• Rick Rubin is a multiple Grammy-winning record producer who has worked with a wide range of artists including Adele, the Beastie Boys and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He also reinvigorated the career of Johnny Cash in the 1990s, with a series of acclaimed stripped-back albums, introducing the legendary Man in Black to a new audience.

    Rick was born on Long Island in New York in 1963. As a teenager, his first love was punk, but he soon became entranced by New York’s emerging rap scene and started hanging out in hip hop clubs to discover more about what was then considered to be an underground form of music. In 1984 he co-founded Def Jam Recordings from his dorm room at university and produced rap records for T La Rock and LL Cool J.

    Together with his business partner, promoter Russell Simmons, Rick took rap into the mainstream by putting rappers Run-DMC and rock band Aerosmith together to cover Aerosmith’s Walk This Way. It enjoyed international success and became hip hop’s first crossover hit.

    In 1993 Rick approached the country singer Johnny Cash about working together. By that time Johnny, who was in his sixties, had been dropped by his record label and was performing at dinner theatres to small audiences. In his mind his career was over. Rick persuaded him to record again and released the album American Recordings in 1994. Lauded by the critics, the album led to a creative collaboration that lasted until Johnny’s death in 2003.

    Rick's more recent work includes the album The New Abnormal by the Strokes, which won the band their first ever Grammy last year.

    DISC ONE: Across the Universe by The Beatles
    DISC TWO: …And at the Hour of Death by Víkingur Ólafsson
    DISC THREE: Rockaway Beach by The Ramones
    DISC FOUR: Us V Them by LCD Sound System
    DISC FIVE: I Believe in You by Neil Young
    DISC SIX: Holy Affirming, Holy Denying, Holy Reconciling by Thomas De Hartmann
    DISC SEVEN: The Dangling Conversation by Simon & Garfunkel
    DISC EIGHT: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack

    BOOK CHOICE: The Red Book by Carl Jung
    LUXURY ITEM: Tarot cards
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Holy Affirming, Holy Denying, Holy Reconciling by Thomas De Hartmann

    Presenter Lauren Laverne
    Producer Paula McGinley

  • Maxine Peake is an actor and writer who first came to public attention in 1998 as Twinkle in the Victoria Wood sitcom Dinnerladies. She went on to play Veronica in Paul Abbott’s series Shameless and later became known for playing real people, including the Hillsborough campaigner Anne Williams, and Sara Rowbotham, the former health worker who exposed the sexual abuse scandal in Rochdale in 2012.

    Maxine was born in Bolton and after a rocky start at college – she was asked to leave her performing arts course after just two weeks but stuck it out – she won a scholarship to study at RADA. Three months before she was due to graduate she auditioned for Victoria Wood and won her first television role starring alongside Wood, Julie Walters and Anne Reid.

    Victoria Wood advised her to take on a diverse range of roles in order to avoid being typecast as what Maxine calls the “fat, funny northerner”. She took the advice to heart and extended her range playing Myra Hindley, Martha Costello QC in the legal drama Silk and Hamlet in a critically acclaimed production at the Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester.

    Maxine has also written plays including Beryl: A Love Story on Two Wheels about Beryl Burton, a Yorkshire woman who dominated 1960s cycling and held the record for the men’s 12-hour time trial for two years.

    DISC ONE: Mersey Paradise by The Stone Roses
    DISC TWO: Puff the Magic Dragon by Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Red
    DISC THREE: Joe Hill by Paul Robeson
    DISC FOUR: The Four Horsemen by Aphrodite’s Child
    DISC FIVE: Evening of Light by Nico
    DISC SIX: Promised Land by Joe Smooth
    DISC SEVEN: A Whistling Woman by The Unthanks
    DISC EIGHT: I Saw the Light by Todd Rundgren

    BOOK CHOICE: One Moonlit Night by Caradog Prichard
    LUXURY ITEM: A solar-powered epilator
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Joe Hill by Paul Robeson

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Paula McGinley

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  • Kevin Sinfield OBE is one of the most decorated players in the history of English rugby league. He captained Leeds Rhinos and the England team, and was runner-up in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year poll in 2015. He holds records as the highest points-scorer in Super League history, the third-highest points-scorer in British rugby league history and the record points-scorer for Leeds.

    After retiring from playing, he switched codes and is currently part of the coaching staff at Leicester Tigers rugby union team. Off the pitch he has made headlines as a fundraiser. After his former team-mate Rob Burrow was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2019, Kevin began a series of epic fundraising challenges. He completed seven marathons in seven days in 2020, and then in 2021 he ran 101 miles in 24 hours, raising millions for MND research and support.

    He lives in Oldham with his wife, Jane and his two sons.

    DISC ONE: Parry: Jerusalem by The Honley Male Voice Choir & The Band of HM Royal Marines
    DISC TWO: Come on Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
    DISC THREE: Someone Like You by Van Morrison
    DISC FOUR: 7 Days by Craig David
    DISC FIVE: I Think We're Alone Now by Tiffany
    DISC SIX: Baker Street by Undercover
    DISC SEVEN: Last Request by Paolo Nutini
    DISC EIGHT: Fix You by Coldplay

    BOOK CHOICE: The Edge: The Guide to Fulfilling Dreams, Maximizing Success and Enjoying a Lifetime of Achievement by Howard E. Ferguson
    LUXURY ITEM: A Self-propelled treadmill
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Last Request by Paolo Nutini

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Sarah Taylor

  • Dr Waheed Arian is a radiologist who set up a charity called Arian Teleheal in 2015. The charity enables volunteer doctors in the west to advise colleagues in conflict zones using smartphone technology. The charity has helped save many lives in countries including Syria, Uganda and Afghanistan where Waheed was born.

    In 1988, at the height of the Soviet-Afghan conflict, Waheed and his family fled Kabul for Pakistan where they lived in a refugee camp for the next few years. Waheed was just five when they arrived there and contracted tuberculosis. The doctor who saved his life planted a dream and Waheed decided that one day he would study medicine.

    When he was 15 Afghanistan was in the grip of the Taliban and Waheed and his parents knew it was only a matter of time before he would be recruited to join their fight. Waheed's family found someone who, for a fee, offered to help him leave the country and claim refugee status in the UK. He arrived in the UK in 1999, studied A levels while working in a number of jobs and then in 2003 took up a place to read medicine at Cambridge University.

    In 2014 he began training as a radiologist and currently works in the A&E department at a busy NHS hospital. In 2017 he won a UN Global Hero Award for his charity work.

    DISC ONE: Lose Yourself by Eminem
    DISC TWO: Gule Sori by Farhad Darya
    DISC THREE: Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
    DISC FOUR: Never Enough by Loren Allred
    DISC FIVE: Home by Michael Bublé
    DISC SIX: Fly by Celine Dion
    DISC SEVEN: Are You Ready for Love by Elton John
    DISC EIGHT: Everything I Wanted by Billie Eilish

    BOOK CHOICE: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by Bryan Mealer and William Kamkwamba
    LUXURY ITEM: Pen and paper
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Fly by Celine Dion

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Paula McGinley

  • Jay Blades is a furniture restorer who is best known for presenting the Repair Shop on BBC One. The programme, which attracts many millions of viewers, brings old and damaged family treasures back to life and has been praised for its celebration of craftsmanship and the values of kindness and patience.

    Jay grew up in Hackney in East London and was brought up by his mother Barbara. He struggled to read as a young boy which held him back at school and he left at 16. Years later, after he got a place to study criminology and philosophy at university, he was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 31.

    He worked as a community worker for many years and co-founded charities which helped disadvantaged young people learn new skills. One of his charities was based in High Wycombe – an area famous for its historic furniture trade – and Jay learned how to restore furniture alongside the teenagers he was helping.

    Later he started his own furniture restoration business and in 2017 he started presenting the Repair Shop. He recently set up his own television production company and has written books about DIY and his experiences on the Repair shop. In 2021 he was awarded an MBE for services to craft.

    DISC ONE: Help Me Make It Through the Night by John Holt
    DISC TWO: The Night I Fell In Love by Luther Vandross
    DISC THREE: Revolution by Dennis Brown
    DISC FOUR: Battle by Wookie
    DISC FIVE: Love You Anyway by Cameo
    DISC SIX: Baby I’m A Fool by Melody Gardot
    DISC SEVEN: Kisses Don’t Lie by Evelyn “Champagne” King
    DISC EIGHT: Take Me To The Alley by Gregory Porter

    BOOK CHOICE: The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X with Alex Haley
    LUXURY ITEM: A reclining massage chair
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Help Me Make It Through the Night by John Holt

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Paula McGinley

  • Sue Barker is a television presenter and former professional tennis player. She presented the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage for nearly three decades, before stepping down this year, when she received a standing ovation.

    Sue was born in Devon in 1956, and was educated at the Marist Convent School where she had a reputation for being naughty – until her PE teacher, Mrs Chadwick, diverted her energy into tennis. Aged 11 she was selected for training by the local tennis coach Arthur Roberts, who had already guided players to Grand Slam titles. Sue started playing – and winning – junior tournaments.

    She turned professional at 17, and moved to the US, joining a new women’s tour set up by Billie Jean King. During her career, she reached the ranking of World No. 3, playing and defeating her contemporaries, including Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Evonne Goolagong and Virginia Wade. Her biggest win came at the French Open in 1976 where, aged 20, she took her first – and only – Grand Slam title. Her biggest disappointment came at Wimbledon the following year, when she lost in the semi-final, despite being the clear favourite.

    Plagued by injuries, she retired from tennis in 1985. She began commentating on Australia’s Channel 7, before moving to BskyB in the UK, and then joining the BBC in 1993. She has hosted Wimbledon, Grandstand, the Summer and Winter Olympics, the Commonwealth Games, BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and A Question of Sport. When she announced her retirement from TV, her idol Billie Jean King called her the GOAT, the ‘greatest of all time’.

    DISC ONE: Run Boy Run by Woodkid
    DISC TWO: Piano Concerto in A minor, composed by Edvard Grieg
    and performed by Sir Clifford Curzon (piano) and London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Øivin Fjeldstad
    DISC THREE: Harry Hippie by Bobby Womack
    DISC FOUR: California Girls by The Beach Boys
    DISC FIVE: The Greatest Love of All by George Benson
    DISC SIX: Simply Beautiful by Al Green
    DISC SEVEN: Grandstand by Keith Mansfield
    DISC EIGHT: Philadelphia Freedom by Elton John

    BOOK CHOICE: All In by Billie Jean King
    LUXURY ITEM: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc wine
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Harry Hippie by Bobby Womack

    Presenter Lauren Laverne
    Producer Katy Hickman

  • The American singer and songwriter John Legend has won two Emmys, 12 Grammys, an Oscar and a Tony award – making him one of only 16 living artists to have won all four honours. One of his songs, All of Me, written for his wife, the model Chrissy Teigen, has been streamed more than four billion times on digital platforms.

    He was born John Stephens in Springfield, Ohio into a musical family. His father played drums in church, where his mother conducted the choir. John took piano lessons from an early age and soon became involved in arranging music for the church.

    He attended university at the age of 16 and after graduating worked as a management consultant for four years, while pursuing his interest in music out of office hours. He signed his first record deal after working with Kanye West early in his career, and took on the stage name John Legend, releasing his first solo album in 2004.

    Alongside his musical career, he has acted on TV and film, including a role in the highly successful La La Land. He has performed at three Presidential inauguration ceremonies – for President Obama in 2009 and 2013, and for President Biden in 2021.

    John lives in the USA with his wife and their two children.

    DISC ONE: Here Comes the Sun by Nina Simone
    DISC TWO: They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) by Pete Rock & CL Smooth
    DISC THREE: Day Dreaming by Aretha Franklin
    DISC FOUR: Roc Boys (And the Winner is…) by Jay-Z
    DISC FIVE: As by Stevie Wonder
    DISC SIX: Love on Top by Beyonce
    DISC SEVEN: L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole
    DISC EIGHT: Superfly by Curtis Mayfield

    BOOK CHOICE: The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber & David Wengrow
    LUXURY ITEM: A piano
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Here Comes the Sun by Nina Simone

    Presenter Lauren Laverne
    Producer Sarah Taylor

  • Clare Smyth is a highly acclaimed chef and is the first British woman to win the coveted three Michelin stars for her work. She opened her London restaurant, Core, in 2017, and before that she ran Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, which also held three Michelin stars.

    Clare was born in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, and grew up on a farm, where her love of simple ingredients was nurtured. The youngest of three children, she discovered a passion for cooking and decided to make it her career from an early age.

    She left home at 16, moving to England to take a catering course at a college in Portsmouth. Her ambition was to work with the finest chefs, and after completing her course and apprenticeship, she went on to cook in some of the most acclaimed kitchens in the world, including Le Louis XV under Alain Ducasse in Monaco. She returned to London to work in Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, at the invitation of the proprietor, and became the first British woman to run a three Michelin-starred kitchen.

    Her many awards include the title of the World's Best Female Chef in 2018, and she received an MBE for services to the hospitality industry in 2013. She also found herself in the spotlight in 2018 as the caterer for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. She lives in London with her husband.

    DISC ONE: Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses
    DISC TWO: Zombie by The Cranberries
    DISC THREE: Don’t Look Back in Anger by Oasis
    DISC FOUR: Common People by Pulp
    DISC FIVE: Set Fire to the Rain by Adele
    DISC SIX: Maria by Blondie
    DISC SEVEN: Brass in Pocket by Pretenders
    DISC EIGHT: Circle of Life by Carmen Twillie and Lebo M.

    BOOK CHOICE: The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
    LUXURY ITEM: A chef’s knife
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Circle of Life by Carmen Twillie and Lebo M.

    Presenter Lauren Laverne
    Producer Sarah Taylor

  • Kate Moss came to fame in the 1990s, and her distinctive look went on to embody the era of Cool Britannia. She has appeared on the cover of hundreds of magazines and starred in campaigns for many of the top fashion houses. She has made cameos on film and television and inspired artists including Lucian Freud, Tracey Emin and Marc Quinn.

    Kate was born in Croydon in 1974. When she was 14, she was spotted at JFK airport by Sarah Doukas who signed her to her modelling agency. Two years later Kate was on the cover of the style magazine the Face – one of a series of photographs shot on Camber Sands by Corinne Day. The images were raw and natural and Kate’s slight, delicate build, in stark contrast to the curvaceous supermodel silhouette that had defined the decade, heralded a new era in modelling.

    Kate moved on to high profile campaigns for the designers Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs. In 1993 she appeared on the cover of British Vogue for the first time. Later her waif-like figure attracted criticism from some commentators who thought some of her photographs glamorised thinness.

    In 2013 Kate received a Special Recognition award at the British Fashion Awards, acknowledging her 25-year contribution to fashion. Kate set up her own talent agency in 2016 and one of the agency’s first signings was her daughter Lila.

    DISC ONE: Back to Life by Sunday Service and Jazzie B (Soul II Soul mix)
    DISC TWO: A Whiter Shade of Pale (Live) by King Curtis
    DISC THREE: Harvest Moon by Neil Young
    DISC FOUR: Life on Mars by David Bowie
    DISC FIVE: Oh! Sweet Nuthin’ by The Velvet Underground
    DISC SIX: Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones
    DISC SEVEN: My Sweet Lord by George Harrison
    DISC EIGHT: Madame George by Van Morrison

    BOOK CHOICE: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    LUXURY ITEM: A cashmere blanket
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: My Sweet Lord by George Harrison

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Paula McGinley

  • Kate Ewart-Biggs is the deputy chief executive of the British Council, which aims to build connections between the UK and countries worldwide, through education programmes, language learning and cultural activities.

    Kate was born into a diplomatic family and her early childhood years were spent in France and Belgium. In 1976, when she was eight years old, her father Christopher Ewart-Biggs was appointed British ambassador to Ireland. Two weeks into his new job, he was killed by an IRA landmine. Kate's mother Jane moved the family back to London and began to campaign for peace and reconciliation in Ireland: she became a life peer in 1981.

    After studying anthropology at university, Kate worked on charity projects for street children in Brazil and South Africa before joining the British Council. Her career has taken her all around the world including postings in Uganda, Tanzania and Indonesia.

    She lives in London with her daughter.

    DISC ONE: I Could Have Danced All Night by My Fair Lady Orchestra, My Fair Lady Chorus, Marni Nixon (soprano), André Previn (conductor), Mona Washbourne (played Mrs. Pearce), My Fair Lady Original Motion Picture Cast and Warner Brothers Studio Orchestra
    DISC TWO: Et Si Tu N’existais Pas by Joe Dassin
    DISC THREE: Mr Tambourine Man by Bob Dylan
    DISC FOUR: I Don’t Like Mondays by The Boomtown Rats
    DISC FIVE: Lambada by Kaoma
    DISC SIX: Namagembe by Madoxx Sematimba
    DISC SEVEN: I And Love And You by The Avett Brothers
    DISC EIGHT: American Pie by Don McLean

    BOOK CHOICE: The Complete Novels of Jane Austen
    LUXURY ITEM: An asthma inhaler
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Mr. Tambourine Man by Bob Dylan

    Presenter Lauren Laverne
    Producer Sarah Taylor

  • Andrew Ramroop is a Savile Row tailor, whose international client list has included film stars and royalty.

    Andrew grew up in a remote village in Trinidad and sewed his first garment at the age of nine, creating a simple pair of trousers from a pillowcase. He left school at 13 and was apprenticed to a local tailor who told him tales about the pinnacle of sartorial excellence, Savile Row – the place where James Bond’s suits were cut.

    Inspired by this vision, Andrew saved up for a ticket to sail to the UK: he emigrated at the age of 17, only the second person to leave his village. He found work on Savile Row, went on to complete a degree at the London College of Fashion, and then gained a job at Maurice Sedwell, eventually taking over the business when Maurice retired.

    In recent years, Andrew has been closely involved in training the next generation of tailors. He was awarded an OBE in 2009, for his work in tailoring and training, and was the UK’s Black Business Person of the Year in 2017.

    DISC ONE: Portrait of Trinidad by The Mighty Sniper
    DISC TWO: Another Brick In The Wall, Pt. 2 by Pink Floyd
    DISC THREE: Time Will Tell by Jimmy Cliff
    DISC FOUR: The Boxer by Simon & Garfunkel
    DISC FIVE: It's a Man's Man's Man's World by James Brown & The Famous Flames
    DISC SIX: Desiderata by Les Crane
    DISC SEVEN: Maria La O by Neil Latchman
    DISC EIGHT: Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel

    BOOK CHOICE: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
    LUXURY ITEM: A tenor steel pan drum
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel

    Presenter Lauren Laverne
    Producer Sarah Taylor

  • Adele is a singer and songwriter who has achieved record-breaking sales and global recognition for her four albums which document her life from the age of 19 onwards. Her cache of awards includes 15 Grammys and nine BRITs. She also won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for the James Bond theme Skyfall which she co-wrote.

    She was born Adele Laurie Blue Adkins in London in 1988. In 2002 she won a place at the BRIT School for Performing Arts where she studied music and developed her performing and song writing skills. In her final year a friend posted her three-song demo online which attracted the attention of several record companies.

    In 2006 Adele signed to XL Recordings and the following year she released her first single, Hometown Glory. In 2008 she released her debut album, 19, and the following year she won Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

    Her next two albums 21 and 25 consolidated her superstar status. In 2013 she was appointed an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to music. Adele’s fourth album, 30, was released in 2021. The songs addressed how she was adjusting to life post-divorce and her feelings about her new role as a co-parent.

    Adele lives in Los Angeles with her son.

    DISC ONE: Roam by The B-52's
    DISC TWO: Dreams by Gabrielle
    DISC THREE: Need Somebody by Shola Ama
    DISC FOUR: He Needs Me by Nina Simone
    DISC FIVE: Bills Bills Bills by Destiny’s Child
    DISC SIX: I’d Rather Go Blind by Etta James
    DISC SEVEN: Maps by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
    DISC EIGHT: For All We Know by Donny Hathaway

    BOOK CHOICE: The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
    LUXURY ITEM: A self-inflating mattress
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Dreams by Gabrielle

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Paula McGinley

  • Bono is a singer, songwriter and the frontman of U2, one of the most recognisable and successful bands in music history. They have sold over 170 million albums, won 22 Grammys – more than any other band – and two Golden Globe Awards. Bono is also known for his work as an activist, especially in Africa where he has played a prominent role in campaigns which tackle poverty and HIV/AIDs.

    Bono was born Paul Hewson in Dublin in 1960. A schoolfriend named him Bono after a hearing aid shop in Dublin called Bono Vox, and the name stuck. When he was 16, Bono saw a poster on his school noticeboard posted by Larry Mullen Jr asking for people to form a rock band. He responded with enthusiasm and before long was rehearsing with his future bandmates Larry, who played the drums, guitarist the Edge and bassist Adam Clayton.

    The band’s debut album Boy came out in 1980 and five years later they made an impact at the Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium when Bono disappeared from the stage for two minutes to get up close to the audience. One newspaper later described this incident as one of the 50 key events in rock history. U2's subsequent albums, including the Joshua Tree, Rattle and Hum and Achtung Baby, cemented their status as global superstars, filling arenas around the world.

    In 2004 Bono co-founded One, an international campaigning organisation which was set up with the aim of ending extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030.

    Bono met his future wife, Ali, at school when they were both teenagers. They married in 1982 and have four children.

    DISC ONE: Show Me The Way by Peter Frampton
    DISC TWO: Every Grain Of Sand by Bob Dylan
    DISC THREE: Abide With Me by Emeli Sande and The Fron Choir
    DISC FOUR: Dead In The Water (Live At RTÉ 2FM Studios, Dublin) by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
    DISC FIVE: Ice Cream Sundae by Inhaler
    DISC SIX: Agolo by Angelique Kidjo
    DISC SEVEN: Verdi: La traviata Prelude to Act 1, composed by Giuseppe Verdi and performed by Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, conducted by James Levine
    DISC EIGHT: Someone Somewhere in Summertime by Simple Minds

    BOOK CHOICE: Ulysses by James Joyce
    LUXURY ITEM: A Spanish guitar
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Every Grain Of Sand by Bob Dylan

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Paula McGinley

  • Rita Tushingham first won international acclaim as a teenager, playing Jo in the film A Taste of Honey. Her performance in this 1961 kitchen sink drama earned her a BAFTA, a Golden Globe and the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival. She starting shooting the film on her 19th birthday.

    She went on to play roles in the Leather Boys, the Knack… and How to Get it and Doctor Zhivago. Now 80, she continues to perform and recently appeared in two BBC television drama series - Ridley Road and The Responder - and in the film Last Night in Soho.

    Rita was born in Liverpool and at 16 joined the Liverpool Repertory Company as a student assistant stage manager. Her first role was as the back legs of a horse in Toad of Toad Hall. In 1960 she responded to a newspaper article which invited ‘ugly’ unknown girls to apply for the part of Jo in a film adaptation of Shelagh Delaney's play A Taste of Honey, to be directed by Tony Richardson. The film challenged many taboos of the time, including teenage pregnancy and interracial relationships.

    After the British film industry went into decline in the 1970s Rita started working in Europe. In 1988 she went back to her roots and played Celia Higgins in Carla Lane’s Liverpool sitcom, Bread. Rita lives in London and is a passionate supporter of Liverpool Football Club.

    DISC ONE: You’ll Never Walk Alone by Gerry & the Pacemakers
    DISC TWO: Tutti Frutti by Little Richard
    DISC THREE: Penny Lane by The Beatles
    DISC FOUR: Every Time We Say Goodbye by Ella Fitzgerald
    DISC FIVE: The pas de deux from the second act of Giselle, performed by The Pro Arte Orchestra, conducted by Marcus Dods
    DISC SIX: Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel
    DISC SEVEN: An extract from I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue - Potted Plots, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 22nd May 2006
    DISC EIGHT: Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley

    BOOK CHOICE: Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
    LUXURY ITEM: A photograph album
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel

    Presenter Lauren Laverne
    Producer Paula McGinley

  • Frances O’Grady is the General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), the UK's umbrella group for unions, representing millions of workers. She is the first woman in the 154 year history of the TUC to hold this post, which she took up in 2013.

    Frances is the youngest of five children, and was brought up in Oxford. Her family has strong links with the trade union movement: her great grandfather and grandfather were founder members of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union, and her father was a shop steward at the British Leyland plant in Cowley.

    Thanks to strong encouragement from one of her teachers, Frances was the first of her family to go to university, studying History and Politics at Manchester. After graduation, she moved to London and worked in shops and the hospitality industry, becoming a union rep before getting a job at the Transport and General Workers Union. She joined the TUC in 1994 as Campaigns Secretary, became Deputy General Secretary in 2003 and General Secretary a decade later. In 2020, during the pandemic, she worked with the government on the furlough scheme, providing support for workers whose usual employment.

    In April 2022, she announced that she would step down from her post at the end of this year.

    DISC ONE: It’s Not Unusual by Tom Jones
    DISC TWO: Burn It Down by Dexys Midnight Runners
    DISC THREE: Double Barrel by Dave & Ansell Collins
    DISC FOUR: Atmosphere by Joy Division
    DISC FIVE: Funkin' for Jamaica by Tom Browne
    DISC SIX: Hello Stranger by Barbara Lewis
    DISC SEVEN: Pieces of a Man by Gil Scott-Heron
    DISC EIGHT: A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke

    BOOK CHOICE: History by Elsa Morante
    LUXURY ITEM: A painting set with edible paints
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Double Barrel by Dave & Ansell Collins

    Presenter Lauren Laverne
    Producer Sarah Taylor