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Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996

BBC Radio 4

Guests are invited to choose the eight records they would take to a desert island



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Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Dec 29, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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Sue Lawley's guest on Desert Island Discs today is the writer Martin Amis. He describes his books as comedies, but, like London Fields and Other People, they are frequently dark and disturbing. He says that he has no choice as to the subjects of his books. "They come from nowhere and feel like a little gulp in your digestive system". Although he admits that he's sometimes appalled by the characters he creates, writing itself is something he loves. [Taken from the original programme...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Dec 22, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway on Desert Island Discs this week is Absolutely Fabulous! Jennifer Saunders began "doing funny things with props" in the early 1980s. With her stage partner Dawn French, she toured the clubs and comedy venues making people laugh with acts like The Menopause Sisters. As part of the Comic Strip performers, she burst onto our TV screens as one of the famous, if rather manic, five. Now through her characters Edina and Patsy, she has created a comedy classic. But as she tells...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Dec 15, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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Today's castaway on Desert Island Discs confused the rock critics in the late 1970s with songs like Sweet Gene Vincent, Reasons to be Cheerful and outraged the BBC with Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll. Ian Dury and the Blockheads were part vaudeville act and part punk rock band. In his songs, he created the characters Clevor Trever and Billericay Dickie and so invented the original Essex Man. He's also a painter and an actor, but as he reveals to Sue Lawley, he's writing songs again and hopes...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Dec 8, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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On Desert Island Discs today the castaway is Robert Winston. As Professor of Fertility Studies at Hammersmith Hospital in London, he has been at the forefront of medical developments in his field. He pioneered the screening of embryos for genetic defects and has frequently made the headlines with his views that all women, including widows, lesbians and those who are HIV positive, should be considered for treatment. [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Dec 1, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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This week's castaway on Desert Island Discs may be nearing 70, but he knows how to play The Generation Game. Bruce Forsyth is one of the great all-rounders - television host, pianist, dancer and comedian. He began performing as a child, tap-dancing on the roof of his father's lock-up garages. But, as he tells Sue Lawley, his big night came when he was asked to compere Sunday Night at the Palladium. He has spent more than five decades in showbiz, progressing from Boy Bruce the Mighty Atom, to...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Nov 24, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the Leader of the Opposition, the Right Honourable Tony Blair. He will be describing his beliefs, both political and religious, and revealing the man behind the sound bites. [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs] Favourite track: Recuerdos De La Alhambra by John Williams Book: Ivanhoe by Walter Scott Luxury: Guitar
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Nov 17, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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Atlanta was her sixth Olympic Games. The first was 20 years before. On Desert Island Discs, Tessa Sanderson reveals the competitive drive that brought her back from retirement at the age of 40 to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. She fondly recalls her rivalry with fellow competitor Fatima Whitbread, and remembers the moment she became the first and only British woman to win an Olympic throwing gold medal. [Taken from the original programme material for this archive...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Nov 10, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is a writer, a traveller and an advisor to a Prince and Prime Minister. Now nearly 90, he'll be talking to Sue Lawley about his early years in South Africa, his incarceration as a Japanese prisoner-of-war and his life-long campaign to save the bushmen of the Kalahari Desert. [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs] Favourite track: Piano Sonata No. 17 in Dm 'Tempest' by Ludwig van Beethoven Book:...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Nov 3, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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He's called "His Excellency" by some; to others he's "Fatty Patten". Next year he will hand over Hong Kong to the Chinese. Chris Patten, this week's castaway on Desert Island Discs, describes the challenges of being the colony's last British Governor. He recalls the moment he won the election for the Conservative Party, but lost his own seat, and how, as Environment Secretary, he found himself implementing "the single most unpopular policy that any British government...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Oct 27, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the wine writer Jancis Robinson. One of only 200 Masters of Wine in the world, she recalls how her passion was first aroused by a full-bodied Chambolle-Musigny. It was, she says, the first time she realised that wine was an intellectual experience and not just for lubrication. A familiar face on television for her Matters of Taste and Wine Course series, she also edited the prestigious Oxford Companion to Wine. But her main occupation is tasting, and she can...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Oct 20, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The ball rolled past the gap between him and Gordon Banks and into the back of the net. The Germans were one goal up. This week's castaway, Jackie Charlton, 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, Jackie describes his...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Oct 13, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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Always an outsider, she seems to have gone against all the mores of her time; from opening a dancing school in Calcutta to living alone with her children in Kashmir. On Desert Island Discs this week, the writer Rumer Godden describes how her rich life in India (under the Raj) and in Britain has influenced her novels. She says she can't remember a time when she didn't write. Now in her late 80s, and after publishing more than 50 books, including Black Narcissus and The River, she's just added...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Oct 6, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway on Desert Island Discs this week is Professor Lewis Wolpert. As Chairman of the Committee on the Public Understanding of Science, he is a passionate advocate of the value of science and the increasing need for the recognition and promotion of its importance. He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about his early life in South Africa, his recent struggle with clinical depression and his passion for the views of the 18th-century philosopher David Hume - particularly on the existence of God....
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Sep 29, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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His fourth novel, Popcorn, has been widely-acclaimed by the critics. He's about to begin a nationwide tour with his stand-up comedy routine. And, after the success of his TV series The Young Ones and Blackadder, he's currently writing The Thin Blue Line for BBC1. Yet despite all that, Ben Elton, this week's castaway, says he's more of an enthusiastic 'farty' than a "smug git in a shiny suit". He muses as to whether his scatter-gun delivery (so mocked by the tabloids) is the result of...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Sep 22, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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She has written songs for her friends Barbra Streisand and Bette Davis, and admires Jarvis Cocker and Damon Albarn. This week, the poet and lyricist Fran Landesman chooses her eight records. Although now in her 60s, retired to her bed and celibate, she is still writing lyrics and performing her poetry and has just published a new collection of her work. From poor little rich girl to a life of bohemian excess, she looks back at her experiences - free love, free speech and mind-expanding drugs -...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Sep 15, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway on Desert Island Discs this week is the actor Kevin Whately. Having appeared increasingly prominently in three of the most successful series in recent TV history - Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, Inspector Morse and Peak Practice - he's currently 'hot property' in the casting world. He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about his boyhood in a remote part of Cumbria, his bold but inspired decision to chuck in accountancy in favour of the stage and his time busking at Oxford Circus to pay his way...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Sep 8, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the scientist Colin Blakemore. A brilliant student, he became an Oxford professor at the age of 35 and since then he has commanded enormous influence through his research and the way he has tried to communicate the importance of science to the world at large. He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about his main work - the functioning of the human brain - and about his research on the relationship between vision and brain development. He'll also be...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Sep 1, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the designer and entrepreneur Terence Conran. He first came to fame with the Habitat store which introduced British shoppers to consumer delights like the chicken brick and the duvet. Now considered one of the country's most successful restaurateurs - he currently owns seven restaurants and is involved in designing another 17 - he'll be talking to Sue Lawley about his original foray into the restaurant world. His first venture was called The Soup...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Aug 25, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the cellist Anita Lasker-Wallfisch. One of the most distinguished members of the English Chamber Orchestra, she has toured all over the world with them. However, as she will be telling Sue Lawley, up until the early 1980s, she always refused to visit one country - Germany. For it was from there that her Jewish parents were taken away by the Gestapo, never to be seen again. From the age of 18, she herself was taken away to Auschwitz. There,...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Aug 18, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the composer and conductor André Previn. He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about how he and his family fled from Nazi Germany and ended up in California. His skill as a jazz musician led to a job at MGM and four Oscars for the film scores he wrote there. However, in the mid-1960s he turned his back on Hollywood and became principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. He'll be discussing this dramatic transition, his famous appearance on the...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Jun 16, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the journalist and author Quentin Crewe. Since the age of 29, muscular dystrophy has left him in a wheelchair. Nevertheless, now 70, he can look back on a full and vivid life encompassing a 24,000 mile trip across South America and expeditions across the Sahara and the Saudi Arabian desert. He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about his travels, his close relationship with the Macmillan family, his work as a writer and restaurant critic and also his...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Jun 9, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the actress Peggy Mount. Now 80 years old, and about to play the nanny in Uncle Vanya at Chichester this summer, she'll be talking to Sue Lawley about her long and distinguished career as one of the nation's favourite battleaxes. With her booming voice, and imposing figure, playing parts like the nurse in Romeo and Juliet and the headmistress in The Happiest Days of your Life, she has earned the affection of millions. [Taken from the original...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Jun 2, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is a businessman who started life as one of 10 children in a poor family in Donegal, moved with his family to London's East End and started his career at Matchbox Toys in Hackney. From there, he worked his way up the corporate ladder of several large companies until 10 years ago he organised and led a management buy-out of Compass - part of Grand Metropolitan. Now extremely rich in his own right, he'll be talking to Sue Lawley about the controversy...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
May 26, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the producer Michael White. Renowned for his theatrical flair - with a string of successes such as Sleuth, The Rocky Horror Show, O, Calcutta and A Chorus Line - he'll be talking to Sue Lawley about the downside of show business as well as the euphoria of the successful first night. He'll also be describing his cosmopolitan but miserable childhood. Sent away to school in Switzerland alone and just seven years old because of chronic asthma, his...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
May 19, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is Janet Holmes à Court. Recently named Businesswoman of the Year, she'll be talking to Sue Lawley about how, after the sudden death of her husband, the hugely rich Robert Holmes a Court, she was advised to sell up and retire to the beach. Before his death, he had just been starting to turn the tide which had run against him after he'd lost around £400 million in the stock market crash of 1987. Forgetting the beach, she proceeded to take up the...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
May 12, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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Sue Lawley's castaway is actor and comedian Hugh Laurie. Favourite track: Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison Book: A self-learn Italian book (slowly) Luxury: Family photo album
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
May 5, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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BBC TV's Birds Of A Feather is one of the country's favourite comedy programmes, attracting audiences of 14 or 15 million on a Sunday evening. This week, one of its co-stars, Pauline Quirke, will be cast well away from Chigwell as she prepares to set sail for Radio 4's desert island. Known more famously perhaps as Sharon of Sharon 'n' Tracey, she'll be talking to Sue Lawley about her poor upbringing in London's East End, her first role as a child arsonist at the age of 10 in Dixon of Dock Green...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Apr 28, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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This week, Sue Lawley's desert island castaway is the pianist Mitsuko Uchida. She was born in Japan, but, when she was 12, her family moved to Vienna, where she fully immersed herself in the music that she has now become famous for playing - Bach, Beethoven, Schubert and in particular, Mozart. Her aim is to be always faithful to the composer whose work she is trying to interpret. [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs] Favourite track: Cello...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Apr 21, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the novelist and playwright Hanif Kureishi. He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about his enormously successful screenplay for My Beautiful Laundrette, his novel - televised by the BBC - The Buddha of Suburbia and his love of pop music which he plays at full volume whilst writing. He'll also be discussing the racial abuse which dominated his childhood in Bromley, where, as the son of an Indian father and an English mother, and the only Asian boy in...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Apr 14, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is Viscount Rothermere. As proprietor of the Daily Mail, the Mail On Sunday, London's Evening Standard and a string of regional newspapers, he is the last of the hereditary grandees who once dominated the newspaper industry. He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about his family's long involvement with newspapers, about his own views on the ethical problems facing the press today and about his ability to see into the future. [Taken from the original...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Apr 7, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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This summer will see what will be a sad day in Test cricket history: Dickie Bird, who has umpired 65 Test matches, 92 one-day internationals and three world cup finals, will be umpiring his last Test match at Lords. This week in Desert Island Discs, he will be talking to Sue Lawley about his church-going childhood in Barnsley, and his anxieties about punctuality - arriving as he has done at least four hours before time at Buckingham Palace, Chequers and The Oval. [Taken from the original...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Mar 31, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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Nearly 14 years ago, the young Simon Weston set off to serve with his regiment in the Falklands War. On 8th June 1982 in Bluff Cove, his ship was bombed, most of his friends were killed, but he survived. This week on Desert Island Discs, he'll be talking to Sue Lawley about that shattering moment, his subsequent rehabilitation and how his disfigurement has affected his life. [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs] Favourite track: What a...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Mar 24, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is someone who has unexpectedly encountered professional acclaim late in her life. Singer Kyra Vayne could well be described as one of opera's forgotten voices - until this year when, thanks to the release of some previously-unknown recordings which had lived under her bed in Shepherd's Bush for 30 years, her voice reached a large new audience of admirers. She'll be talking to Sue Lawley about her reaction to the ecstatic reception given to her...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Mar 17, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the Chairman of the National Westminster Bank Lord Alexander. He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about how he began his career as a jobbing barrister, doing all manner of work on the western circuit where he earned a reputation which took him to the top of his profession. Among many others, he won cases for Jeffrey Archer and Kerry Packer, and lost one for Ken Livingstone's GLC. In the 1980s he moved to the City as Chairman of the Takeover Panel and...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Mar 3, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the Shadow Chancellor Gordon Brown. He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about how he was an early 'fast-track' pupil - going to Edinburgh University at 16 - their youngest student for 50 years, about the reasons behind his standing aside in favour of Tony Blair in the contest for the Labour leadership, and about his childhood as one of three sons of a Scottish minister. [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Feb 25, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is a surgeon and a painter. Sir Roy Calne - Professor of Surgery at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge - will be talking to Sue Lawley about his early conviction that transplant surgery was a viable way of treating kidney and liver disease, about his struggles to have his ideas accepted and about the paintings he has done of his patients - many of which have been the subject of several public exhibitions. [Taken from the original programme material...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Feb 18, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is Professor George Steiner. One of the most prominent intellectuals of our time, he'll be talking to Sue Lawley about how the English academic establishment has taken decades to accept him despite his early popularity as a Cambridge lecturer, and about the problem of reconciling the love of beauty with great acts of evil. He'll also be describing how his family left Austria for France in the 1920s and how he was one of only two boys to survive in...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Feb 11, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is one of the country's best-known novelists. Author of I'm the King of the Castle, Strange Meeting and The Woman in Black, among many other books, Susan Hill will be talking to Sue Lawley about the inspiration for her recent and highly-acclaimed sequel to Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca; about the loneliness which characterised her childhood and about the relationship between tragedy in her own life and the way she writes about it in her novels. [Taken...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Feb 4, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is one of the world's outstanding photojournalists, Eve Arnold. The first American woman member of the famous photographic co-operative, Magnum, she'll be talking about how her passion for photography began with the present of a camera, and how, since then, she has travelled the world in search of arresting pictures, living with hippy communes and with the black power movement, as well as photographing some of the great movie stars, including Paul...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Jan 28, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the writer Julian Barnes. Since his first novel - Metroland - was published when he was 34, he has written another eight and won four literary prizes - most famously perhaps for Flaubert's Parrot. He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about his passion for Flaubert, his love for Leicester City, his notions of love and his fear of death. [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs] Favourite track: Requiem...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Jan 21, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the only surviving British star of the silent screen. Chili Bouchier will be talking to Sue Lawley about some of the perils of making silent movies and her transition into the talkies with hugely successful films like Carnival and Gypsy. She'll also be describing the ups and downs of a personal life which has been as vivid as her many films - encompassing two disastrous marriages with men who betrayed her, marriage proposals from Howard Hughes...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Jan 14, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the playwright Jimmy McGovern. He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about the TV series Cracker - one of the top television series of the 1990s - about how much of the central character, Fitz, is modelled on himself, how he feels about the violent world it portrays and about why we are fascinated by criminal psychology. For seven years a writer on Brookside, he'll be describing how the phenomenal success of Cracker led to the reviving of his...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Jan 7, 1996 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the writer Christopher Hampton. He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about his multiplicity of talents - after obtaining a first at Oxford he went straight to the Royal Court Theatre in London where he wrote several highly-regarded plays, among them The Philanthropist. He then went on to win an Oscar for his screenplay of the film Dangerous Liaisons, to translate the work of Ibsen and Chekhov, to write the book for Sunset Boulevard, and, most recently,...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Dec 31, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is Margaret Tebbit. She'll be talking to Sue Lawley about the night 11 years ago when the IRA detonated a huge bomb at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, where she was staying with her husband for the Tory Party Conference. Since that dreadful night, she has been severely paralysed, and she'll be describing the effect on her life: the dreams she has in which she no longer has to use a wheelchair, the new friends she's made and the old ones who turned out...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Dec 24, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is an entertainer who has managed to captivate a generation. Petula Clark will be talking to Sue Lawley about how the British still perceive her as 'our pet' since her early singing days when she was chosen to sing in Trafalgar Square on VE night. Now, arguably the biggest female recording star Britain has ever produced, she is about to take on the lead role in Sunset Boulevard in the West End. In between, hits like The Little Shoemaker, Down Town...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Dec 17, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway this week in Desert Island Discs is the singer and actress Barbara Dickson. She'll be talking to Sue Lawley about how she progressed from being the daughter of a Rothsyth docker to the lead role in Willy Russell's play John, Paul, Ringo and Bert, and later to win an award for her performance in his play Blood Brothers. Along the way, her extraordinary singing voice brought her a string of hit singles, including I Know Him So Well, while recently her acting abilities landed her one...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Dec 3, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the actress Alison Steadman. She'll be talking to Sue Lawley about her role as the monstrous Beverly in the BBC's production of Abigail's Party 18 years ago, as well as her talent for improvisation which she has perfected with her director husband, Mike Leigh. She'll also be discussing how daunting she found it recently to take on the role of Mrs Bennett in the BBC's Pride and Prejudice. [Taken from the original programme material for this...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Nov 19, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is a musician who became famous for producing other people's music. George Martin will be talking to Sue Lawley about how he earned money to pay for piano lessons, was helped by a fairy godfather to study at the Guildhall School of Music and went on in 1962 to sign up and produce the group which changed the face of popular music. He'll be discussing his relationship with The Beatles and his extremely productive life since they disbanded 25 years...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Nov 12, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the writer Umberto Eco. His best-selling novel The Name of the Rose propelled him from the relative obscurity of his post as Professor of Semiotics at Bologna University to worldwide fame at the age of 50. He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about how he deals with the demands of his celebrity status, his childhood in Mussolini's Italy and his other works - Foucault's Pendulum and The Island of the Day Before. [Taken from the original programme...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Nov 5, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, Gillian Shephard. She'll be talking to Sue Lawley about the importance of her roots in rural Norfolk. Although she briefly left to go to Oxford, she was born and brought up in Norfolk and worked in local parliament there until her late 40s, when she entered Parliament to represent a Norfolk seat. She'll be discussing her own school days, and how they influence her perception of the quality of...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Oct 29, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard. In 1950, her first novel The Beautiful Visit was published. Now, some 45 years later and after many other books, she has just completed the concluding book of The Cazalet Chronicles. She'll be talking to Sue Lawley about the problems of combining writing and marriage; she abandoned her three marriages - her first husband, being the naturalist Peter Scott, and her last, the writer Kingsley Amis; and she'll be...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Oct 22, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is one of the country's most successful lyricists, Don Black. Songs like Born Free and Diamonds are Forever, and musicals like Sunset Boulevard, Billy and Aspects of Love have made him a rich man. But he'll be talking to Sue Lawley of his early memories of his poor but happy Jewish family in the East End of London and how an apprenticeship on the New Musical Express led him into the world of popular music. [Taken from the original programme material...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Oct 15, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the academic and author Richard Hoggart. Nearly 40 years ago, he wrote the hugely influential Uses of Literacy. In it, he argued that the working classes were being short changed - both by rampant consumerism and by the dross he felt was being churned out by the mass media. Cast well away from materialism and the media on the desert island, he'll be talking about how he now feels about his original thesis and about his own working-class...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Oct 8, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the Controller of BBC1, Alan Yentob. He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about his upbringing in Manchester and London, the Cathedral boarding school where he and his twin brother were the only two Jewish boys and his 27 years at the BBC. During that time he rose steadily through the ranks to become Head of Music and Arts, ending up as the only person to have run both BBC1 and BBC2. [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Oct 1, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the racehorse trainer Jenny Pitman. She'll be talking to Sue Lawley about the empathy she feels for the horses she trains and her relationship with their owners. She won the Grand National in 1983 with Corbiere, and she has twice trained the winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. In 1995 her charge, Royal Athlete, won the Grand National, crowning her spectacular success as a trainer. [Taken from the original programme material for this archive...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Sep 24, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the advertising man, Maurice Saatchi. He and his brother Charles created what became the biggest advertising agency in the world. Saatchi & Saatchi masterminded the Conservative victory in 1979 with their slogan 'Labour isn't working'. He'll be telling Sue Lawley about the heady days of the 1980s - a red Ferrari would be delivered unannounced to the best names in the business, with the offer of a job with Saatchi & Saatchi. Then, last...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Sep 17, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is a man who spans our century. Aged 91, Max Nicholson has enjoyed careers in conservation, politics, journalism and the Civil Service. But his great passion remains ornithology. As a tiny boy, his parents took him one rainy afternoon to see the stuffed birds in the Natural History Museum, and there his great obsession was born. He was a conservationist before anyone understood the idea of ecology. He's played major parts in the founding of the...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Sep 10, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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Sue Lawley's castaway on Desert Island Discs this week is the celebrated American writer John Updike. His novels include Rabbit Run (and three Rabbit follow-ups), Couples and The Witches of Eastwick. He is both poet and historian, famous for charting the changes in post-war American society such as increasing marital breakdown and changing attitudes to death. He started his writing career by selling stories to the New Yorker magazine - something his mother had tried for years but had never...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Jul 9, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the actress Wendy Richard, one of the best-known faces on British television. She'll be talking to Sue Lawley about a career which started with the Arthur Haines show in the 60s, and took her through a whole series of long-running television programmes - The Newcomers, Are You Being Served? and its sequel Grace and Favour. However, it was 10 years ago that she took the part which was to bring her her greatest popularity - Pauline Fowler in...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Jul 2, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, the sixth Duke of Westminster. He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about the responsibilities and pleasures of being one of the country's richest men. Having enjoyed an idyllic childhood on the banks of Loch Ern in County Fermanagh, it was a rude shock to be transplanted to an English prep school at the age of seven. The comparatively early death of his father then meant that by the time he was just 19 he was managing one...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Jun 25, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is clothes designer Jasper Conran. Son of Sir Terence Conran and Shirley Conran, he has art, design and business in his blood and was always determined to make his own way in the world of fashion without parental influence. He has said, "in a family like mine, if you're not successful, you drown". He'll be telling Sue Lawley about his difficult childhood of nannies and his public school where he was bullied for being overweight, all of...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Jun 18, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is one of the great pioneers of heart transplant surgery - Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub. He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about his dedication to his patients, whether heart transplants are now routinely successful and about some of the earlier controversies which his experimental surgery has attracted. He will also be describing his early ambitions to be a doctor, which were discouraged by his father, and how important music is to him. He often has it...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Jun 11, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is one of the oldest and deepest voices in rock music - the legendary bluesman John Lee Hooker. The son of a preacher man, he was brought up in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and his first guitar was made from an old inner tube tied to the barn door. By the age of 14, he had his own guitar and ran away to Memphis with two dollars in his pocket for a life touring small blues clubs. With hits like Boom Boom, Dimples and Boogie Chillun, he has been one of...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Jun 4, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the actor Brian Blessed. He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about Z Cars - the series which first brought him to public prominence in the 1960s, about his friendship with the actress Katherine Hepburn and his obsession with climbing mountains - mountains like Everest and Kilimanjaro - when he isn't acting. [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs] Favourite track: Rite of Spring The Adoration Of...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
May 28, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is Marianne Faithfull. Singer and actress, she was the original 1960s wild child. At the age of 17, when she was still a convent schoolgirl in Reading, she shot to fame with the hit single As Tears Go By; written for her by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. She was Mick Jagger's mistress, she hung out with Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix, she was young, beautiful and rich and she seemed to have it all. But the glamorous life of the pop star turned into a...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
May 21, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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Sue Lawley's castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is Sir Bernard Ingham. For 11 years, one month and five days, almost from when she came to power to the day she left office, he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Mrs Thatcher. A former card-carrying member of the Labour Party, he became her Chief Press Secretary, adviser and supporter. He was accused by the media of crossing the line between civil service impartiality and political support on that fateful day in Paris in November 1990, just...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
May 14, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is one of America's most successful playwrights. Since he opened Come Blow Your Horn on Broadway in 1961, Neil Simon has written at least a play a year, and they include Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Plaza Suite, Lost in Yonkers, as well as the hit musicals Sweet Charity and They're Playing Our Song. He'll be telling Sue Lawley about his childhood in the Bronx, his days in the army, and how as one of New York's most famous literary sons, he...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
May 7, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey. The son of a hospital porter, he'll be talking to Sue Lawley about his childhood in London during the war, his interrupted schooling which meant he left school at 15 with no qualifications and how when he decided he wanted to enter the church, he went on to acquire a clutch of 'O' and 'A' Levels in the space of a year. Never one to shirk a challenge, he'll also be describing his feelings when he was...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Apr 30, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week has a classic rags-to-riches story to relate. Born into a poor family in Coventry, record producer Pete Waterman is nowadays estimated to be worth at least 60 million pounds, and is the proud possessor of 10 Ferraris, 15 Jaguars and several houses and railway engines. He'll be telling Sue Lawley how, with no formal education - and still unable to do joined-up writing - he and his company wrote and produced enough hit records in the mid-1980s to have...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Apr 23, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway choosing his eight desert island discs this week will also be relating a story of early triumph, 25 years of obscurity and a revival of fortunes at the age of 81 which has made him one of the country's most successful classical composers. He is George Lloyd, and he'll be talking to Sue Lawley about the shell-shock and bad luck which put paid to his early promise - his years growing carnations and mushrooms - and then, thanks to the late John Ogdon's intervention, his re-emergence...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Apr 16, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the actor Hugh Grant. The star of the enormously successful Four Weddings and a Funeral, he'll be talking to Sue Lawley about his life before he was propelled into international celebrity status. Now firmly established as a cinematic symbol of a certain type of Englishman, he had his first big break in the Merchant Ivory film Maurice, after stints in repertory at Nottingham, writing commercials and filming what he calls Europuddings in Spain,...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Apr 9, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the country's most distinguished counter-tenor James Bowman. He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about how he uses his voice as an instrument, producing the unusually high falsetto sound which characterises counter-tenor parts. He'll also be describing his association with Benjamin Britten, who offered him his first part - as Oberon in Britten's opera A Midsummer Night's Dream. Britten went on to write parts for him in Death in Venice and The Journey...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Apr 2, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the novelist Nina Bawden. She'll be talking to Sue Lawley about the autobiographical aspects of both her adult books - such as Afternoon of a Good Woman and Circles of Deceit - and her children's books like Carrie's War and The Peppermint Pig. All contain tales with twists and turns from her own experience - evacuation during the war, her years as a magistrate and the tragic death of her schizophrenic son. She'll be talking to Sue Lawley about...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Mar 19, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the music writer and critic Felix Aprahamian. He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about how, as a music critic on the Sunday Times for over 40 years, he has lived at the epicentre of 20th-century musical life - meeting such luminaries as Poulenc, Messiaen, Delius and the French organist and composer, Charles-Marie Widor. He'll also be discussing his views on the contemporary music scene, and describing his house in North London where, now aged 80, he...
Desert Island Discs: Archive 1991-1996
Mar 12, 1995 BBC Radio 4
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The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is the writer and publisher Nigel Nicolson. He'll be talking to Sue Lawley about his parents Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West and their unconventional marriage which was based on deep mutual love but also allowed both of them to enjoy homosexual affairs. His book Portrait of a Marriage - famously televised by the BBC - tells their story. He'll also be describing his isolated upbringing at Sissinghurst Castle, his relationship with his mother...