Simon Russell Beale

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the actor Simon Russell Beale. Critics are torn over their descriptions of him: to some, he's the greatest stage actor in Britain today. To others, merely the greatest Shakespearean actor of his generation. Whichever it is, when he's cast in a play, it invariably sells out, the audience is spellbound and the reviewers smitten.

Yet initially it seemed as if music was his calling; he was a choirboy at St Paul's, won a singing scholarship to Cambridge and went on to study at the Guildhall School of Music. An unorthodox approach to the drama department saw him change direction and he has gone on to win huge acclaim and many awards for his work. Unusually for a modern actor, he has only dabbled lightly in film and television work - he says when faced with the choice between a play and a film he always picks the play.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: First Movement of 4th Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven
Book: Book on medieval history
Luxury: Daily Araucaria crossword.

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 13 Jul 2007 09:00


Role Contributor
PresenterKirsty Young
Interviewed GuestSimon Russell Beale

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