First transmitted in 1982, Arena celebrates Roy Plomley's classic radio favourite, with the help of celebrity castaways, including Frankie Howerd, Arthur Askey and Paul McCartney.
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Could you endure prolonged loneliness?
What would you be happiest to have got away from?
Would you try to escape?
Would you know which way to go?
If you could take only one disc out of the eight you have chosen, which would it be?
Would you like to choose one luxury, any one object of no practical use?
And one book, apart from the Bible and the Complete Works Of Shakespeare.
In Britain, as the worst winter on record continues, many towns
in the Southwest are still cut off and without electricity.
Even in London, roads are blocked and many people are being advised
to stay at home and not try to make the hazardous journey to the office.
There is still no sign of the American diplomat's son, Hank Vanderbilt, who disappeared
in the South Seas three weeks ago attempting to sail his home-made trimaran across the Pacific.
When last radio contact was made, Mr Vanderbilt reported the seas were calm and the weather fine.
Experts say he may have run aground on an uninhabited island,
and it would be possible for him to exist undetected for many months.
There you go, sir. Broadcasting House.
BBC radio news.
Now, it's five past nine, and time for Desert Island Discs.
As usual, the castaway is introduced by Roy Plomley.
"Most durable programmes, BBC.
"Most durable broadcast.
"The longest-running record programme is Desert Island Discs, which began on 29th January 1942,
"and on which programme only one guest, Arthur Askey CBE, has been stranded a fourth time.
"The programme has been presented since its inception by Roy Plomley OBE, who devised the idea."
It was a cold November night in 1941.
I was living in digs in a Hertfordshire village.
My coal fire had gone out, I was already in my pyjamas.
What I needed was an idea strong enough for a series of six programmes.
I was just about to get into bed and then I had the inspiration.
# Let's drift away on Dreamer's Bay
# Let's sail along And sing a song together. #
Normally I'd have been inclined to leave it until the morning,
by which time I'd probably have forgotten about it.
But I felt impelled to go straight to my typewriter.
Do you play the gramophone a lot?
Quite a lot. I like playing the gramophone
but music is so much a part of my dancing that if I'm listening to music, I am, in a way, working.
I'm not completely relaxed. But what I have always looked forward to most in my life
would be an old age on a desert island just playing gramophone records all day long.
The useless, luxury things I will take with me...
It will be a gold bar.
-..A big piece of polished gold.
-What are you going to do with it?
When I play this Strauss, I will dance with this blonde in my arm!
And dance around the sand.
It's useless but it's beautiful.
How good a Robinson Crusoe would you be?
Could you look after yourself on a desert island?
I couldn't. I can't even put a key in a door, darling.
I can't do a thing for myself.
I never stand up if I can sit down and I never sit down if I can lie down, you know.
My 1,630th castaway is, I'm happy to say, Paul McCartney -
composer, musician and ex-Beatle.
How well could you endure loneliness?
How well could I endure loneliness? I don't really know.
As a kid, I never used to mind it too much.
Since then, I haven't been lonely so I haven't tested it.
But I used to quite like getting away on my own.
-You mean alone, prolonged, on a desert island?
Well, as the joke goes, it's better than the alternative.
-But I wouldn't like it for too long, no.
The idea doesn't appeal at all.
I'm not especially gregarious. I can get along
with my own dismal personality for a while
but I would hate to endure it for any length of time.
To know and be uncertain about when you would see anyone else
would be a problem. Fortunately, football means
I have a busy life with a lot of friends and I meet a lot of people,
and I've actually got a strong family background as well. So I think to be isolated like that
would be a problem,
unless you knew some little boat was going to come along in a few months' time and rescue you.
Can't set any term to it.
That's what I'm worried about.
The first series was transmitted early in 1942.
Every Thursday evening, a well-known broadcaster is asked the question, if you were
cast away alone on a desert island, which eight gramophone records would you choose to have with you,
assuming of course that you have also a gramophone and an inexhaustible supply of needles.
Leslie Perowne was the producer in charge of the lighter kinds of record programmes and I wrote to him.
Stand by, boys.
Broadcasting was a little different in those days.
Most programmes went out live but they were carefully scripted.
Good evening, everyone.
Tonight we are privileged to have on our desert island a man whose tireless activities...
I still think we should have used that studio at Tottering Towers.
Don't keep harping on. Anyway, it was your fault. We came here on your bicycle and you were steering.
Well, I followed the wrong bus.
You should have turned off at Tottering Court Road.
I couldn't turn the handle bars, what with you and all that baggage.
For Pete's sake, what is all that baggage?
These are my records.
You asked me to bring eight records, didn't you?
And what's in that big basket?
It's such a simple idea.
It's a wonder...
That's part of its success.
That is the answer - that somebody hadn't beaten you to it, Roy.
Shall I say that? Me, for instance.
The reason why people like it so much is curiosity.
I think everybody wants to know...
..the private tastes of public people, put it that way.
It's a good way of doing it.
Let's say that the Archbishop of Canterbury,
he might be one of your castaways - he may have been already -
to our surprise will choose, let us say, Meade Lux Lewis playing boogie woogie,
which we didn't expect.
Similarly, if Mick Jagger was a castaway, you wouldn't perhaps expect him to play
an aria from Bach's Mass in B minor, but he might.
-# Get me to the church
-Get me to the church
# Be sure and get me To the church on ti-i-ime! #
Stanley Holloway - "Get Me To The Church On Time".
How much does music mean to you, Professor Galbraith?
Music is something that I'm sorry to say passes me by.
I do not sit in rapture
before the...before the BBC,
listening to its more exotic work.
Do you like to hum tunes?
I do when I'm all by myself, but when I'm with anybody else I'm promptly told that I must stop it.
Because the notes are wrong or because you have a small repertoire?
Because whatever I do is deeply offensive to someone else's ears.
I am sorry about that.
How did you set about choosing just a few, just eight records, to take with you on a desert island?
I had to listen at some length to my wife,
because she thought some of my first selections were rather sordid.
-Did you take her advice?
-I always do.
If I don't take it the first time then she repeats it.
So this is a family choice?
It's a family choice, but also, to be serious,
I picked out things which I've enjoyed
and which had some meaning for some part of my long past life.
# What a gorgeous, ah ah ah Situation, oh oh oh
# Oh, ah ah ah... #
We've got a prospective date, let's have lunch together.
-Would you like to have lunch at the Garrick?
-'Who's going to pay, Roy?
'Who's going to pay?'
With reasonable luck, the BBC.
'Don't stutter! Yes or no, who's going to pay?'
The BBC will pay.
'All right, then.'
-We'll swing it on them.
-'Let them pay. All right, then.'
Then we'll go to Broadcasting House and throw records about
until you are quite happy that you've got the right ones.
'I'm delighted. I'm flattered you should ask me back, Roy.'
We'll have a couple of drinks afterwards.
'Thank you very much. On the BBC as well?'
I don't know about that but we will try.
'I'd be delighted, it's a great accolade.
-'Congratulations on your longevity.'
And the same to you. We'll have some laughs.
-'Look forward to seeing you. Cheers now.'
-That was Frankie Howerd, he is coming back on.
-Oh, good. He's super.
-He's always marvellous.
-A very good man.
-Would you like a sherry?
That's a very civilised thought. Thank you kindly.
The silver light on the water this morning...
I've been wasting a lot of time looking out of the window.
It's hard to believe, but seafaring runs in the Plomley blood.
A long time ago, there were ship owners and privateers,
Francis Plomley, a surgeon's mate, and Sir Richard, an admiral.
This is the British Broadcasting Corporation.
Be not a-feared, the isle is full of noises, sounds and sweet airs
that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes, 1,000 twangling instruments will hum about my ears
and sometimes voices that, if I'd had waked after a long sleep, would make me sleep again
and then in dreaming, the clouds me thought would open and show riches ready to drop upon me.
And when I waked, I'd try to dream again.
This week our castaway is the footballer, Trevor Brooking.
Trevor, did you ever dare to think as a schoolboy, when you were edging towards professional football,
that you'd get as far as you have got?
No, I mean I love football. Every opportunity I was playing football but it never did cross my mind
about professional football until the scout came round the house.
Watch Brooking... He scored from inside the six-yard box!
Once you think of it as a career, you have to take a different view.
If I hadn't gone into it, you'd wonder how things would have gone.
It's an unpredictable career but, certainly,
it's one, really, looking back, that I wouldn't have changed at all.
Frankly, whenever I ask myself the question that I ask my castaways,
I realise how exceedingly difficult they are to answer.
The thing is, I find I change my mind all the time.
I get crazes for different kinds of music, from piano jazz to French romantic opera.
Among my eight, really there's only one constant and that is Beethoven's Emperor Concerto.
I think it's a piece of music that would last a long time on anybody's desert island.
Circular, big palm tree in the middle, fake.
It's got yellow sand on it, little lapping waves.
I'm there in trousers to the knee and frayed.
A few suitcases lying around and carrying my guitar,
a couple of these records, the log that we managed to swim ashore on.
Desert Island Discs conjures up traditional British pleasures
like the great British breakfast, The Billy Cotton Band Show.
Very sort of downbeat, very relaxed.
I love its...homeliness.
Back to music, number six.
Is a song called Searchin'.
This is one we used to do at the Cavern with the Beatles.
We had groups of fans who used to give themselves little names.
There used to be a group of fans called The Cement Mixers,
there was some other group called The Wooden Tops.
They make up little names for themselves to be in a little gang.
There was two girls called Chris and Val and they used to say,
"Sing Searchin', Paul! Sing Searchin'!"
That was the big request from Chris and Val. "Sing Searchin'!"
# Gonna find her...
# Gonna find her... #
That was me and George did that bit,
then John singing the lead.
# Gonna find her Yeah, I'm gonna searchin'
# I'm gonna searchin'
# Oh, yeah
# Searchin' every whi-i-ich a-way Yeah, yeah!
# Oh, yeah, searchin'
# Gonna find her
# Gonna find her
# Searchin' every which a-way Yeah, yeah!
# But I'm like that northwest Mountie
# You know I'll bring her in some day. #
-Great. Good words on this one.
Paul McCartney didn't choose anything by the Beatles or himself.
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf chose seven of her own.
Then, of course, there was Otto Preminger.
I have as much hair as you. I shave it because I think it's awful
to have this little hair around the thing and be bald otherwise.
If you take my advice, buy yourself an electric shaver and shave it.
-I'll start tomorrow.
You played us eight discs, all from soundtracks of your own films.
If you could only have one of the discs, which would it be?
I won't tell you.
Which one would YOU like best?
You see, you can't answer.
You ask all these questions, if I ask you one question you just get
red in your face, and your head particularly,
-and you can't answer.
-I could answer it but I'm not going to.
Then I won't answer either.
Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.
Who was it who chose a mirror?
This isn't quite the looking glass that I had expected to receive from you.
Send it back, Russell. We do try to give satisfaction.
A larger one, or...
A larger one is what I wanted.
One of the things that emerges from my very close, perceptive and acute observation of your programme
over at least 27 years, is that there is a quiet...internal pressure
on the person who is sitting in the seat.
I felt I couldn't just say, "Yes, I could enjoy loneliness",
or, "No, I couldn't", but that I had to put warts on my own nature. Do you know what I mean by that?
Yes, it isn't really a question to which one has a ready answer.
It isn't something that you've thought through, you have to think as you speak in replying to that one.
When I talk to people like you, I will deliberately
frighten them into making them talk to me, and you do it completely the other way around.
I think it's a shame to frighten people because they are inclined to curl up and get a bit tense.
I will say very little and let them get on with it. Why should I do all the work?
It's as simple as that!
Are there people who will use the platform you offer,
as I was strongly tempted to, to appear to be musically most staggeringly erudite and eclectic?
Yes, indeed, I will sometimes use the alcohol breakdown.
I find this very useful, we have been discussing the musical choice and it doesn't look quite right,
so I say, "let's go and get a breath of air and shall we go across to the pub for a few minutes?"
A couple of large gins and then I will say,
"There is one record in this list that doesn't match the others."
And slowly, and rather grudgingly, comes out the confession about the musical brother-in-law.
THEY LAUGH ..Who's recommended something slightly esoteric but very GOOD.
I did find myself lurching heavily towards pseuds' corner.
I thought I should have the Grande Messe des Morts running through it!
There is that temptation to appear grand and knowledgeable about music.
But there are two pseuds' corners. There is one that goes towards a bit...a lot of Stockhausen,
and one that goes towards George Formby
and you're trying to tread a dreadful tightrope between them.
Yes, I thought you trod it very successfully.
It was very entertaining choice and I thought it was a very honest one.
That's most generous of you.
It's time we had another record.
The bizarrest thing I ever supervised was a little lad
from St Paul's Cathedral Choir called Paul Phoenix, who sang My Way.
# And now, the end is near
# And so I face the final curtain
# My friend
# I'll say it clear, I'll state my case
# Of which I'm certain
# I've lived a life that's full
# I've travelled each and every highway
# And more, much more than this
# I did it my way. #
Records show that you were a very good milkman.
You managed to fit in a double round.
Well, yes, I think we're back to ambition.
I wanted to do the milk round better than anybody else, so I used to go out
at half past four in the morning, delivering all the milk.
I'd go off to breakfast, then go back to the yard
and fill up with eggs, butter, cheese, bread, cakes - anything I could sell
because I used to get commission on it.
So I then did a second round.
Were your employers impressed?
I think they must have been, because after a year they came and took me away and promoted me.
-You became a sales manager at only 23?
-Yes, that's right.
And was sent abroad to study milk distribution in other countries.
Yes, and supermarketing in particular, which took me to America
in the period which was very interesting.
Let's have your third record.
Well, the third one is the Triple Concerto, Beethoven's Triple Concerto,
with Oistrakh, Rostropovich and Richter, and conducted by Karajan.
Knees Up Mother Brown, sung by the audience at the Old Metropolitan, Edgware Road.
-What did your parents want you to be?
-I don't honestly know. I really don't know.
I have a feeling my mother would have liked me to have gone into the church.
I was never prodded. You see, my father died when I was very young,
so a stronger influence was my mother but I don't think she said, "You must do this or that."
-You did, in fact, teach in Sunday school?
-I was a Sunday-school teacher at 13!
-Yes. And I was very popular among the children because I decided
that some of the stuff I was teaching was rather dreary,
and so I used to make up the things as I went along, and tell stories.
-You told them jokes?
-Not jokes. I used to tell them stories about Robin Hood
and the rest of the Sunday school teachers used to look at me and say,
"Isn't he marvellous? He's riveting their attention!"
It was very innocent and romantic. I felt guilty about that.
I wasn't preaching entirely the word of God, but at least it kept them interested!
It was the first audience, in a way, I suppose.
-I was egotistical then.
-Let's have your second record.
I thought the first one was a bit common
and I would show my posher side now, my more refined side.
I like a lot of classical music,
or most classical music. One of my favourites is Chopin, I like Chopin very much.
I thought I'd choose a bit of Chopin but I wouldn't choose one of those flowery bits.
I'd choose something quiet, gentle, to go to sleep to.
Do you go to sleep by it, or with it, or to? Anyway, to sleep.
It's a Nocturne, which means "night", doesn't it?
-Yes, it does.
-In C minor, and it's played here by Arthur Rubenstein, who I saw a lot of times, genius.
There can be very few countries in which you haven't appeared.
Well, I played practically everywhere, but I'm sad to say I don't play in Germany.
And please, I want to state it once more in public,
I don't go to Germany only out of respect for the dead.
Unfortunately, one of the dead is my whole family.
We don't know where this island is, do we?
We don't know, but it's not a bad island, it's got everything on it that you need.
-Do you think you'd manage?
-I think I could survive.
Would you know which way to go? Do you know anything about stars or navigation?
Yes, I do know the stars.
This is the BBC Light Programme and here is a photograph of me saying it.
You said in an interview some time ago that a desert island was the answer.
How often do you feel that?
Never. I used to in my young days.
The desert island is the coward's choice, isn't it?
There is no such thing as a desert island any more, it's only on radio.
Bring her to port.
Surely you mean starboard, Sir?
You were in fact shipwrecked at one point?
Yes, I was blown from Yugoslavia
to a little place called Termoli,
which at that moment was just behind the Allied lines.
If I'd gone another five miles north I would have been shipwrecked
behind the German lines.
As it was, I only lost my ship and none of my men.
Do not drink gasoline, fuel oil, anti-freeze liquid, or alcohol.
When you have a raging thirst you may be tempted to drink liquid,
which under normal circumstances, you would never think of drinking.
If you drink any of these liquids instead of water, you will collapse and die.
Survival manuals are a popular choice but, of course, there are those who realise
that a spell on a desert island is a wonderful opportunity to improve the mind.
John Donne. "No man is an island entire of itself.
"Every man is a piece with the Continent, part of the main.
"If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were.
"As well as if a manner of thy friends or if thy known were.
"Any man's death diminishes me because I'm involved in mankind
"and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls.
"It tolls for thee."
The first one is the song I always request of a person with a great tenor voice.
It's called Oh Danny Boy.
-This is a record, quite an old record, I think -
about 1948 - called Rock Rock Rock.
So, it is Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A.
I should like it by Sir Malcolm Sargeant because he is associated in my mind with the Messiah,
the Hallelujah Chorus.
Number seven is Little Charlie Parker.
His advent on the world will be remembered for a long, long time.
-What's he playing?
In the vaults of the BBC Record Library, the riches seem endless.
A million discs, a million and a half, 2 million...? Nobody has ever counted them.
OK, well, this one... I haven't chosen any Beatles records
but if we had more than eight, I probably would have.
I haven't chosen any of my records, so to sort of sum up the whole thing, I have chosen one
off John Lennon's record, Double Fantasy, which I think is a beautiful song, very moving to me.
I would like to sum the whole thing up by playing a song called Beautiful Boy.
# Close your eyes, have no fear
# The monster's gone, he's on the run and your daddy's here
# Beautiful, beautiful beautiful, beautiful boy
# Beautiful, beautiful beautiful, beautiful boy
# Before you go to sleep say a little prayer.
# Every day in every way it's getting better and better
# Beautiful, beautiful beautiful, beautiful boy
# Beautiful, beautiful beautiful, beautiful boy. #
# When the wintry winds start blowing and the snow is starting in the fall
# Then my eyes turn westward knowing that is the place I love best of all
# California, I've been blue Since I've been away from you
# I can't wait till I get going Even now I'm starting in a car. #
# One who keeps tearing around
# One who can't move
# Where are the clowns?
# Send in the clowns
# Just when I start
# Opening doors
# Finally knowing the one that I wanted
# Was yours. #
I sing this in my bath sometimes with water splashing.
I can't remember the words though! I only remember the first bit!
# No-one is there. #
Little Richard, Tutti Frutti.
Paul, I read that you were a Boy Scout.
-Because - this is important - did you get a lot of badges?
Um, not many, no.
I got a bivouac badge.
-That's camping out, isn't it?
This is going to be very useful to you, all this knowledge, on your desert island.
Right, I make a fine fire.
If there's any wood on this island.
-And you can rig up a shelter of some sort?
-Sure, bivouac badge!
I think the first thing would be to build a secure raft.
I wouldn't like to leave.
At least on the island, I think that someone could come along, so I would never leave the island
unless I was 100% confident in the raft that I had managed to build.
What I'm getting at is how you are going to manage on this desert island.
Have you ever done any camping out?
-Certainly not. No, sir.
-And nothing is...
Nothing fills me with such dismay as talk about the subculture of the sea
for propellers and sheets in the wind and things of that sort.
-You wouldn't try to escape?
Yes. Yes, eventually, yes.
It would be nice for two or three weeks but not forever.
Oh no. I wouldn't... No no, certainly I'd try to escape.
Would you rig up a shelter on this desert island? Could you look after yourself?
Yes, I think I could.
I think I'd rather enjoy it.
Consider the family of Dougal Robertson, adrift for 28 days.
They kept alive by sucking fluid from the spinal cavities of fish and introducing into their bodies
an undrinkable mixture of rainwater, sea water and turtle blood with a makeshift enema.
By the time you do make landfall, you will probably be covered with boils and sores
and in no condition to cope with the local flora and fauna.
There are 300 varieties of poisonous reef fish, never mind the land crabs that can do dreadful things to you.
Venomous insects and a host of creatures that you'd never even believe existed.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for coming today to help us celebrate
a marvellous programme
and its 40th anniversary. Thank you all of you who have been castaways,
and thank you particularly to Roy Plomley, whose idea the programme was,
and who's been keeping it up at such a splendid standard for 40 years.
I've been trying to think why Desert Island Discs, alone among famous radio programmes,
has gone so successfully for such a long time. I decided that it's because all of us feel ourselves -
whether we are eminent or not as potential castaways -
all of us have our own favourite eight gramophone records.
The other reason that I believe Desert Island Discs has gone on so long and so successfully
is because Roy always has tried to get the best out of people, simply to give them the opportunity
to reveal themselves as the nice people most of them are...
..through the way they choose not only the music but also the luxuries and the books.
And one luxury you are allowed to take - nothing of any practical use.
-Well that would definitely be a guitar.
Because that's the kind of thing I can spend hours and engross myself with.
Apart from football, I enjoy sport - tennis and golf - and obviously I need somebody else at tennis,
so I would plump for golf... golf clubs.
If it was on a small desert island, I would probably need an extra sand-iron for practice
but I would take a few golf balls as well.
I have chosen something which I think would have great practical use to me anyway.
I would like to take the entire contents of my wine cellar with me - is that allowed?
It seems very good sense - yes, indeed you can.
That would be an ornament, would it?
For instance, if I was to say to you that my mother had died,
-one of the things that was left was a little cross. Could I take that?
That's what I would take, a little cross which I'd got, yes.
My list of luxuries is so long that I'm afraid...
A snap decision,
which will you have?
No, I'm not going to respond on that.
One really can't choose.
I suppose if I had...
to take any...
-No, no, let's go back.
-Why don't you ask the question again? Can you repeat that?
-Yes, of course.
Tales from the Vienna Woods, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
If you could take only one disc out of the eight you played us, which would it be?
No doubt, Oh, What A Beautiful Morning.
And one luxury to take to the island, any one object that would give you pleasure to have.
Well, after books...
You are going to have ONE book.
After the books I would certainly take
a musical comedy company with me.
It must be inanimate, I'm afraid.
You mean it has to be inanimate?
I suppose I would take a supply of...
-It has to be something one cannot read, one cannot hear, one cannot see.
I think I would take some maple syrup from our farm in Vermont.
And one book, apart from the Bible and Shakespeare, which are already on the island.
-The Bible and Shakespeare are already there.
-That's a basic ration you will find when you land.
Well then, I would take a complete consolidated set
of Tolstoy, Trollope and a few copies of Evelyn Waugh.
Not a chance, no, no! Just one book, one volume.
War And Peace, no question about it.
Thank you, Professor John Kenneth Galbraith, for letting us hear your Desert Island Discs.
Well, it's been a great pleasure.
I hope you will all join me on the desert island to hear
Oh, What A Beautiful Morning.
You know the story of the people who had a house and the river ran at the bottom of the garden,
and it overflowed,
and Mother floated out of the kitchen window
on the kitchen table.
I accompanied her on the piano.
I'd take a large tin of acid drops,
it's a thing which I have often craved for in the desert.
-You told me this included art.
I don't think art is a luxury, you see, I think art is a necessity.
But all right, because you are very strict,
aren't you? Michelangelo's David.
Well, as you won't allow me to take my dog,
I'm going to take the Michelangelo David.
Again, it's a statement of heroism
and I think I couldn't possibly not pull myself together
and get on with life if he was there.
I'll take my fiddle.
A television set that didn't work.
Once a day I would look at this thing
and reflect that sometimes there is no sight more beautiful
than a blank television screen.
Well now, could I have
a 500cc trail bike, get about quickly?
I don't see why not. We have to give you a limited amount of petrol,
otherwise you could keep fires going and do all sorts of useful things.
-Could I also have six Japanese mechanics?
If you get sand in the engine, you will have to get it out yourself.
I think I had better take a push bike then.
a live growing poppy.
Because I think they're very beautiful to look at
and they are a very serviceable flower.
A case of malt whisky or alternatively a box of cigars
because I am addicted to both of those.
-I don't suppose I would be allowed both?
-No, a snap decision - which?
It would have to be the whisky because that would allow me to forget the cigars.
Could I have a life-size rubber inflatable Faye Dunaway doll?
If such a thing is manufactured, it would be dispatched.
And how about the saxophone, can I take the saxophone as well?
No, one or the other.
What a heart-rending decision.
I'll take the saxophone.
-I would take my perfume, Hammam Bouquet made by Penhaligon in London.
-Right, a large flacon.
Aha! I'd really... I'd stick to my pipe, I'm afraid.
I've been trying to give up smoking for 50 years.
I would take a stick of the very best marijuana I could find and I would save it for years
and hope it didn't get too stale because I know I would have only one opportunity to smoke it.
This is a legal talk, Mr Mailer!
Well, here we are in trouble again!
It couldn't be a woman.
It must be an inanimate object.
-A very beautiful watch...
-And one book...
Well, there is a beautiful autobiography by Otto Preminger!
That is the book I enjoyed most.
Curiously enough, I would like to take a plastic bath.
I simply love lying in a hot bath.
First of all, I must have a record player there, yes?
That is there, solar batteries.
-Oh, I see!
-Solar-powered, the sun.
Oh, I see, sun.
In that case, I will have to sneak there, you know, a video cassette with all of my performances.
Alas, some castaways are a little more pessimistic.
To be, or not to be,
that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them?
And by a sleep to say we end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to,
'tis a consummation devoutly to be wish'd. To die...
to sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there's the rub... for in that sleep of death
what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
must give us pause.
Would you endure prolonged loneliness?
What would you be most glad to have got away from?
Does music mean a lot to you?
Could you build a shelter?
Would you try to escape?
Do you know which way to go?
If you could take only one of the eight discs you have chosen, which would it be?
And one book, apart from the Bible and the Complete Works Of Shakespeare.
Oh, Derek, yes...
I seem to have dozed off. I was going to ring you, wasn't I?
Yes, of course we ought to have some ideas for castaways.
What am I talking about - Captain Bligh?
No, I've got one written down here, Baroness Maria von Trapp -
you know, the Sound Of Music lady - what about her? She'd be excellent.
Yes, I've got some more somewhere.
I'll call you back, I'm a bit disorganised at the moment, all right?
Yes, in a few minutes.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd.
First transmitted in 1982, Arena celebrates Roy Plomley's Desert Island Discs with the help of many celebrity castaways, including Frankie Howerd, Russell Harty, Trevor Brooking, the Lord Mayor of London, Professor JK Galbraith and Arthur Askey. The special guest for the 40th anniversary programme was Paul McCartney who was also a fan of the show: 'I love its homeliness. It conjures up the best in traditional British pleasure, like the great British breakfast. It's an honour to be asked'.