Main content

Emma Bridgewater

Emma Bridgewater, pottery designer and entrepreneur, is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs.

Emma Bridgewater is a British ceramic designer and businesswoman. She set up her pottery business in 1985 in Stoke-on-Trent, when many other manufacturers in the city were either closing down or going overseas. Her pottery is instantly recognizable, decorated with polka dots, stars, hearts or elegant lettering using 19th century sponge-printing techniques.

It is an unlikely career for someone who studied English at University. Together with her husband, illustrator Matthew Rice, Emma Bridgewater has played a part in keeping the pottery tradition alive in Stoke-on-Trent. The factory also now hosts an annual literary festival.

She was awarded a CBE in 2013 for services to industry.

Producer: Sarah Taylor.

Available now

36 minutes

Last on

Fri 2 Dec 2016 09:00

Music Played

  • Kate & Anna McGarrigle

    Swimming Song

    • Kate & Anna McGarrigle.
    • Warner Bros.
  • Françoise Hardy

    Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour

    • 36 Grands Succes.
    • Vogue.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    March (Seventeen Come Sunday) from English Folk Song Suite

    Performer: Central Band of the Royal Air Force. Conductor: Eric Banks.
    • British Music for Concert Band.
    • EMI.
  • The Doors

    Love Street

    • The Very Best of The Doors.
    • Elektra/Rhino.
  • Emmylou Harris & Willie Nelson

    Gulf Coast Highway

    • Duets.
    • Reprise.
  • Purcell

    But Death, Alas! When I Am Laid in Earth (Dido’s Lament)

    Performer: Janet Baker. Performer: English Chamber Orchestra. Conductor: Sir Anthony Lewis.
    • Purcell: Dido and Aeneas.
    • Legends.
  • Charles Wesley

    Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending

    Performer: St Paul's Cathedral Choir. Performer: English Brass Ensemble. Conductor: John Scott. Performer: Christopher Dearnley.
    • Christmas Music from St Paul’s.
    • Prelude.

    • The Be Good Tanyas

      Lakes of Pontchartrain

      • Blue Horse.
      • Nettwerk.

    The Collected works of Patrick O’Brien


    Stephanotis Bath Oil with a bath


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Emma Bridgewater
Producer Sarah Taylor


  • Sun 27 Nov 2016 11:15
  • Sun 27 Nov 2016 11:45
  • Fri 2 Dec 2016 09:00

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?