Episodes

  • 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

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  • 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

  • Jens Stoltenberg is the Secretary General of NATO and a former Prime Minister of Norway.

    Although he was born into a political family in Norway, he grew up thinking he would become a statistician, before turning to a career in politics.

    He served as the Prime Minister of Norway twice. During his second term, Norway experienced one of the darkest days in its recent history, when 77 people were murdered in a bomb attack in Oslo and a mass shooting on a nearby island.

    Before becoming the Secretary General of NATO, a post he has held since 2014, he spent time as a UN Special Envoy on climate change. His term in office as Secretary-General has been extended until September 2022.

    DISC ONE: Lift Me by Madrugada and Ane Brun
    DISC TWO: No Harm by Smerz
    DISC THREE: So Long, Marianne by Leonard Cohen
    DISC FOUR: Hungry Heart by Bruce Springsteen
    DISC FIVE: Make You Feel My Love by Ane Brun
    DISC SIX: Til Ungdommen by Ingebjørg Bratland
    DISC SEVEN: Free Nelson Mandela by The Special A.K.A.
    DISC EIGHT: From Up Here by Ingrid Olava

    BOOK CHOICE: A statistics textbook
    LUXURY ITEM: A pair of skis
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Til Ungdommen by Ingebjørg Bratland

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Sarah Taylor

    Photo credit: NATO

  • Helen Fielding, writer and journalist, is best known for creating Bridget Jones, who first appeared in a newspaper column in the Independent in 1995, in the form of a diary detailing the single 30-something’s exploits in London as she tried to make sense of life and love. The column soon acquired a wider following, and Helen turned Bridget’s story into a best-selling book the following year.

    Born in 1958, Helen grew up in Yorkshire with an older sister and two younger brothers. Her father was a manager at the textile mill next door to where they lived.
    She read English at Oxford where she became friends with Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson. After graduating, she became a BBC trainee, travelling to Africa for Comic Relief. She later made documentaries for Thames TV before moving into print journalism.

    To date, Helen has written four Bridget Jones novels, three of which have been turned into feature films starring Renée Zellweger. She spent a decade in Los Angeles at the start of the new millennium and had two children with Kevin Curran, who was a scriptwriter for The Simpsons. She now lives in London.

    DISC ONE: Fly Me to the Moon by Julie London
    DISC TWO: The Windmills of Your Mind by Noel Harrison
    DISC THREE: It Must Be Love by Madness
    DISC FOUR: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30, composed by Sergei Rachmaninov, conducted by Valery Gergiev and performed by Denis Matsuev (piano) and Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra
    DISC FIVE: La Isla Bonita by Madonna
    DISC SIX: I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
    DISC SEVEN: I’ve Got the World on a String by Frank Sinatra
    DISC EIGHT: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered by Stan Getz & The Oscar Peterson Trio

    BOOK CHOICE: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    LUXURY ITEM: A magical tree
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: It Must Be Love by Madness

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Helen McCrory shares the eight tracks, book and luxury she would want to take with her if cast away to a desert island.

    Helen McCrory OBE is one of the most versatile and critically acclaimed actresses working today. On screen she has played Anna Karenina, Cherie Blair (twice), Harry Potter's Narcissa Malfoy and the Peaky Blinders matriarch Aunt Polly. Her theatre roles range from Yelena in Uncle Vanya to Euripides' Medea.

    A diplomat's daughter, she spent her early childhood in Africa before continuing her education in the UK. After a bruising and unsuccessful audition at the Drama Centre in London - she was instructed to find out more about life before learning to act - she travelled to Italy where she discovered art and love and came back to try again. This time she passed the audition.

    In 1993 she made her mark in Richard Eyre's production of Trelawny of the Wells at the National Theatre and went on to perform leading roles on some of London's most prestigious stages, winning two Olivier Award nominations. She was awarded an OBE for services to drama in 2017.

    She met her husband, fellow actor Damian Lewis, when they both starred in a play called Five Gold Rings. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic Helen and Damian, together with the comedian Matt Lucas, co-founded the Feed NHS campaign which raises money to provide hot meals to frontline NHS workers.


    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Paula McGinley

  • Racehorse trainer Mark Johnston is a lynchpin of British flat racing. In August 2018 - when 20-1 shot Poet's Society, ridden by Frankie Dettori, streaked to victory at York - Mark became the most prolific winning trainer in British racing history, saddling 4,194 winners.

    Based in a 300-acre training yard in Yorkshire, he has never trained fewer than 100 winners each season for the last 26 years including champions such as Attraction, Mister Baileys, Double Trigger and Shamardal.

    Mark grew up on a council estate in East Kilbride and learned to ride when he was a child. His father was a horse lover who enjoyed a flutter and took the young Mark to the bookies when he placed his bets - although Mark was too young to go inside. As a 14-year-old Mark raced whippets and later studied veterinary medicine at Glasgow University but his dream was always to become a racehorse trainer.

    In 1986, together with his wife and business partner Deirdre, Mark bought his first yard. He had no money or connections in the racing world and had three-and-a-half paying horses rather than the 12 he needed under the terms of his trainer's licence. In these early days, the horses trained on a nearby beach that doubled up as an MOD bombing range.

    Johnston horses are known for their front-running style - he believes races aren't won by horses accelerating and passing the other runners, but when the horses in front slow down. He says: "I tell my jockeys to bowl along at the speed the horse is happiest."

    DISC ONE: Get Down and Get With It by Slade
    DISC TWO: Pencil Full of Lead by Paolo Nutini
    DISC THREE: You May Be Right by Billy Joel
    DISC FOUR: You're Still The One by Deirdre and Angus Johnston
    DISC FIVE: Romeo and Juliet by Dire Straits
    DISC SIX: I Knew the Bride Dave Edmunds
    DISC SEVEN: Not Ready to Make Nice by Dixie Chicks
    DISC EIGHT: Don't Stop by Fleetwood Mac

    BOOK CHOICE: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
    LUXURY ITEM: A pair of binoculars
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Don't Stop by Fleetwood Mac

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Paula McGinley

  • Joe Wicks, professionally known as The Body Coach, is a fitness and nutrition coach. Since the lockdown, he has been running daily free virtual PE lessons for children and adults stuck at home. In March he became a Guinness World Record holder after his second PE with Joe class was watched by 955,158 people around the world, a record number of viewers for a live streamed YouTube workout. Getting children to be more active has been a long-held ambition and in 2019 he went on a tour of fifteen schools around the UK delivering High Intensity Interval Training workouts as part of his mission to get school children working out for 15 minutes a day.

    Born in 1985, Joe’s mother was nineteen when she gave birth to him while his father was in and out of his life with a heroin addiction. He was a hyperactive child whose salvation at school was channelling his excess energy into PE lessons.

    With a Sports Science degree under his belt, he briefly became a teaching assistant himself, but found it wasn’t for him and set himself up as a personal trainer instead, preaching the importance of combining training with the right nutrition. With the advent of the video function on Instagram, he started posting free 15-second recipes using the name The Body Coach, building up a following of first hundreds, then thousands and eventually millions.

    His phenomenally successful business began when he created a commercial 90-day plan with workouts and meals. He published Lean in 15 in 2015 which became the bestselling non-fiction book of the year, and he has since written eight further cook books.

    He married his wife, Rosie, in 2019 and the couple have two children, Indie and Marley.

    DISC ONE: Shotgun by George Ezra
    DISC TWO: Bright Side of the Road by Van Morrison
    DISC THREE: Three Little Birds by Bob Marley And The Wailers
    DISC FOUR: When You Were Young by The Killers
    DISC FIVE: Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen
    DISC SIX: River by Leon Bridges
    DISC SEVEN: Nothing Can Change This Love by Sam Cooke
    DISC EIGHT: You’re Welcome by Dwayne Johnson

    BOOK CHOICE: Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    LUXURY ITEM: An acoustic guitar
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: River by Leon Bridges

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Martin Lewis is a financial journalist, campaigner and broadcaster.

    His high-profile campaigns on bank charges, student finance, and mental health and debt have made headlines, and millions of people subscribe to his weekly money tips email. He founded the Money Saving Expert website in 2003 with just £100 and sold it less than a decade later for £87 million, although he calls himself an 'accidental entrepreneur'.

    He has since supported numerous groups and causes through charitable donations, most recently setting up a Coronavirus Poverty Emergency Fund to help small local charities. He has also campaigned for financial help and guidance for self-employed people who are unable to work during the current pandemic.

    Martin grew up in Cheshire and studied at the London School of Economics. After a brief spell working in financial PR, he took a postgraduate course in broadcast journalism with the aim of becoming a commentator on money matters, and he initially worked as a producer and presenter on radio and TV,

    DISC ONE: Livin’ La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin
    DISC TWO: Stand and Deliver by Adam And The Ants
    DISC THREE: Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off by Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald
    DISC FOUR: The Circle Game by Joni Mitchell
    DISC FIVE: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones
    DISC SIX: The Blue Danube, composed by Johann Strauss II, conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent and performed by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    DISC SEVEN: I Fought the Lloyds by Oystar
    DISC EIGHT: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons

    BOOK CHOICE: A Game of Thrones: The Story Continues: The complete boxset of all 7 books (A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R.R. Martin
    LUXURY ITEM: Solar powered electric carving knife
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Livin’ La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin

    Presenter Lauren Laverne
    Producer Sarah Taylor

  • 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

  • Elizabeth Anionwu is a retired nurse, campaigner and Emeritus Professor of Nursing at the University of West London. A fellow of the Royal College of Nursing, she spent 40 years in the profession and has been named one of the most influential nurses in the history of the NHS. Her career was distinguished by her pioneering work in the understanding of sickle cell disease - bringing better treatment and support to the thousands living with it. She was the first sickle cell and thalassaemia nurse counsellor in the UK.

    Her decades of dedication, care and service are a contrast to her own disrupted childhood as a mixed race child born out of wedlock in the 1940s, though it was the kindness of a nurse when she was just five that sparked a nascent interest in what would become her life’s work. After leaving school at 16, with seven O-levels, Elizabeth was made a Professor of Nursing in 1998.

    She left her day job behind in 2007, but as she puts it “it has not turned out to be a quiet retirement”. She spent nine years fundraising and campaigning for a statue to British-Jamaican nurse Mary Seacole. Unveiled in 2016 in the grounds of St Thomas’ Hospital, London, the statue is the first in the UK to represent a named black woman. Elizabeth received the DBE in 2017 for services to nursing and the Mary Seacole Statue Appeal.

    DISC ONE: Faith’s Song by Amy Wadge
    DISC TWO: The Rakes of Mallow, Girl I Left Behind by The Gallowglass Ceili Band
    DISC THREE: Manman by Leyla McCalla
    DISC FOUR: A Te,O Cara by Andrea Bocelli
    DISC FIVE: Missa Bilban by The Jamaican Folk Singers
    DISC SIX: I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free by Nina Simone
    DISC SEVEN: Nnekata by Flavour N'abania
    DISC EIGHT: My Girl by Otis Redding

    BOOK CHOICE: Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama
    LUXURY ITEM: A trampoline
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free by Nina Simone

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Charles Hazlewood is a conductor and the founder of Paraorchestra, the world's first professional ensemble of disabled musicians.

    Once described as the Heston Blumenthal of orchestral music, Charles has spent his career challenging Britain’s musical palate, exploding boundaries and expanding our ideas about what an orchestra can be - and do.

    His repertoire encompasses Beethoven, Bruckner and Barry White, and his critically-acclaimed projects include more than 100 world premieres and the first orchestral headline performance at Glastonbury. Paraorchestra, the ensemble he established in 2011, reached a global audience at the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Paralympics. He also co-founded an opera company in South Africa, and its production of Carmen, with a mainly black cast, won international acclaim.

    He studied music at Keble College, Oxford and was the Organ Scholar there. He won the EBU conductor's competition in 1995 and has had an international career as a conductor.

    DISC ONE: Somebody’s Gonna Off The Man by Barry White & The Love Unlimited Orchestra
    DISC TWO: A Rainbow in Curved Air by Terry Riley
    DISC THREE: Ach, ich fühls, composed by Mozart, conducted by Otto Klemperer and performed by Gundula Janowitz and Philharmonia Orchestra
    DISC FOUR: R. Strauss: 4 Lieder, Op. 27 - 4. Morgen! by Richard Strauss, conducted by Kurt Masur, performed by Jessye Norman and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    DISC FIVE: Improvisation by Olivier Latry
    DISC SIX: Kraftwerk-Rewerk, composed by Charlotte Harding and Lloyd Coleman, conducted by Charles Hazlewood
    DISC SEVEN: Ndisakuthanda Mna, composed by Georges Bizet, performed by Pauline Malefane, Andile Tshoni and Dimpho Di Kopane, conducted by Charles Hazlewood
    DISC EIGHT: The Last Time/Ultima Vez by Pauline Oliveros

    BOOK CHOICE: A book of poetry by Ivor Cutler
    LUXURY ITEM: An espresso machine
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Ach, ich fühls, composed by Mozart, conducted by Otto Klemperer and performed by Gundula Janowitz and Philharmonia Orchestra

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Sarah Taylor

  • Sinead Burke is a disability rights activist and teacher. She has combined her love of education and style to campaign for more representation of diversity in the fashion industry.

    Born in Dublin, Sinead has achondroplasia – a genetic condition which causes restricted growth – and is 3’ 5” tall. She refers to herself as a “little person” and knew she wanted to be a teacher after her first day at school. She has used the classroom environment to discuss openly with her pupils the issues surrounding disability. She believes openness and kindness are the ways forward to develop understanding and respect.

    As a child she collected the September issues of Vogue and later on started writing a blog in which she held the fashion industry to account about diversity and representation. She continues to work towards greater inclusivity in fashion and her mission is to encourage people from diverse backgrounds to realise the industry is open to them whether as editors, designers or models. Last year she was selected as one of 15 trailblazing women to appear on the cover of the September issue of British Vogue.

    In 2018 Sinead spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos – the only Irish female delegate. She has taken her message to the White House at the invitation of the Obamas and was appointed to Ireland’s Council of State to advise the president about disability rights.

    DISC ONE: Like A Girl by Lizzo
    DISC TWO: Awoo by Sofi Tukker, feat. Betta Lemme
    DISC THREE: Small Town Boy by Bronski Beat
    DISC FOUR: You Should See Me in a Crown by Billie Eilish
    DISC FIVE: I Put a Spell on You by Nina Simone
    DISC SIX: The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel
    DISC SEVEN: Vogue by Madonna
    DISC EIGHT: Samhradh Samhradh by The Gloaming

    BOOK CHOICE: Your Silence Will Not Protect You by Audre Lorde
    LUXURY ITEM: A necklace
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Like A Girl by Lizzo

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Paula McGinley

  • Simon Armitage was appointed Poet Laureate in 2019. His poems celebrate the everyday and the ordinary with wit and affection. But beyond the wood chip and washing lines he addresses the complexities and the profound feelings that underpin daily life.

    Born in Huddersfield, Simon Armitage grew up in the village of Marsden in West Yorkshire. Marsden has informed and inspired much of his work and as a boy he would look out of his bedroom window at night to watch the comings and goings of village life.

    He vividly remembers as a teenager discovering the work of fellow laureate Ted Hughes, recalling an almost electrical surge of excitement when he realised the power of words on a page. Hughes grew up in the next valley and Simon admits to thinking "If Ted Hughes can do it why can't I?"

    He worked as a probation officer in Manchester for several years, writing poetry in the evenings and at weekends. His first collection Zoom! was published in 1989 and a few years later he left the probation service to write full time. Prolific and popular, he was named the Millennium poet and in 2015 was appointed Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford. Three years later he was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.

    Today he lives not far from Marsden where, when he's not writing poems, plays and novels, he still looks out of his window and daydreams.

    DISC ONE: Moonage Daydream by David Bowie
    DISC TWO: The Lamb by William Blake, composed by John Tavener, conducted by Andrew Nethsingha and performed by The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge
    DISC THREE: You've Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two by Jonathan Pryce and the 1994 London Palladium Cast Of Oliver!
    DISC FOUR: Icecrust and Snowflake by Ted Hughes
    DISC FIVE: Atmosphere by Joy Division
    DISC SIX: Tainted Love / Where Did Our Love Go? by Soft Cell
    DISC SEVEN: Holmfirth Anthem by Jon Rennard
    DISC EIGHT: My Heart’s in the Highlands by Else Torpe and Christopher Bowers-Broadbent

    BOOK CHOICE: The Oxford English Dictionary
    LUXURY ITEM: A tennis ball
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Moonage Daydream by David Bowie

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Paula McGinley

  • Brian Cox CBE is a Scottish actor whose career spans almost 60 years, from his early days sweeping the stage at his local theatre in Dundee to his current Golden Globe-winning role as the media patriarch Logan Roy in the HBO series Succession. He has appeared in more than 100 films, many television series, and has won two Olivier awards for his work on stage.

    Brian Cox was born in 1946, the youngest of five children, and grew up in a working-class household in Dundee. His father died of cancer when he was eight and his mother, who was receiving regular psychiatric treatment, was unable to take care of him. He moved in with his sister Betty and her family.

    He left school aged 14 with no qualifications, and started out as a stage hand and stage cleaner at Dundee Rep, before winning a place at drama school. Years of theatre work followed, alongside actors such as Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud and Albert Finney. His later stage roles include acclaimed performances as King Lear at the National Theatre, and Titus Andronicus for the Royal Shakespeare Company. On film, his work includes the first screen portrayal of Hannibal Lecter - renamed Lecktor - in Manhunter, and blockbusters such as The Bourne Identity, X-Men 2, Braveheart and Troy.

    He received a CBE in 2002, and lives in New York City with his second wife Nicole Ansari.

    DISC ONE: Bridge Over Troubled Water by Johnny Cash
    DISC TWO: Saturday Night at the Movies by The Drifters
    DISC THREE: The Air That I Breathe by KD Lang
    DISC FOUR: Get Back by The Beatles
    DISC FIVE: La quête by Jacques Brel
    DISC SIX: Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell
    DISC SEVEN: God Only Knows by The Beach Boys
    DISC EIGHT: Don’t Get Me Wrong by The Pretenders

    BOOK CHOICE: In Search of the Miraculous by P.D. Ouspensky
    LUXURY ITEM: A sewing kit
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: God Only Knows by The Beach Boys

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Sarah Taylor

  • Dame Helena Morrissey is a former City fund manager and chief executive of a major investment company, who has also campaigned to boost the number of women in the boardroom. Newspapers regularly describe her as 'Superwoman', because alongside her many professional achievements, she's the mother of nine children.

    Helena Morrissey is the daughter of two teachers, and her drive was evident from an early age. She was - by her own admission - a 'manic Brownie', striving to gain the maximum number of badges, and she also played the piano to a high standard. She won a place at Cambridge University from her comprehensive school in Chichester, and on graduating, joined an asset management company in their New York office. On her return to London, she felt that she was denied promotion because she had a young baby.

    She moved to Newton Investment Management, and at the age of 35 she was appointed the CEO - a role she was not expecting to take. Under her leadership, the company's assets grew from £20 billion to £50 billion. In 2010 she established the 30% Club, campaigning for better female representation on the boards of British companies, and in 2017 she received a DBE for services to diversity in the financial sector.

    She lives in London with her husband Richard, who gave up full time work to look after their many children.

    DISC ONE: My Sweet Lord by George Harrison
    DISC TWO: Polonaise in A Flat, Op. 53, Heroic, composed by Frédéric François Chopin and performed by Arthur Rubenstein
    DISC THREE: We've Only Just Begun by The Carpenters
    DISC FOUR: Being Boring by Pet Shop Boys
    DISC FIVE: Moon River by Audrey Hepburn
    DISC SIX: Calm Down by The Clementines
    DISC SEVEN: Condolence by Benjamin Clementine
    DISC EIGHT: God Is by Kanye West

    BOOK CHOICE: Much Obliged, Jeeves by P. G .Wodehouse
    LUXURY ITEM: A grand piano
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: My Sweet Lord by George Harrison

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale