Sunday 15 January 2017

Barbara Windsor's Desert Island Discs Archive

One of my favourite radio programmes has always been Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4. I find it a fascinating listen. 

For over seventy years now a famous "castaway" is asked to choose several pieces of music that mean a lot to them. The premise is that they must choose music they would want to have with them if they were ever washed up on a desert island.

The choices of music, together with the conversation in between, is often deeply interesting, revealing and thoroughly entertaining. As this show has been running for so many years, it has of course meant that several Carry On actors have featured as guests. The BBC now have a wonderful archive of past shows available to listen to online. 

Only the other day I listened to Barbara Windsor's two shows. Barbara appeared most recently on the programme way back in 1990 and talked to Sue Lawley about her career to date, her upbringing in the East End and some of the stormier aspects of her private life. It's a fascinating listen and Barbara's musical choices are all great, even including an excerpt of Kenneth Williams, Hattie Jacques and Tony Hancock from Hancock's Half Hour. Barbara speaks movingly about Kenneth in particular and two years after his death, obviously missed him terribly.

Also available in the archive is an excerpt from Barbara's earlier appearance on the show from way back in 1970. Sadly only a partial recording is available but it's still interesting to hear a much younger Miss Windsor nattering away with Roy Plomley. Both programmes are definitely worth hearing.

 You can listen to them both here

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