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Lord Joffe

Kirsty Young's castaway is Nelson Mandela's former lawyer Lord Joffe.

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Joel Joffe. For many years he was the chairman of Oxfam, before that he set up a hugely successful insurance company and most recently he's been campaigning for terminally ill people to have the right to die. But the career in which he has had the greatest impact is the one he was forced to give up more than 40 years ago - law.

In 1963, Joel Joffe was a young defence solicitor, so dismayed by the apartheid system of his native South Africa that he was on the brink of emigrating. Then he was asked to take over the defence of a group of ANC activists including Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and Nelson Mandela.

The trial gripped the world and was all the more extraordinary because, far from aiming to secure his clients' freedom, Joel Joffe was simply fighting for them not to receive the death penalty. He tells Kirsty how, even in his prison clothes, Nelson Mandela was a figure of calm authority, who guided them through the trial.

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

Favourite track: Under Milk Wood by Richard Burton
Book: A Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Luxury: Wind-up radio.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 2 Nov 2007 09:00

Music Played

  • Sontonga

    Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika

    Choir: Women of the Calabashi

    • The Kwanzaa Album.
    • The Orchard.
  • Bashir Am Israelim

    Hava Nagila

    Soloist: Haparvarim

    • The Very Best of Israel.
    • EMI.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Violin Concerto in D major - 3rd movement

    Soloist: Itzhak Perlman

    • Beethoven: Violin Concerto.
    • EMI.
  • Joan Baez

    There But For Fortune

    • Joan Baez: Five.
    • Vanguard.
  • Hubert Parry


    Choir: BBC Singers Orchestra: The BBC Symphony Orchestra

    • Desert Island Discs.
    • BBC.
  • Julie Andrews

    Without You

    • My Fair Lady.
    • Columbia.
  • Joan Baez

    We Shall Overcome

    • Joan Baez in Concert: Part 2.
    • Vanguard.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Dylan Thomas

      Under Milk Wood

      Artist: Richard Burton

      • Under Milk Wood.
      • Decca.
  • Book Choice

    • Long Walk to Freedom - Nelson Mandela

  • Luxury Choice

    • Wind-up radio


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Joel Goodman Joffe


  • Sun 28 Oct 2007 11:15
  • Fri 2 Nov 2007 09:00

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