iPlayer Radio What's New?

Simon Murray

Simon Murray

Broadcast

First broadcast: Sun 04 Jan 2009

Businessman, Explorer

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the adventurer and businessman Simon Murray. What many of us would struggle to do over three life-times he has managed in one - as a teenager, nursing a broken heart and determined to prove himself, he joined the French Foreign Legion. Fighting in the Algerian war, he risked his life many times over; combat was at close quarters and was very bloody.

Next, he set his sights on business - he ran some of the most well-known companies in South East Asia and was one of Chris Patten's key allies during the handover of Hong Kong. Then, in his 60s and looking for a new challenge, he chanced upon the idea of polar adventure, and went on to become the oldest person to walk unsupported to the South Pole. But after all this, his greatest achievement, he says, is his marriage. Perhaps it's no surprise that his wife of 43 years, Jennifer, is the first woman to have flown a helicopter solo around the world. These days their three children try to curb their enthusiasm for dangerous pursuits. But, Simon snorts, the couple simply say: "we're not listening."

This programme contains descriptions that some listeners may find disturbing.

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

Choices

Members of the French Foreign Legion

3.

Members of the French Foreign Legion

Eugenie

Frédéric Chopin

4.

Frédéric Chopin

Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor - 2nd movement

Soloist: Idil Biret Orchestra: Czecho-Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor: Robert Stankovsky

Others who chose this artist

Neil Diamond

5.

Neil Diamond

Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed so Good)

Others who chose this artist

Pietro Mascagni

6.

Pietro Mascagni

Intermezzo (from Cavalleria rusticana)

Soloist: Cavalleria Rusticana Conductor: Riccardo Muti

Others who chose this artist

Giacomo Puccini

8.

Castaway's favourite

Giacomo Puccini

O soave fanciulla (from La Bohème)

Soloist: Maria Callas and Giuseppe di Stefano Orchestra: The Orchestra of La Scala, Milan Conductor: Antonino Votto

Others who chose this artist

Book

Cautionary Tales by Hilaire Belloc

Others who chose this author

Luxury item

Lots of paper, pencil and pencil sharpener

Others who chose a similar luxury

Contact us

This site contains archive material. To comment or bring something to our attention, please get in touch.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.