emigrated some years before. After graduating from university in 1993, she won a poetry prize for her thesis which became her first book – Nothing in Nature is Private.

    In addition to her poetry Claudia has written three plays and has taught at several universities including Yale and New York University. In 2016 she won a prestigious ‘Genius Grant’ from the MacArthur Fellowship which celebrates intellectual and artistic achievement and awards its winners hundreds of thousands of dollars. She used the money to co-found the Racial Imaginary Institute which interrogates notions of race and whiteness.

    Claudia lives in Connecticut with her husband, the photographer and filmmaker John Lucas.

    DISC ONE: Good as Hell - Lizzo DISC TWO: Stir It Up - Bob Marley & The Wailers DISC THREE: Nightshift - Commodores DISC FOUR: More Than This - Roxy Music DISC FIVE: Can't Take My Eyes Off of You (I Love You Baby) - Lauryn HillDISC SIX: Kiss - Prince & The RevolutionDISC SEVEN: My Favorite Things - John ColtraneDISC EIGHT: The Rhythm Of The Night - Corona

    BOOK CHOICE: As I Lay Dying by William FaulknerLUXURY ITEM: A solar powered television, playing tennis matchesCASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Good as Hell - Lizzo

    Presenter Lauren LaverneProducer Paula McGinley

  • Jeremy Bowen is the BBC’s award-winning international editor. He has been reporting from the world’s conflict zones, including Iraq, Bosnia, the Middle East and Ukraine, for more than 30 years.

    Jeremy was born in Cardiff in 1960. His father was a journalist for BBC Wales, who covered the Aberfan disaster in 1966, and his mother was a press photographer. In 1984, after university, Jeremy joined the BBC as a news trainee and in 1989 he starting reporting from Afghanistan and El Salvador.

    From 1995 to 2000 he was based in Jerusalem as the BBC’s Middle East correspondent. During that time he reported on the assassination of the Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. His coverage of the event won him the Royal Television Society’s Award for Best Breaking News report.

    In 2022 Jeremy started reporting on the ground in Ukraine and earlier this year he returned to Iraq to discover how the country was coping, 20 years after the US-led invasion in March 2003.

    Jeremy lives in London with his partner Julia.

    DISC ONE: Let’s Stay Together - Al Green DISC TWO: Symphony No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Op. 63: II. Larghetto. Composed by Edward Elgar and performed by Hallé Orchestra, conducted by Sir John BarbirolliDISC THREE: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op 18. Composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff and performed by Vladimir Ashkenazi (piano) with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by André Previn DISC FOUR: America - Simon & GarfunkelDISC FIVE: La bohème: O soave fanciulla. Composed by Giacomo Puccini and performed by Plácido Domingo, Montserrat Caballé, London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Georg Solti DISC SIX: Denn alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras. Composed by Johannes Brahms and performed by Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Herbert von Karajan DISC SEVEN: In My Life – The Beatles DISC EIGHT: Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks BOOK CHOICE: The Complete Novels of George OrwellLUXURY ITEM: A manual typewriter CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Symphony No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Op. 63: II. Larghetto. Composed by Edward Elgar and performed by Hallé Orchestra and Wiener Singverein, conducted by Sir John Barbirolli

    Presenter Lauren LaverneProducer Paula McGinley

  • Ronnie O’Sullivan OBE is currently ranked the number one snooker player in the world, and is widely regarded as one of the finest players in the history of the sport.

    He has won the Masters a record seven times and he jointly holds the record for winning the World Snooker Championship seven times. Since 1997 he has held the world record for the fastest 147 break, leading to his nickname 'the Rocket'.

    Ronnie grew up in Essex and his father gave him his first snooker cue when he was seven. He took to the game immediately: he was playing on a full size snooker table when he was just eight, and two years later he was beating adult players. By the age of 12, he was winning cash prizes in local tournaments, and was soon earning more than his teachers.

    Ronnie turned professional when he was 16, and quickly established himself as a star player and a fans' favourite - but he has also made headlines away from the snooker table, with accounts of his depression and struggles with alcohol and drugs. For many years he has kept his physical and mental health in check through his passion for running.

    He received an OBE in 2016 for services to snooker.

    DISC ONE: Lose Yourself - EminemDISC TWO: Careless Whisper - Wham! DISC THREE: Step by Step - Whitney Houston DISC FOUR: Real Gone Kid - Deacon Blue DISC FIVE: You’re So Vain - Carly Simon DISC SIX: Maybe Tomorrow - Stereophonics DISC SEVEN: Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me) - Train DISC EIGHT: That’s All - Genesis

    BOOK CHOICE: Running with the Kenyans by Adharanand Finn LUXURY ITEM: A painting set CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: That’s All - Genesis

    Presenter Lauren LaverneProducer Sarah Taylor

  • Professor Sharon Peacock is professor of public health and microbiology at Cambridge University. In March 2020 she set up the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium to map the genetic sequence of the virus as it spread and mutated. Within a year COG-UK was leading the world in identifying mutant COVID strains, and this data was instrumental in helping the development of vaccines and treatments.

    Sharon was born in Margate and left school at 16 to work in her local corner shop. She moved on to become a dental nurse the following year and after that she trained to be a nurse at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton. After studying for A levels at evening classes, in 1983 she won a place to study medicine as a mature student at the University of Southampton.

    After further training and several years researching bacterial diseases in Thailand, she returned to the UK where she led the development of the Cambridge Infectious Diseases Initiative.

    In 2021 Sharon was awarded the MRC Millennium Medal, the Medical Research Council’s most prestigious prize.

    DISC ONE: Fast Car - Tracy Chapman DISC TWO: A Boy and a Girl - Voces8 DISC THREE: Time Has Told Me - Nick Drake DISC FOUR: Title: Driving Home for Christmas - Chris Rea DISC FIVE: Take a Bow - MuseDISC SIX: Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11 (from Fauré’s Requiem) Composed by Gabriel Fauré and performed by Choir of St. John's College, conducted by Andrew NethsinghaDISC SEVEN: Symphonie Fantastique by Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, composed by Hector Berlioz, performed by Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and conducted by John Eliot GardinerDISC EIGHT: The Lark Ascending, composed by Vaughan Williams and performed by Tasmin Little (violin) BBC Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Sir Andrew Davis

    BOOK CHOICE: Oxford Textbook of Medicine LUXURY ITEM: A projector and photos CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Time Has Told Me – Nick Drake

    Presenter Lauren LaverneProducer Paula McGinley