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Rt Hon Charles Kennedy MP

Sue Lawley's castaway is leader of the Liberal Democrats Charles Kennedy.

Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the leader of the Liberal Democrats Charles Kennedy. Born in Inverness, Charles grew up on a croft near Fort William spending his early life learning how to shear sheep and milk cows on his grandfather's neighbouring farm. Music was always a big part of life with his father playing the fiddle at home and at local events but Charles's real passion was astronomy. He saved to buy a three-inch refractor telescope from his pocket money inspired by the Apollo Moon Landings and encouraged by the clear Highlands skies.

Politics and current affairs were another early passion. He ran home from school to catch news of the Watergate hearings on television, he was a star of his school's debating society and one friend recalls how he always dreamed of becoming prime minister. His first political allegiance was to the Labour Party, but at University he switched to the newly formed Social Democratic Party - eventually taking a seat for them in 1983 General Election at the age of 23. Now, 20 years later, following various incarnations of the party, the Liberal Democrats hold a record number of seats in the House of Commons and are hoping to become the main party of opposition in Britain today.

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

Favourite track: The Cameron Highlanders by Ian Kennedy
Book: The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
Luxury: CD player

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 31 Oct 2003 09:00

Music Played

  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Ian Kennedy

      The Cameron Highlanders

      • Sean or 66 Highland Gold.
      • An Comunn.
  • David Bowie

    Young Americans

    • Best of David Bowie.
    • EMI.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Vissi d'arte (from Tosca)

    Soloist: Maria Callas Orchestra: The Paris Conservatoire Orchestra

    • The Incomparable Callas.
    • EMI.
  • Frank Sinatra

    Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words)

    • A Fine Romance - the Love Songs of Frank.
    • Reprise.
  • King's College Chapel Choir

    Praise my Soul the King of Heaven

    • The Essential Guide to Music & Hymns for Weddings.
    • Serin Music.
  • The Rolling Stones

    Waiting on a Friend

    • No Security.
    • Virgin.
  • Edward Elgar

    Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36: Variation IX "Nimrod"

    Orchestra: CBSO Conductor: Simon Rattle

    • 1.
    • EMI.
  • Toploader

    Dancing in the Moonlight

    • Dancing in the Moonlight.
    • S2.
  • Book Choice

    • The Day of the Jackal - Frederick Forsyth

  • Luxury Choice

    • CD player


Role Contributor
Presenter Sue Lawley
Interviewed Guest Charles Kennedy


  • Sun 26 Oct 2003 11:15
  • Fri 31 Oct 2003 09:00

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