jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Saturday 29th January 2022


80 years ago, today, on 29th January 1942, the BBC radio show Desert Island Discs was first broadcast.  It is Britain’s longest running radio show, and the world’s longest running weekly factual radio programme.

Devised and originally presented by Roy Plomley, it was first broadcast on the BBC Forces Programme, but later switched to Radio 4. Each week a guest ‘castaway’ has to choose eight recordings, a book and a luxury item they would take with them if they were stranded on a desert island. In discussing this, they also reveal hopefully offbeat elements of their life. Past presenters have included Michael Parkinson, Sue Lawley and Kirsty Young, but the show is now fronted by Lauren Laverne.

More than 3000 episodes have been broadcast, with some guests appearing more than once. In the early 1970s, Roy Plomley interviewed Alistair MacLean, who turned out not to be the famous author but someone else with the same name, and the programme was never broadcast.

Very few episodes from the first 20 years of the show have survived; the earliest known to exist was broadcast in 1951 and features actress Margaret Lockwood.

All participants are allowed to take a Bible and copy of Shakespeare: needless to say, the National Secular Society has called for the Bible to be dropped, but known atheists such as Philip Pullman have wanted to keep it. A recent poll suggested that 56% of people questioned would not choose to take a Bible, and another 13% were unsure.


I would so love to do Desert Island Discs.

The format of Desert Island Discs is guests are invited to imagine they are shipwrecked on a desert island, and to pick 8 gramophone records to take with them. As the show developed they were then allowed one luxury item – not a survival aid – and a single book. It was imagined that the Bible and the complete works of Shakespeare were already there.

My problem is difficulty pinning my choice of music down to 8 tracks. My All-time Favourites Playlist is made up of 1,000 tracks. That was tough to do to limit them to 1,000. So, eight is impossible.

I tried the exercise a couple of months and came up with 10 separate lists covering various periods of my life. And obviously I still could have done more.

Anyway, I forced my self to come up with 8 tracks. Here they are:

  1. Singin’ The Blues             GuyMitchell
  2. Sound Of Silence             Disturbed
  3. Numb                         Linkin Park
  4. Stand By Me             John Lennon
  5. I went to your Wedding             Spike Jones & His City Slickers
  6. Words             Rita Coolidge
  7. Driving Home For Christmas Chris Rea
  8. Mrs Robinson Lemonheads

But where’s the Roy Orbison track, and the Neil Diamond one and little Mix and Beastie Boys and Beatles and I could go on, and on and on.

Not the most satisfying list I ever produced because I need to include so many other tracks that mean so much to me.

For the luxury item I would like a solar powered laptop word processor. But if that is not allowed a journal to write in. I have to be creative and write.

And book: A Walk Around The Lakes – Hunter Davies. Again there are so many I want to include.


The Top 9 most unexpected song choices on Desert Island Discs

By Ellie Harrison – Writer, RadioTimes.com

Desert Island Discs is the best thing on the radio. It’s achingly funny, profoundly moving, and even educational. It has introduced me to some fantastic music, and often from people you wouldn’t expect.

I went back through the archives (I love my job) to see what the most surprising song choices were…

  1. Tom Hanks (Actor) LL Cool J – Mama Said Knock You Out
  2. Paul Hollywood (Bake Off)                                             Wretch 32 – 6 Words
  3. Alex Crawford (War Zone Reporter) Fergie – Big Girls Don’t Cry
  4. Piers Morgan (TV Host) Monty Python – Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
  5. Nick Clegg (Ex Lib/Dem Leader) Shakira – Waka Waka (the theme to the 2010 World Cup)
  6. Ed Miliband (Ex Labour Leader) Robbie Williams – Angels
  7. David Cameron(Ex Tory Leader) The Killers – All These Things That I’ve Done
  8. Theresa May (Ex Tory Leader) ABBA – Dancing Queen
  9. Gordon Ramsay (TV Chef) Tom Jones – Sex Bomb

REMEMBER: The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

– Nicolas Chamfort



The best view comes after the hardest climb.


Happiness is…appearing on Desert Island Discs



My math teacher called me average. How mean!


Love is… sometimes emotional overload.


A time for In Dreams by Roy Orbison…A time for Numb by Linkin Park.





©2022 Phil M Robinson