Main content

Stephen Fry

Kirsty Young interviews Stephen Fry, comedian, actor, writer and presenter.

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Stephen Fry.

Comedian, actor, writer, director, presenter & award-ceremony host - his list of accomplishments is long, varied and impressive. His younger years were troubled and with a propensity for stealing and lying, he was expelled from two schools and imprisoned for credit card fraud. The turning point came when he knuckled down and won a scholarship to Queens' College, Cambridge, where he read English and joined the Cambridge Footlights, becoming lifelong friends with Emma Thompson and Hugh Laurie.

His career highlights include the fruits of his collaborative work with Laurie - from A Bit of Fry and Laurie to Jeeves and Wooster, he played Lord Melchett in Blackadder and Oscar Wilde on the big screen. He is a best-selling author of fiction and three volumes of autobiography, is the voice of the Harry Potter audio books and presents BBC Two's QI. He has also spoken of his experience of mental health issues and in 2006 he made a documentary exploring the effects of living with Bipolar - it won an Emmy Award.

Producer: Cathy Drysdale.

Available now

39 minutes

Music Played

  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    The gigue from Bach's Partita No. 1 in B flat major

    Performer: Glenn Gould.
    • Bach the Partitas Preludes, Fugues & Fughettas.
    • CBS.
  • Franz Schubert

    Variations 2 & 3 from Schubert's Piano Quintet in A

    Performer: Belcea Quartet. Performer: Thomas Adès.
    • Ades Piano Quintet Schubert 'Trout' Quintet.
    • EMI CLASSICS.
  • CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE

    • Ludwig van Beethoven

      Presto – Quartet Op. 131 in C-Sharp minor

      Performer: Guarneri Quartet.
      • Beethoven the Late String Quartets.
      • RCA.
  • Nina Simone

    I Wish I Knew how it would feel to be Free

    • The Very Best of Nina Simone.
    • RCA.
  • Richard Wagner

    O sink hernieder , Nacht der Liebe

    Performer: Kirsten Flagstad. Performer: Ludwig Suthaus. Performer: Philharmonia Orchestra. Performer: Wilhelm Furtwängler.
    • Tristan Und Isolde.
    • EMI.
  • Hugh Laurie

    Changes

    • Didn't it Rain.
    • Warner Music UK Ltd..
  • Ella Fitzgerald

    Do I Love You?

    • Complete Ella Fitzgerald Songbook: Cole Porter.
    • VERVE.
  • Arthur Wood

    Barwick Green (Theme To The Archers)

    Performer: Sidney Torch & His Orchestra.
    • Archive Collection Vol 1.
    • CAVENDISH MUSIC.
  • BOOK CHOICE

    T. S. Eliot Four Quartets

  • LUXURY ITEM

    Canvasses, easels, brushes, an instruction manual

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Stephen Fry
Producer Cathy Drysdale

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