Desert Island Discs, the one of the world’s longest running radio show, turned 70-years old on the weekend.
Desert Island Discs began on the BBC in 1942 and the format has never changed. The guest picks eight musical works that they would take to a deserted island.
The show’s creator and first presenter was Francis Roy Plomley. He hosted the program for 41 years and 1,791 editions. There have only been three other presenters. Plomley was replaced by Michael Parkinson (1985-1988), then Sue Lawley (1988-2006). The current presenter since 2006 is Kirtsy Young.
In over 70 years around 3000 guests have been on the show.
The first guest (or castaway as they are called in the show) was actor and comedian Vic Oliver on January 29, 1942.
Other guests have included Eric Clapton, John Lee Hooker, Phil Collins, Suzi Quatro, Petula Clark and Elvis Costello,
When Paul McCartney was on the show in 1982 he chose:
Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel
Chuck Berry – Sweet Little Sixteen
Benjamin Britten – Courtly Dances
Gene Vincent – Be Bop A Lula
John Lennon – Beautiful Boy
The Coasters – Searchin’
Little Richard – Tutti Fruiti
Country Ham – Walking In The Park With Eloise
Politicians Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, actors George Clooney, Michael Caine and even royalty Princess Margaret and Princess Grace of Monaco have been on the show.
Since 1942 over 22,000 tracks have been chosen by the castaways. The most picked musical piece is Beethoven – Symphony No 9 in D minor ‘Choral’.