Why Can't the English?
Performer: Rex Harrison
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the singer and songwriter Neil Tennant. He is best known as one half of The Pet Shop Boys which, over the past 20 years, has been one of Britain's most successful and popular bands, noted for combining dance music with witty lyrics and delivering them in a uniquely English style. As a teenager growing up in Newcastle upon Tyne, he felt himself to be an outsider at school, but found friends in an amateur theatre company. Yet he always felt his life would be different to theirs and used to tell them that he would become a celebrated pop star.
But Neil was 30 when he finally left his day job as a writer for Smash Hits magazine to pursue the musical interests that had dominated his life since he was a teenager. By that time, he was anxious that he had missed the boat. Now, as well as continuing to release records with The Pet Shop Boys, he has branched out into other forms of composition, writing a live score for the film Battleship Potemkin, a West End musical and being involved in collaborations with Robbie Williams and the Scissor Sisters, among many others.
[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs].
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