Main content

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Kirsty Young talks to Olympic ice skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.

Kirsty Young's castaways this week are the ice skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.

It's 30 years since they enthralled the world winning gold at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. So memorable, it was truly a "where were you when" moment: the answer for most of us seems to have been in front of the television as 24 million people tuned in to watch their purple chiffoned, passionate, pitch-perfect display.

Their enduring partnership is the stuff of sporting legend - British, European, World and Olympic champions - their synchronicity on and off the rink is fascinating. Both brought up in Nottingham, both only children, they took to the ice within a couple of years of each other. Jayne grew up to work as an insurance clerk, Chris was a policeman. They always seemed so normal, so nice, so much like the boy and girl next door. What a neat trick - in reality their originality, training regime and relentless pursuit of perfection has seen them push the boundaries of their chosen sport to rank among the world's elite.

Part of our fascination with them also stems from the long scrutiny over their personal relationship. Never mind that over the decades they've both married other people and had children, as recently as last year they finally admitted to a brief teenage 'dabble'.

They say, "It's an unusual relationship that we have. ... Of course we love each other. You wouldn't be able to do all that we do without love."

Producer: Cathy Drysdale.

Available now

45 minutes

Music Played

Adding a track to My Tracks will no longer be available from late March
  • Passenger

    Let Her Go

    • All The Little Lights.
    • Black Crow Records.
  • Queen

    Killer Queen

    • Absolute Greatest.
    • Parlophone..
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Suite No. 6 - Sarabande

    Performer: Yo‐Yo Ma.
    • Bach: 6 Suites for Unaccompanied Cello.
    • CBS.
  • Emeli Sandé

    Read All About it

    • A Symphony Of British Music: Music For The Closing Ceremony Of The London 2012 Olympic Games.
    • UMC/Decca.
  • Castaway's Favourite

  • Paul Simon

    Still Crazy After All These Years

    • Paul Simon: Greatest Hits.
    • CBS.
  • Phil Collins

    In the Air Tonight

    • In The Air Tonight: Virgin's Greatest Hits CD2.
    • Virgin Records Ltd..
  • John Lennon

    Imagine

    • Imagine.
    • Parlophone.
  • Book Choice

    • Jayne: Angela's Ashes - Frank McCourt, Christopher: Oh, the Places You'll Go! - Dr Theodor Seuss

  • Luxury Choice

    • Jo Malone moisturiser, Coffee and digestive biscuits

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Jayne Torvill
Interviewed Guest Christopher Dean

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