Desert Island Discs

Desert Island (Digital Versatile) Discs

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Right, which palm tree do I hang the plasma on?

My wife has been responsible for many of the most positive changes in my life, including wearing posh aftershave rather than Lynx, eating Thai and Japanese food and owning a cat (and here was me thinking I was only a dog person). She’s also the person who introduced me to Radio 4, dragging me kicking and screaming from my working class roots to what looks likely to be a much more middle class old age. One of our hymn choices at our wedding was even a tribute to the “One Song To The Tune Of Another” round from I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue. Could I BE any more middle England?

If you read this blog often enough, you’ll know that I have a particularly bad version of the male compulsion to make lists. From 25 Things I Want From A 24 Movie to 88 Reasons Why I Love Back To The Future, readers of this blog are never knowingly underlisted, and there’s one show on Radio 4 that understands that passion more than most – Desert Island Discs. I’ve often wondered what my list would be if I were to be asked on the show, and frankly I only need to become (a) famous, (b) popular and (c) interesting to actually make it on, so I’m just a whisker away. A couple of weeks ago, I felt I had finally settled on my selection of eight, and because this blog would be almost nothing without its lists, here’s mine:

  1. Messiah – And he shall purify the sons of Levi (G. F. Handel)
  2. Symphony No. 9 in D minor (Choral) – 4th movement (Ludwig van Beethoven)
  3. Finlandia (Jean Sibelius)
  4. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Official Soundtrack – Duel Of The Fates (John Williams)
  5. Solsbury Hill (Peter Gabriel)
  6. Meet James Ensor (They Might Be Giants)
  7. You Stole The Sun From My Heart (Manic Street Preachers)
  8. Bones (The Killers)

For the true obsessive compulsive, you can now search the online archives of previous panellists to see who’s picked your selections before. Only three of my list actually have actually been picked by famous types: the Beethoven symphony is the most popular, having been chosen by the likes of 97 luminaries of the likes of Jeffrey Archer and Enoch Powell; Finlandia was a favourite of  20, including Robert Maxwell, and the only person who’s ever picked Solsbury Hill is Jeremy Clarkson. Additionally, it wasn’t the same song, but David Cameron did include a track by Brandon Flowers and his cohort in his list. Not entirely sure what my musical choices say about me now…

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