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Gerry Robinson

Sue Lawley's castaway is businessman Gerry Robinson.

The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is a businessman who started life as one of 10 children in a poor family in Donegal, moved with his family to London's East End and started his career at Matchbox Toys in Hackney. From there, he worked his way up the corporate ladder of several large companies until 10 years ago he organised and led a management buy-out of Compass - part of Grand Metropolitan.

Now extremely rich in his own right, he'll be talking to Sue Lawley about the controversy he then attracted. Known as 'The Caterer' because of his business background, he went on to acquire London Weekend Television and controversially to take over the Forte Group. He'll be discussing his early ambitions to be a priest, his days at a seminary, the high-achieving nature of his family and how he coped with the stress of the Granada takeover of the Forte Group.

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

Favourite track: Norma Casta Diva by Vincenzo Bellini
Book: The History of the World by J M Roberts
Luxury: Painting kit (easel, oils, brushes)

Available now

40 minutes

Last on

Fri 7 Jun 1996 09:05

Music Played

  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Vincenzo Bellini

      Casta diva (from Norma)

      Soloist: Dame Joan Sutherland Orchestra: The Orchestra Of The Royal Opera House (Covent Garden)

      • Joan Sutherland And The Orchestra Of The Royal Opera House.
      • Decca.
  • The Monks of Quarr Abbey on the Isle of Wight

    Antiphon - Magnificat And Canticle Of Our Lady

    • Georgian Chant.
    • Herald.
  • Elaine Paige

    I'd Be Surprisingly Good For You

    • Evita.
    • MCA.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    La traviata Prelude to Act 1

    Orchestra: Philharmonic Orchestra

    • La Traviata.
    • Decca.
  • Dire Straits

    The Man's Too Strong

    • Brothers In Arms.
    • Vertigo.
  • Léo Delibes

    Viens Mallika (from Lakmé)

    Soloist: Mady Mesple, Danielle Millet

    • Delibes: Lakme (Highlights).
    • EMI.
  • Jules Massenet


    Orchestra: The Philharmonia Orchestra & Chorus

    • Massenet: Thais.
    • EMI.
  • Agnes Baltsa

    Aspri Mera Ke Ya Mas

    Orchestra: The Athens Experimental Orchestra

    • Songs My Country Taught Me.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
  • Book Choice

    • The History of the World - J M Roberts

  • Luxury Choice

    • Painting kit (easel, oils, brushes)


Role Contributor
Presenter Sue Lawley
Interviewed Guest Gerry Robinson


  • Sun 2 Jun 1996 12:15
  • Fri 7 Jun 1996 09:05

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