Episodes

  • Melanie Chisholm - known as Melanie C - is a singer and songwriter who found global fame as one fifth of the Spice Girls, the most commercially successful female group ever.

    Melanie was one of 400 other hopefuls who answered an advertisement to form a new girl band in 1994 - little knowing how her life would be turned upside down by fame and worldwide success. She was given the nickname Sporty Spice and presented what she calls a "gobby' persona to the outside world, but inside she was a shy girl who preferred to stay in the background.

    She grew up in Merseyside and as a child she loved performing. At 16 she attended the Doreen Bird College of Arts, aiming for a career in musical theatre. By her early 20s, she was an international star: Spice world was a high-octane life of constant recording and touring and the accompanying press scrutiny contributed to a stressful environment. As the pressure intensified Melanie suffered from eating disorders and in 2000 she was diagnosed with depression. Her recovery was long and painful but she says finally getting a diagnosis enabled her to begin the process of getting better.

    When the Spice Girls went their separate ways for a while Melanie began a career as a successful solo artist. In 2009 she played Mrs Johnstone in the West End production of Willy Russell's musical Blood Brothers, earning five star reviews and standing ovations. Recently she has been back on stage with the Spice Girls on their stadium tour.


    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Paula McGinley

  • Ian Wright is a former professional footballer and now a football pundit on TV and radio. He began his career at Crystal Palace before moving to Arsenal where he became their highest goal scorer of all time, a record only surpassed eight years later by Thierry Henry.

    Born to a Jamaican couple in south-east London, Ian grew up with his mother and step-father. His biological father had left the family when Ian was under two years old. Things at home were difficult and Ian spent as much time as possible outside playing football.

    At his primary school a teacher, Mr Pigden, took him under his wing and Ian would later credit him with changing his life. He left his secondary school at the age of 14 to get a job. Although he took part in trials for many professional football clubs as a teenager, he was never selected. He continued to play for amateur sides. By the age of 21, he had three children to provide for, so when Crystal Palace came calling in 1985, he turned them down three times before accepting a two-week trial, followed by a three-month contract. His football career had finally begun.

    After impressing as a forward at Palace, he was bought by Arsenal for a record fee in 1991. He was called up to the England squad the same year and would go on to collect 33 caps. He spent his last couple of years in professional football at a number of clubs around the country and in total, he played 581 league games, scoring 387 goals for seven clubs in England and Scotland. Since his retirement from football in 2000, he has had a career as a pundit on both TV and radio.

    He has eight children and has been happily married to his second wife, Nancy, since 2011.

    DISC ONE: The Marriage of Figaro: Duettino - Sull'aria by Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, composed by Lorenzo Da Ponte and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    DISC TWO: Looking For You by Kirk Franklin
    DISC THREE: River Deep Mountain High by Ike and Tina Turner
    DISC FOUR: Redemption Song by Bob Marley & The Wailers
    DISC FIVE: Mysteries of the World by MSFB
    DISC SIX: Endlessly by Randy Crawford
    DISC SEVEN: Crown by Stormzy
    DISC EIGHT: Just Fine by Mary J Blige

    BOOK CHOICE: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
    LUXURY ITEM: A seven iron golf club and golf balls
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Endlessly by Randy Crawford

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

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  • Zoe Ball is a radio and television presenter. She became the first woman to present the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show in 1997, and then the first woman to present the Radio 2 Breakfast Show in 2019.

    Zoe grew up in Buckinghamshire with her father – TV presenter Johnny Ball – and her stepmother. After working behind the scenes in TV as a runner and researcher, she first moved into the spotlight hosting children's programmes, including the very successful BBC Saturday morning show Live & Kicking, with Jamie Theakston. In the late 1990s, coinciding with her move to the Radio 1 Breakfast Show, she found herself described in the press as a 'ladette', enjoying the partying culture of the time. Further headlines followed her marriage to superstar DJ Norman Cook - Fatboy Slim - in 1999. She decided to leave Radio 1 in 2000, and her first child, Woody, was born later that year. She and Norman announced their separation in 2016.

    Zoe was a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, and has presented Strictly: It Takes Two since 2011. In 2018, she cycled 350 miles from Blackpool to Brighton as part of Sport Relief, and to raise awareness of mental health, after her partner Billy Yates took his own life. She began presenting the Radio 2 Breakfast Show just over a year ago.

    She lives in Sussex with her two children, Woody and Nelly.

    DISC ONE: Where Am I Going? by Barbra Streisand
    DISC TWO: Georgy Porgy (Disco Version) by Toto feat. Cheryl Lynn
    DISC THREE: Righteous by Ocean Wisdom feat. Rodney P & Roots Manuva
    DISC FOUR: Shoot You Down by The Stone Roses
    DISC FIVE: Love Having You Around by First Choice
    DISC SIX: Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) by Frank Wilson
    DISC SEVEN: Truth by Kamasi Washington
    DISC EIGHT: You Can't Always Get What You Want by The Rolling Stones

    BOOK CHOICE: A dictionary
    LUXURY ITEM: A potting shed, gardening tools and seeds
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Truth by Kamasi Washington

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Sarah Taylor

  • Sonita Alleyne is the Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, the first woman to hold the post and - more significantly - the first black master of any Oxbridge college. In her previous career in the media, she was the co-founder and former CEO of the production company Somethin’ Else.

    Born in Barbados, she came to England aged three and grew up in East London, the youngest of three children. She was an able reader by the time she started primary school, and her potential was spotted at her secondary school, where she was encouraged to apply to Cambridge.

    She read philosophy at Fitzwilliam College and, after a brief and unfulfilling spell selling life insurance, she followed her passion for jazz by starting to write for music magazines. In 1989 she joined the radio station Jazz FM. When she was made redundant a couple of years later, she and two former Jazz FM colleagues set up a production company they called Somethin’ Else.

    Sonita stepped down as CEO in 2009 to concentrate on other boardroom roles. She served on the BBC Trust for nearly five years, sits on the board of the London Legacy Development Corporation, and founded the Yes Programme to show primary school pupils their future career options. She is a fellow of the Radio Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts.

    Sonita began her ten year tenure as Master of Jesus College in October 2019. She lives in Cambridge with her partner, the screenwriter James McCarthy, and their teenage son.

    DISC ONE: I’ve Known Rivers by Gary Bartz & NTU Troop
    DISC TWO: Les Fleurs by Minnie Riperton
    DISC THREE: Key To The World by L J Reynolds
    DISC FOUR: Martha by Tom Waits
    DISC FIVE: Tennessee by Arrested Development
    DISC SIX: To Forgive But Not Forget by Outside
    DISC SEVEN: Last Train to Clarksville by Cassandra Wilson
    DISC EIGHT: Swing Low Sweet Chariot by Marvin “Hannibal” Peterson

    BOOK CHOICE: Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje
    LUXURY ITEM:A genie in a lamp which would only work within the confines of the island
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE:Les Fleurs by Minnie Riperton

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Anne Enright won the Booker Prize for her fourth novel, The Gathering, in 2007, and was appointed the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction in 2015. She has written seven novels, two collections of short stories and a book of essays about motherhood and her work has been widely translated.

    Born in Dublin in 1962, Anne is the youngest of five children. She was a voracious reader from an early age, finishing every children's book at her local library. When she was 16, she won a scholarship to study at a school in Canada, and then returned to Ireland for a degree in English and Philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin. After taking an MA in Creative Writing at University of East Anglia, with teaching from Angela Carter and Malcolm Bradbury, she worked for six years as a TV producer for the Irish broadcaster RTE. When her TV work left her feeling burned out, she began her writing career in earnest. Her book of short stories, The Portable Virgin, won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 1991, and she published her first novel, The Wig My Father Wore, in 1995. Her latest novel, The Actress, is published in February 2020.

    She is also now a Professor at University College Dublin and teaches creative writing. She met her theatre director husband, Martin Murphy, at university and they have two children.

    DISC ONE: Brahms Intermezzos: Op. 117, No.1 by Glenn Gould
    DISC TWO: Jersey Girl by Tom Waits
    DISC THREE: A Case Of You by Joni Mitchell
    DISC FOUR: Then You’ll Remember Me by Dé Danann
    DISC FIVE: The Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash
    DISC SIX: Hiawatha by Laurie Anderson
    DISC SEVEN: Tower of Song by Leonard Cohen
    DISC EIGHT: Soave sia il vento from Cosi fan Tutte, composed by Mozart, conducted by Karl Böhm, performed by Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Walter Berry, Christa Ludwig and Philharmonia Orchestra.

    BOOK CHOICE: 'In Search of Lost Time’ by Marcel Proust
    LUXURY ITEM: High thread-count cotton sheets
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Soave sia il vento from Cosi fan Tutte, composed by Mozart

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Dame Sue Campbell is the Director of Women’s Football at the Football Association. The women’s game has become increasingly popular recently and last year the England team - the Lionesses - made it to the World Cup semi-finals.

    Born in 1948, just outside Nottingham, Sue was sporty from an early age, even changing schools to allow her to play football. She became a PE teacher in Manchester and realised how transformative sport could be, increasing self-esteem, motivation and self-belief.

    In the mid-1980s, after learning about excellence in sport at Loughborough University and playing netball for England as well as dabbling in the pentathlon, Sue became deputy chief executive (and a year later chief executive) of the National Coaching Foundation, which provided education for coaches at both ends of the spectrum, from parent volunteers to elite coaches.

    Ten years later, in 1995, she co-founded the Youth Sport Trust to set up a sports activity programme for every primary school in the country. It was hugely successful: in 2003 only 23% of school children were getting two hours of PE a week. By 2008, this figure had risen to 95%. In 2010, the coalition government cut their funding.

    By this time, back at the elite end of the sporting spectrum, Sue was also in charge of UK Sport, where she presided over Team GB's biggest Olympic medal haul in living memory, at the London 2012 games. In 2016, she took her current job as head of Women’s Football at the FA. She has also been a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords since 2008.

    BOOK CHOICE: The Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
    LUXURY ITEM: A photo album
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Music Of My Heart by Gloria Estefan And *N SYNC

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Michael Lewis is a best-selling non-fiction writer and journalist. He initially worked for an investment bank, and his experiences of Wall Street excess in the 1980s informed his acclaimed first book, Liar’s Poker. Three of his later books – Moneyball, The Blind Side and The Big Short – have been adapted into Hollywood feature films.

    He was born in New Orleans in 1960, where his father was fond of quoting the family motto: 'Do as little as possible, and that unwillingly, for it is better to receive a light reprimand than perform an arduous task.' After studying at Princeton and the LSE, he joined an American bank in London, and wrote articles about the quirks of the industry under a pseudonym. In spite of his father’s opposition, he decided to quit his highly-paid job to become a writer.

    In Moneyball, he examined how a struggling baseball team used intensive data analysis to find undervalued players overlooked by richer clubs. The Big Short focused on the sub-prime mortgage crisis, and his most recent book, The Fifth Risk, is about the Trump administration’s approach to government.

    Michael lives in California with his wife, Tabitha Soren, and their three children.

    BOOK CHOICE: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
    LUXURY ITEM: A photo album
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Old Days by Chicago

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Sarah Taylor

  • Rupert Everett is an actor, writer and director whose breakthrough came in 1981 when he was cast as a gay schoolboy in Another Country, Julian Mitchell's play and subsequent film.

    Rupert later starred in Dance with a Stranger before making a splash in Hollywood playing Julia Roberts's gay confidante in My Best Friend's Wedding. But his movie career took a dive after The Next Best Thing - in which he played the gay father of Madonna's baby - flopped. After a period out of the limelight he turned his attention to writing and won great acclaim for his witty and illuminating memoirs about his life in showbusiness.

    In 2018 Rupert starred in his directorial debut, The Happy Prince - a film about Oscar Wilde's final years in exile. The film was a decade-long labour of love for Rupert from writing the screenplay to securing the funding and persuading his friends Colin Firth and Emily Watson to join the cast. The film was well-received, with one critic calling it a 'deeply felt, tremendously acted tribute to courage'.

    Later this year Rupert is starring in the Broadway revival of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

    BOOK CHOICE: Travels with my Aunt by Graham Greene
    LUXURY ITEM: Vegetables
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Being Boring by Pet Shop Boys

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Paula McGinley

  • Stephen Merchant first came to fame with the TV sitcom The Office, which he co-wrote and co-directed with Ricky Gervais. He continued to work with Gervais on the series Extras, Life is Short and An Idiot Abroad. His comedy hero as a young man was John Cleese and as a fellow tall West Country boy, he felt he would try his hand at a comedy career.

    As a teenager, he worked at Radio Bristol, was a wedding DJ and enjoyed drama at school. While at Warwick University, he created his own radio programme, The Steve Show. Those radio production skills encouraged him to send in his CV to a new London radio station, XFM, where the head of speech was Ricky Gervais. Following a successful interview – conducted in a pub – Stephen became Ricky’s assistant.

    Stephen left XFM to join a BBC training scheme. It was the short film he made with Ricky as part of his course which would eventually lead to the creation of The Office.

    Alongside his successful comedy partnership with Gervais, Stephen has pursued his acting and writing ambitions and this year wrote and directed his first film, Fighting with my Family, based on a family of wrestlers. His performance as a stand-up led to his HBO series Hello Ladies, and he starred in his first stage play, Richard Bean's The Mentalists, in London in 2015.

    His work has earned him two Golden Globe Awards, three BAFTAs, a Primetime Emmy Award, and four British Comedy Awards.

    DISC ONE: Whole of The Moon by The Waterboys
    DISC TWO: Raspberry Beret by Prince
    DISC THREE: Babies by Pulp
    DISC FOUR: Regulate (Jammin' Remix) by Warren G featuring Nate Dogg and Michael McDonald
    DISC FIVE: Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen
    DISC SIX: A Case of You by Joni Mitchell
    DISC SEVEN: Change of the Guard by Kamasi Washington
    DISC EIGHT: Love Letter by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds

    BOOK CHOICE: Roger's Profanisaurus by Viz and Roger Mellie
    LUXURY ITEM: A piano
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Heidi Thomas is a screenwriter and playwright best known for Call the Midwife. The BBC TV series, which began in 2012, was originally a six part adaptation of a trilogy of memoirs by Jennifer Worth, recalling her experiences as a midwife in the East End of London. It was an immediate hit, with 10 million viewers a week, becoming one of BBC One’s most popular dramas and a fixture in the Christmas schedules.

    Born in 1962, Heidi Thomas grew up as the eldest of three children in the leafy suburbs of Liverpool. Her father ran a drain cleaning business while her mother looked after the children, including Heidi’s youngest brother David, who was born with Down’s Syndrome.

    Heidi studied English at Liverpool University, supporting herself by selling ladies’ underwear at a department store. During a bout of viral hepatitis, which left her unable to apply for jobs when she graduated, she entered a competition for new plays and won a prize for her debut, All Flesh is Grass. During the production,of her next play, Shamrocks and Crocodiles, she met the actor Stephen McGann. They went on to marry, and many years later Stephen was cast as the GP in Call the Midwife.

    After nearly a decade in the theatre, Heidi made the leap into television, first writing on existing series such as Soldier, Soldier and Doctor Finlay. Her other screenwriting credits include Lilies, based on her grandmother’s recollections, and adaptations of classic novels including Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford, Noel Streatfeild’s Ballet Shoes and Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

    DISC ONE: You Belong to Me by The Duprees
    DISC TWO: Penny Lane by The Beatles
    DISC THREE: Gentle on my Mind by Dean Martin
    DISC FOUR: Who Will Sing Me Lullabies? by Kate Rusby
    DISC FIVE: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack
    DISC SIX: Finishing The Hat by Josh Groban
    DISC SEVEN: Agnus Dei from Requiem, op. 48, conducted by Nigel Short and performed by London Symphony Orchestra Chamber Ensemble and Tenebrae
    DISC EIGHT: Both Sides, Now by Joni Mitchell

    BOOK CHOICE: London Labour and the London Poor by Henry Mayhew
    LUXURY ITEM: A hot water bottle
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Both Sides, Now by Joni Mitchell

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Sarah Taylor

  • Professor Russell Foster is head of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at the University of Oxford, professor of circadian neuroscience and the director of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology. An expert in sleep, he describes it as 'the single most important health behaviour we have'.

    Born in 1959, as a child he loved his toy microscope and digging up fossils. Despite being labelled “entirely non-academic” by his headmaster and attending remedial classes for some years, he achieved three science A levels which won him a place at the University of Bristol.

    There, he developed an early interest in photo-receptors - cells which convert light into signals that can stimulate biological processes. This eventually led to his post-doctoral discovery, in 1991, of a previously unknown type of cell – photosensitive retinal ganglion cells – in the eyes of mice. His proposition that these ganglion cells – which are not used for vision, but to detect brightness – exist in humans too initially met with scepticism from the ophthalmological community.

    Russell’s research has made a significant impact, proving that our eyes provide us with both our sense of vision and our sense of time, which has changed the clinical definition of blindness and the treatment of eye disease. He has published several popular science books.

    Russell is married to Elizabeth Downes, with whom he has three grown-up children.

    DISC ONE: Ode to Joy from the 4th movement of Symphony No. 9, conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler, performed by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Elisabeth Höngen, Hans Hopf, Otto Edelman and the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
    DISC TWO: Die Walkϋre Act 3, Finale, from Der Ring des Nibelungen, sung by Hans Hotter and performed by Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna State Opera Chorus
    DISC THREE: Don Giovanni, K. 527: Mi tradi quell'alma ingrata by Kiri Te Kanawa
    DISC FOUR: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) by Eurythmics
    DISC FIVE: (Nimrod): Adagio by BBC Symphony Orchestra
    DISC SIX: Title: Chasing Sheep Is Best Left To Shepherds by The Michael Nyman Band
    DISC SEVEN: The Mikado, Act II: The Sun Whose Rays by The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company
    DISC EIGHT: Let’s Misbehave by Irving Aaronson

    BOOK CHOICE: The collected works of Adrian John Desmond
    LUXURY ITEM: A mask, snorkel, flippers and underwater camera
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Die Walkϋre Act 3, Finale, from Der Ring des Nibelungen, sung by Hans Hotter and performed by Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna State Opera Chorus

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Asif Kapadia is an Academy Award-winning film director, renowned for his documentaries about the musician Amy Winehouse, the Brazilian motor racing star Ayrton Senna, and the Argentinian footballer, Diego Maradona.

    Born in 1972, Asif is the youngest of five children. His parents emigrated from Gujarat in the mid-1960s. His father’s ambition to seek his fortune took the family to the US for a short time in the late 70s, but by 1980 they had returned to London. Asif grew up in Hackney, and describes his all-boys secondary school as tough. His mother was ill while he was taking his GCSEs, and he vowed never to sit exams again. At 17, he worked as a runner on a film and so enjoyed feeling part of a crew that he decided he wanted to make a career in the industry.

    He studied film at the Newport Film School, going on to the Polytechnic of Central London where his graduation film, Indian Tales, was highly regarded. His 1997 Royal College of Art graduation film, The Sheep Thief, shot in Rajasthan in the Hindi language, won a prize at Cannes. He made two feature films, The Warrior which won two Baftas, and Far North, which was filmed close to the North Pole.

    His first documentary was Senna, which was widely acclaimed and won two Baftas. Asif used the same collage technique - drawing on camcorder snippets, TV news, and entertainment specials – on Amy, his film about Amy Winehouse. It won an Oscar, a Bafta and a Grammy Award and surpassed Senna to become the highest grossing documentary of all time in the UK. His latest documentary is about the footballer Diego Maradona: he calls it “the third part of a trilogy about child geniuses and fame”.

    Asif is married to Victoria Harwood with whom he has two sons.

    DISC ONE: Tears Dry On Their Own by Amy Winehouse
    DISC TWO: Good Times by Chic
    DISC THREE: Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein by Lata Mangeshka And Mukesh
    DISC FOUR: Rebel Without a Pause by Public Enemy
    DISC FIVE: No Good (Start The Dance) by The Prodigy
    DISC SIX: Man With A Harmonica by Orchestra Ennio Morricone
    DISC SEVEN: A Morte by Antônio Pinto
    DISC EIGHT: Just by Radiohead

    BOOK CHOICE: The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Malcolm X and Alex Haley
    LUXURY ITEM: A polaroid camera with film from the seventies
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Man With A Harmonica by Orchestra Ennio Morricone

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Isabella Tree is a conservationist and writer of the award-winning book Wilding: the Return of Nature to a British Farm, which tells the story of rewilding a 3,500 acre farm estate in Sussex, which she oversaw with her husband Charlie.

    The adopted daughter of Michael Tree and Lady Anne Cavendish, Isabella grew up in Mereworth Castle in Kent, and then in Shute House, a vicarage in Dorset. Following her expulsion from two secondary schools, she attended Millfield School as a sixth former, where mutual friends introduced her to her future husband. After reading classics at the University of London, she went on to work as a journalist and travel writer for the Evening Standard and The Sunday Times. Her first book, The Bird Man, about the Victorian ornithologist John Gould, was published in 1991. She married Charles Burrell in 1993 and settled at Knepp, a dairy and arable farm in Sussex. She continued to travel, writing books about Papua New Guinea, Nepal and Mexico.

    In 2000 Isabella and Charlie closed the farm business at Knepp, and turned the estate into a conservation project, letting the land develop on its own, and eventually introducing free-roaming animals – cattle, pigs, deer and ponies. Two decades later, the project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife, fungi, and vegetation with extremely rare species like turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons and purple emperor butterflies breeding there. The soil is richer in micro-organisms which help to recapture carbon from the air and promote a functioning ecosystem where nature is given as much freedom as possible.

    She lives at Knepp with her husband Charlie and has two children, Ned and Nancy.

    DISC ONE: ‘The Whole of the Moon’ by The Waterboys
    DISC TWO: ‘These Foolish Things’ by Billie Holiday
    DISC THREE: ‘Life’s a Gas’ by T. Rex
    DISC FOUR: ‘Where’s the Telephone Bill? by Bootsy’s Rubber Band
    DISC FIVE: ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley
    DISC SIX: Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet, played by the Brindisi String Quartet
    DISC SEVEN: BBC Sound recording of Nightingales And Bombers The Night Of The Mannheim Raid
    DISC EIGHT: ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ by Toploader

    BOOK CHOICE: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
    LUXURY ITEM: Mask, snorkel and a neoprene vest
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: These Foolish Things by Billie Holiday

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Stephen Graham is an actor, whose credits include key roles in films including This is England and The Irishman, and in TV dramas such as Boardwalk Empire and Line of Duty.

    Stephen was born in Kirkby just outside Liverpool in 1973. He discovered acting at school, where a starring role in a production of Treasure Island at the age of 10 was a turning point: local actor Andrew Schofield was in the audience and suggested that Stephen should join the Everyman Youth Theatre in Liverpool.

    After leaving school, Stephen won a place to study drama in London, but left after a year. His first roles as a professional actor, when he once pretended to be his own agent to talk his way into an audition, gave little indication of the success to come. In 2006, his performance as Combo the skinhead in This is England, directed by Shane Meadows, won widespread critical acclaim. More recently, he has played Al Capone in Boardwalk Empire, and the undercover policeman Corbett in the most recent series of Line of Duty.

    Stephen, who lives in Leicestershire, is married to fellow actor Hannah Walters, who he met at drama school.

    DISC ONE: Kasabian - Fire.
    DISC TWO: Marvin Gaye - Save the Children
    DISC THREE: Young MC - Know How
    DISC FOUR: Pink Floyd – Shine on You Crazy Diamond
    DISC FIVE: Rufus and Chaka Khan – Ain’t Nobody
    DISC SIX: Maverick Sabre – I Need
    DISC SEVEN: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds - Talk Tonight
    DISC EIGHT: DJ Fresh and High Contrast, featuring Dizzee Rascal – How Love Begins (The Hardcore will Never Die Edit)

    BOOK: Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
    LUXURY: His own pillow
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Ain’t Nobody - Rufus and Chaka Khan

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Sarah Taylor

  • Kimberley Motley is an American attorney and the first foreign lawyer to practise in Afghanistan.

    Born in 1975 to an African-American father and a North Korean mother, she grew up in a poor neighbourhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where hers was the only mixed-race family - and the only family with two parents. Education was very important to her parents, who sent their four children to private schools and also paid for extra tutoring.

    After completing degrees in Criminal Justice and Law, Kimberley spent five years working as a Public Defender before taking up the opportunity in 2008 to go to Afghanistan for a year to train local lawyers. Her husband, Claude, stayed in the US to take care of their three children. When her one-year contract in Afghanistan came to an end, she decided to stay and started her own private legal practice.

    Initially she only took on foreign clients, but once she had familiarised herself with the intricacies of local laws and customs, she accepted her first Afghan client. She has gone on to build a thriving practice, with a 70-30% ratio of paid to pro-bono work. Her practice now extends to other parts of the world including Uganda, Ghana and the UAE and earlier this year she published a book about her working life.

    DISC ONE: Will Smith - A Nightmare on My Street
    DISC TWO: Elton John - I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues
    DISC THREE: LL Cool J - I'm Bad
    DISC FOUR: KT Tunstall - Suddenly I See
    DISC FIVE: Dizzee Rascal featuring Calvin Harris - Dance Wiv Me
    DISC SIX: Ed Sheeran - I See Fire
    DISC SEVEN: The Black Eyed Peas - Pump It
    DISC EIGHT: Kendrick Lamar - DNA

    BOOK CHOICE: 1984 by George Orwell
    LUXURY ITEM: Business card holder with photo of her children
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Pump It by Black Eyed Peas

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Russell T Davies is one of the U.K.’s most successful television writers. He spent his teenage years learning his dramatic craft with the West Glamorgan Youth Theatre, and his career in television began in the children’s department at the BBC.

    His first solo hit TV series was the ground-breaking, sexually frank drama Queer as Folk, first broadcast on Channel 4 in 1999.

    A lifelong Doctor Who fan, he relaunched the series in 2005 for a new generation of viewers. Such was its success, he found himself working around the clock.

    More recently, he wrote the highly-acclaimed series A Very English Scandal, starring Hugh Grant as Jeremy Thorpe, and the dystopian drama Years and Years.

    DISC ONE: Julie Covington, Charlotte Cornwell, Rula Lenska - Sugar Mountain
    DISC TWO: Hora Staccato (1950 version) performed by Jascha Heifetz and Emanuel Bay
    DISC THREE: The New Christy Minstrels - Three Wheels on My Wagon -
    DISC FOUR: Leonard Bernstein's Gloria in excelsis, performed by The Norman Scribner Choir
    DISC FIVE: Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights
    DISC SIX: The OT Quartet - Hold That Sucker Down (Builds Like A Skyscraper Mix)
    DISC SEVEN: Neil Hannon - Song For Ten
    DISC EIGHT: Electric Light Orchestra - Mr. Blue Sky

    BOOK CHOICE: Asterix and the Roman Agent by by René Goscinny with illustrations by Albert Uderzo
    LUXURY ITEM: A black Ball Pentol Pen
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Leonard Bernstein's Gloria in excelsis

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Sarah Taylor

  • Wendell Pierce is an American actor best known for his role as Bunk Moreland in the television series The Wire. Since the series ended in 2008, he has made around 40 film and television appearances, including Treme, Selma and the legal drama Suits, in which he played Robert Zane, the father of Rachel Zane, played by Meghan Markle. His theatre credits range from The Cherry Orchard to Death of a Salesman.

    Born in 1963, the youngest of three sons, Wendell grew up in the Pontchartrain Park area of New Orleans, which was the first middle-class African-American suburban-style development in the city. He graduated from the prestigious Juilliard School in New York and his career got off to a flying start with a small part opposite Tom Hanks in a film called The Money Pit. He hasn’t been out of work since.

    In 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed Wendell’s childhood home in New Orleans and he was instrumental in rebuilding his parents’ house in Pontchartrain Park. He also built 40 new homes and staged a production of Waiting for Godot on an empty street corner in one of the most devastated districts of the city.

    He is currently reprising his role as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman on stage in London.

    DISC ONE: Jim Henson - Bein' Green (Featuring Kermit The Frog)
    DISC TWO: Wynton Marsalis - Green Chimneys
    DISC THREE: Funkadelic - One Nation Under a Groove (Part 1)
    DISC FOUR: Mahalia Jackson - Take My Hand, Precious Lord
    DISC FIVE: Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now
    DISC SIX: Solomon Burke - Don't Give Up on Me
    DISC SEVEN: Aaron Copland - Appalachian Spring (Doppio Movimento), performed by New York Philharmonic
    DISC EIGHT: John Coltrane - A Love Supreme Part I: Acknowledgement

    BOOK CHOICE: The Omni-americans: Black Experience And American Culture by Albert Murray.
    LUXURY ITEM: A multi-burner barbecue grill
    CASTAWAY'S CHOICE: Take My Hand, Precious Lord by Mahalia Jackson

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Dame Glenys Stacey has spent 40 years in public service, including high profile work as a regulator in key areas of national life. She has just stepped down after her five year term as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Probation during which she criticised the decision to privatise the Probation service calling it “irredeemably flawed”.

    Glenys was born in Walsall Wood in the West Midlands, where her father was a painter and decorator for the council and her mother worked full time in Union Locks. She left school at 16 and her first job was in an explosives factory. She became a legal executive before deciding to take A levels and then study law at the University of Kent. She was the founding CEO of the Criminal Cases Review Commission, set up by the government in January 1997, after the miscarriages of justice in the cases of the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four. As Chief Executive of Animal Health, she oversaw the management of the outbreak of foot and mouth in 2007 and then led Ofqual for five years, during the reform of GCSEs and A levels.

    She was awarded a Damehood in 2016 for her services to education and earlier this year she became a founding Board Member of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, an advisory body established by the government.

    DISC ONE: Loch Lomond – Sir Harry Lauder
    DISC TWO: Harry Belafonte - Scarlett Ribbons (For Her Hair)
    DISC THREE: T.REX –Ride a White Swan
    DISC FOUR: Peter Gabriel – Solsbury Hill
    DISC FIVE: Wagner - The Ride of the Valkyries
    DISC SIX: Second movement of Saint Saen’s Piano concerto number 2 in G minor
    DISC SEVEN: Bob Marley and the Wailers - I Shot the Sherriff
    DISC EIGHT: Soave sia Il vento from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte

    BOOK CHOICE: Oxford Book of English Short Stories
    LUXURY ITEM: A selection of seeds
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale
    Photo: BBC / Amanda Benson

  • Baroness Arminka Helić is credited with persuading William Hague, the former foreign secretary, and the actor and director Angelina Jolie to launch the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) to campaign against rape as a weapon of war.

    Born in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Arminka fled her home country as violence escalated in the former Yugoslavia and her family appeared on a Serbian death list. Following the intervention of Lady Miloska Nott, wife of the former secretary of state for defence Sir John Nott, she arrived in London as a refugee in October 1992.

    She completed a master’s degree in international history at the LSE which ignited her interest in politics. Her first Westminster job was filing press cuttings in the House of Commons Library where she was spotted and started working for MPs including Robert Key, Liam Fox and William Hague. When William Hague became foreign secretary in 2010, she joined him as a special adviser and made it her mission to bring compassion and humanity to foreign policy.

    After watching Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey, the story of an inter-ethnic love affair set against the backdrop of the war in Bosnia, Arminka persuaded the foreign secretary to join forces with the Hollywood star. The PSVI highlights how sexual violence in conflict zones is often a hidden crime in which the perpetrators go unpunished.

    In 2014 the PSVI held a global summit in London which brought together activists and policy-makers with the aim of recognizing this crime and bringing about successful prosecutions. In the same year, Arminka Helić entered the House of Lords as a Conservative Life Peer.

    DISC ONE: Tereza Kesovija - Prijatelji Stari Gdje Ste
    DISC TWO: Kim Wilde - Cambodia
    DISC THREE: Zaim Imamović - Kraj Tanana Šadrvana
    DISC FOUR: Tracy Chapman - Fast Car
    DISC FIVE: Bijelo Dugme - Pljuni i zapjevaj moja Jugoslavijo
    DISC SIX: Madonna - True Blue
    DISC SEVEN: Vivaldi - Concerto in F minor, RV 297 “Winter”, 1st movement by performed by The English Concert
    DISC EIGHT: Josipa Lisac - O jednoj mladosti

    BOOK CHOICE: A DIY book
    LUXURY ITEM: A pen and paper
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Kraj Tanana Šadrvana by Zaim Imamović

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Paula McGinley