I love Desert Island Discs with all my heart. And if that means I’m getting old, then I bloody love being old.
Desert Island Discs really helped me out a few months ago. I was going through a particularly anxious time and happened to be travelling on a train with my brother. In a quiet bid to help me out and calm me down, he popped his headphones on me, and hooked me up with a podcast from the DID archives. And after a few minutes, and for the first time in what felt like a long time, I started to feel calm. And ever since then, it has been my go-to whenever I need to breathe. If you find yourself in a similar state of mind, I really recommend giving it a listen.
For anybody who isn’t familiar with the format – firstly, you are MISSING OUT – Desert Island Discs is a BBC Radio 4 programme, hosted by Kirsty Young (owner of the world’s most soothing voice and one of the best interview styles in town) which sees a different guest invited on each time to talk through the eight tracks they would take with them to a desert island. If you can listen to it without thinking about what your own choices would be then you’re much better at controlling your day dreaming than I am.
And aside from being calming, I also find it hugely inspiring. The guest list is filled with actors, comedians, songwriters, journalists, entrepreneurs – an endless stream of people to learn from, admire, and glean some new musical knowledge from too. So many of the people interviewed are creative in one way or another, that I often sit listening to it whilst in the bath (BONUS TIP: for maximum calming add a sweet smelling bath bomb, a candle and absolutely no appointments for at least an hour) and think about how I can try to channel their wisdom.
And as it’s one of the rules of being on the internet that when you experience something inspiring, you should share it, I thought I’d write down just a few of my favourite quotes I’ve heard on the show so far. I’m only part way through the back catalogue so I’ve undoubtedly got a lot more blog content to come…
“There has to be a certain kind of truth in everything that you write. If it’s true to you, it’s going to be true to someone else.” Noel Gallagher
“My self-esteem is intact because I have made sure it’s intact. I know I will make a good life for myself with all sorts of armour.” Dawn French
“The best piece of advice [my dad’s] ever given me if that there’s no such thing as can’t. There’s only one thing you can’t do – and that is stick your bum out of your bedroom window, run downstairs into the garden and throw stones at it. Everything else is achievable.” Sarah Millican
“I reserve the right to change my mind and to have a different opinion from one day to the next.” Lily Allen
“No matter how insecure I may be, there’s a part of me that says if I stay relaxed, I can achieve anything. It’s not true but it’s a wonderful trick to have as part of your armour.” Tony Robinson (quoted by Kirsty from a previous interview)
“People always used to say you need something to fall back on but I would always see that as contemplating failure. I really had no other. There was nothing else.” James Corden on wanting to become an actor.
“You are gonna have to meet your career half way. You’re gonna have to really show people you’ve got something to say.” James Corden
“… because also: here comes the reaper. Don’t, when that moment comes, say ‘Wait, hold on a minute, no! I’ve not watched the last Godfather!’ Be aware that this is it.” Russell Brand
“It’s no-one’s responsibility but yours to make your business work. Surround yourself with people who believe you can, not you can’t. And you need to fail as well as succeed. Great business people are not born, they’re made. And not all of us are gonna go on and build global brands. You might be a business that employs two people – make sure those two people are happy.” Jo Malone
“The wonderful thing about being with a partner and sharing your life with someone is that you can look back when you’re older and talk about the past. The best thing about life is sharing it – otherwise it’s of no importance.” Steve McQueen
See what I mean? It’s just such a great programme.
You can find the archive here, friends. Enjoy and let me know your favourites. Believe me, it’ll be a long list.