• Charles Hazlewood is a conductor and the founder of Paraorchestra, the world's first professional ensemble of disabled musicians.

    Once described as the Heston Blumenthal of orchestral music, Charles has spent his career challenging Britain’s musical palate, exploding boundaries and expanding our ideas about what an orchestra can be - and do.

    His repertoire encompasses Beethoven, Bruckner and Barry White, and his critically-acclaimed projects include more than 100 world premieres and the first orchestral headline performance at Glastonbury. Paraorchestra, the ensemble he established in 2011, reached a global audience at the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Paralympics. He also co-founded an opera company in South Africa, and its production of Carmen, with a mainly black cast, won international acclaim.

    He studied music at Keble College, Oxford and was the Organ Scholar there. He won the EBU conductor's competition in 1995 and has had an international career as a conductor.

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Sarah Taylor

  • Sinead Burke is a disability rights activist and teacher. She has combined her love of education and style to campaign for more representation of diversity in the fashion industry.

    Born in Dublin, Sinead has achondroplasia – a genetic condition which causes restricted growth – and is 3’ 5” tall. She refers to herself as a “little person” and knew she wanted to be a teacher after her first day at school. She has used the classroom environment to discuss openly with her pupils the issues surrounding disability. She believes openness and kindness are the ways forward to develop understanding and respect.

    As a child she collected the September issues of Vogue and later on started writing a blog in which she held the fashion industry to account about diversity and representation. She continues to work towards greater inclusivity in fashion and her mission is to encourage people from diverse backgrounds to realise the industry is open to them whether as editors, designers or models. Last year she was selected as one of 15 trailblazing women to appear on the cover of the September issue of British Vogue.

    In 2018 Sinead spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos – the only Irish female delegate. She has taken her message to the White House at the invitation of the Obamas and was appointed to Ireland’s Council of State to advise the president about disability rights.

    DISC ONE: Like A Girl by Lizzo
    DISC TWO: Awoo by Sofi Tukker, feat. Betta Lemme
    DISC THREE: Small Town Boy by Bronski Beat
    DISC FOUR: You Should See Me in a Crown by Billie Eilish
    DISC FIVE: I Put a Spell on You by Nina Simone
    DISC SIX: The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel
    DISC SEVEN: Vogue by Madonna
    DISC EIGHT: Samhradh Samhradh by The Gloaming

    BOOK CHOICE: Your Silence Will Not Protect You by Audre Lorde
    LUXURY ITEM: A necklace
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Like A Girl by Lizzo

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Paula McGinley

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  • Lauren Laverne launches Radio 4's invitation for you to tell us about one piece of music that you have turned to in the recent weeks of lockdown, and the story behind your choice.

    For more information about how to share your story, please visit the Desert Island Discs website.

    Producer Paula McGinley

  • Simon Armitage was appointed Poet Laureate in 2019. His poems celebrate the everyday and the ordinary with wit and affection. But beyond the wood chip and washing lines he addresses the complexities and the profound feelings that underpin daily life.

    Born in Huddersfield, Simon Armitage grew up in the village of Marsden in West Yorkshire. Marsden has informed and inspired much of his work and as a boy he would look out of his bedroom window at night to watch the comings and goings of village life.

    He vividly remembers as a teenager discovering the work of fellow laureate Ted Hughes, recalling an almost electrical surge of excitement when he realised the power of words on a page. Hughes grew up in the next valley and Simon admits to thinking "If Ted Hughes can do it why can't I?"

    He worked as a probation officer in Manchester for several years, writing poetry in the evenings and at weekends. His first collection Zoom! was published in 1989 and a few years later he left the probation service to write full time. Prolific and popular, he was named the Millennium poet and in 2015 was appointed Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford. Three years later he was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.

    Today he lives not far from Marsden where, when he's not writing poems, plays and novels, he still looks out of his window and daydreams.

    DISC ONE: Moonage Daydream by David Bowie
    DISC TWO: The Lamb by William Blake, composed by John Tavener, conducted by Andrew Nethsingha and performed by The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge
    DISC THREE: You've Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two by Jonathan Pryce and the 1994 London Palladium Cast Of Oliver!
    DISC FOUR: Icecrust and Snowflake by Ted Hughes
    DISC FIVE: Atmosphere by Joy Division
    DISC SIX: Tainted Love / Where Did Our Love Go? by Soft Cell
    DISC SEVEN: Holmfirth Anthem by Jon Rennard
    DISC EIGHT: My Heart’s in the Highlands by Else Torpe and Christopher Bowers-Broadbent

    BOOK CHOICE: The Oxford English Dictionary
    LUXURY ITEM: A tennis ball
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Moonage Daydream by David Bowie

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Paula McGinley

  • Brian Cox CBE is a Scottish actor whose career spans almost 60 years, from his early days sweeping the stage at his local theatre in Dundee to his current Golden Globe-winning role as the media patriarch Logan Roy in the HBO series Succession. He has appeared in more than 100 films, many television series, and has won two Olivier awards for his work on stage.

    Brian Cox was born in 1946, the youngest of five children, and grew up in a working-class household in Dundee. His father died of cancer when he was eight and his mother, who was receiving regular psychiatric treatment, was unable to take care of him. He moved in with his sister Betty and her family.

    He left school aged 14 with no qualifications, and started out as a stage hand and stage cleaner at Dundee Rep, before winning a place at drama school. Years of theatre work followed, alongside actors such as Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud and Albert Finney. His later stage roles include acclaimed performances as King Lear at the National Theatre, and Titus Andronicus for the Royal Shakespeare Company. On film, his work includes the first screen portrayal of Hannibal Lecter - renamed Lecktor - in Manhunter, and blockbusters such as The Bourne Identity, X-Men 2, Braveheart and Troy.

    He received a CBE in 2002, and lives in New York City with his second wife Nicole Ansari.

    DISC ONE: Bridge Over Troubled Water by Johnny Cash
    DISC TWO: Saturday Night at the Movies by The Drifters
    DISC THREE: The Air That I Breathe by KD Lang
    DISC FOUR: Get Back by The Beatles
    DISC FIVE: La quête by Jacques Brel
    DISC SIX: Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell
    DISC SEVEN: God Only Knows by The Beach Boys
    DISC EIGHT: Don’t Get Me Wrong by The Pretenders

    BOOK CHOICE: In Search of the Miraculous by P.D. Ouspensky
    LUXURY ITEM: A sewing kit
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: God Only Knows by The Beach Boys

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Sarah Taylor

  • Dame Helena Morrissey is a former City fund manager and chief executive of a major investment company, who has also campaigned to boost the number of women in the boardroom. Newspapers regularly describe her as 'Superwoman', because alongside her many professional achievements, she's the mother of nine children.

    Helena Morrissey is the daughter of two teachers, and her drive was evident from an early age. She was - by her own admission - a 'manic Brownie', striving to gain the maximum number of badges, and she also played the piano to a high standard. She won a place at Cambridge University from her comprehensive school in Chichester, and on graduating, joined an asset management company in their New York office. On her return to London, she felt that she was denied promotion because she had a young baby.

    She moved to Newton Investment Management, and at the age of 35 she was appointed the CEO - a role she was not expecting to take. Under her leadership, the company's assets grew from £20 billion to £50 billion. In 2010 she established the 30% Club, campaigning for better female representation on the boards of British companies, and in 2017 she received a DBE for services to diversity in the financial sector.

    She lives in London with her husband Richard, who gave up full time work to look after their many children.

    DISC ONE: My Sweet Lord by George Harrison
    DISC TWO: Polonaise in A Flat, Op. 53, Heroic, composed by Frédéric François Chopin and performed by Arthur Rubenstein
    DISC THREE: We've Only Just Begun by The Carpenters
    DISC FOUR: Being Boring by Pet Shop Boys
    DISC FIVE: Moon River by Audrey Hepburn
    DISC SIX: Calm Down by The Clementines
    DISC SEVEN: Condolence by Benjamin Clementine
    DISC EIGHT: God Is by Kanye West

    BOOK CHOICE: Much Obliged, Jeeves by P. G .Wodehouse
    LUXURY ITEM: A grand piano
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: My Sweet Lord by George Harrison

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Daniel Radcliffe reached a global audience in the title role of the hugely successful Harry Potter films. He has also appeared on Broadway and in the West End, as well as in over a dozen films since the final part of the Harry Potter series was released in 2011.

    Born in 1989, the only child of Alan and Marcia Radcliffe, Daniel made his acting debut aged 10 in a BBC adaptation of David Copperfield. The following year he was cast as Harry Potter, and he and his co-stars, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, would spend ten years filming the series. Daniel made a point of taking other roles before it had finished, and he appeared on stage in Peter Shaffer’s play Equus in 2007, a role which involved prolonged full frontal nudity.

    Since then he has appeared on screen, on stage and on television, playing characters from the beat poet Allen Ginsberg to a cop going undercover as a neo-Nazi, and his recent films include Guns Akimbo and Escape from Pretoria. In the theatre, he is appearing in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame in London.

    He supports the Trevor Project which works to prevent suicides among LGBTQ youth and which Daniel first became aware of during the Broadway run of Equus in 2008. Daniel has been in a long-term relationship with fellow actor Erin Darke who he met on a film set in 2012.

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Chris Riddell is an illustrator, author of children’s books and a political cartoonist. From 2015 to 2017, he was the Children’s Laureate, and he has won three Greenaway Medals for his work – more than any other illustrator.

    He was born in 1962 in Cape Town, South Africa, where his parents were both anti-apartheid activists. They moved to the UK when Chris was a year old. He grew up first in rural England, and later in south London where his father, a vicar, became chaplain of Brixton Prison.

    He started drawing as a young boy when he was given paper and pencils by his mother to keep him quiet during his father’s sermons. After school, he studied illustration under Raymond Briggs at Brighton Polytechnic and received his first commission while still at art school. As a writer his work ranges from picture books to chapter book series including Ottoline and Goth Girl, and as an illustrator he has frequently collaborated with authors such as Paul Stewart and Neil Gaiman.

    He started as a political cartoonist in the late 1980s and has drawn the Observer’s weekly cartoon since 1995, celebrating 25 years at the paper this year. As Children's Laureate, he encouraged children to draw, and championed the importance of school libraries and librarians.

    Chris is married to Jo, a fellow illustrator and printmaker, with whom he has three grown-up children, among them Katy, another illustrator.

    DISC ONE: Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams, conducted by Sir John Barbirolli, performed by Sinfonia of London
    DISC TWO: The Funeral: September 25, 1977 (Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika) by Thuli Dumakude
    DISC THREE: Smoke Signals by Phoebe Bridgers
    DISC FOUR: Final Day by Young Marble Giants
    DISC FIVE: Suzanne by Leonard Cohen
    DISC SIX: Horace in Brighton by Bird in the Belly
    DISC SEVEN: Klarinettenkonzert A-Dur K. 622 - 2. Adagio - I. Allegro. Composed by Mozart, directed by János Rolla, performed by Kálmán Berkes (clarinet) and Liszt Ferenc Chamber Orchestra, Budapest
    DISC EIGHT: Tabula rasa: II. Silentium composed by Arvo Pärt, conducted by Paavo Järvi, performed by Viktoria Mullova (violin) and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra

    BOOK CHOICE: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass, with the Tenniel illustrations.
    LUXURY ITEM: Sketchbooks and pens
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams, conducted by Sir John Barbirolli, performed by Sinfonia of London

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Dorothy Byrne is the head of News and Current Affairs at Channel 4, and has worked in journalism for more than four decades.

    In 2018 she received the Outstanding Contribution Award at Royal Television Society Journalism Awards, and her recent commissions include the Channel 4 News investigation into Cambridge Analytica, the Michael Jackson expose Leaving Neverland and the BAFTA-winning documentary For Sama, about one family’s life under siege in Aleppo, which also won an Oscar nomination.

    She began her career in journalism in her mid 20s on the Waltham Forest Guardian, after writing a cheeky letter to 50 local newspaper editors - just one responded. She later moved into television, joining the acclaimed World in Action team at Granada, where she argued that the programme's agenda was male-dominated and needed to change.

    Dorothy gave the MacTaggart Lecture at the 2019 Edinburgh International Television Festival, in which she argued that the scrutiny of politicians through broadcast interviews is important for the health of democracy. She also described herself as 'just about the oldest female TV executive working for a broadcaster'.

    DISC ONE: Greatest Living Creature by John Grant
    DISC TWO: Non-Alignment Pact by Per Ubu
    DISC THREE: I Know That My Redeemer Liveth, composed by George Frideric Handel, conducted by Sir Adrian Boult and performed by Dame Joan Sutherland and London Symphony Orchestra
    DISC FOUR: Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense by Fela Kuti
    DISC FIVE: Dido's Lament: When I'm Laid In Earth, composed by Hendry Purcell, conducted by Raymond Leppard and performed by Jessye Norman and English Chamber Orchestra
    DISC SIX: World in Action by Matt Berry
    DISC EIGHT: The People United Will Never Be Defeated by Igor Levit

    BOOK CHOICE: Physics text books
    LUXURY ITEM: The back catalogue of In Our Time / the voice of Melvyn Bragg
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: I Know That My Redeemer Liveth, composed by George Frideric Handel, conducted by Sir Adrian Boult and performed by Dame Joan Sutherland and London Symphony Orchestra

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Sarah Taylor

  • Melanie Chisholm - known as Melanie C - is a singer and songwriter who found global fame as one fifth of the Spice Girls, the most commercially successful female group ever.

    Melanie was one of 400 other hopefuls who answered an advertisement to form a new girl band in 1994 - little knowing how her life would be turned upside down by fame and worldwide success. She was given the nickname Sporty Spice and presented what she calls a "gobby' persona to the outside world, but inside she was a shy girl who preferred to stay in the background.

    She grew up in Merseyside and as a child she loved performing. At 16 she attended the Doreen Bird College of Arts, aiming for a career in musical theatre. By her early 20s, she was an international star: Spice world was a high-octane life of constant recording and touring and the accompanying press scrutiny contributed to a stressful environment. As the pressure intensified Melanie suffered from eating disorders and in 2000 she was diagnosed with depression. Her recovery was long and painful but she says finally getting a diagnosis enabled her to begin the process of getting better.

    When the Spice Girls went their separate ways for a while Melanie began a career as a successful solo artist. In 2009 she played Mrs Johnstone in the West End production of Willy Russell's musical Blood Brothers, earning five star reviews and standing ovations. Recently she has been back on stage with the Spice Girls on their stadium tour.

    DISC ONE: I Wish by Stevie Wonder
    DISC TWO: The Chain by Fleetwood Mac
    DISC THREE: Prince Charming by Adam and the Ants
    DISC FOUR: Into the Groove by Madonna
    DISC FIVE: Girls and Boys by Blur
    DISC SIX: Everything I Wanted by Billie Eilish
    DISC SEVEN: Heaven on Their Minds by Tim Minchin
    DISC EIGHT: You'll Never Walk Alone by Gerry & The Pacemakers

    BOOK CHOICE: Dancing with Demons: The Authorised Biography of Dusty Springfield by Penny Valentine and Vicki Wickham
    LUXURY ITEM: A Martin acoustic guitar
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: I Wish by Stevie Wonder

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Paula McGinley

  • Ian Wright is a former professional footballer and now a football pundit on TV and radio. He began his career at Crystal Palace before moving to Arsenal where he became their highest goal scorer of all time, a record only surpassed eight years later by Thierry Henry.

    Born to a Jamaican couple in south-east London, Ian grew up with his mother and step-father. His biological father had left the family when Ian was under two years old. Things at home were difficult and Ian spent as much time as possible outside playing football.

    At his primary school a teacher, Mr Pigden, took him under his wing and Ian would later credit him with changing his life. He left his secondary school at the age of 14 to get a job. Although he took part in trials for many professional football clubs as a teenager, he was never selected. He continued to play for amateur sides. By the age of 21, he had three children to provide for, so when Crystal Palace came calling in 1985, he turned them down three times before accepting a two-week trial, followed by a three-month contract. His football career had finally begun.

    After impressing as a forward at Palace, he was bought by Arsenal for a record fee in 1991. He was called up to the England squad the same year and would go on to collect 33 caps. He spent his last couple of years in professional football at a number of clubs around the country and in total, he played 581 league games, scoring 387 goals for seven clubs in England and Scotland. Since his retirement from football in 2000, he has had a career as a pundit on both TV and radio.

    He has eight children and has been happily married to his second wife, Nancy, since 2011.

    DISC ONE: The Marriage of Figaro: Duettino - Sull'aria by Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, composed by Lorenzo Da Ponte and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    DISC TWO: Looking For You by Kirk Franklin
    DISC THREE: River Deep Mountain High by Ike and Tina Turner
    DISC FOUR: Redemption Song by Bob Marley & The Wailers
    DISC FIVE: Mysteries of the World by MSFB
    DISC SIX: Endlessly by Randy Crawford
    DISC SEVEN: Crown by Stormzy
    DISC EIGHT: Just Fine by Mary J Blige

    BOOK CHOICE: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
    LUXURY ITEM: A seven iron golf club and golf balls
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Endlessly by Randy Crawford

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Zoe Ball is a radio and television presenter. She became the first woman to present the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show in 1997, and then the first woman to present the Radio 2 Breakfast Show in 2019.

    Zoe grew up in Buckinghamshire with her father – TV presenter Johnny Ball – and her stepmother. After working behind the scenes in TV as a runner and researcher, she first moved into the spotlight hosting children's programmes, including the very successful BBC Saturday morning show Live & Kicking, with Jamie Theakston. In the late 1990s, coinciding with her move to the Radio 1 Breakfast Show, she found herself described in the press as a 'ladette', enjoying the partying culture of the time. Further headlines followed her marriage to superstar DJ Norman Cook - Fatboy Slim - in 1999. She decided to leave Radio 1 in 2000, and her first child, Woody, was born later that year. She and Norman announced their separation in 2016.

    Zoe was a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, and has presented Strictly: It Takes Two since 2011. In 2018, she cycled 350 miles from Blackpool to Brighton as part of Sport Relief, and to raise awareness of mental health, after her partner Billy Yates took his own life. She began presenting the Radio 2 Breakfast Show just over a year ago.

    She lives in Sussex with her two children, Woody and Nelly.

    DISC ONE: Where Am I Going? by Barbra Streisand
    DISC TWO: Georgy Porgy (Disco Version) by Toto feat. Cheryl Lynn
    DISC THREE: Righteous by Ocean Wisdom feat. Rodney P & Roots Manuva
    DISC FOUR: Shoot You Down by The Stone Roses
    DISC FIVE: Love Having You Around by First Choice
    DISC SIX: Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) by Frank Wilson
    DISC SEVEN: Truth by Kamasi Washington
    DISC EIGHT: You Can't Always Get What You Want by The Rolling Stones

    BOOK CHOICE: A dictionary
    LUXURY ITEM: A potting shed, gardening tools and seeds
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Truth by Kamasi Washington

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Sarah Taylor

  • Sonita Alleyne is the Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, the first woman to hold the post and - more significantly - the first black master of any Oxbridge college. In her previous career in the media, she was the co-founder and former CEO of the production company Somethin’ Else.

    Born in Barbados, she came to England aged three and grew up in East London, the youngest of three children. She was an able reader by the time she started primary school, and her potential was spotted at her secondary school, where she was encouraged to apply to Cambridge.

    She read philosophy at Fitzwilliam College and, after a brief and unfulfilling spell selling life insurance, she followed her passion for jazz by starting to write for music magazines. In 1989 she joined the radio station Jazz FM. When she was made redundant a couple of years later, she and two former Jazz FM colleagues set up a production company they called Somethin’ Else.

    Sonita stepped down as CEO in 2009 to concentrate on other boardroom roles. She served on the BBC Trust for nearly five years, sits on the board of the London Legacy Development Corporation, and founded the Yes Programme to show primary school pupils their future career options. She is a fellow of the Radio Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts.

    Sonita began her ten year tenure as Master of Jesus College in October 2019. She lives in Cambridge with her partner, the screenwriter James McCarthy, and their teenage son.

    DISC ONE: I’ve Known Rivers by Gary Bartz & NTU Troop
    DISC TWO: Les Fleurs by Minnie Riperton
    DISC THREE: Key To The World by L J Reynolds
    DISC FOUR: Martha by Tom Waits
    DISC FIVE: Tennessee by Arrested Development
    DISC SIX: To Forgive But Not Forget by Outside
    DISC SEVEN: Last Train to Clarksville by Cassandra Wilson
    DISC EIGHT: Swing Low Sweet Chariot by Marvin “Hannibal” Peterson

    BOOK CHOICE: Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje
    LUXURY ITEM:A genie in a lamp which would only work within the confines of the island
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE:Les Fleurs by Minnie Riperton

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Anne Enright won the Booker Prize for her fourth novel, The Gathering, in 2007, and was appointed the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction in 2015. She has written seven novels, two collections of short stories and a book of essays about motherhood and her work has been widely translated.

    Born in Dublin in 1962, Anne is the youngest of five children. She was a voracious reader from an early age, finishing every children's book at her local library. When she was 16, she won a scholarship to study at a school in Canada, and then returned to Ireland for a degree in English and Philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin. After taking an MA in Creative Writing at University of East Anglia, with teaching from Angela Carter and Malcolm Bradbury, she worked for six years as a TV producer for the Irish broadcaster RTE. When her TV work left her feeling burned out, she began her writing career in earnest. Her book of short stories, The Portable Virgin, won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 1991, and she published her first novel, The Wig My Father Wore, in 1995. Her latest novel, The Actress, is published in February 2020.

    She is also now a Professor at University College Dublin and teaches creative writing. She met her theatre director husband, Martin Murphy, at university and they have two children.

    DISC ONE: Brahms Intermezzos: Op. 117, No.1 by Glenn Gould
    DISC TWO: Jersey Girl by Tom Waits
    DISC THREE: A Case Of You by Joni Mitchell
    DISC FOUR: Then You’ll Remember Me by Dé Danann
    DISC FIVE: The Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash
    DISC SIX: Hiawatha by Laurie Anderson
    DISC SEVEN: Tower of Song by Leonard Cohen
    DISC EIGHT: Soave sia il vento from Cosi fan Tutte, composed by Mozart, conducted by Karl Böhm, performed by Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Walter Berry, Christa Ludwig and Philharmonia Orchestra.

    BOOK CHOICE: 'In Search of Lost Time’ by Marcel Proust
    LUXURY ITEM: High thread-count cotton sheets
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Soave sia il vento from Cosi fan Tutte, composed by Mozart

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Dame Sue Campbell is the Director of Women’s Football at the Football Association. The women’s game has become increasingly popular recently and last year the England team - the Lionesses - made it to the World Cup semi-finals.

    Born in 1948, just outside Nottingham, Sue was sporty from an early age, even changing schools to allow her to play football. She became a PE teacher in Manchester and realised how transformative sport could be, increasing self-esteem, motivation and self-belief.

    In the mid-1980s, after learning about excellence in sport at Loughborough University and playing netball for England as well as dabbling in the pentathlon, Sue became deputy chief executive (and a year later chief executive) of the National Coaching Foundation, which provided education for coaches at both ends of the spectrum, from parent volunteers to elite coaches.

    Ten years later, in 1995, she co-founded the Youth Sport Trust to set up a sports activity programme for every primary school in the country. It was hugely successful: in 2003 only 23% of school children were getting two hours of PE a week. By 2008, this figure had risen to 95%. In 2010, the coalition government cut their funding.

    By this time, back at the elite end of the sporting spectrum, Sue was also in charge of UK Sport, where she presided over Team GB's biggest Olympic medal haul in living memory, at the London 2012 games. In 2016, she took her current job as head of Women’s Football at the FA. She has also been a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords since 2008.

    BOOK CHOICE: The Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
    LUXURY ITEM: A photo album
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Music Of My Heart by Gloria Estefan And *N SYNC

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Cathy Drysdale

  • Michael Lewis is a best-selling non-fiction writer and journalist. He initially worked for an investment bank, and his experiences of Wall Street excess in the 1980s informed his acclaimed first book, Liar’s Poker. Three of his later books – Moneyball, The Blind Side and The Big Short – have been adapted into Hollywood feature films.

    He was born in New Orleans in 1960, where his father was fond of quoting the family motto: 'Do as little as possible, and that unwillingly, for it is better to receive a light reprimand than perform an arduous task.' After studying at Princeton and the LSE, he joined an American bank in London, and wrote articles about the quirks of the industry under a pseudonym. In spite of his father’s opposition, he decided to quit his highly-paid job to become a writer.

    In Moneyball, he examined how a struggling baseball team used intensive data analysis to find undervalued players overlooked by richer clubs. The Big Short focused on the sub-prime mortgage crisis, and his most recent book, The Fifth Risk, is about the Trump administration’s approach to government.

    Michael lives in California with his wife, Tabitha Soren, and their three children.

    BOOK CHOICE: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
    LUXURY ITEM: A photo album
    CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Old Days by Chicago

    Presenter: Lauren Laverne
    Producer: Sarah Taylor