Baroness Jane Campbell to be a castaway on Desert Island Discs
Baroness Jane Campbell of Surbiton
Baroness Jane Campbell of Surbiton, seasoned disability campaigner and crossbench peer in the House of Lords, is the guest on this Sunday's Desert Island Discs.
The show, where Kirsty Young interviews a "castaway" one-to-one and asks them to make 8 personal record choices, has been part of the BBC radio landscape since 1942 and is a prestigious invite indeed.
Jane was asked to appear on the show late last year but unfortunately was ill in hospital at the time. However, when she recovered and made contact with the programme again this summer, they were still keen to have her, something which came as a surprise to the self-depricating Baroness.
"I'm a Bit of a fan of Desert Island Discs. The people sound so interesting and have done great things like compose music. I wondered why they wanted me. All I've done is disability rights, like lots of other people.
"But I'm shocked that I ever passed an O level. I'm convinced that sooner or later people will realise that I'm a fluke!"
Although she describes herself as "an open book", Jane says she was daunted by the experience to begin with and that she found selecting her favourite disks pretty difficult.
"I love music and didn't know whether to choose songs that reminded me of situations and people or pieces I really loved. In the End, I tended to choose tracks which remind me of the big moments in my life. Surprisingly they [Desert Island Disks] don't steer you at all, which is quite brave."
The baroness was impressed by the team's willingness to make the necessary reasonable adjustments for her disability; the programme was recorded in her home rather than in the studio.
"It was so good of them to make the effort to come out here because recording in someone's house is unpredictable. I'd just been ill for about five months and I didn't think that I could make it up to a studio and be comfortable there to do a long interview. I have breathing issues and the equipment I need is at home ."
When asked why she thought the programme had invited her on now, the 52-year-old, who was born with the difficult condition spinal muscular atrophy, said: "I hope it isn't because they think I'm going to drop dead. I am past my sell-by date and I sometimes feel like I'm living a Bit on borrowed time but I am still alive and I have done some pretty remarkable things and been part of some pretty remarkable projects and campaigns."
Jane plans to listen to the show, "under the quilt with a pillow over my ears".
• Desert Island Disks with Baroness Campbell of Surbiton will be on BBC Radio 4 this Sunday at 11.15 noon, repeated next Friday at 9.00 AM.