Few shows give you an insight into the depravity and the mundanity of the great and good quite like Desert Island Discs. We’ve sifted through all 3,227 episodes (at the time of writing) to bring you a small selection of horrors from castaways past.
Just Shit Music
Gordon Ramsay with truly the worst ever selection of music, a parodic drivetime session through the consciousness of a middle-aged man:
Tina Turner, Simply the Best
Kim Wilde, Kids in America
George Michael, Careless Whisper
Bryan Adams, Everything I Do (I Do It For You)
Tom Jones, Sex Bomb
Blondie, Sunday Girl
Possibly only rivalled by Nigella Lawson, with this, which reads like a sex offender’s ideal lift music:
The Archies, Sugar Sugar
Wheatus, Teenage Dirtbag
Boney M, Daddy Cool
The Mavericks, Dance the Night Away
Eminem, Cleaning Out My Closet
New Order, Blue Monday
More Kanté, Ye Ke Ye Ke
Frankie Dettori’s choices were also execrable:
Ronan Keating, Life is a Rollercoaster
AC/DC, Back in Black
Madonna, Into the Groove
Bob Marley and the Wailers, Three Little Birds
The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, Amazing Grace
Simply Red, Fairground
Robbie Williams, Feel
General Norm Schwarzkopf; it’s an operatic blitzkrieg from the man who brought you Operation Desert Storm, with some Billy Joel thrown in for some reason:
Bob Dylan, The Times They Are a-Changin’
Giacomo Puccini, Nessun Dorma (Soloist: Luciano Pavarotti)
Cast of Les Misérables, I Dreamed a Dream
William Steffe and Julia Ward Howe,
The Battle Hymn of the Republic (Choir: The Robert Shaw Chorale Orchestra)
Peter O’Toole, The Impossible Dream
Johannes Brahms, Symphony No. 2, The Academic Overture
Billy Joel, Piano Man
Aaron Copland, Lincoln Portrait
But the title of shittest selections probably goes to David Cameron with a prizewinning mélange of confected, focus-grouped bollocks:
The Smiths, This Charming Man
Lana Del Rey, Video Games
Felix Mendelssohn, O for the Wings of a Dove
Pink Floyd, Money
The Killers, All These Things That I’ve Done
Radiohead, Fake Plastic Trees
Bob Dylan, Tangled Up in Blue
Benny Hill, Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West)
Weird Luxuries/Bizarre Books
Michael Ball chose The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman, who has also been on DID.
Antonio Carluccio chose His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, ditto.
Suggs asked for a nucleus of bees and a concise book of Italian verbs.
David Walliams picked the complete works of Philip Larkin and a gun (‘If I got really lonely, I would shoot myself.’)
Paul Dacre chose as his special item a year’s subscription to the Guardian. (Credit where it’s due, that’s a good gag.)
Sir George Steiner chose a ‘500-year-ahead calendar’ and appointment book.
Sir Richard Curtis elected to bring ‘Pizza Express in Notting Hill’ with him to the desert island.
You would not believe how many celebrities want to think about madeleines during their island seclusion.
Sir Timothy Clifford
A. S. Byatt
Michael Portillo (technically – asked for a Proust biography)
Sir Frederick Ashton
Sir Stephen Spender
A. L. Rowse
Sir Nicholas Sekers
Jeremy Clarkson’s disconcertingly muted buffet of maudlin soft rock
Billy Paul, Your Song
The Who, Behind Blue Eyes
Bob Seger, Night Moves
Pink Floyd, Time
The Temptations, Get Ready
Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)
David Bowie, Heroes
John Malkovich, Still Dre by Dr Dre.
Stephen King, Pon de Replay by Rihanna.
Alan Titchmarsh, whose choice of ‘Blackbird’ initially conjures thoughts of The Beatles, before it is revealed to be a literal recording of the evening song of the popular garden bird.
Julie Burchill chose Hatikva, the Israeli national anthem, as her Castaway’s Favourite (and a mention on this list is exactly what she wanted when she picked it).