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Desert Island Discs
Programme Details

This Week's Guest:
Brian Aldiss

28 January  2007
2 February  2007
Brian Aldiss
Brian's Choice

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the author, Brian Aldiss.

He is best known for pioneering, alongside JG Ballard, a new wave of British science fiction writing in the 1960s. He says science fiction is not so much a prediction of the future as a metaphor for the human condition; and for him, at least, writing it offered an escape route and a filter through which to view his own extraordinary upbringing.

He grew up in a small Norfolk village in a very devout and austere home. While his father was distant, his mother was still suffering from the grief after her first child, a daughter, was still-born. He was the second child and even when he was very small, remembers feeling a strong sense of his mother's disappointment in him.

The army finally offered a way out for him and it was on his return to England that he started writing seriously while also working in a bookshop. One of his early works was a short story describing the sadness felt by a boy who was never able to please his parents, which was turned into a film by Stanley Kubrick.

While he remains best known for his science fiction writing - and has won every major award in the field - he has also written novels, poetry and biographies and short stories. Now, he says, he aims not for high sales but to become a better and better writer.

1.Old Rivers
Performer Walter Brennan with the Johnny Mann Singers
Composer Cliff Crofford
CD Title Old Rivers/Family Reunion
Track Side 1 trk 1
Label United Artists
Rec No :UP 35747

2.Opening movement of Symphony of Sorrowful Songs
Performer Susan Gritton with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yuri Simonov
Composer Górecki 
CD Title Górecki: Symphony No 3…
Track 1
Label Tring International
Rec No: TRP084

3.Cow-Cow Boogie
Performer Ella Fitzgerald with the Ink Spots
Composer Don Raye-Gene De Paul-Benny Carter 
CD Title The Best of Ella Fitzgerald Vol 11
Track Side 4 Trk 2
Label MCA records
Rec No: MCA2 4016

4.In the Steppes of Central Asia
Performer The Kirov Orchestra
Composer Alexander Borodin 
CD Title Rimsky Korsakov: Sheherazade…
Track 5
Rec No: 4708402

5.King of the Boeotians 
Performer Sadlers Wells Theatre – 1960
Composer Offenbach
CD Title Orpheus in the Underworld
Track Side 2 trk 2
Label EMI
Rec No:CSD 1316

6. Oj Lolo Moja or Oh My Darling
Performer The Choir and Tambouritza Ensemble of Radio Osijek
Composer Trad
CD Title Songs and Dances of Yugoslavia
Track Side 1 trk 2
Label Concert Hall Records
Rec No:SM 2229

7.So Long Mom or a Song for World War 111
Performer  Tom Lehrer
Composer Tom Lehrer
D Title Tom Lehrer: That was the Year that Was
Track 8
Label Reprise
Rec No:61792

8.Saturn:The Bringer of Old Age
Performer The London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Adrian Boult
Composer Holst
D Title Holst: the Planets
Track 5
Label PRT
Rec No:PVCD8381

Record: Old Rivers
Book: John Halpern’s biography of John Osborne
Luxury: A banjo

Listen Live
Audio Help
Desert Island Discs is one of Radio 4's most popular and enduring programmes. Created by Roy Plomley in 1942, the format is simple: each week a guest is invited by Kirsty Young to choose the eight records they would take with them to a desert island.
For rights reasons Desert Island Discs is not available as a listen again item.
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Diane Abbott
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Haleh Afshar
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Brian Aldiss
Tariq Ali
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Michael Ball
Daniel Barenboim
Camila Batmanghelidjh
Sanjeev Bhaskar
Betsy Blair
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 Jeremy Irons
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Digby Jones
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David King
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Annie Lennox
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Jack Mapanje
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Wangari Maathai
Miriam Margolyes
Armistead Maupin
Peter Maxwell Davies
Alexander McCall Smith
Paul McKenna
Virginia McKenna
Stanley McMurty
Andy McNab
David McVicar
George Michael
Mary Midgley
Jonathan Miller
Christy Moore
Desmond Morris
Simon Murray
Andrew Neil
James Nesbitt
Randy Newman
Edna O'Brien
Yoko Ono
Ruth Padel
Geoffrey Palmer
Nicholas Parsons
Grayson Perry
Philippe Petit
Matthew Pinsent
Joan Plowright
Stephen Poliakoff
Oliver Postgate
Thomas Quasthoff
Frederic Raphael
Ian Rankin
Simon Rattle
Alison Richard
Bobby Robson
Michael Rosen
Simon Russell Beale
John Rutter
Anne Scott-James
Hanna Segal
Ronald Searle
Alan Sillitoe
Posy Simmonds
Joe Simpson
Nigel Slater
Liz Smith
Natasha Spender
Clive Stafford Smith
Terence Stamp
David Starkey
Imelda Staunton
John Stefanidis
Rory Stewart
John Stevens
Patrick Stewart
Janet Street-Porter
John Sutherland
Raymond Tallis
Sam Taylor Wood
Neil Tennant
Mario Testino
Ruby Wax
Paul Weller
Arnold Wesker
Katharine Whitehorn
Rachel Whiteread
Shirley Williams
Jacqueline Wilson
Penelope Wilton
Michael Winner
Victoria Wood
Harry Woolf (Lord)

Guests prior to September 2004

Joss Ackland
Sir Ken Adam
Diana Athill
Margaret Atwood
Pat Barker
Christabel Bielenberg
Karan Bilimoria
Sir Christopher Bland
Henry Blofeld
Professor Barry Blumberg
Barbara Taylor Bradford
Rory Bremner
Derek Brown
John Cale
Jeremy Clarkson
George Clooney
Billy Connolly
Robin Cook
Bernard Cornwell
Bill Cullen
Sinead Cusack
Paul Dacre
Nick Danziger
Sacha Distel
Carl Djerassi
Sister Frances Dominica
Iain Duncan Smith
Tracey Emin
UA Fanthorpe
George Fenton
George Foreman
Martha Lane Fox
Christopher Frayling
Stephen Frears
Paul Gambaccini
Angela Gheorghiu
Fay Godwin
Nicholas Grimshaw
Pen Hadow
Professsor AH Halsey
Emmylou Harris
Nick Hornby
Michael Howard
Geraldine James
P D James
Judith Kerr
Linton Kwesi Johnson
Sue Johnston
Charles Kennedy
Ralph Kohn
Herbert Kretzmer
Nigella Lawson
Daniel Libeskind
Lady Longford
John Malkovich
Dame Alicia Markova
Wayne Marshall
Hugh Masekela
Brian May
Ian McKellen
Sir Christopher Meyer
Michael Morpurgo
Jan Morris
Bill Nighy
Gulam Noon
Graham Norton
Paul O'Grady
Christopher Ondaatje
Antonio Pappano
Cornelia Parker
Gene Pitney
Vittorio Radice
Gordon Ramsay
Vic Reeves
Fiona Reynolds
Sir Tim Rice
Jack Rosenthal
Leonard Rosoman
Dorothy Rowe
David Sainsbury
Claude-Michel Schönberg
Timothy Spall
Rod Steiger
Kristin Scott Thomas
Bishop John Sentamu
Meera Syal
Jimmy Tarbuck
Bryn Terfel
Mark Tully
Minette Walters
Paul Whitehouse
Rowan Williams
Marguerite Wolff
Franco Zeffirelli
Jack Vettriano

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