Transcripts (35)

Mark Strong, actor

Desert Island Discs

  • 240 views
  • about 1 month 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

Claire Horton, charity worker

Desert Island Discs

  • 1.1K views
  • about 2 months ago
  • 36:34

Claire Horton is the former chief executive of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, and is currently director general of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. She joined Battersea in 2010 during its landmark 150th year, spearheading a campaign which transformed the animal rescue service into a UK top 10 charity brand. During her years in charge, income and volunteer numbers quadrupled; new facilities were developed and the charity successfully campaigned for changes in animal welfare legislation. As a teenager Claire volunteered for a number of organisations including Mencap and the Riding for the Disabled Association. At 18 she joined the police force as a special constable, patrolling the streets of Dudley where she lived. Her first position in the charity sector was at the NSPCC and she later worked for the Cats Protection League and the Variety Club of Great Britain. In 2020 she was appointed CBE for her services to animal welfare. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley

Sophia Loren

Desert Island Discs

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  • about 2 months ago
  • 36:37

Sophia Loren is the first performer to win the Best Actress Academy Award for a role in a foreign language film. She won in 1962 for her performance in Vittorio De Sica’s film Two Women in which she played a mother trying to protect her 12-year-old daughter in war-torn Italy. In 1991, she picked up a second Oscar when the Academy presented her with an Honorary Award for her contribution to world cinema. Born Sofia Villani Scicolone in a hospital ward for unmarried mothers, she was brought up by a single mother in Pozzuoli near Naples during the war years. After success in her first beauty pageant at the age of 15 and starring in photo romance stories for popular magazines, she first came to wider attention in 1953 when she played the title role in the Italian film Aida. She played a pizza seller in De Sica’s The Gold of Naples which is regarded as her breakthrough performance and led to her working on Hollywood movies with a who’s who of co-stars including Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Gregory Peck and Paul Newman. Her most enduring on-screen partnership was with the Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni. In 1966 she married the film producer Carlo Ponti and went on to have two children. In her most recent film The Life Ahead, directed by her son Edoardo Ponti, she plays a holocaust survivor and ex-prostitute who cares for the children of local sex workers. Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley

Malala Yousafzai, activist

Desert Island Discs

  • 280 views
  • 2 months ago
  • 36:07

Malala Yousafzai is an activist who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize when she was 17 - becoming the youngest winner in its history. Today she is known globally for her human rights advocacy and her ongoing campaign to ensure all children have equal access to education. She was born in the Swat Valley in northern Pakistan where her father Ziauddin was a prominent activist who believed boys and girls should sit side by side in the classroom and co-founded a school which Malala attended. After the Taliban began to establish its presence in the Valley, day-to-day life became synonymous with danger and fear – people were taken from their homes and killed for speaking out against the regime. Education for girls was forbidden and schools were shut down or bombed. In 2009 Malala began writing an anonymous blog for BBC Urdu in which she spoke out about what was happening in Swat Valley. This made her a target. In 2012 she was shot by a Taliban gunman as she sat on the school bus. Two girls sitting alongside her were also shot. What Malala calls ‘the incident’ generated headlines around the world. Her injuries were severe and she was airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. After a long and painful recovery she settled in Birmingham with her family. Now 23, Malala graduated from the University of Oxford last year and continues to campaign globally for girls’ education through the Malala Fund which she co-founded with her father. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley

George McGavin, entomologist and broadcaster

Desert Island Discs

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  • 2 months ago
  • 36:40

George McGavin is an entomologist, explorer and broadcaster, who has spread the word about the importance of insects to audiences in their millions. Born in Glasgow, he grew up in Edinburgh where he studied zoology at university. Following a PhD in entomology, he went on to teach and research at the University of Oxford. He gave up his post as the assistant curator of the university’s Museum of Natural History after 25 years to follow his dream of becoming a television presenter. He has presented documentaries from far-flung locations including Borneo, Guyana and New Guinea. He has made it his life’s work to uncover the mysteries of the largely uncatalogued world of invertebrates which he says makes up close to 80% of life on earth. In 2018 he was diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer and the following year he turned the camera on himself to present a very personal programme about his diagnosis and treatment. Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley