Main content

Sir Mervyn King

Sir Mervyn King, outgoing governor of the Bank of England, is interviewed by Kirsty Young.

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the out-going Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King.

He has been in charge during a period of unprecedented global financial turmoil yet under his leadership the Bank of England has emerged as one of the world's most powerful central banks. He may have grown used to the pink tails coats and top hats of his attendants in Threadneedle Street but his background was far from privileged. His father worked on the railways and then became a teacher; his mother was a housewife and sang in the church choir. Their son studied hard and gained a top first at Cambridge before going on to teach at MIT and the London School of Economics.

Throughout his demanding public life he has been sustained by his twin passions for cricket and Aston Villa football club. His other great love appears to have been an intriguingly slow burn: he first met Barbara, the woman who would become his wife, in 1970 - they married in 2007.

He says, "Being the Governor of the Bank of England is actually the easiest job I've ever done; you're in charge & you've got tremendous support."

Producer: Cathy Drysdale.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 7 Jun 2013 09:00

Music Played

  • Lou Bega

    Mambo No. 5

    • A Little Bit of Mambo.
    • RCA.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Symphony No. 40 in G Minor

    Performer: Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan conducting

    • Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 35 - 41.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony No. 7 in A Major

    Performer: Wiener Philharmoniker conducted by Carlos Kleiber

    • Beethoven: Symphony No. 7.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
  • Bob Dylan

    Highway No. 61

    • Highway 61 Revisited.
    • CBS.
  • Doug O'Brien

    Rotterdam '82

    • Unpublished.
  • Boris Gmyrya

    I Remember the Wonderful Moment

    • Anthology of Russian Romance: Boris Gmyrya, Vol. 1.
    • Music Online/The Orchard.
  • Huw Watkins

    London Concerto

    Performer: London Symphony Orchestra, Carmine Lauri (violin), Rachel Gough (bassoon), Bryn Lewis (harp)conducted by Xian Zhang

    • Rehearsal –unpublished.
    • LSO.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Kurt Weill

      My Ship

      Performer: Sir Thomas Allen. Performer: Stephen Higgins.

      Performer: Anne Sofie Von Otter

      • Speak Low Songs by Kurt Weill.
      • Deutsche Grammophon.
  • Book Choice

    • Complete Illustrated Catalogue of National Gallery

  • Luxury Choice

    • A telescope


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Mervyn King
Producer Cathy Drysdale


  • Sun 2 Jun 2013 11:15
  • Fri 7 Jun 2013 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?