Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Desert Island Discs

For the last few weeks I've been exploring the BBC's huge archive of Desert Island Discs, Radio 4's long running series in which guests are invited to choose a handful of records to take with them to a far flung desert island. In between the music selections, the "castaways" discuss life, art and career, and perhaps the comfort of being surrounded by their favourite music, the interviews are often intimate and revealing.

The BBC website currently hosts over 1500 downloadable mp3 episodes of Desert Island Discs, featuring castaways from the world of politics (former British PMs Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher), music (Brain Eno, John Cale, Michael Nyman, Morrissey), writing (Stephen King, JG Ballard, James Ellroy), and of course film making - Ken Russell, Otto Preminger, Elia Kazan, Ken Loach, John Schlesinger, Fred Zinnemann, Terry Gilliam, John Boorman, Kenneth Williams, Martin Sheen, Dirk Bogarde, Tim Robbins, Lewis Gilbert, Michael Caine, Michael Deeley, Terence Stamp, Jeremy Irons, Patrick Stewart, Stephen Frears, Christopher Frayling, George Clooney, Simon Callow are just a few....

The Desert Island Disc Archive, categorized by occupation, can be found here


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Wes. I have always enjoyed Desert Island Discs but didn't know their archive was so extensive. I listened to the Stephen King one this morning - will be working my way through the filmmakers and writers!

  2. Thanks Jon, great to have you back in the land of the blogging. Yeah, the Stephen King episode isn't bad, King is a bit more serious than I expected but it's an enjoyable listen nonetheless. My favourite so far have been Kenneth Williams, Dirk Bogarde, John Boorman and Terry Gilliam, but there's much to explore...

  3. Hey!

    Nick from www.cinekatz.com here. Doing some scout work for the LAMB. We're wanting to make an email newsletter for community features as well as a list we're making similar to Sight & Sound's best movies of all time list. Just need an email! Email me at npowe131 at gmail.com

  4. Good tip Wes. Like the way all it is all categorised, writers, filmmakers etc. Listened to James Herbert one, really interesting, he lived near one of the Ripper sites. John Fowles is up there too, great stuff.