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Desert Island Discs: 70 years of castaways

Desert Island Discs: 70 years of castaways [Kindle Edition]

Sean Magee , Kirsty Young
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"Fascinating... endless fun! Magee's book is the perfect present for any of the radio show's millions of fans" (Helen Davies The Sunday Times)

"A gem on practically every page... plenty of surprises" (Craig Brown Daily Mail)

"Magee finds that sometimes the lasting significance is in the detail.... [he] has given a real snapshot of history" (Telegraph)

"magisterial, handsome and charmingly illustrated... full of touching moments" (The Spectator)

"Captivating" (Sainsbury's Magazine)

Book Description

70 Years of Castaways from one of BBC Radio 4's best-loved programmes

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memorable Collection Of Castaways 22 Sep 2012
By ACB(swansea) TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This entertaining and engaging book celebrates 70 years of Radio 4's popular programme invented in 1942 by Roy Plomley and presented by him for 43 years, followed by Michael Parkinson (1986-98), Sue Lawley (!988-2006) and now Kirsty Young. Nearly 3,000 castaways have been interviewed including celebrities, politicians, world leaders and prominent figures who have made significant contributions within their own field and have led lives of interest. The editor, Sean Magee, says he made his selection of the 87 interviews in an attempt to reflect the variety of the castaways and nature of individual programmes although they seem to me to be a random choice. The formula is still the same. Each castaway chooses 8 discs, one book and a luxury item (the Bible and Shakespeare's works are considered essential) and an interview that hopefully reveals a lesser known side of the guest of honour in a 'no-holds-barred' fashion often with surprising results.

Magee divides the book into decades with an interesting precis of events and history occurring during each one plus other personalities unable to be accomodated in his interview choice. A listing of all interviewees is at the end of the book. He also provides a summary of the individuals before the interviews that follow. These have been heavily pruned and replaced by fillers provided by Magee between the dialogue that I feel detracts from the the episodes. Each of the presenters have/had their own method and depth of preparation before meeting their guests and style of their interrogation. Plomley's questions in earlier years were scripted. The best are those of any expert interviewer who seizes the opportunity, when it arises, to probe and push for more answers and details. Sue Lawley could be relentless.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Castaway Choice 2 Dec 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Well researched and written. Bite sized chunks of semi-biography. The linking sections are especially interesting, with their snippets of information about how the interviewees were selected and how the interviews were conducted. With only 3-4 pages per interviewee, little information can be given on each. Good book for picking up and reading one or two entries in a idle moment. With just a little more space for each entry I am sure my mark would have been higher.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fan's review 20 Nov 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am a longstanding fan of the radio programme since I discovered it was still going when I returned to UK after a spell in Africa in the seventies. Would you believe I used to listen to Victor Silvester show on BBC World Service short wave? I also made a brief appearanc in the listeners' choice programme put out by BBCWM local radio to celebrate the shows 70th anniversary. So, this book was a natural for me. I loved it and it's three page 'chapters' are ideal for nostalgic bed time reading.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sleepy lagoon 6 Nov 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Wonderful publication! Wonderful programme! Wonderful guests! Seventy years of excellent radio interviews.
Beautifully presented. Recommended to all who enjoy BBC at its best!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Desert Island Discs:70 years of castaways 8 Nov 2012
By bentley
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a hugely enjoyable read, principally because of what some of the castaways revealed themselves e.g. the child abuse suffered by Montgomery of Alamein.

The weakness of the book is that a disproportinate amount of it was taken up with social history, so reducing the word-space that could have been allocated to more interviews.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect 4 Jun 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bought this as a christmas present for my father in law and he ravs about it.
A book full of mini autobiography's of some of the worlds most fabulous people for all walks of life.
My father in law states he love picking this book up and getting an insight into the many varied lives, he says there it is a fascinating read and he loves it.

It is a beautiful book and very well complied.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Relaxing read but... 31 Mar 2014
A nice purchase and a well presented book, but I would have liked to have learnt a bit more about the music chosen and the reasons behind these music choices for the castaways in the selections which is what I was looking forward to reading. That aside, I like having this book in my collection and it is a relaxing read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great present!! 1 Feb 2014
By comm88
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My wife loved it. Tells the DI story and picks out a few of the favourites from each of the decades of the programme's existence. She found it a fascinating read and was intrigued why artistes had chosen their range of particular DI favourites. A real winner.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
The book brings back so many memories.
Published 2 days ago by J. M.Beech
5.0 out of 5 stars friend well pleased with gift
Really good quality n excellent value for money.
Published 1 month ago by Mel Harbron
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired!
Pride myself on the present choice. Kept the folks amused for hours ... if not weeks. And they loved researching their own DID collections off the back of it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by smudger
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Bookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
All round excellence!!
Published 3 months ago by keef
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 4 months ago by Ana
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insights
Bought as a gift for someone who has downloaded many of the podcasts. They were delighted to have this addition to dip into.
Published 11 months ago by ideasabovemystation
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
I bought this for a Christmas present and have had excellent feedback. The recipient told me it is such an interesting book which you can just pick up and read about one guest then... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Roger
5.0 out of 5 stars A "heavyweight" in biographys
I knew as soon as I picked this up it was a "heavyweight" tome in all ways!
It probably is the heaviest book I have ever lifted but when you open it and see... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Ronald McWhirter
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely idea
Bought this as a present. It's a lovely looking book, with interesting and unusual people and their choices of music. Worth buying.
Published 12 months ago by Flower Girly
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