Main content

Sue Biggs, DG Royal Horticultural Society

Sue Biggs, Director General of the RHS, shares the eight tracks, book and luxury item she'd want to take with her if cast away to a desert island. With Lauren Laverne

Sue Biggs is the Director General of the Royal Horticultural Society.

She’s been at the helm of the RHS since 2010 and during that time, its membership has grown to more than half a million people. The RHS is also renowned for its spectacular flower shows and garden festivals around the country, including Chelsea, Hampton Court, Chatsworth House and Tatton Park. Sue has had a lifelong love of gardening since her mum gave her a packet of seeds on her seventh birthday.

She has enjoyed two very successful careers. Before her tenure at the RHS, she worked in the travel industry for 25 years, identifying new destinations for holidaymakers. She was the first woman to be appointed to the board of Kuoni Travel.

In her current role, she strongly believes that horticultural work and expertise do not receive the wider respect they deserve. She was made a CBE in 2017 for her services to the environment and ornamental horticulture industries.

BOOK CHOICE: The Book of Joy
LUXURY ITEM: A bed
CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams

Presenter: Lauren Laverne
Producer: Sarah Taylor

Available now

38 minutes

Music Played

  • Hans Zimmer

    Now We Are Free

    Performer: Lisa Gerrard.
    • Gladiator: Music from the Motion Picture.
    • Decca.
    • 17.
  • John Barry

    Born Free

    • The Music of John Barry.
    • CBS.
    • 2.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    The Lark Ascending

    Performer: Nicola Benedetti. Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Andrew Litton.
    • Nicola Benedetti: Vaughan Willams.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
    • 1.
  • John Martyn

    Solid Air

    • Solid Air.
    • Island.
    • 1.
  • Umberto Giordano

    La Mamma Morta (from Andrea Chénier)

    Singer: Maria Callas. Orchestra: Orchestra of La Scala, Milan. Conductor: Tullio Serafin.
    • La Mamma Morta.
    • EMI.
    • 1.
  • Francesco Sartori

    Time to Say Goodbye

    Composer: Lucio Quarantotto. Singer: Sarah Brightman. Singer: Andrea Bocelli. Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra.
    • Timeless.
    • Coalition Recordings.
    • 12.
  • Robbie Williams

    Love my Life

    • The Heavy Entertainment Show.
    • Sony.
    • 4.
  • Mark Ronson

    Uptown Funk (feat. Bruno Mars)

    • Uptown Special.
    • RCA.
    • 4.

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