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Imelda Staunton

Sue Lawley's castaway is actress Imelda Staunton.

Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the actress Imelda Staunton. Imelda Staunton is one of the UK's most versatile and popular actresses. Through a career spanning nearly 30 years she has consistently refused to be typecast, moving effortlessly from playing brassy Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, to the oppressed Sonya in Uncle Vanya, to a grieving mother in Peter's Friends. Her most recent film role was in Mike Leigh's production Vera Drake - she played the eponymous heroine, a 1950s housewife who unbeknownst to her family carried out illegal abortions. She won huge acclaim for her performance, including an Oscar nomination and a BAFTA award for Best Actress.

Imelda Staunton was born in Archway, London, in 1956. Her mother Bridie was a hairdresser, and the family lived over her shop, whilst Imelda's father worked on the roads. It was an elocution and drama teacher at her school, Jacqueline Stoker, who encouraged her talent, adapting plays for her and putting her in for school drama competitions. She also encouraged Imelda to apply for drama school. At the time, Imelda had never heard of RADA - but she was offered a place there and studied alongside Alan Rickman, Juliet Stevenson and Timothy Spall. Imelda Staunton lives with her husband, the actor Jim Carter, and their daughter, in London.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: I'll Know by Julie Covington & Ian Charleson
Book: A book on astronomy
Luxury: Modelling clay and tools

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 20 May 2005 09:00

Music Played

  • Lonnie Donegan

    Frankie & Johnny

    • Lonnie Donegan: More than Pye in the Sky. Vol.2.
    • Bear Family Records.
  • Elvis Presley

    All Shook Up

    • Don't Be Cruel.
    • RCA.
  • George Frideric Handel

    For unto us a child is born (from Messiah)

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus Conductor: Sir Adrian Boult

    • Handel: Messiah Arias and Choruses.
    • Decca.
  • Édith Piaf

    Hymne À L'Amour

    • The Very Best of Edith Piaf.
    • Capitol.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Julie Covington & Ian Charleson

      I'll Know

      • Guys and Dolls.
      • Music for Pleasure.
  • Bette Midler

    Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy

    • Experience the Divine.
    • Atlantic.
  • Bridie Staunton/Maria Sonia

    Reels and Jigs

    • Playing with the fiddle with friends at Alexandra Palace 2003 – Private tape.
  • Alison Krauss

    Down to the River to Pray

    • O Brother, Where Art Tho?.
    • Mercury.
  • Book Choice

    • A book on astronomy

  • Luxury Choice

    • Modelling clay and tools


Role Contributor
Presenter Sue Lawley
Interviewed Guest Imelda Staunton


  • Sun 15 May 2005 11:15
  • Fri 20 May 2005 09:00

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