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Penelope Wilton

Kirsty Young invites actress Penelope Wilton to choose eight records to take to Radio 4's mythical desert island.

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the actress Penelope Wilton. Her first love is the theatre and she's been highly acclaimed for her stage work in plays by Ibsen, Shaw, Shakespeare, Beckett - she relishes and shines in the difficult roles. Yet as one of our leading classical actresses she has no qualms about turning her talents to TV and film - Calendar Girls, Shaun of the Dead and Dr Who are among her more recent on screen appearances.

In-spite of being one of our best regarded actresses she is intensely private, intent upon disappearing into the lives of her characters. Penelope says that thing about being an actor is that you turn into other people, you have to hide yourself a bit in order to let that other person come out. People should see the character on the stage, not the actor.

Penelope grew up the middle of three girls and says that her mother was frail and often ill - she says this taught her to be self contained: "I was always worried that I would hurt her by taking a different view so one was sort of being terribly amenable - well of course that’s not in one's nature, I’m quite sharp and rather argumentative."

Favourite track: The 2nd movement of String Quintet in C Major by Franz Schubert
Book: An anthology of 20th Century European poetry
Luxury: An open-air cinema with a selection of films

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 4 Apr 2008 09:00

Music Played

  • Edward Elgar

    Serenade for Strings In E minor

    Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor: Leonard Slatkin

    • Elgar: Symphony No.2, Serenade For Strings.
    • RCA.
  • Jean Sibelius

    Symphony No. 2 in D major - 4th movement

    Orchestra: Berliner Philharmonic Conductor: Herbert von Karajan

    • Sibelius: Symphony No.2.
    • EMI.
  • Charles Trenet

    Que reste-t-il do nos amours? What remains of our love?

    • The Extraordinary Garden.
    • EMI.
  • Erroll Garner

    I'll Remember April

    • Concert By The Sea.
    • CBS.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Franz Schubert

      String Quintet in C major - 2nd movement

      Orchestra: Hollywood String Quartet Conductor: Felix Slatkin

      • Hollywood String Quartet: Schoenberg - Schubert.
      • Testament.
  • Stevie Wonder

    Isn't She Lovely

    • Songs In The Key Of Life.
    • Motown.
  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    Symphony No. 5 in D minor

    Orchestra: Scottish National Orchestra Conductor: Nima Jarvi

    • Shostakovich Symphony Number 5.
    • Chandos.
  • Bobby Hebb


    • Various: Heartbeat Love Songs.
    • Virgin.
  • Book Choice

    • An anthology of 20th Century European poetry

  • Luxury Choice

    • An open-air cinema with a selection of films


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Penelope Wilton


  • Sun 30 Mar 2008 11:15
  • Fri 4 Apr 2008 09:00

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