Main content

Miriam Margolyes

Kirsty Young's castaway is actress Miriam Margolyes.

Kirsty Young's guest on Desert Island Discs this week is the actress Miriam Margolyes. Her rich career has seen her work with directors such as Martin Scorsese and Baz Luhrmann and she's won awards and acclaim for her film work, her theatre performances and her book readings. She made the leap from the Cambridge Footlights to become one of our most successful and popular character actresses. Yet, despite having one of the most sought after voices in the business, she says she hasn't had the career that she aspired to. She yearned to be taken more seriously and given meatier roles but, she jokes, Joan Plowright always stood in her way. On stage she seems to have the confidence and chutzpah of someone who is beyond embarrassment - but in reality, she says, for most of her life she has simply been a 'frightened little muffin'.

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

Favourite track: The opening of the Fourth movement of the Trout Quintet by Franz Schubert
Book: Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
Luxury: A flush toilet.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 3 Oct 2008 09:00

Music Played

  • Dylan Thomas

    A Visit to Grandpa's

  • Hubert Parry


    Choir: Liverpool Cathedral Choir with the Massed Choirs from Merseyside Orchestra: The Liverpool Cathedral Brass Ensemble

    • Your Favourite Hymns.
    • Virgin Classics.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Der Hölle Rache (from The Magic Flute)

    Soloist: Lucia Popp

    • The HMV Classics Opera Collection: Sopranos.
    • HMV.
  • Charles Dickens

    Extract from Great Expectations

    Artist: Janet Suzman & Oliver Milburn

    • Great Expectations: transmitted on Radio 4 2006.
  • Richmal Crompton

    Violet Elizabeth takes Control

    Artist: Martin Jarvis

    • Just William 10.
    • BBC.
  • Richard Tucker

    Kol Nidrei

    • Kol Nidre.
    • CBS.
  • Noël Coward

    Private Lives

    • Private Lives.
    • Conifer.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Franz Schubert

      Piano Quintet in A major 'Trout' - 4th Movement

      Soloist: Ian Brown Orchestra: The Nash Ensemble

      • Schubert: Trout Quintet.
      • Carlton.
  • Book Choice

    • Little Dorrit - Charles Dickens

  • Luxury Choice

    • A flush toilet


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Miriam Margolyes


  • Sun 28 Sep 2008 11:15
  • Fri 3 Oct 2008 09:00

Featured in...

The Desert Island Discs podcast

The Desert Island Discs podcast

Subscribe or download individual episodes.

Listen to over 2,000 programmes



Read the surprising things we've learned about some stand-out castaways.

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

Featuring David Beckham, the funniest and most moving moments, animations and quizzes.

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

Why does Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece appeal to so many castaways?