Main content

Mike Leigh OBE

Sue Lawley's castaway is director Mike Leigh OBE.

The castaway on Desert Island Discs this week is the filmmaker and director Mike Leigh. He first came to public attention on a dark and stormy evening when 16 million people tuned to BBC1 to watch his film Abigail's Party. It was also the night that ITV was blacked out by a strike, there was a highbrow documentary on BBC2, and Channel 4 didn't exist. His recent films Secrets and Lies and Naked won top awards at Cannes, building on the recognition he received for his earlier, more gentle portrait of working-class life - Life is Sweet. He explains to Sue Lawley how his early films were inspired by the work of Harold Pinter, Samuel Beckett and Francois Truffaut.

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

Favourite track: Clarinet Concerto in A Clarinet Concerto in A Major K622 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Book: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Luxury: Lavatory and lavatory paper

Available now

40 minutes

Last on

Fri 26 Sep 1997 09:05

Music Played

  • Arthur Sullivan

    So please you, sir (from The Mikado)

    Librettist: William Gilbert.
  • Bessie Smith

    Mean Old Bedbug Blues

    • Bessie Smith, The Collection.
    • CBS.
  • Jeanne Moreau

    Le Tourbillon

    • La Nouvelle Vague (The French New Wave).
    • Milan.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) (from Nabucco)

    • Nabucco.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
  • Kurt Weill

    Ballad of Mack the Knife (from The Threepenny Opera)

    • Ute Lemper Sings Kurt Weill.
    • Decca.
  • Edward Elgar

    Enigma Variations - Dorabella

    • Elgar Cello Concerto, Op 85, Enigma Variations.
    • CBS Masterworks.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

      Clarinet Concerto in A major

      • Mozart: Clarinet Concerto, Sinfonia Concertante.
      • EMI.
  • Arthur Sullivan

    The Long Day Closes

    • Sweet And Low, Glees And Partsongs.
    • Conifer.
  • Book Choice

    • One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  • Luxury Choice

    • Lavatory and lavatory paper


Role Contributor
Presenter Sue Lawley
Interviewed Guest Mike Leigh


  • Sun 21 Sep 1997 12:15
  • Fri 26 Sep 1997 09:05

Featured in...

The Desert Island Discs podcast

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

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

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

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