iPlayer Radio What's New?

Jack Higgins

Jack Higgins

Broadcast

First broadcast: Sun 05 Mar 2006

Writer, Novelist

Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the thriller writer Harry Patterson - otherwise known as Jack Higgins. Harry Patterson grew up in the midst of the violence and disarray of 1940s Belfast and the turmoil he witnessed there has been an enduring influence on his work. He always knew he wanted to become a writer, but he wasn't a promising pupil at school and left without qualifications. He took himself off to evening classes, gained a degree and trained as a teacher - but he spent every spare evening dreaming up plots for thrillers, always hoping that they might earn him 'an extra bob or two'.

A chance encounter with one of his old teachers made him change his style and develop his characters more fully. He took on the pseudonym Jack Higgins and, in his mid-forties, wrote the book that made him a household name: The Eagle Has Landed. He's written more than sixty novels and sold hundreds of millions of books worldwide. He is one of the few British writers to be as successful in America as here and, at the age of 76, is still creating new plots and new characters.

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

Choices

Fred Astaire

1.

Fred Astaire

They Can't Take that Away from Me

Performer: Fred Astaire

Others who chose this artist

The Choirboys

2.

The Choirboys

Danny Boy

Performer: The Choirboys

Others who chose this artist

Fred Astaire

3.

Fred Astaire

A Foggy Day

Performer: Fred Astaire

Others who chose this artist

Giuseppe Verdi

4.

Giuseppe Verdi

Grand March (from Aida)

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi

Others who chose this artist

Peter Katin

5.

Peter Katin

Le Pastour (Shepherd)

Performer: Peter Katin

Others who chose this artist

Ramirez

6.

Ramirez

Gloria - from Misa Criolla - the Brazilian Mass

Performer: Ramirez

Rod Stewart

7.

Rod Stewart

Sailing

Performer: Rod Stewart

Others who chose this artist

Fred Astaire

8.

Castaway's favourite

Fred Astaire

Let's Face the Music and Dance

Performer: Fred Astaire

Others who chose this artist

Book

The complete works by Charles Dickens

Others who chose this author

Luxury item

Mobile phone

Others who chose a similar luxury

Broadcast

First broadcast: Sat 12 Dec 1981

Thriller writer

Roy Plomley's castaway is writer Jack Higgins.

Choices

The Dave Brubeck Quartet

3.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet

Gone With The Wind

Performer: The Dave Brubeck Quartet

Others who chose this artist

Dooley Wilson

4.

Dooley Wilson

As Time Goes By

Performer: Dooley Wilson

Others who chose this artist

Los Fronterizos

5.

Los Fronterizos

Misa Criolla

Performer: Los Fronterizos

Others who chose this artist

Lalo Schifrin

6.

Lalo Schifrin

Eagle Falls In Love

Performer: Lalo Schifrin

Others who chose this artist

Sergey Vasilievich Rachmaninov

7.

Castaway's favourite

Sergey Vasilievich Rachmaninov

Piano Concerto No. 4 In G Minor

Composer: Sergey Vasilievich Rachmaninov

Others who chose this artist

Fred Astaire

8.

Fred Astaire

A Foggy Day

Performer: Fred Astaire

Others who chose this artist

Book

The Four Quartets by T S Eliot

Others who chose this author

Luxury item

Writing materials

Others who chose a similar luxury

Occupations

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.