Main content

Dame Katherine Grainger

Kirsty Young interviews Dame Katherine Grainger, rower and Olympic medallist in five consecutive Games.

Kirsty Young's castaway is the Olympian and rower, Dame Katherine Grainger. A six-time rowing World Champion across a variety of classes, her silver medal at Rio in 2016 made her the most successful female British Olympic athlete ever, having won medals in five consecutive games.

Born in Glasgow in 1975, her parents were teachers. At school she earned a black belt in karate, and it wasn't until she went to Edinburgh University that her passion for rowing was truly ignited. Winning silver medals at the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Olympics, Katherine finally ceased to be the sport's eternal bridesmaid when, with her partner Anna Watkins, she won gold in the Double Sculls at the 2012 London Olympics. After two years away from the sport, Katherine returned in 2014, to win her fourth silver and fifth overall Olympic medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics with her new partner, Vicky Thornley.

Alongside her sporting achievements, she gained an Honours degree in Law from Edinburgh, a Masters in Medical Law from Glasgow University and was awarded a PhD in Homicide Sentencing from King's College London in 2013. She was made the fourth Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University in 2015 and became a Dame in the 2017 New Year Honours.

Producer: Cathy Drysdale.

Available now

35 minutes

Last on

Fri 3 Mar 2017 09:00

Music Played

  • Tina Turner

    Proud Mary

    • All The Best.
    • EMI.
  • Miriam Makeba

    Pata Pata

    • Mama Africa.
    • Warner Music UK.
  • Claude‐Michel Schönberg

    One Day More

    Performer: Original London Cast.
    • Les Miserables Original London Cast.
    • First Night.
  • CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE

    • Elvis Presley

      If I Can Dream

      • If I Can Dream.
      • RCA.
  • Texas

    Halo

    • White on Blonde.
    • Mercury.
  • The Waterboys

    The Whole of the Moon

    • This is the Sea.
    • EMI.
  • Dusty Springfield

    You Don’t Own Me

    • At Her Very Best.
    • Universal.
  • Elbow

    One Day Like This

    • The Seldom Seen Kid.
    • Polydor.
  • BOOK CHOICE

    Book of Quotations

  • LUXURY ITEM

    Archive of past Sunday papers

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Katherine Grainger
Producer Cathy Drysdale

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