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Jill Balcon

Kirsty Young's castaway is actress Jill Balcon.

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the actress Jill Balcon. She has the voice of an old friend - and it's not surprising, she was a BBC radio announcer during the war and has been acting and performing poetry consistently since. Poetry has always played a central role in her life. She was only 12 years old when she first saw the poet Cecil Day Lewis. He had come to judge a poetry-reading competition at her school and although he was more than 20 years her senior, he was, she says, the most beautiful man she had ever seen.

They were married for more than 20 years. Since his death in 1972, she has maintained her own acting career, continued raising their children - the acclaimed cookery writer Tamasin and Oscar-winning actor Daniel - and also worked hard to preserve his legacy.

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

Favourite track: Romanza: the 3rd movement of Symphony No 5 in D Major by Vaughan Williams
Book: The collected works by Thomas Hardy
Luxury: A barrel of Guerlain Jicky perfume.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 19 Oct 2007 09:00

Music Played

  • Franz Schubert

    Auf dem Wasser zu singen (To be Sung upon the Water), D774

    Soloist: Felicity Lott accompanied by Graham Johnson

    • The Hyperion Schubert Edition: Felicity Lott & Graham Johnson.
    • Hyperion.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Piano Concerto in B flat major - 3rd movement

    Soloist: Clifford Curzon Orchestra: The English Chamber Orchestra Conductor: Benjamin Britten

    • Piano Concertos Nos 20 & 27.
    • Decca.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Ralph Vaughan Williams

      Symphony No. 5 in D major - 3rd movement

      Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor: Sir Roger Norrington

      • Vaughan Williams: Symphonies 3 & 5.
      • Decca.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 - 3rd movement

    Soloist: Paul Lewis

    • Beethoven: Paul Lewis.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Peter Cook

    Sitting on the Bench

    • The Complete Beyond the Fringe.
    • EMI.
  • Charles Trenet

    La Mer

    • The Extraordinary Garden: The Very Best of Charles Trenet.
    • EMI.
  • Leos Janáček

    String Quartet No. 2 'Intimate Letters'

    Orchestra: Medici String Quartet

    • Janacek: String Quartets Nos 1 & 2.
    • Nimbus.
  • Ella Fitzgerald

    Let's Do It

    • Ella Fitzgerald: Cole Porter Songbook.
    • Verve.
  • Book Choice

    • Complete Works - Thomas Hardy

  • Luxury Choice

    • A barrel of Guerlain Jicky perfume


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Jill Balcon


  • Sun 14 Oct 2007 11:15
  • Fri 19 Oct 2007 09:00

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