Entertainment & Arts

Desert Island Discs to feature war veteran on 3,000th show

Kirsty Young with Eric Brown appearing on Desert Island Discs
Image caption Kirsty Young with Eric Brown appearing on Desert Island Discs

BBC Radio 4's long-running Desert Island Discs will feature a World War Two veteran for its 3,000th edition next week.

Former Royal Navy test pilot Eric "Winkle" Brown will appear on the show on Friday 14 November.

Brown, 95, is the Navy Fleet Air Arm's most decorated pilot and holds the record for the most flight deck landings.

He is also thought to have flown more types of aircraft than anyone else.

Presenter Kirsty Young, who has presented Desert Island Discs since 2006, described Brown as "the perfect castaway" to celebrate the 3,000th edition.

"Talking to him about his remarkable, dare-devil life was like touching history. A charming and twinkly man," she said.

First broadcast on 29 January 1942, the programme was conceived and presented by playwright and novelist Roy Plomley, who each week asked a guest to choose eight songs, a book and luxury item for their imaginary stay on the island.

The "castaways" are then invited to discuss their lives and reasons for their choices.

Plomley presented the show until 1985. Michael Parkinson took over for two years and was followed by Sue Lawley (1988-2006).

The show's guests over 72 years have included Aung San Suu Kyi, Elton John, Nicole Kidman and Stephen Hawking.

Radio 4 controller Gwyneth Williams said: "We all love Desert Island Discs - and the incomparable Kirsty. What is thrilling for me is to see this Radio 4 jewel of a programme take on new life in the digital world.

"Listeners - and often young listeners - are discovering it and exploring the rich archive, so it brings Radio 4 to new audiences as people listen in different ways. Here's to the next 3,000 editions."

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