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Dr Jonathan Miller

Sue Lawley's castaway is director Dr Jonathan Miller.

Sue Lawley's castaway this week is Dr Jonathan Miller. Jonathan Miller has been an influential and prolific force in British intellectual life since the 1960s. A writer, theatre and opera director and explainer of science to the public, he's had not one career, but several, and is seemingly capable of endlessly reinventing himself - as a scientist, a director, a television presenter, a writer, a film-maker and, more recently, a sculptor.

Whilst still a medical student he received an invitation which changed the course of his life and career - to take part in a sketch show called Beyond the Fringe, which was to go to the Edinburgh Festival. Jonathan was never to return to science full-time, as invitations to direct began to come in. He went on to become a leading theatre and opera director, celebrated for productions which included Tosca, set in Mussolini's Italy, and a mobster Rigoletto. This career alone would be regarded by many as more than sufficient, but Jonathan Miller combined it with making films and presenting television programmes.

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

Favourite track: Aria from Goldberg Variations by Johann Sebastian Bach
Book: The Invertebrates by Libbie Henrietta Hyman
Luxury: Canvas roll containing dissecting set

Available now

45 minutes

Music Played

  • Bobbie Gentry

    Ode to Billie Joe

    • The Best of Bobbie Gentry.
    • Music for Pleasure.
  • Eric Coates

    Calling All Workers

    Performer: Eric Coates Orchestra.

    Artist: Chappell recorded Music Library

    • Nostalgic Themes Revisited.
    • Chappell.
  • Anton Karas

    The Third Man Theme

    • Soundtrack from the Third Man.
    • Definitive.
  • Dinah Shore

    Yes, My Darling Daughter

    • Living Era: Blues in the Night. A Tribute to Dinah Shaw.
    • ASV.
  • Comedian Harmonists

    Wochenend und Sonnenschein (Happy Days are Here Again)

    • The Comedian Harmonists.
    • Hannibal.
  • Ravi Shankar

    Music over closing credits

    • Alice in Wonderland - BBC ARCHIVE.
  • The Beach Boys

    Surfin' USA

    • Surfin’ Safari.
    • Capitol.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Goldberg Variations - Aria

      Soloist: Glenn Gould

      • Goldberg Variations.
      • CBS.
  • Book Choice

    • The Invertebrates - Libbie Henrietta Hyman

  • Luxury Choice

    • Canvas roll containing dissecting set


Role Contributor
Presenter Sue Lawley
Interviewed Guest Jonathan Miller


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