Main content

Allan Ahlberg

Kirsty Young's castaway is writer Allan Ahlberg.

Kirsty Young's castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is one of our best-loved children's authors, Allan Ahlberg. He started writing stories for children at his wife Janet's suggestion - she wanted someone to write the words so that she could provide the illustrations. They went on to produce more than three dozen picture books together including The Jolly Postman, Each Peach Pear Plum and Peepo! and their books sold in their millions.

In this moving programme, Allan describes the impact of Janet's diagnosis, how she faced up to the knowledge that she was dying and how, after her death, he worked through his grief by compiling another book - a very personal collection about her life and work.

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

Favourite track: Closing Time by Leonard Cohen
Book: Selected Stories by Alice Munro
Luxury: A wall to kick a football against.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Christmas Day 2008 07:00

Music Played

  • Judy Garland

    The Trolley Song

    • Judy Garland: Classic Songs from the Stage and Screen.
    • Music Club.
  • Charles Villiers Stanford

    Drake's Drum from Songs of the Sea

    Soloist: Thomas Allen Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra & choir Conductor: Roger Norrington

    • The British Music Collection: Sir Charles Villiers Stanford.
    • Decca.
  • Bob Dylan

    Ain't Talkin'

    • Modern Times.
    • Columbia.
  • Norma Waterson

    Anna Dixie

    • Norma Waterson.
    • Hannibal.
  • Janet Baker

    Come Sing and Dance

    • An Anthology of English Song.
    • Saga Classics.
  • Ella Fitzgerald

    I Didn't Know What Time It Was

    • The Rodgers & Hart Songbook, Vol.2.
    • Verve.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Leonard Cohen

      Closing Time

      • Closing Time.
      • Columbia.
  • Josef Locke

    Goodbye (from the White Horse Inn)

    • Josef Locke, Tenor 1917-99 - Goodbye.
    • Jasmine.
  • Book Choice

    • Selected Stories - Alice Munro

  • Luxury Choice

    • A wall to kick a football against

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Allan Ahlberg

Broadcasts

Featured in...

The Desert Island Discs podcast

The Desert Island Discs podcast

Subscribe or download individual episodes.

Listen to over 2,000 programmes

Articles

Articles

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?

Podcast