iPlayer Radio What's New?

Dame Claire Bertschinger

Dame Claire Bertschinger

Broadcast

First broadcast: Sun 23 Mar 2014

Nurse, Humanitarian

Kirsty Young's castaway is the nurse & humanitarian Dame Claire Bertschinger.

She's worked for The Red Cross in over a dozen countries including Sudan, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Liberia amid the sort of raw human suffering that most of us find - even on the TV - almost unbearable to witness. It was through Michael Buerk's landmark news reports of the Ethiopian famine 30 years ago that she first grabbed our attention. We saw her as a young nurse surrounded by thousands of starving people and forced, daily, to make the truly terrible decision of choosing who to feed.

Throughout the years she's won numerous plaudits and awards: her Florence Nightingale Medal is given "to honour those "who've distinguished themselves in times of war by exceptional courage and devotion to the wounded, sick or disabled."

She says, "I don't live just to eat and sleep and get money to have a nice house ... I have to create value - I have to do something in life."

Choices

Brian Hyland

1.

Brian Hyland

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini

Others who chose this artist

Peter Yearsley

2.

Peter Yearsley

Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

William Thomas Orchestra (Recorded in 1916)

3.

William Thomas Orchestra (Recorded in 1916)

The Rose of No Man's Land

Bransby Williams

4.

Bransby Williams

The Green Eye of the Yellow God

Others who chose this artist

John Barry

5.

John Barry

The Theme from the film Out of Africa

Others who chose this artist

Michael Caine

6.

Michael Caine

If by Rudyard Kipling

SGI choir

7.

SGI choir

Dare to Believe

Performer: Peter Osborn

Paul Simon

8.

Castaway's favourite

Paul Simon

Call Me Al

Others who chose this artist

Book

A book of monologues by

Others who chose this author

Religious text

The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin (Buddhist text)

Luxury item

Swiss Army pen knife

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.