Episoder

  • Arsène Wenger was the manager of Arsenal FC for 22 years, becoming the longest-serving and most successful manager in the club’s history.

    He was born in Strasbourg in 1949 and grew up as the youngest of three children in the nearby village of Duttlenheim, where his parents ran a bistro. There he listened in to the daily conversations about football, which preoccupied the men of the village.

    After playing for his local team and studying for a degree in economics, Arsène made a career as a footballer in France for a decade, before moving into management. He coached in France, Monaco and Japan before joining Arsenal in 1996. At that point he was a complete unknown in English football, but soon proved his doubters wrong. He took a declining mid-table side to Premier League glory within two years, going on to win two further Premierships and a record number of FA Cups. In 2003-4 his so-called Invincibles achieved a record-breaking run of 49 matches without defeat.

    He also won a reputation as an innovator, changing his players’ diets and contributing to the globalisation of soccer by signing overseas players and scouting young talent from across the world. He was instrumental in building a new home for Arsenal, when the club moved from Highbury to the brand new Emirates Stadium

    Arsène retired from Arsenal in 2018 and took up a post as FIFA’s head of Global Football Development the following year. He is separated from his partner Annie Brosterhous. They have one grown-up daughter, Léa.

    DISC ONE: Could You Be Loved by Bob Marley And The Wailers
    DISC TWO: Imagine by John Lennon
    DISC THREE: Avec Le Temps by Léo Ferré
    DISC FOUR: Your Song by Elton John
    DISC FIVE: Évidemment by France Gall
    DISC SIX: The Wonder of You by Elvis Presley
    DISC SEVEN: Ne Me Quitte Pas by Jacques Brel
    DISC EIGHT: My Way by Frank Sinatra

    BOOK CHOICE: Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
    LUXURY ITEM: A ball
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Avec Le Temps by Léo Ferré

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Sir Keir Starmer is the leader of the Labour Party, and the leader of the opposition.

    Named after Keir Hardie, a founding father of the Labour party, he was elected leader seven months ago in the wake of Labour’s heavy defeat in the 2019 general election.

    He stood for, and won, the leadership on a platform of party unity but his resolve has been tested recently by factionalism and infighting. Following the publication of the highly critical Equality and Human Rights Commission report, he has vowed to tackle the issue of anti-Semitism in the party and heal division within the party ranks.

    He grew up in Oxted, Surrey, the son of a toolmaker and a nurse. His formative years were clouded by his mother’s debilitating illness: she suffered from Still’s disease, an autoimmune disease, and as a young boy he spent a lot of his time at her hospital bedside.

    His political awakening came at 16 when he joined the East Surrey Young Socialists and later he was one of the editors of the radical magazine Socialist Alternatives. After university he had a high-profile career as a human rights lawyer representing prisoners on death row and advising the new Police Service of Northern Ireland which was set up as part of the Good Friday Agreement. In 2008 he changed tack and became the director of Public Prosecutions before switching to politics. In 2015 he was elected to the House of Commons as MP for Holborn and St Pancras.

    DISC ONE: Out on the Floor by Dobie Gray
    DISC TWO: Symphony No. 6 in F major, op. 68 “Pastoral” (5th) Movement by Beethoven, conducted by Herbert von Karajan, performed by Berlin Philharmonic
    DISC THREE: Welcome to My World by Jim Reeves
    DISC FOUR: Falling and Laughing by Orange Juice
    DISC FIVE: Oh Happy Day by The Edwin Hawkins Singers
    DISC SIX: Three Lions by Baddiel, Skinner & The Lightning Seeds
    DISC SEVEN: Piano Concerto No.5, 2nd movement, Adagio un pocco mosso by Beethoven, performed by Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (pianist and director) and Swedish Chamber Orchestra
    DISC EIGHT: Bridge Over Troubled Water by Artists For Grenfell, featuring Stormzy

    BOOK CHOICE: A very detailed Atlas
    LUXURY ITEM: A Football
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Piano Concerto No.5, 2nd movement, Adagio un pocco mosso by Beethoven, performed by Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (pianist and director) and Swedish Chamber Orchestra

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Paula McGinley

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  • David Mitchell has published eight novels, two of which – number9dream and Cloud Atlas – have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

    He has also translated two books on autism from Japanese, working with his Japanese wife: their son is on the autistic spectrum. While his work also includes writing for the screen and opera libretti, his main occupation has been, as one critic put it, “quietly pottering away at the frontier of fiction” for more than two decades.

    David is the son of two artists, and grew up near the Malverns, where his father worked in the art department of the Royal Worcester porcelain factory. After studying at the University of Kent, he worked in a bookshop, and moved to Japan in the mid-1990s to teach English. Here he met his wife and put his mind to writing. His first two novels were published while still living in Hiroshima.

    With each standalone novel, David is also adding to what he calls an uber-novel in which all of his books are part of a larger narrative, with characters flitting from one story to another, transported to a different time and place, but bringing a familiarity and a backstory with them.

    He now lives in County Cork, Ireland, with his wife and two children.

    DISC ONE: Sunset by Kate Bush
    DISC TWO: Requiem Op. 33b, For Mixed Choir A Cappela / Fyrir Blandadan Kór A Capella.
    Performed by Motet Choir Of The Hallgrím's Church, chorus Master: Hörður Áskelsson
    DISC THREE: Mercury by Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhli, James McAlister
    DISC FOUR: Un Dia De Noviembre by Zsofia Boros
    DISC FIVE: Anima by Milton Nascimento
    DISC SIX: Stylo by Gorillaz, featuring Bobby Womack and Mos Def
    DISC SEVEN: In a Sentimental Mood by Duke Ellington and John Coltrane
    DISC EIGHT: Sonata in F minor, K466, composed by Domenico Scarlatti, performed by
    Yevgeny Sudbin

    BOOK CHOICE: A book of Chinese characters (Kanji)
    LUXURY ITEM: A complete archive of Desert Island Discs
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Anima by Milton Nascimento

    Presenter Lauren Laverne
    Producer Sarah Taylor.

  • Hilary McGrady is Director General of the National Trust.

    She was born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, in 1966, where her father was a builder while her mother looked after Hilary and her two older siblings. She spent her childhood roaming the fields near her home, 20 miles outside Belfast. She went to art college after school where she met her husband, Frank. Their relationship initially caused difficulty for her family who were staunch Protestants and unionists, while Frank’s came from a Catholic, nationalist area.

    After finishing her degree in Graphic Design, Hilary worked as a designer before moving into marketing and then into the charity sector for an organisation called Arts & Business. After working on Belfast’s ultimately unsuccessful bid to become European Capital of Culture she joined the National Trust in 2006 as regional director for Northern Ireland. She moved around the organisation, taking on ever bigger roles with every move, becoming Chief Operating Officer in 2014. She succeeded Dame Helen Ghosh as Director General in March 2018. Her major priority for the National Trust over the next decade is to tackle climate change and biodiversity, and she set out a ten-year plan in January 2020 to coincide with the Trust’s 125th anniversary.

    Hilary lives in County Antrim with her husband. They have three grown-up children, a dog and 16 ducks. She lists her interests as the arts, gardening and hill walking.

    DISC ONE: The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, performed by Tasmin Little (violin) and BBC Symphony Orchestra
    DISC TWO: How Great Thou Art by Chris Rice
    DISC THREE: Blue Monday by New Order
    DISC FOUR: She Moved Through The Fair by Cara Dillon
    DISC FIVE: One by U2
    DISC SIX: Just Say Yes by Snow Patrol
    DISC SEVEN: Gabriel's Oboe by Ennio Morricone
    DISC EIGHT: Paradise by George Ezra

    BOOK CHOICE: A Poem for Every Day of the Year by Allie Asiri
    LUXURY ITEM: Painting set and easel
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: She Moved Through the Fair by Cara Dillon

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

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

    DISC ONE: Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra
    DISC TWO: Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen) by Baz Luhrmann
    DISC THREE: Hurt Feelings by Flight of the Conchords
    DISC FOUR: The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) by Simon and Garfunkel
    DISC FIVE: Barcelona by Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballé
    DISC SIX: Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones
    DISC SEVEN: Embrace Me, You Child by Carly Simon
    DISC EIGHT: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John

    BOOK CHOICE: Feersum Endjinn by Iain M. Banks
    LUXURY ITEM: Butter
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) by Simon and Garfunkel

    Presenter Lauren Laverne
    Producer Sarah Taylor

  • Averil Mansfield is a retired vascular surgeon and was the first female Professor of Surgery in the UK when she was appointed in 1993.

    She was born in 1937 in Blackpool, where her father worked as a welder on the attractions at the Pleasure Beach. She was an only child and an avid reader when young. After perusing a library book on early advances in surgery, she decided, at the age of eight, that she wanted to become a surgeon. She studied at the University of Liverpool and spent her early working life in the city. Appointed a consultant surgeon in 1972, she moved to London eight years later with her second husband. She became a consultant vascular surgeon at St Mary’s Hospital in 1982 and remained there until her retirement in 2002.

    One of the leading vascular surgeons in the country in the 1990s, she was a key figure in proving the safety of vital life-saving vascular operations: the stroke-preventing carotid endarterectomy, an intricate procedure to unblock the carotid artery, and surgery to repair a thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm. These surgeries have helped save thousands of lives by reducing the risk of strokes by 50%.

    In the early 1990s, she set up an initiative called Women in Surgical Training to encourage more women to take up the profession. In addition to becoming the first female Professor of Surgery in Britain, she was also the first elected Chairman of the Court of Examiners at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, served as Chair of the Stroke Association for five years following her retirement, and as President of the British Medical Association.

    She lives in London and has three step-children and six grandchildren from her late husband.

    DISC ONE: II. Waltz by Dmitri Shostakovich, conducted by Steven Sloane, performed by Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin
    DISC TWO: A Transport of Delight by Donald Swann & Michael Flanders
    DISC THREE: Piano Concerto No. 2in B Flat. Op.83 – 3. Andante – Piu adagio by Johannes Brahms, conducted by Andris Nelsons, performed by Hélène Grimaud (piano) and The Vienna Philharmonic
    DISC FOUR: Farewell to Stromness by Peter Maxwell Davies
    DISC FIVE: Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello No. 1 in G minor K478: Allegro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, performed by Daniel Barenboim (piano) Kian Soltani (cello) Michael Barenboim (violin) Yulia Deyneka (viola)
    DISC SIX: Pavane, Op. 50 by Gabriel Fauré, conducted by Yan Pascal Tortelier, performed by BBC Philharmonic and City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus
    DISC SEVEN: Dancing Queen by Abba, performed by Christine Baranski, Julie Walters and Meryl Streep
    DISC EIGHT: "Schwanengesang", Ständchen by Franz Schubert, performed by Peter Schreier (tenor) and András Schiff (piano)

    BOOK CHOICE: A book of poetry
    LUXURY ITEM: A grand piano
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Piano Concerto No. 2in B Flat. Op.83 – 3. Andante – Piu adagio by Johannes Brahms, conducted by Andris Nelsons. Performed by Hélène Grimaud (piano) and The Vienna Philharmonic

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE is a Trinidadian-British broadcaster, writer and politician. She became a familiar face to millions of viewers through her work on children's television, most notably on Play School, which she first presented in 1976.

    She was born in Trinidad in 1949, the second of six children. When her parents emigrated to the UK, she and her siblings were initially left behind with foster parents. After 16 months, the family was able to reunite, when the children travelled to England by sea. At first they all lived in one room in south London. Eventually her parents were able to buy a house in Beckenham, where they lived for 40 years - which is why Floella decided on the title Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham when she entered the House of Lords in 2010 as a Liberal Democrat peer.

    There was no hint of her later high public profile when she left school at 16 to work in a bank, until she dared to audition for a West End musical during her lunch break. She was successful, going on to appear in numerous London shows, before her move into television. Along with her work in front of the camera, she set up her own TV production company, as well as publishing books and working closely with charities for children and young people. She has also campaigned for high standards in children's broadcasting and more diversity in the creative industries.

    She was the Chancellor of Exeter University for a decade, starting in 2006, and earlier this year she received a Damehood for her services to charity.

    DISC ONE: The Greatest Love of All by George Benson
    DISC TWO: Waiting in Vain by Bob Marley and the Wailers
    DISC THREE: Puttin’ on the Ritz by Ella Fitzgerald
    DISC FOUR: Once by Stan Getz
    DISC FIVE: Begin the Beguine by Julio Iglesius
    DISC SIX: The Prince of Denmark’s March by Jeremiah Clarke, performed by the London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble
    DISC SEVEN: Are You Gonna Go My Way by Lenny Kravitz
    DISC EIGHT: Smile by Nat King Cole

    BOOK CHOICE: Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama
    LUXURY ITEM: A neck rest
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: The Greatest Love of All by George Benson

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Sarah Taylor

  • Samantha Morton is an actor and director. She has appeared in films directed by Woody Allen and Steven Spielberg, and is also known for her work on independent productions, often with serious themes such as prostitution and bereavement. She has been nominated for two Academy Awards and won many accolades including a BAFTA and a Golden Globe.

    Born in Nottingham in 1977, she had a difficult childhood. She was first taken into care as a baby, then spent the next decade between foster parents and her father’s home before being taken into care permanently at the age of 11. She was sexually abused in one of the homes, and left school at the age of 13.

    She discovered acting when a teacher recommended she apply to the Central Junior Television Workshop which lead to her appearing in TV series including Soldier Soldier, Cracker, and Band of Gold. She went onto appear in the films, Emma and Jane Eyre and received her first Academy Award nomination for her role as a mute laundress in Woody Allen’s 1999 film Sweet and Lowdown. Her second was for her portrayal of a grieving mother in the 2003 film In America.

    Other roles have ranged from Mary, Queen of Scots, in Elizabeth: The Golden Age to a war widow in The Messenger and the wife of a serial killer in Rillington Place. She made her directorial debut with The Unloved in 2009, a film based on her own experience of the care system. It won the BAFTA Award for Best Single Drama.

    Sam lives in Sussex with her husband, Harry Holm. They have two children together, Edie and Teddy. Sam also has a daughter, Esme, from her relationship with Charlie Creed-Miles.

    DISC ONE: Burden of Shame by UB40
    DISC TWO: Flower by The Charlatans
    DISC THREE: The Town I Loved So Well (Live) by Luke Kelly And The Dubliners
    DISC FOUR: Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody) by Talking Heads
    DISC FIVE: Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space by Spiritualized
    DISC SIX: Blume (French version) by Einstürzende Neubauten
    DISC SEVEN: Dream Baby Dream by Suicide
    DISC EIGHT: I Remember by Molly Drake

    BOOK CHOICE: Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga by B. K. S. Iyengar
    LUXURY ITEM: A photograph of Samantha's children
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space by Spiritualized

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Yusuf Cat Stevens is a singer-songwriter who first enjoyed success more than 50 years ago.

    He was born Steven Demetre Georgiou in July 1948. His Greek Cypriot father and his Swedish mother ran a restaurant in the West End of London, and he helped out there from an early age. He also became interested in music, writing and singing his own songs, partly inspired by the success of The Beatles.

    Under the name Cat Stevens, he was just 18 when he had his first hit, and soon found himself on tour with Engelbert Humperdinck and Jimi Hendrix. His career came to a sudden halt in 1969, when he contracted tuberculosis and was forced out of the limelight for a year of recuperation. It was also a time of reflection. He emerged a changed man in 1970 - a sensitive singer-songwriter whose albums, including Tea for the Tillerman, and Teaser and the Firecat, sold millions of copies around the world.

    While enjoying fame and success, he also thought more deeply about religious faith, an interest which increased after he nearly drowned while swimming in the Pacific. He became a Muslim in 1977, changed his name to Yusuf Islam and walked away from music. He soon became one of the UK's most high-profile Muslims, and was often asked to comment about aspects of Islam. For two decades, he didn’t touch his guitar, but in 2006 he made a comeback with an album entitled An Other Cup. He has released three more albums since then and has recently recorded a new version of perhaps his best-known work, Tea for the Tillerman.

    Yusuf lives in Dubai with his wife Fawziah. They have four daughters and one son who has followed in his father's musical footsteps.

    DISC ONE: America from West Side Story by Anita (Rita Moreno), Bernado (George Chakiris), The Sharks And Girls
    DISC TWO: Tutti Frutti by Little Richard
    DISC THREE: Twist and Shout by The Beatles
    DISC FOUR: March From A Clockwork Orange (Beethoven: Ninth Symphony: Fourth Movement, abridged) by Wendy Carlos
    DISC FIVE: The Wind by Cat Stevens
    DISC SIX: Allah Uya by Ali Farka Touré
    DISC SEVEN: Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood by Nina Simone
    DISC EIGHT: As by Stevie Wonder

    BOOK CHOICE: The Masnavi I Ma'navi of Rumi: Complete by Maulana Jalalu-'d-din Muhammad Rumi (Author), E. H. Whinfield (Translator)
    LUXURY ITEM: Bendicks Bittermints
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: As by Stevie Wonder

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Sarah Taylor

  • Bernardine Evaristo won the Booker Prize in 2019 for her novel, Girl, Woman, Other. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London.

    Bernardine was born in May 1959, the fourth of eight children, to an English mother and a Nigerian father. She grew up in Woolwich in south London, and was educated at Eltham Hill Girls’ Grammar School. She spent her teenage years at the Greenwich Young People’s Theatre and, after deciding that she wanted to be a professional actor at the age of 14, did a Community Theatre Arts course at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama.

    After graduation she founded the Theatre of Black Women with two fellow students in the early 1980s and they began to write roles for themselves. By the late 1980s, she had decided that it was the writing she enjoyed most.

    Her first poetry collection was published in 1994, followed by a semi-autobiographical verse novel called Lara three years later. More books followed, experimenting with form and narrative perspective, often merging the past with the present, prose with poetry, the factual with the speculative, and reality with alternate realities. Girl, Woman, Other is her eighth book.

    A longstanding activist and advocate, Bernardine has initiated several successful schemes to ensure increased representation of artists and writers of colour in the creative industries.

    She is married to David, who she met in 2006, and lives in London.

    DISC ONE: Malaika by Angélique Kidjo
    DISC TWO: Zombie by Fela Kuti
    DISC THREE: Breaths by Sweet Honey in the Rock
    DISC FOUR: I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free by Nina Simone
    DISC FIVE: Woyaya by Osibisa
    DISC SIX: Köln, January 24, 1975, part I by Keith Jarrett
    DISC SEVEN: Things Have Changed by Bob Dylan
    DISC EIGHT: Fight The Power by Public Enemy

    BOOK CHOICE: The Norton Anthology of Poetry by Margaret Ferguson), Tim Kendall and Mary Jo Salter
    LUXURY ITEM: A hologram of Bernardine's husband
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Köln, January 24, 1975, part I by Keith Jarrett

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • The ball rolled past the gap between him and Gordon Banks and into the back of the net. The Germans were one goal up.

    Jack Charlton, Sue Lawley's castaway, recalls the match which was to bring him to his knees in relief and joy as England went on to win the 1966 World Cup - just one of the crowning moments of a career that could so easily have ended down the pit, except for his talent with the ball. Nicknamed The Boss because of his straight talking, Jack describes his relationship with his brother 'Our Kid' Bobby Charlton and his success as manager of Ireland.

    Jack died in July 2020, at the age of 85.

  • Kirsty Young's castaway is the actress Liz Smith. Her story is a triumph of talent and perseverance over circumstance. Her mother died when she was tiny, her father walked out of her life and for many years she was brought up by her grandmother who was in mourning for her only child and her own husband. For Liz, acting and making people laugh was an escape from the often harsh realities of life, but she had to wait until she was 50 for her first real break - a role in Mike Leigh's film Bleak Moments. By that time, she'd raised her two children on her own with very little money and knew that this was her opportunity to prove what she could do.

    She won critical acclaim and was later awarded a Bafta for her appearance in Alan Bennett's A Private Function and finally, when she was in her 70s, she became a household name through her roles in The Vicar of Dibley and The Royle Family.

    Liz Smith recorded this programme in 2008, when she was 86 years old.


    Favourite track: Only The Lonely by Roy Orbison
    Book: A very large catalogue
    Luxury: A complete artist's set.

  • Roy Plomley's castaway is the Monty Python comedian Terry Jones, in a programme first broadcast in 1983. Terry Jones died in January 2020, at the age of 77.

  • Wendy Cope is one of England’s most popular and widely-read contemporary poets.

    Wendy was born in Erith, Kent. Her father was 29 years older than her mother and she was sent to boarding school at the age of seven. Although English was her favourite subject at school, in a bid to defy her English teacher’s expectations, she read history at Oxford. Following graduation she became a primary school teacher.

    After the death of her father in 1971, Wendy entered psychoanalysis in 1973 and turned to writing poetry. Having attended evening classes in creative writing, one of her poems was published in a collection which brought her to the attention of Faber and Faber. Her first volume of poetry, Making Cocoa For Kingsley Amis, was published in 1986, and became an instant success, and she gave up teaching to become a full time writer.

    She has since published four volumes of a poetry: Serious Concerns (1992), If I Don’t Know (2001), Family Values (2011) and Anecdotal Evidence (2018) as well as two volumes for children, Twiddling Your Thumbs (1988) and The River Girl (1991). In 2011, Wendy sold her entire personal archive to the British Library, which consisted of 15 boxes of manuscript, including several unpublished early works.

    Wendy lives in Ely and is married to fellow poet, Lachlan Mackinnon.

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

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  • Kirsty Young's castaway is Bryan Stevenson.

    An American lawyer, he is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a private, not-for-profit organisation working on death penalty cases, cases of children sentenced as adults, prison and sentencing reform, and issues of race and poverty.

    His great grandparents were slaves and he himself went to a segregated school in southern Delaware. Although from a poor African American background he made it to Harvard Law School. Since then he has secured relief for over a hundred prisoners sentenced to death. He has argued in front of the Supreme Court six times and won landmark rulings about the sentencing of children for both homicide and non-homicide offences. His TED talk from March 2012 has been viewed over two million times.

    The programme was first broadcast in 2015.

    Producer: Cathy Drysdale.

  • Listeners choose the music that has been special to them during the weeks of lockdown. With Jane Moss, Hugh Mullally, Ailish Douglas, Professor Jason Warren, Niti Acharya, Margery Hookings, Simon Spiller, Clare Raybould and Garry Greenland.

    DISC ONE: Amazing Grace by Judy Collins
    DISC TWO: Who Knows Where The Time Goes? by Sandy Denny
    DISC THREE: The Whole of The Moon by The Waterboys
    DISC FOUR: Heimweh op. 57 Nr. 6: Homesickness, composed by Edvard Grieg, performed by Emil Gilels
    DISC FIVE: Ab Saunp Diya by Om Vyas
    DISC SIX: Prelude and The Sound of Music by Julie Andrews & Orchestra of St. Luke's
    DISC SEVEN: Over The Rainbow / What A Wonderful World by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
    DISC EIGHT: Six Million Steps (West Runs South) by Rahni Harris & F.L.O

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Maria Balshaw is the Director of Tate, overseeing four major art galleries: Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate Modern and Tate St Ives.

    Maria was born in 1970 in Birmingham, and grew up in Northampton, where her father, Walter, was a parks officer, and her mother, Colette, was a teacher. She read English and Cultural Studies at the University of Liverpool and fell in love with the newly opened Tate Liverpool at Albert Dock.

    After working as an academic for almost a decade, she changed career and headed a government campaign to inspire creativity in schools.

    In 2006, she became director of the Whitworth gallery in Manchester, where she promoted works by women artists and oversaw a major redevelopment and expansion of the building. The Whitworth won the Art Fund Museum of the Year award in 2015. Maria also took on the roles of Director of Manchester City Galleries, and Director of Culture for Manchester City Council. The Observer called her “a northern powerhouse in her own right”.

    She took over leadership of the four Tate galleries from Sir Nicholas Serota in June 2017, and is the first woman to hold this role.

    Maria has two children from her first marriage and lives in Kent and London with her second husband, Nick Merriman, Director of the Horniman Museum.

    DISC ONE: Ghost Town by The Specials
    DISC TWO: Wild is the Wind by David Bowie
    DISC THREE: It's a Sin by Pet Shop Boys
    DISC FOUR: Love Hurts by Emmylou Harris with Gram Parsons
    DISC FIVE: Hope There's Someone by Antony and the Johnsons
    DISC SIX: Cantelowes by Toumani Diabaté
    DISC SEVEN: Waiting for the Great Leap Forward by Billy Bragg
    DISC EIGHT: Crown by Stormzy

    BOOK CHOICE: Vickery’s Folk Flora: an A-Z of the Folklore and Uses of British and Irish Plants by Roy Vickery
    LUXURY ITEM: A full set of flower and vegetable seeds
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Waiting for the Great Leap Forward by Billy Bragg

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Steve Backshall is an explorer, naturalist and broadcaster.

    His BAFTA-winning programmes bring viewers of every generation closer to nature – from the children's series Deadly 60, featuring close encounters with the most dangerous and venomous creatures on earth, to Blue Planet Live and Springwatch.

    His interest in the natural world began at a young age, after his parents decided to swap their terraced house for a smallholding with goats, ducks and geese.

    His big break as a broadcaster arrived when National Geographic offered him the post of Adventurer in Residence and he’s been taking on the most arduous challenges and toughest environments on earth ever since. He ran a marathon in the Sahara and has swum cage-free with great white sharks.

    His adventures have also brought him many near-death moments. He broke his back while rock climbing and recently almost drowned while kayaking in Bhutan.

    Steve is married to the Olympic champion rower Helen Glover, and they have a two year old son and twins born earlier this year.

    DISC ONE: Beautiful War by Kings of Leon
    DISC TWO: The Wind by Cat Stevens
    DISC THREE: Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead
    DISC FOUR: Even After All by Finley Quaye
    DISC FIVE: I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by Ash Cutler and Rachael Hawnt
    DISC SIX: Last Goodbye by Jeff Buckley
    DISC SEVEN: 6 Words by Wretch 32
    DISC EIGHT: This Life by Vampire Weekend

    BOOK CHOICE: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
    LUXURY ITEM: A guitar
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by Ash Cutler and Rachael Hawnt

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Sarah Taylor

  • Sharon Horgan is a writer, actor and producer best known for co-writing and co-starring in the Channel 4 series Catastrophe with US comedian Rob Delaney.

    Sharon was born in 1970 in east London, where her parents Ursula and John were running a pub. They moved to Ireland when Sharon was three and eventually set themselves up as turkey farmers.

    Sharon went to a convent school, then art college in Dublin, before moving to London in 1990, hoping to become an actor. Following six years working at a job centre, she decided to get a degree and enrolled on an English course at Brunel University. She reconnected with Dennis Kelly, who she had acted with previously, and they started writing together. Their breakthrough was the BBC Three series Pulling, first broadcast in 2006, which chronicled the lives of three single women leading unfulfilling lives in an unfashionable part of London.

    Sharon appeared in films while continuing to write and, in 2014, set up her own production company. In 2015, together with Rob Delaney, she co-wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed Catastrophe, about a couple who discover they're expecting a child after a short affair. Sharon was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Female Comedy Performer and she and Rob won the BAFTA TV Craft Award for Best Comedy Writer in 2016. Catastrophe ran for four series, ending in 2019.

    Sharon's other writing credits include the acclaimed series Motherland, Divorce and This Way Up, while her most recent film role was in Military Wives, opposite Kristin Scott Thomas. Sharon is divorced from her husband, Jeremy Rainbird, and lives in London with her two daughters.

    DISC ONE: Rock n Roll Suicide by David Bowie
    DISC TWO: The Queen is Dead by The Smiths
    DISC THREE: Kid's Song by Mic Christopher
    DISC FOUR: Telephone Thing by The Fall
    DISC FIVE: The Only One I Know by The Charlatans
    DISC SIX: Everything Goes My Way by Metronomy
    DISC SEVEN: The Suburbs (continued) by Arcade Fire
    DISC EIGHT: Moments of Pleasure by Kate Bush

    BOOK CHOICE: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
    LUXURY ITEM: A solar powered word processor
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Moments of Pleasure by Kate Bush

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Annie Nightingale was BBC Radio 1’s first female presenter and is its longest-serving DJ, celebrating her 50th anniversary at the station this year.

    Born and brought up in south west London, she fell in love with the romance and mystery of radio through her father’s meticulous tuning of their home set to broadcasts from exotic places like Prague and Hilversum. On leaving school at 17, she spent a year on a journalism course in central London.

    After relocating to Brighton, she worked her way up through local newspapers to the national press and magazines and eventually, by the mid-1960s, to TV. She interviewed the Beatles as a young journalist, and gave early support to artists including David Bowie, Ian Dury, Eminem and Primal Scream. In 1970, she was the first woman DJ to join Radio 1 with a Sunday evening show. From 1978 to 1982, Annie was the sole female presenter on the BBC TV music show The Old Grey Whistle Test, the only woman to have held the job. Her excitement for new music and musical genres from acid house to grime, hasn’t wavered.

    She currently hosts a weekly Radio 1 show called Annie Nightingale Presents… (on air on Wednesdays between 1 and 3 am) and has received countless awards from Caner of the Year to Commander of the Order of the British Empire, which she received this year for services to radio.

    Annie has a son and a daughter from her first marriage. She is twice divorced and lives in London.

    DISC ONE: Bury a Friend by Billie Eilish
    DISC TWO: Some People by Ethel Merman
    DISC THREE: Instant Karma! by John Lennon
    DISC FOUR: Too Many Fish in the Sea by Marvelettes
    DISC FIVE: Space Oddity by David Bowie
    DISC SIX: Freedom by Beyoncé Featuring Kendrick Lamar
    DISC SEVEN: Gymnopédies No. 1, composed by Erik Satie, conducted by Peter Breiner, performed by Gerald Garcia (guitar) and Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, Košice
    DISC EIGHT: My Way by Sid Vicious

    BOOK CHOICE: Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
    LUXURY ITEM: A saxophone
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Space Oddity by David Bowie

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale