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Geoffrey Palmer

Geoffrey Palmer

Broadcast

First broadcast: Sun 27 Feb 2005

Television actor

Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the actor Geoffrey Palmer. Best known for his roles in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, Butterflies and As Time Goes By, he had to wait a long time to become a household name and national treasure. Unsure what career to pursue after a spell in the army, he fell into acting because a girlfriend was involved in amateur dramatics. He worked in repertory theatre throughout the 60s and 70s and ended up working with John Osborne during the Royal Court's heyday in West of Suez, and later with Laurence Olivier.

With a face "reminiscent of a bloodhound mourning a lost scent", Palmer has, by his own admission "cornered the market in playing dull, plodding men". Many of his characters live out lives characterised by petty worries, suburban frustration and missed opportunities, but he plays them brilliantly, and with a sympathy that elevates them to the status of unlikely heroes. Geoffrey's grumpy on-screen persona has also recently led to him doing the narration for the BBC TV series Grumpy Old Men, which has become a cult hit and brought him a whole new generation of viewers. He was awarded an OBE in the new year honours list.

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

Choices

Alan Price

1.

Alan Price

Look Over Your Shoulder

Others who chose this artist

Fats Waller

2.

Fats Waller

When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful

Others who chose this artist

Johannes Brahms

4.

Johannes Brahms

Nänie, Op. 82

Choir: Berlin Radio Choir Orchestra: The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor: Claudio Abbado

Others who chose this artist

Robert Schumann

5.

Robert Schumann

Romance in B major, Op. 28/3

Artist: Albrecht Mayer on the oboe and Markus Becker on the piano

Others who chose this artist

Benny Goodman

6.

Castaway's favourite

Benny Goodman

One O'Clock Jump

Others who chose this artist

Ludwig van Beethoven

7.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphony No. 9 in D minor 'Choral' - 4th movement

Orchestra: The Orchestra of the 18th Century Conductor: Frans Brüggen

Others who chose this artist

Richard Strauss

8.

Richard Strauss

Four Last Songs

Soloist: Jessye Norman

Others who chose this artist

Book

Oxford Book of English Verse by Christopher Ricks

Others who chose this author

Luxury item

Fly-fishing rod

Others who chose a similar luxury

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