Main content

Sir Michael Marmot

Kirsty Young talks to epidemiologist Prof Sir Michael Marmot.

Professor Sir Michael Marmot is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs. He's an epidemiologist who has spent his career studying what the key factors are in leading a long and healthy life and how your income and post code can affect your longevity.

Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health and Director of the Institute of Health Equity at University College London, Sir Michael specialises in what are known as the social determinants of health: how where we are in the wealth and status pecking order directly influences our chances of illness, disease and lifespan. Why is it, for example, that in 2014 in the same British city the average life expectancy for a man in one post code will be 82 but just a few miles away it's 54?
His work has influenced politicians around the globe.

His pioneering research is often at odds with wider societal concerns over what are known these days as lifestyle choices - like smoking, not taking any exercise or eating junk ... he says simply "what I contribute to the policy debate is that I bring evidence - I don't do the skulduggery of politics.".

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 11 Jul 2014 09:00

Music Played

  • Giacomo Puccini

    Un bel di vedremo (from Madam Butterfly)

    Performer: Mirella Freni. Performer: Vienna Philharmonic. Performer: Herbert von Karajan.
    • Puccini: Madam Butterfly.
    • Decca.
  • Jean Sibelius

    Violin Concerto Op.47 in D Minor - Allegro

    Performer: Maxim Vengerov. Performer: Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Performer: Daniel Barenboim.
    • Jean Sibelius, Carl Nielsen: Violin Concertos.
    • Teldec.
  • Rosalind Harris, Michele Marsh & Neva Small

    Matchmaker from Fiddler on the Roof

    • Fiddler on the Roof soundtrack.
    • EMI.
  • Ravi Shankar

    Raga Mishra Ghara

    • The Best of Hindustrani Instrumental.
    • Music Today.
  • Benjamin Britten

    Oh, hang at open doors

    Performer: Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Convent Garden. Performer: Colin Davis.
    • Britten: Peter Grims.
    • Philips.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Deh, vieni,non tardar (from the Marriage of Figaro)

    Performer: Barbara Hendricks. Performer: Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Performer: Neville Marriner.
    • Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro.
    • Philips.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Suite No.2 in D Minor - Allemande

      Performer: Pablo Casals.
      • Bach: Cello Suites.
      • EMI Classics.
  • Afriquoi

    Kudaushe

    • Wormford.
    • Promo.
  • Book Choice

    • Oxford English Dictionary (all 13 volumes and supplements)

  • Luxury Choice

    • Viola

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Michael Marmot
Producer Sarah Taylor

Broadcasts

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