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Desert Island Discs comes to iPlayer

Sunday 27 September 2009, 12:12

Mark Damazer Mark Damazer

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Roy Plomley

It is a grand moment to get Desert Island Discs (DIDs) on the iPlayer. We have always had good relations with the family of the programme's founding father - Roy Plomley - but the programme was conceived in a pre-digital age and so we needed to work out with the family how to make the programme available online as well as for its two transmissions.

We have now sorted it all out and we have plans to make the website an all-singing, all-dancing affair - encouraging people to compare their choices with the choices of castaways, looking at the most selected tracks etc. etc. And we will end up podcasting DIDs too.

For the time being we're off to the races with Barry Manilow - and the programme will be available to listen to on the web site - along with the rest of the Radio 4 schedule.

It is a great programme - doing wonderfully I think with Kirsty Young.

DIDs' moments? Princess Margaret with Roy Plomley (a curio), Sue Lawley and Simon Cowell (not a great meeting of minds), Kirsty and Humphrey Lyttelton, Kirsty and Andrew Neil (moving), Kirsty and Yoko Ono, Sue and Isaiah Berlin and many, many more. It's a treat in my week. I rarely miss it and I now have no excuse.

I still yearn for Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Bill Clinton, George Bush, Barack Obama, Madonna, Arsene Wenger etc. etc. Stay tuned. We're trying.

  • You'll be able to listen again to Desert Island Discs on the programme's home page, starting with today's Barry Manilow episode.
  • The picture shows the programme's inventor and long-time presenter Roy Plomley in 1942, the year the programme was first broadcast. The picture is from the BBC's picture library and the caption reads: "Roy Plomley, script-writer of 'Hurrah for Hollywood', 'Show Souvenirs', 'Lady from Texas' and 'Desert Island Discs' series; actor and compere, 1942." You can see some more Desert Island Discs pictures from the archive here.

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 1.

    Excellent news.

    How about adding a Spotify playlist for old programmes which have dropped off the iplayer so that we can at least listen to the musical choices?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 2.

    Yay !! Get in !! Now that IS a result !!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 3.

    Yipee?? Wonderful! Fantastic! For a very long time I've had to rely on friends who would text me to remind me that Desert Island Discs was on. Fridays wasn't possible, so if I missed it Sunday - I missed it! I never knew why one couldn't "listen Again". Now I know. Any chance of listening to past ones?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 4.

    Excellent news indeed! Any chance of repeats, on Radio 7 perhaps or a late-night Radio 4 slot, or of hearing some of those moments you mentioned on the new website?

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    Comment number 5.

    Fantastic, I was over the moon when I heard it was going to be available online and as a podcast, excellent! There have been many greats I have missed and I love the many different "personalities" and wide range of people you feature; you have a great balance of appeal to both younger and veteran listeners alike as a result. Having only discovered DID about 5 years ago, I would LOVE to be able to hear others and their stories - could you perhaps post some of the favourite interviews online for us to listen to? I appreciate doing a complete back catalog might be tough. Many thanks to the family for allowing this fantastic program to be online. Many thanks once again.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 6.

    As someone who is usually at church on Sunday mornings and at work on Friday mornings, this is really terrific news! Is there any chance of some of the back catalogue being made available online? Or perhaps on BBC7?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 7.


    'we needed to work out with the family'
    Crazy world where people are allowed to take money or restrict use of publicly broadcast and paid for programmes. Back catalogue of everything ever recorded should be up and available free to all, we have already paid for it. The sooner the file sharers wreck the entire concept of such rights the better for the world.

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    Comment number 8.

    #7. At 7:05pm on 28 Sep 2009, JamesStGeorge wrote:

    "The sooner the file sharers wreck the entire concept of such rights the better for the world."

    Once that happens don't expect there to be much new content available, would you work for nothing, would you welcome someone (in effect) stealing from your wage packet/bank account?...

  • rate this
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    Comment number 9.

    See you've made the front page of the Telegraph, Mr D !!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 10.

    Mark: Excellent news!!!


    ~Dennis Junior~

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    Comment number 11.

    8. At 9:31pm on 28 Sep 2009, Boilerplated
    [quote]Once that happens don't expect there to be much new content available, would you work for nothing, would you welcome someone (in effect) stealing from your wage packet/bank account?...[/quote]
    Yes. Anyone is welcome to copy my work for their personal use. It will take not a penny from me or deny me a penny. I will even help them if they need it! Sell them parts to make it easier. Do not ever believe the lies of the 'rights' parasites.
    There would be no change in content, in the case of radio and TV by the BBC it has all been overpaid for already, with over fat salaries. The cut in pay for the film, music, media world, by ending the exploitation of cost nothing copies on cd/dvd would be of no consequence whatever. They were well paid before such additional exploitations were invented. Up tight about being copied, work live only, easy. Of course we all know without the free publicity that they have the gall to want paying for, they have no work at all, even live as no one has heard of them!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 12.

    Is it now too late to give the chair of Desert Island Discs to its rightful owner, Martha Kearney ?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 13.

    #11. At 7:56pm on 29 Sep 2009, JamesStGeorge wrote:

    "Yes. Anyone is welcome to copy my work for their personal use. It will take not a penny from me or deny me a penny. I will even help them if they need it! Sell them parts to make it easier."

    No, sorry but that doesn't count, you will have to give them all you would otherwise sell (just like the artist/musician etc. would), in other words you would have no income at all, now tell us if you would carry on flogging your dead horse or go and find gainful employment doing something different?

    "They were well paid before such additional exploitations were invented."

    But those markets no longer exist, these "additional exploitations" (as you call them) are the market now, if no one is going to get paid there will be little or no incentive to offer a product - even if one could cover the production costs, not just the reproduction costs.

    "Up tight about being copied, work live only, easy."

    Why would anyone put their intellectual property into the public domain if others are free to copy, what would stop 'Group B' stealing the act/songs of 'Group A' and then undercutting them at the next Live venue booking?!

    Sorry but you don't seem to understand just what intellectual property rights and their protection is really all about, I suspect that what your really anti about is the exploitation of both artists and consumers by the 'middle-men', the record companies and the such.

    But heck, this is becoming thread-drift and a half...

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    Comment number 14.

    No the copy does not take anything from anybody else. It only takes a potential sale if the copier sells it on. Which is not then personal use.

    I already do, I could earn far far more stacking supermarket shelves.
    I prefer to do what I like, not chase money.

    Cinema exists, live performances exist, TV programming exists on a tax! Plenty of room to cut the production costs, have you seen the pay they throw away on mere Eastender's performers, farcical. Let alone news readers or J. Ross!

    Intellectual property is a con, a technology exploitation that has now been superseded by further advances. For a type of 'work' or hobby to get paid for over again, and again, and again, for one old bit of 'work'. Try paying everyone else for others just looking at their work. Or everyone that walks over a swept street. Royalty please! To every past road sweeper of the last 50 years or however long copyright is let exist!

    Copying will stop when the greed does. Blank cd plus 10p for the work of pre-recording on it. Undercut the DIY, like commerce is supposed to.

    Copying for personal use is no more wrong than painting and decorating your own house, depriving the professional decorators of a paid job. If they were cheaper than DIY they could have the work.

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    Comment number 15.

    JamesStGeorge - I can see some of your points, but where would be the incentive for inventors and designers to work for 10 years on dozens of failed products to get to the one 'world-beater' which will recoup their costs.

    You may be willing to work for nothing, which is laudable. But 'Big Pharma', for all its sins, has to comply with an awful lot of process and procedure and safety testing and approval to come up with a successful medication.

    Likewise Trevor Baylis would not, I suspect, have bothered inventing the Freeplay radio if it could not be patented and licensed for production.

    You have some good ideas, but I suspect you have been slightly taken in by the 'Power of Free' hype and PR spin like the 'Long Tail'. These are good ideas, but need to have healthy scepticism and analysis applied to them as well.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 16.

    #14. At 02:12am on 30 Sep 2009, JamesStGeorge wrote:

    "No the copy does not take anything from anybody else. It only takes a potential sale if the copier sells it on. Which is not then personal use."

    Sorry, that might be how things work on Mars but here on Earth if someone takes/steals something that they would otherwise have paid for they are taking money (that would otherwise been received) away from the owner(s) of the product.

    "Intellectual property [rights] is..."

    ....something you singly fail to understand. :-(

    "Copying for personal use is no more wrong than painting and decorating your own house, depriving the professional decorators of a paid job. If they were cheaper than DIY they could have the work."

    No it is not, it's like stealing their paint, wall paper, brushes and ladders to do the work yourself, after they have decided on the best colour scheme for your house, measured up for how much paint and wallpaper etc. you need and scouring their supply (paid for by them up front).

    QED, THE END.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 17.

    It's often been observed that, on the messageboards, any sufficiently long thread will sooner or later come around to Israel/Palestine. On the blogs the topic seems to be copyright. But this post is really about Desert Island Discs so I'd like the discussion of copyright, DRM etc. to stop here.

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

  • rate this
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    Comment number 18.

    Hail Bowbrick !!!

    It is good to see that whilst elsewhere the idea of being like an old fashioned teacher with discipline is castigated as being 'so old school' or 'judgemental' or 'moralising' or 'get with the child-centred learning programme' etc. that Mr Steve is still allowed to keep us misbehaving miscreants into line.

    I think it is time Mr Steve 'Chips' Bowbrick was given a more senior role in the BBC's 'social networking' projects to help enforce civility and good behaviour in what used to be called 'cyberspace'. There may be a 'flight to quality' from the mean streets of PoliticalBetting to the slightly more genteel civility of those clubs the 'PM Blog' and the 'Radio 4 Blog' via the pubs of Iain Dale et al.

    But Mr Bowbrick beware - we will still be throwing the occasional paper plane behind your back and lobbing a badly aimed water bomb in your vicinity in the playground. Whilst you chuckle to yourself knowing that we have been kept on the straight and narrow to read 'Lords of the Blog' during breaktime instead of being lured down the path of least resistance to Theo Spark OR WORSE !!

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    Comment number 19.

    Re comment #18:

    LBG, I don't know what your tipple is but I think you should inform Kirsty Young and the DID production crew, I'm sure that many a cast-away would be more than happy to find a create or two on their desert Island! :-o

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    Comment number 20.

    Boilerplated - I hate to terrify you, but these days I'm quite able to be completely barking without the aid of any, ahem, liquid refreshment...

    On a related note - does anyone else think it is a waste of the licence fee to restrict Desert Island Discs and Strictly Come Dancing to those in the 'celeb' fraternity ?

    Given that many 'celebs' these days are known only to a few thousand viewers / listeners to niche satellite channels or digital radio stations, why not go the whole hog and open up these programmes to people who aren't famous at all, but may have interesting lives nonetheless ??

    Indeed, if the idea took off then 'Down Your Way' could be resurrected by having Nicholas Parsons turning up unannounced at someone's dinner party and getting some slightly tipsy members of the chattering classes [whatever they are] to play 'Just A Minute..!' for the delectation of the listening masses. You never know, it might work.. and it would be no more ridiculous than some of the other 'crowdsourcing' suggestions we have seen on this blog recently..

    Bedd 'Out of his box' Gelert..

 

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