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Paul Johnson

Historian and writer Paul Johnson is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs.

Kirsty Young's castaway is the writer and historian Paul Johnson.

He writes, he says, out of a desire to 'put things right' and more than fifty books and thousands of articles have flowed from his pen. His opinions have provoked, offended and enraged plenty of people over the years and sweeping works about modernity, morality, art and philosophy, sit alongside fiercely opinionated biographies and essays. He says: "I like to be, in general, in agreement with what most people think, but I also like to be a little bit independent and individual and, thank God, I've been allowed to do that all my writing life."

Producer: Leanne Buckle.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 20 Jan 2012 09:00

Music Played

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Ave, Verum Corpus

    Artist: Vienna Boys Choir, Vienna Symphony orch cond. Helmuth Froschauer

    • Mozart: Requiem….
    • RCA.
  • Lesley Garrett

    None but the lonely heart

    Composer: Tchaikovsky

    • Simple Gifts.
    • Silva Classics.
  • Leslie “Hutch” Hutchinson

    These Foolish Things

    Composer: Marvell//Strachey

    • More Sophistication.
    • Past Perfect.
  • Shirley Temple

    Animal Crackers in my Soup

    Composer: Henderson/Caesar/Koehler

    • On the Good Ship Lollipop.
    • President.
  • Ron Grainer


    Composer: Ron Grainer

    • The A To Z Of British TV Themes - The Ron Grainer Years.
    • Play It Again.
  • George Formby

    The Window Cleaner (When I’m Cleaning Windows)

    Composer: Fornby/Gifford/Cliffe

    • George Formby:His greatest favourites.
    • FLAPPER.
  • Patsy Cline


    Composer: Willie Nelson

    • The Definitive Patsy Cline.
    • Arcade.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Margaret Whiting

      Look for the Silver Lining

      Composer: J Kern- B DeSyla

      • The Song is You.
      • Capitol.
  • Book Choice

    • A big atlas

  • Luxury Choice

    • Watercolour paints and paper


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Paul Johnson


  • Sun 15 Jan 2012 11:15
  • Fri 20 Jan 2012 09:00

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