I was listening to ‘Desert Island Discs’ today, the long-running but perpetually popular radio programme where famous people from all walks of life, choose which eight records they would take with them to a desert island, along with one book and a luxury (not practical) item.

Today’s castaway, interviewed by Kirsty Young was Sue Perkins and these were her choices:

  • Sylvester – You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)
  • Lonnie Donegan – Rock Island Line
  • The Smiths – How Soon Is Now?
  • Rex – 20th Century Boy
  • Kate Bush – Moments of Pleasure
  • Giovanni Battista Pergolesi – Stabat Mater
  • Nick Drake – Northern Sky
  • Philip Glass – Opening from Glassworks

I sometimes puzzle over the music I would take, and wonder why the castaways chose what they did – I guess I’m imaging a real desert island and wondering which eight pieces of music would I be able to listen to over and over and over again without getting bored or infuriated by it. So some discs I might choose to remember certain times in my life or people or events, wouldn’t necessarily be ones I’d want to listen to other than occasionally. On the other hand, some of my favourite music reminds me of nothing – I just like it!

Desert island books… that would make an interesting list… I will have to ponder on that, but if I was asked in an interview right now this minute for eight desert island books I’d say:

  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – John le Carré
  • Complete works of Shakespeare
  • Complete works of T.S.Eliot
  • The Alexandria Quartet – Lawrence Durrell
  • Modern Cookery – Eliza Acton
  • 2666 – Roberto Bolaño
  • Dhammapada
  • Beowulf

Actually… I may need to think a bit more about this!

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