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Desert Island Discs - Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Kirsty Young talks to Olympic ice skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.

Kirsty Young's castaways this week are the ice skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.

It's 30 years since they enthralled the world winning gold at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. So memorable, it was truly a "where were you when" moment: the answer for most of us seems to have been in front of the television as 24 million people tuned in to watch their purple chiffoned, passionate, pitch-perfect display.

Their enduring partnership is the stuff of sporting legend - British, European, World and Olympic champions - their synchronicity on and off the rink is fascinating. Both brought up in Nottingham, both only children, they took to the ice within a couple of years of each other. Jayne grew up to work as an insurance clerk, Chris was a policeman. They always seemed so normal, so nice, so much like the boy and girl next door. What a neat trick - in reality their originality, training regime and relentless pursuit of perfection has seen them push the boundaries of their chosen sport to rank among the world's elite.

Part of our fascination with them also stems from the long scrutiny over their personal relationship. Never mind that over the decades they've both married other people and had children, as recently as last year they finally admitted to a brief teenage 'dabble'.

They say, "It's an unusual relationship that we have. ... Of course we love each other. You wouldn't be able to do all that we do without love."

Producer: Cathy Drysdale.

  • Broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 9:00AM Fri, 21 Feb 2014
  • Available until 12:00AM Thu, 1 Jan 2099
  • First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 11:15AM Sun, 16 Feb 2014
  • Categories
  • Duration 45 minutes

Credits

  1. Key talent Kirsty Young

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