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Eliza Manningham-Buller

Kirsty Young's castaway is former head of MI5 Eliza Manningham-Buller.

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller. She has recently stepped down as Britain's top spy-master - or more correctly, the Director-General of MI5. She took the helm in the months after the attacks of 11th September 2001 in America and steered the service through a time when the nature of the terrorist threat facing Britain changed enormously and new measures were introduced to counteract it.

She concedes that MI5 has to rely, in large part, on information that is 'patchy and incomplete' and that ultimately the service will always be judged 'by what we do not know and did not prevent'. In her first ever interview, Dame Eliza talks gives her recollections about the day when Britain was targeted by suicide bombers, describes what lay behind her own departure from the service and reveals how her mother's role during World War II fuelled her own interest in public service.

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

Favourite track: The opening of String Quintet in C by Franz Schubert
Book: The Rattlebag: An Anthology of Poetry by Ted Hughes
Luxury: Large supply of pencils and pens.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 23 Nov 2007 09:00

Music Played

  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Sarabande from English Suite No 2 in A Minor

    Soloist: Angela Hewitt

    • English Suites.
    • Hyperion.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Requiem in D minor - Kyrie

    Orchestra: Les Arts Florissants

    • Mozart: Requiem.
    • Erato.
  • The White Stripes

    I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself

    • Elephant.
    • XL.
  • The Rolling Stones

    Street Fighting Man

    • Rolling Stones: Forty Licks.
    • ABKCO.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Franz Schubert

      String Quintet in C major - 1st movement

      Soloist: Douglas Cummings Orchestra: Lindsay Quartet

      • Schubert: String Quintet.
      • ASV.
  • Soweto String Quartet


    Composer: S Khemese/M Mnguni/R Khemese/T Khemese

    • Rhythms of Africa.
    • Wrasse.
  • Ella Fitzgerald

    Do I Love You?

    • Ella Fitzgerald sings the Cole Porter Songbook.
    • Verve.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony No. 7 in A major

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Conductor: Carlos Kleiber

    • Beethoven: Symphonies 5 & 7.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
  • Book Choice

    • The Rattlebag: An Anthology of Poetry - Ted Hughes

  • Luxury Choice

    • Large supply of pencils and pens


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Eliza Manningham-Buller


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