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Beryl Vertue

Kirsty Young interviews veteran television producer Beryl Vertue.

TV producer Beryl Vertue is Kirsty Young's castaway on Desert Island Discs.

In the famously fickle world of telly where last year's hero is this year's zero she has stood the test of time. Indeed in TV circles the noun "vertuosity" is defined as "the ability to make enormously successful sitcoms for British television and then sell the formats to the American market".

The cast list of her working life is a who's who of quality broadcasting and includes Jack Lemmon, Galton & Simpson, Frankie Howerd, Jack Nicholson and most recently Benedict Cumberbatch.

She started out typing Goon Show scripts in the mid 50s, accidentally became an agent, and as a producer she has risen to the very top of her industry, with hits including the rock musical Tommy, the sit-com Men Behaving Badly and the drama series Sherlock.

She says "it's terribly important not to know too many rules. If you know rules and obstacles you spend a lot of time dealing with them. If you don't know there's a rule you just do it."

Producer: Alison Hughes.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 25 Jan 2013 09:00

Music Played

Add music you love and enjoy it with My Tracks
  • Elton John

    Pinball Wizard

    • Original soundtrack Recording Tommy.
    • POLYDOR.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Nessun dorma

    Performer: The Three Tenors

    • The Three Tenors in Concert.
    • DECCA.
  • Glenn Miller

    Moonlight Serenade

    • The Ultimate Glenn Miller.
  • Bee Gees

    The Morning of My Life

    • One Night Only (Includes Bonus CD).
    • POLYDOR.
  • Broadway cast from Chorus Line

    One (reprise) / Finale

    • A Chorus Line – Original Broadway Cast Recording.
  • Elaine Paige

    Don't Cry For Me Argentina

    • Evita – Original London Cast Recording.
    • MCA.
  • The London Session Orchestra


    • Sherlock Series Two – soundtrack.
    • Silva Screen.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Louis Armstrong

      What A Wonderful World

      • 50 Years Of The Greatest Hit Singles – Platinum Collection.
      • VIRGIN.
  • Book Choice

    • A book of family photographs

  • Luxury Choice

    • Acoustic guitar and a book of instructions


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Beryl Vertue


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