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Desert Island Discs

Updated on October 8, 2009

Desert Island Discs Format

Desert Island Discs is a long running BBC Radio 4 programme that has been broadcasting since 1942. The premise of the show is that each week a different celebrity chooses eight pieces of music that they would like to hear were they stranded on a desert island. The show runs for 43 minutes and has an avid following, many have been listening to the show for years.

Much like the fantasy dinner party game, where you choose a number of famous people to invite to be your guests and explain why you have chosen them. Desert Island Discs gives an insight into the world of the featured celebrity and their choices for the pieces of music they have chosen.

As well as pieces of music, the celebrity is also given a choice of book and a luxury item.

Ricky Gervais On Desert Island Discs

Desert Island Discs Stories

As the show unfolds, the celebrity explains their choices of music and the reasons for choosing them. They also reveal things from their past and how the certain pieces of music chosen have affected them and been associated with poignant moments in their lives. Much like a life story told by music.

The Desert Island Discs celebrity castaway is automatically given appropriate religious books for their personal beliefs and the entire work of Shakespeare, so they have to choose something else as their one book choice. Their luxury item can be absolutely anything.

Despite the show being in it's 60's, it's keeping up to date. In late September 2009 the BBC launched Desert Island Discs on the iPlayer. The first celebrity guest to be featured in a podcast is Barry Manilow, with all subsequent guests to follow.

If you like talk radio, then Desert Island Discs is an interesting light entertainment show that is worth giving a listen. Songs aren't always played in their entirety due to time constraints, but it's interesting to hear the choices that people have made. Feel free to add your own Desert Island Discs choices in the comments section.

Selection Of Celebrity Lists

Song Choices
Book Choice
Luxury Item
Gordon Ramsay
Yellow - Coldplay / Kids In America - Kim Wilde / Sunday Girl - Blondie / The Best - Tina Turner / Careless Whisper - George Michael / (everything I Do) I do It For You - Bryan Adams / Sex Bomb - Tom Jones & Mousse T / Sing - Travis
Kitchen Confidential - Anthony Bourdain
Fresh Vanilla Pod
Billy Connolly
Foggy Mountain Breakdown - Flatt & Scruggs / Sky Boat Song - The Regimental Band & The Massed Pipes Of The Scots Guard / Long Gone Lonesome Blues - Hank Williams / Tutti Frutti - Little Richard / Across The Universe - The Beatles / Highlands - Bob Dylan / Morris Room - The Celebrated Ratliffe Stout Band / Only The Lonely - Roy Orbison
Oxford English Dictionary
John Malkovich
When The Leaves Come Falling Down - Van Morrison / Rainy Day In Georgia - Brook Benton / Once Upon A Time - Frank Sinatra / Kentucky Avenue - Tom Waits / Accordion Theme From Soundtrack Of The Dancer Upstairs - Albert Iglesias / Still DRE - Dr Dre / Highway 29 - Bruce Springsteen / Who Knows Where The Times Goes - Nina Simone
The Sound and The Fury - William Faulkner
Cappuccino Maker
George Foreman
You Send Me - Sam Cooke / All You Need Is Love - The Beatles / Don't Be A Dropout - James Brown / Little Girls - The Vienna Boys Choir / The William Tell Overture - Conducted By John Barry / Mama Say Knock You Out - L L Cool J / I Wish It Would Rain - The Temptations / Strangers In The Night - Frank Sinatra
An Anthology Of Poems By John Burroughs
A Pillow
George Clooney
I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry - Hank Williams / Brick In The Wall - Pink Floyd / Destination Moon - Dinah Washington / Nice and Easy - Frank Sinatra / Artificial Flowers - Bobby Darin / Who Is He (And What Id He To You)? - Bill Withers / Moondance - Van Morrison / Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds - William Shatner
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
An Anchored Yacht
Kim Cattrall
To Turn You On - Roxy Music / I've Got You Under My Skin - Frank Sinatra / My Favourite Things - John Coltrane / Please, Please Me - The Beatles / Closing Time - Leonard Cohen / Respect - Aretha Franklin / God Bless The Child - Billie Holiday / A Case Of You - Joni Mitchell
An English Dictionary
Fragrant Body Cream
Boris Johnson
Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles / Soul Limbo - Booker T and the MG's / Ich Will Hier Bei Dir Stehen (Here Would I Stand Beside Thee) - Radio Choir Leipzig and the Dresden State Orchestra and Choir / Start Me Up - the Rolling Stones / Finale of Brahms On A Variation on a theme By Haydn - Berlin Philharmonic / Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison / Pressure Drop - The Clash / Opening of the last movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony - New York Philharmonic
Homer - An Indian Paper Edition
Large Pot Of French Mustard
Jeremy Clarkson
Your Song - Billy Paul / Behind Blue Eyes - The Who / Night Moves - Bob Seger / Time - Pink Floyd / Get Ready - The Temptations / Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) - Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel / Heroes - David Bowie / Solsbury Hill - Peter Gabriel /
A Photograph Album


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