A new series of Desert Island Discs will be launching on BBC Radio 4 this Sunday, with chart topping singer, Ed Sheeran as the first guest to share his castaway essentials. The musician, who recently made headlines for having 16 singles in the UK’s Official Top 20, will be joining presenter Kirsty Young to share the songs that would make his own Top 10 (well, 8, to be precise).
If you’re not already one of the 2.8 million regular Desert Island Discs listeners, the premise is simple: each week a special guest picks the eight tracks, one book and single luxury item they’d take with them if, theoretically, they were to end up stranded on an island in the middle of nowhere. Hard, right? First launched in 1942, and hosted by Roy Plomley, the show has never fallen out of favour… in fact, it’s just grown and grown, because each episode comes with more thn a playlist, but all manner of insights into a growing roster of recognisable figures.
This impressive list of previous guests has featured some real gems – ‘Name your favourite Desert Island Discs Episodes’ makes for an interesting game, because there’s such a vast back-catalogue to choose from. You can still listen to these, so we’ve chosen our own 8 highlights from the last few years (although, if you delve back into the archives, there are some real gems)…
1. Ed Sheeran, May 2017
Since Ed’s return to the industry, after a year out travelling the world, he has made an astonishing comeback. His song Shape Of You spent 13 weeks at number one and other tracks from his Divide album were also chart toppers. His appearance, launching the new series of the podacast, is set to air on Sunday 7 May. It has reportedly already been recorded, and we’re dying to know what he’s taking to the island…
2. David Beckham, January 2017
The nations favourite footballer, David Beckham, starred on Desert Island Discs in January to celebrate the show’s 75th anniversary. He is the only Englishman to win league titles in England, Spain, the US and France. And he’s married to a former Spice Girl. Do you think his wife, Victoria Beckham, influenced his musical choices?
3. Theresa May, November 2014
Theresa May featured on the podcast back in 2014 when she was serving as Home Secretary. Her chosen luxury item was a lifetime subscription to Vogue magazine and her music choices included hits by ABBA and Frankie Vallie & The Four Seasons. Many branded May’s musical taste as un-cool, what do you make of her choices?
4. George Michael, September 2007
The late George Michael joined Kirsty Young in 2007 during a rare interview. Mixed in with his musical choices, Michael discussed love, loss, his sexuality and drug use. He didn’t choose any of his own songs for his castaway list, but would one of his hits feature in your chosen tracks?
5. Tom Hanks, May 2016
The distinguished actor and film-maker Tom Hanks featured on the show last year. During the podcast he discusses how he dealt with a lonely childhood and his crush on Dusty Springfield.
6. David Nott, June 2016
David Nott, the cardiovascular surgeon opted for a rather practical fishing rod as his luxury item. Nott joined Young in June last year and chose a Coldplay hit as one of his choices.
7. Caitlin Moran, January 2017
The award winning columnist and bestselling author Caitlin Moran joined Young on the show in January this year. She revealed how hard it was growing up as the eldest of eight children raised on benefits. She also confessed that one of her greatest fears is running out of time to tell her stories.
8. Michael Bublé, October 2016