Main content

Dame Ellen MacArthur

Kirsty Young's castaway is yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur.

Kirsty Young's castaway is the solo yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur. She was 28 when she became the fastest person to sail solo around the world, and has been called the 'first true heroine of the 21st century'. She still sails with friends and with the charity she set up for children with cancer and leukaemia, but her ambition now is to try to find a way of living the same sustainable existence on land that she lives at sea. When your life depends on it, she says, you realise how scarce food and fuel really are.

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

Favourite track: Boys of Summer by Don Henley
Book: SAS Survival Handbook by John 'Lofty' Wiseman
Luxury: A fluffy purple worm (which has been taken everywhere).

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 9 Oct 2009 09:00

Music Played

Add music you love and enjoy it with My Tracks
  • OutKast

    Hey Ya

    • Hits 60.
    • Sony.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Don Henley

      The Boys of Summer

      • Building the Perfect Beast.
      • Geffen.
  • Phil Collins

    I Wish It Would Rain Down

    • ...But Seriously.
    • Virgin.
  • Manu Chao

    Me Gustas Tu - I Like You

    • Proxima Estacion.
    • Virgin.
  • Thomas Newman

    Any Other Name

    • Work It.
    • Sony BMG.
  • Dido

    Here With Me

    • 37 Brits 2001 Hits.
    • Columbia.
  • Spandau Ballet

    Through the Barricades

    • Simply Love: Various Artists.
    • Columbia.
  • Coldplay

    Fix You

    • Now 62.
    • NOW.
  • Book Choice

    • SAS Survival Handbook - John 'Lofty' Wiseman

  • Luxury Choice

    • A fluffy purple worm (which has been taken everywhere)


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Ellen MacArthur


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?