Main content

Maggi Hambling

Sue Lawley's castaway is artist Maggi Hambling.

Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the artist Maggi Hambling.
Above all else, she is known as a painter of people. Over the past 30 years she has painted George Melly, Stephen Fry and Michael Gambon among many others. But in the early years, her subjects were not well known; instead they were characters she saw on the streets or in the bars of South London. People whose faces she would commit to memory so that she could draw them when she returned to her studio.

She was the first artist to be given a residency at the National Gallery and in 1995 won the Jerwood Prize. But although she remains in great demand as a portrait painter, her work provokes controversy too - her tribute to Benjamin Britten, an enormous scallop shell standing on the shore at Aldeburgh, continues to divide opinion in the town.

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

Favourite track: Runnin' Wild by Marilyn Monroe
Book: The Complete Works of Just William by Richmal Crompton
Luxury: A wine cellar from All Soul's, Oxford

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 23 Dec 2005 09:00

Music Played

Add music you love and enjoy it with My Tracks
  • Micháel mac Liammóir

    Lady Bracknell's Speech

    • From The Importance of Being Oscar - one man show.
  • George Melly

    Then I'll Be Happy (with the John Chilton's Feetwarmers)

    • Anything Goes.
    • PRT Records.
  • Choristers of St. Paul's Cathedral

    Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

    • Music of St Paul’s Cathedral.
    • Hyperion.
  • Dusty Springfield

    You Don't Have To Say You Love Me

    • 25 Years of Rock and Roll: 1966.
    • Connoisseur Collection.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    String Quartet No.14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131

    Orchestra: Hungarian Quartet

    • Beethoven: The Complete String Quartets.
    • EMI.
  • Noël Coward

    Let's Do It

    • The Noël Coward Album.
    • Sony.
  • Benjamin Britten

    Lacrimosa (from War Requiem)

    Soloist: Galina Vishnevskaya Choir: The Bach Choir and the London Symphony Orchestra Chorus Orchestra: The London Symphony Orchestra Conductor: Benjamin Britten

    • War Requiem.
    • Decca.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Marilyn Monroe

      Runnin' Wild

      • Some Like It Hot Soundtrack.
      • Ryko Discs.
  • Book Choice

    • The Complete Works of Just William - Richmal Crompton

  • Luxury Choice

    • A wine cellar from All Soul's, Oxford


Role Contributor
Presenter Sue Lawley
Interviewed Guest Maggi Hambling


Featured in...

The Desert Island Discs podcast

Subscribe or download individual episodes.

Listen to over 2,000 programmes


Read the surprising things we've learned about some stand-out castaways.

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

Why does Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece appeal to so many castaways?