Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Desert Island Discs - What Would You Choose?

I've previously blogged about my love of Desert Island Discs, Radio 4's long running interview programme in which guests choose eight tracks they would choose to have with them if they were stranded on a desert island.

Guests are normally people who have achieved greatness or recognition in their field and are not always public figures or celebrities. As such, it can be a fascinating window on the lives of others - and what drives and motivates our top scientists, academics, artists, politicians and authors (for example).

Music choices are most often chosen to remind guests of people in their lives, or particular times and/or places. Occasionally someone will do something different, like James Ellroy who chose five tracks by Beethoven! Some guests have even chosen their own works, which is rather narcissistic! 

Stephen over at the state of the nation UK is currently in the process of revealing his choices, decided to represent different periods of his life and presented chronologically. His first choice was Don McLean's American Pie, which he shares with four previous guests on the show. His second, by Slade, has not previously been chosen!

Whatever you think of his first two choices, he's encouraging others to join him in sharing - and I've started on my list for publication soon!


1 comment:

Raybeard said...

You mention James Ellroy's choice of five Beethovens. Up to now I HAD been pretty sure that the prize for eccentricity should go to the guest who chose the six last Beethoven string quartets plus two records of bagpipe music. I'd always thought that that had been that stalwart of British films of the 1950s, James Robertson Justice, who could play grumpy, jolly and authoritarian alternatively and with equal measure. But looking up the DID website I find it wasn't him, (recorded in 1955), though he did choose THREE Beethoven quartets. Was fairly sure I could only have got the info from Roy Plomley's book about the programme which I've got here somewhere but can't manage to find just now. It could have been that JRJ was one of the few privileged celebrities to have appeared on DID more than once (a tiny handful have even appeared three times!) though the website would surely have picked that up. So, a mystery for now - unless I dreamt it!

Looking forward to your own disclosure, Andrew. I'm dusting off the trumpets for the fanfare before I reveal mine. Trouble is, as you've probably found it, one's choices keep changing.