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Desert Island Discs

Eight tracks, a book and a luxury: what would you take to a desert island? Guests share the soundtrack of their lives.

Classic Desert Island Discs - Murray Walker

Desert Island Discs

  • 200 views
  • 2 months ago
  • 38:19

Kirsty Young talks to motor racing commentator Murray Walker, in a programme first broadcast in 2014. Murray Walker died in March 2021, at the age of 97.

Professor Sir Simon Wessely

Desert Island Discs

  • 550 views
  • 3 months ago
  • 38:14

Professor Sir Simon Wessely is the first ever psychiatrist to be awarded a Regius professorship – an honour bestowed by the Queen. He is professor of psychological medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, and is also a consultant psychiatrist at King’s College Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital. Born in Sheffield to a father who had come to Britain on the Kindertransport, he started his research career working on unexplained symptoms and syndromes, leading progressive and sometimes controversial work on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Disagreement about whether the condition is physical or psychological continues to this day and although Simon’s studies helped develop a treatment programme, there is still no cure. Later he switched his attention to the military, exploring Gulf War Syndrome, PTSD, the risk and benefit of military service, social and psychological outcomes for ex-service personnel and historic aspects of war and psychiatry. In 1996 he established the Gulf War Illness Research Unit which subsequently became the King’s Centre for Military Health Research. He completed a term as president of the Royal Society of Medicine – the first psychiatrist to occupy the post - and in 2017 he led an independent review of the Mental Health Act. DISC ONE: Think by Aretha Franklin DISC TWO: String Quartet No. 1 (“From My Life”) in E minor (Allegro vivo appassionato) composed by Bedrich Smetana, performed by The Dante Quartet DISC THREE: Soave sia il vento, composed by Mozart, conducted by Karl Bohm, performed by Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Walter Berry, Christa Ludwig and Philharmonia Orchestra DISC FOUR: How Long has This Been Going On? by Dexter Gordon and Lonette McKee DISC FIVE: The Room Where it Happens by Leslie Odom, Jr and Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton DISC SIX: France - La Marseillaise - Hymne national francais, composed by Claude Rouget de Lisle, performed by Ensemble du monde DISC SEVEN: Serenade No. 10 in B flat major, K. 361, "Gran Partita": Adagio, composed by Mozart, performed by German Wind Soloists DISC EIGHT: Tuxedo Junction by Jools Holland And His Rhythm And Blues Orchestra BOOK CHOICE: A Teach Yourself Russian book LUXURY ITEM: A Viennese cafe CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: How Long has This Been Going On? by Dexter Gordon and Lonette McKee Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley

Professor Sir Simon Wessely, psychiatrist

Desert Island Discs

  • 160 views
  • 3 months ago
  • 38:14

Professor Sir Simon Wessely is the first ever psychiatrist to be awarded a Regius professorship – an honour bestowed by the Queen. He is professor of psychological medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, and is also a consultant psychiatrist at King’s College Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital. Born in Sheffield to a father who had come to Britain on the Kindertransport, he started his research career working on unexplained symptoms and syndromes, leading progressive and sometimes controversial work on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Disagreement about whether the condition is physical or psychological continues to this day and although Simon’s studies helped develop a treatment programme, there is still no cure. Later he switched his attention to the military, exploring Gulf War Syndrome, PTSD, the risk and benefit of military service, social and psychological outcomes for ex-service personnel and historic aspects of war and psychiatry. In 1996 he established the Gulf War Illness Research Unit which subsequently became the King’s Centre for Military Health Research. He completed a term as president of the Royal Society of Medicine – the first psychiatrist to occupy the post - and in 2017 he led an independent review of the Mental Health Act. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley

Maggie O'Farrell, writer

Desert Island Discs

  • 770 views
  • 3 months ago
  • 35:36

Maggie O’Farrell has written eight novels, a memoir and a children’s book. In 2020 her novel Hamnet won the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and was also named Waterstones Book of the Year. Maggie was born in Norther Ireland. Her parents moved around during her childhood, and she grew up in Wales and Scotland. As a young girl, she was very ill and almost died from encephalitis. She says her lifelong love of reading comes from her long stay in hospital followed by an extended convalescence, when she missed a year of school. Her illness also left her with a stammer, which she believes has profoundly affected her relationship with language. She studied English at Cambridge University, and then looked for work as a journalist, writing poetry in her spare time. When she chanced upon a discarded computer, she decided to write a novel. She attended a creative writing course, where her tutors encouraged her to get her first manuscript published. She lives in Scotland with her husband, the writer William Sutcliffe, and their three children. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor

Dame Louise Casey, crossbench peer

Desert Island Discs

  • 710 views
  • 3 months ago
  • 37:10

Baroness Casey of Blackstock is a former civil servant specialising in social welfare, who has worked under five prime ministers. She has taken on some of UK society’s most difficult issues, including homelessness, anti-social behaviour and family breakdown, and has become known for her forthright views. She grew up in Portsmouth and her first job was working on reception at a branch of the Department of Health and Social Security in the late 1980s. At 27 she became the deputy director of the housing and homelessness charity, Shelter. In 1999 she was appointed head of Tony Blair’s new Rough Sleepers Unit, prompting the media to call her the ‘homelessness tsar’. She went on to run the Anti-Social Behaviour Unit at the Home Office where she became known as the ASBO Queen. David Cameron appointed her director general of the Troubled Families Programme in 2011. In 2016 she was awarded a DBE for services to families and vulnerable people. During the first COVID-19 lockdown she led the government’s Everyone In campaign which found emergency accommodation for rough sleepers. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley

Mark Strong, actor

Desert Island Discs

  • 390 views
  • 3 months ago
  • 34:59

Mark Strong has appeared in more than 60 films, along with numerous TV dramas and plays. His career took off after he won a leading role in the landmark 1996 BBC series Our Friends in the North, and since then his screen work includes dramas such as Syriana, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Zero Dark Thirty and The Imitation Game, as well as the fantasy and comic book worlds of Stardust, Kick Ass and Shazam. In 2015 he won the Olivier best actor award for his London stage performance in A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller, in a production that also won him great acclaim in New York. Mark was born in London, the only child of an Austrian mother and an Italian father. His father left the family when Mark was a baby and has played no part in his life. Thanks to his mother, Mark is fluent in German, and he spent most of his school holidays with his Austrian grandmother. His mother had two jobs to support them both, and Mark attended state boarding schools in the UK from the age of six. His first taste of performing came in a punk rock band at school, but he began his further education by starting a law degree in Germany, before changing course and returning to the UK to study drama. Most recently he has been filming the TV drama Temple, in which he plays a rogue surgeon operating in abandoned tunnels beneath a London underground station. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor