A deserted shore line of a beach

Top Ten Desert Island Discs

Bored of the radio? Wondering what podcasts to listen to on the way to work? Feeling like you need a bit of inspiration? Then why not immerse yourself in some of the most fascinating real life stories of all time. The MALESTROM has sifted through years of Desert Island Discs for the most iconic, interesting and life affirming interviews, and listed them for you to listen to right now.

10. Tom Hanks – Actor. The man who became part of our lives from Big to Forrest Gump, Castaway and Saving Private Ryan. The ‘everyman’ actor opens up about his dysfunctional childhood, moving from town to town and living in ten different houses in five different cities. And how his mother and two step mothers shaped his life up until this day. Hank’s honesty shines through here and he proves just as likeable as when on screen. The real deal.

9. JP Donleavy – Author. The Irish American playwright and novelist of such literary greats as Fairy Tale of New York, The Ginger Man and The Onions Eaters, is as engaging an interviewee as you’ll hear. Donleavy is a man who has lived a life of individuality; drinking, brawling, laughing and capturing the humour of just about everything that came his way in Ireland and America in his many books. From his drunken exploits with his college buddy, Brendan Behan, to bare knuckle boxing. JP Donleavy is a unique and engaging speaker.

8. Freddie Flintoff – Sportsman. Preston’s own sporting icon Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff became a national hero when going a long way towards helping England reclaim the Ashes from Australia in the 2005 series. His chat with Kirsty Young reveals some corking anecdotes. Not least the one where a rather inebriated Flintoff ran riot in 10 Downing Street.

7. Noel Gallagher – Musician. Love him or loathe him, Mr Gallagher turns his Desert Island Discs into some of the best radio you’ll hear. Noel recounts some brilliant stories and purposely name-drops everyone from Bono to Morrissey by surreptitiously slipping them into his stories with sly digs. The man can talk, and talk he does – one of the most entertaining DID’s we’ve heard in a long time. Wonder…ful!

6. Michael Caine – Actor. British acting Royalty and a true icon from the 1960’s to this very day. Maurice Micklewhite is the Elephant & Castle boy who spent nearly ten years as an unknown actor in REP, before getting his big break playing an upper class officer in the film Zulu. From that point on, there isn’t a lot this man has not done, seen or achieved, and he can still hold his own at the Hollywood Round Table with Samuel L. Jackson and Will Smith, down to earth, funny – a bit of an all round legend really.

5. Joe SimpsonMountaineer. No one else in the world has a story like Mr Simpson. While climbing in Peru, he famously fell off the side of a mountain and hung there for over an hour, before his companion was forced to cut the rope, leaving him to fall to almost certain death. But Joe found himself alive and at the bottom of a crevasse with a broken leg. Staring at a void of blackness, Joe took the insane decision to actually climb deeper down into the crevasse in the hope that he might find a way out. The story of how he found light, lost his faith but crawled to freedom became the best selling book and documentary ‘Touching the Void’. In the eyes of The MALESTROM Mr Simpson’s story of survival must be heard to be believed.

4. Robin MillerRecord Producer. Unknown to many, but now held in high esteem by those who do, Robin Miller was one of the most successful record producers in the 1980’s with 44 number ones to his credit, including Sade’s platinum selling Diamond Life. But the real story of this man’s success is how he tackled his impending blindness, by first hiding the fact that he was completely losing his eyesight from his friends and family and then continuing to Produce while unable to see, furthermore using his position to help disadvantaged children. Robin Miller The MALESTROM salutes you.

3. Terence Stamp Actor. A true icon of the 60’s and a slightly forgotten British hero. This is a story about a sharp, East End boy who rose through the acting ranks on sheer bravado, acute talent and extreme good looks. His first hand story of how losing the love of his life, Jean Shrimpton, to the photographer David Bailey, changed the course of his life, is an honest  story of heart break and it’s consequences. And how he accidentally ended up on the rooftop of the Apple offices in 1969 with The Beatles is riveting stuff.

2. David Nott Surgeon. The humility and honesty with which David Nott describes how he dedicates his life to saving others makes this a must listen. The tale of how he chose to stay in a war torn hospital to save a patient when he knew they were just about to be bombed is a truly moving and heroic indictment of a man who deserves a Knighthood. David Nott is an emblem for humanity who makes you want to reach for the good that’s inside us all. Truly inspiring.

1. Vidal Sassoon Hairdresser. The rise of this small East End, Jewish lad to become the world’s most famous and successful hairdresser, is one of the most heart breaking, inspirational and jaw dropping stories you’ll likely listen to. Born into poverty in London’s East End, given away by his mother, and then growing up in post-war London fighting Oswald Mosley’s fascist black shirts is a life story in it’s own right. From there he went on build a hairdressing empire and a world wide brand known to everyone. A fascinating rags to riches story. Vidal Sassoon’s Desert Island Discs is our number one choice.

Are there any other Desert Island discs you think are essentials? Let us know. 

Related Articles