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Virginia McKenna

Virginia McKenna

Broadcast

First broadcast: Sun 26 Sep 2004

Actor, Wildlife campaigner

Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the actress and wildlife campaigner Virginia McKenna. She was born in London and, after spending five years of her childhood in South Africa to escape the Blitz, she returned to England. She enrolled at the Central School of Drama but left after two years when offered six months in Repertory at Dundee. Classics such as the Cruel Sea, Carve Her Name with Pride and A Town Like Alice, for which she won a British Academy Award for Best Actress, have been highlights in a long and successful career.

However her most remembered and best loved roles have been in Born Free and Ring of Bright Water, starring opposite her actor husband the late Bill Travers. For Born Free, she won the Variety Club Best Actress Award . Making Born Free in 1964, which told the true story of George and Joy Adamson as they returned Elsa the lioness to the wild, profoundly affected Bill and Virginia and it was a key influence in their lives. They realised that wild animals belong in the wild and should be protected there, not imprisoned in captivity. But the premature death in London Zoo of Pole Pole, a young elephant, who had featured in their film, An Elephant Called Slowly, led to the founding of Zoo Check in 1984. The Trust was dedicated to preventing the abuse of captive wild animals and strove to protect and conserve them in the wild. Zoo Check grew to become a major force in the animal welfare movement and was renamed The Born Free Foundation in 1991. She was awarded the OBE in the New Year's Honours List in 2004 for services to wildlife and the arts.

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

Choices

Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni

2.

Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni

Adagio in G Minor for Organ & Strings

Orchestra: Guildhall String Ensemble Conductor: Robert Salter

Others who chose this artist

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

4.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major - 2nd movement

Soloist: Howard Shelley Orchestra: London Mozart Players

Others who chose this artist

Ralph Vaughan Williams

5.

Ralph Vaughan Williams

The Lark Ascending

Soloist: Iona Brown Orchestra: The Academy of St Martin in the Fields Conductor: Neville Marriner

Others who chose this artist

Val Doonican

6.

Val Doonican

Ring of Bright water

Others who chose this artist

Louise McKenna

7.

Louise McKenna

Whispers

Sir Edward Elgar

8.

Castaway's favourite

Sir Edward Elgar

The Music Makers - We are the music makers

Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir

Others who chose this artist

Book

Animal - the Definitive Visual Guide to the World’s Wildlife by David Burnie

Others who chose this author

Luxury item

Language tapes to learn Italian and Swahali

Others who chose a similar luxury

This programme is not currently available to listen. Why?

Broadcast

First broadcast: Mon 25 Jul 1966

British film actor

Roy Plomley's castaway is actress Virginia McKenna.

Choices

Nicolò Paganini

1.

Nicolò Paganini

Violin Concerto No 4 in D Minor

Soloist: Arthur Grumiaux Orchestra: Lamoureux Orchestra

Others who chose this artist

William Shakespeare

2.

William Shakespeare

Richard II

Artist: John Gielgud

Others who chose this artist

Johannes Brahms

3.

Johannes Brahms

Symphony No. 4 in E minor

Orchestra: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Conductor: Carl Schuricht

Others who chose this artist

Léo Delibes

4.

Léo Delibes

Bell Song (from Lakmé)

Soloist: Mado Robin Orchestra: New Symphony Orchestra

Others who chose this artist

Ludwig van Beethoven

6.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Piano Concerto No. 4 In G major

Soloist: Lili Kraus Orchestra: Vienna State Opera Orchestra Conductor: Victor Desarzens

Others who chose this artist

Dylan Thomas

7.

Dylan Thomas

Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night

Others who chose this artist

Tomaso Albinoni & Remo Giazotto

8.

Castaway's favourite

Tomaso Albinoni & Remo Giazotto

Adagio in G Minor for Organ & Strings

Orchestra: Orchestre de Chambre de la Radiodiffusion Sarroise

Book

On Playing with Lions by Bill Travers

Others who chose this author

Luxury item

Writing materials

Others who chose a similar luxury

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