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Janet Holmes à Court

Sue Lawley's castaway is businesswoman Janet Holmes à Court.

The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is Janet Holmes à Court. Recently named Businesswoman of the Year, she'll be talking to Sue Lawley about how, after the sudden death of her husband, the hugely rich Robert Holmes a Court, she was advised to sell up and retire to the beach. Before his death, he had just been starting to turn the tide which had run against him after he'd lost around £400 million in the stock market crash of 1987. Forgetting the beach, she proceeded to take up the reins of the business. Over the last six years, she has created an impressive commercial organisation out of cattle, construction and transport, she owns 10 theatres in London's West End and her cattle company is estimated to own about 1.1% of Australia's land mass. The owner of a desert island herself, she'll be contemplating exile far from the demands of the business world.

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

Favourite track: Fidelio by Ludwig van Beethoven
Book: Tourmaline by Randolph Stow
Luxury: Jar of Vegemite

Available now

40 minutes

Last on

Fri 24 May 1996 09:05

Music Played

  • Johannes Brahms

    Violin Concerto in D major

    Soloist: Yehudi Menuhin Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic

    • Brahms: Violin Concerto.
    • EMI.
  • John Williams

    From Kakadu

    • From Australia.
    • Sony Classical.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major 'Emperor'

    Orchestra: Philharmonic Orchestra Soloist: Edwin Fischer

    • Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5 "Emperor".
    • EMI.
  • Dylan Thomas

    Under Milk Wood

    • A Play For Voices.
    • Argo.
  • The Black Swan Theatre Company (Of W. Australia)

    Listen To The News

    • Bran Neu Dae.
    • Polygram.
  • Edward Elgar

    Cello Concerto in E Minor

    Soloist: Jacqueline Du Pre Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra

    • Cello Concerto/Sea Pictures.
    • EMI.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Ludwig van Beethoven


      Soloist: Adolf Dallapozza, Manfred Jungwirth, Jan Gundula

      • Beethoven: Fidelio.
      • Deutsche Grammophon.
  • Franz Schubert

    String Quintet in C major

    Conductor: Mstislav Rostropovich Orchestra: The Emerson String Quartet

    • Schubert: String Quintet In C Major.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
  • Book Choice

    • Tourmaline - Randolph Stow

  • Luxury Choice

    • Jar of Vegemite


Role Contributor
Presenter Sue Lawley
Interviewed Guest Janet Holmes a Court


  • Sun 19 May 1996 12:15
  • Fri 24 May 1996 09:05

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