Main content

Damian Lewis

Kirsty Young interviews actor Damian Lewis.

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the actor, Damian Lewis.

As part of the wave of British talent that's crashed onto America's shores in recent years his impact has made a deep impression on the creative landscape. His role as Sergeant Brodie in Homeland saw him win both an Emmy and Golden Globe and along with Band of Brothers, The Forsyte Saga and a long list of other credits, he now ranks as one of our most well recognised and highly regarded performers.

Things didn't always look so peachy: aged 11, and in the school production of Princess Ida, he forgot the entire third act and stood mute in front of a packed auditorium. Tellingly, rather than scuttling into the wings with shame he soldiered on and by 16 he knew performing was, more than anything, what he wanted to do.

He says, "I am a person who is ambitious. I'm ambitious to get the very best from every moment and even if that's just taking my children to the zoo ... I want it to be the best it can be.".

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 5 Dec 2014 09:00

Music Played


    • Elvis Presley

      Bossa Nova Baby

      • Elvis Through The Years Volume 14: Happy Ending.
      • Book Club Associates.
  • Georges Bizet

    Au fond du Temple Saint from the Pearl Fishers

    Performer: Luciano Pavarotti. Performer: Nicolaï Ghiaurov.
    • Your Hundred Best Tunes: Vol.3.
    • Decca.
  • Supertramp

    The Logical Song

    • Compact Hits.
    • Universal.
  • The Grid

    Crystal Clear

    • Music for Dancing.
    • De Construction.
  • David Bowie


    • Hunky Dory.
    • EMI.
  • Bix Beiderbecke


    • Bix Beiderbeck: The Classic Years.
    • Prestige.
  • Roy Ayers

    Love will bring us back Together

    • Into the Groove.
    • Polydor.
  • Madness

    Baggy Trousers

    • Our House: The Original Songs.
    • Virgin.
  • Book Choice

    • History of the World by J M Roberts

  • Luxury Item

    • Whittling kit


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Damian Lewis
Producer Cathy Drysdale


  • Sun 30 Nov 2014 11:15
  • Fri 5 Dec 2014 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?