February 12, 2019

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Desert Island Discs ‘biggest radio show of all time’


Lauren Laverne and Wendy Cope

Image caption

Poet Wendy Cope (proper) was host Lauren Laverne’s desert island castaway final month

Desert Island Discs has been named the best radio programme of all time by a panel of trade specialists.

The BBC Radio 4 show, which since 1942 has been inviting well-known friends to share their favorite musical decisions, beat drama The Archers to the highest spot.

Other decisions within the Radio Times ballot included Wake Up To Wogan, John Peel and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Many of the 30 programmes on the listing are not broadcast, with virtually a 3rd being comedies or panel reveals.

‘Genius format’

Desert Island Discs is at the moment introduced by Lauren Laverne, who’s filling in whereas Kirsty Young is being handled for fibromyalgia.

The programme invitations high-profile friends to decide on eight discs, a ebook and a luxurious merchandise to take with them as they’re castaway on a legendary desert island.

Top 5 biggest radio programmes

  1. Desert Island Discs
  2. The Archers – the UK’s longest working radio drama.
  3. Radio comedy Round The Horne (1965-8)
  4. Hancock’s Half Hour (1954-9)
  5. In The Psychiatrist’s Chair (1982-2001)

Source: Radio Times ballot

Prime ministers and trade leaders have all been castaways, with notable latest friends having included Sir David Attenborough, JK Rowling, Yoko Ono and David Beckham.

Desert Island Discs producer Cathy Drysdale stated the accolade was “wonderful”, attributing it to an “absolute genius format”.

Image caption

Yoko Ono appeared on the programme in 2007. She selected information each by her late husband John Lennon and son Sean

Radio Times editor Mark Frith stated the “poll illustrates how memorable and timeless great radio can be”.

The listing was compiled by 46 trade specialists, of which 42 had knowledgeable connection to the BBC.

Terry Wogan’s BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, which ran for greater than 25 years till 2009, was in 12th place, simply forward of John Peel’s late-night BBC Radio 1 programme, on air between 1967 and 2004.

What is Desert Island Discs?

Image caption

Presenter Kirsty Young quizzed footballer David Beckham for the programme’s 75th anniversary in 2017

  • A well-known visitor is forged away on a fictional desert island every week
  • They can select eight songs, a ebook and a luxurious merchandise to take with them
  • They are at all times given two objects – the entire works of Shakespeare and the Bible
  • Guests have to decide on one file they’d save if a storm hit the desert island
  • Four presenters have hosted the show because it began in 1942 – Roy Plomley (who initially devised the programme), Sir Michael Parkinson, Sue Lawley and Kirsty Young, who took over presenting duties in 2006
  • Desert Island Discs has an on-air viewers of about 2.Eight million
  • Its first-ever castaway was actor and comic Vic Oliver, whose first music choice was pianist Alfred Cortot taking part in Chopin



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