Knit to This: Desert Island Discs

October 1, 2022

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  • I live in the UK and Desert Island Discs is an institution. It must be so exciting to come across it for the first time!

  • I’m 71 and British and I’ve been listening to DID since I was an infant. For knitters, Kaffe Fassett’s episode from 1990 is a standout. Like many radio listeners, in tedious moments I find myself compiling my own list of records, book and luxury. There is a variation on the game which is to choose the eight discs and book that one would take to a Desert Island and abandon there for ever. I was told once that the Bible and the Complete Works of Shakespeare are already on the island because in the very early days, almost every guest chose one or the other, which became rather boring.

  • I’m (another) knitter from the UK with a lifelong history of listening to DID – if you’ve not listened yet my goodness there’s a goldmine to enjoy! Once you get started you’ll be hooked. It’s good to listen to people you know a bit about but some of the people you’ve never heard of turn out to be the most fascinating to hear. Every emotion will be touched by those people you tune into as you delve into this precious archive.

  • As soon as you say the programme name I hear the intro music playing in my head and see scenes of my great grandparents’ and grandparents’ homes, any family home really. Desert Island Discs is truly, and deservedly, an institution. Do you think it would be allowable, in the days of online music, to choose their archive as one of one’s ‘discs’? That would keep the island interesting for a few years 🙂

    • DG you are a treasure and I would choose you as my luxury item if I was castaway. You reinforce my threadbare faith in humanity…and you make me laugh.

  • I’m hooked. DG thanks for the recommendation,

  • Bruce Springsteen’s DID playlist was a history of R+R. It made me happy.

  • DG, every day that starts off with you is a good day.

  • This is one of the very best podcasts and the really old ones (even though they’re just clips) are fun to hear if you’ve any interest in the particular person. What’s the most interesting part is WHY the music selection was made – what memory did it evoke or what inspiration did it energize? Such a good program. And you might add “The Bowery Boys” – phenomenal history of NYC, and “99% Invisible” – speaks to the inherent design ethos is everything we see.

  • As an individual who has a significant hearing loss, another really cool thing about the internet, and something I just realized when clicking the link to the BBC 4 Radio website, is that I can ACCESS this wonderful series and FULLY enjoy it with the available backup of voice-activated closed captions. Do realize what joy this brings me? Without such technology, this would be yet one more form of entertainment (and INFORMATION) that I would have to chalk up as something in which I can no longer fully participate and enjoy. Yes, of course, reading the captions while listening isn’t quite the same as sitting back and closing your eyes and simply listening — or knitting while listening. But at least this wonderful series is available to me and others like me (like LOTS and LOTS of other people!) who have difficulty discriminating speech when presented strictly via audition. Thank you for introducing this series to me. This is going to be FUN!

  • I had no idea this was a show. My friends and I have played this game forever, varying it up at different times – just 5 pieces of literature, just 5 discs, etc. As we play through the years, it’s interesting that sometimes we change our choices, and some of our lifelong comforts truly stand the test of time.

    • I’ve always wondered if a giant box of knitting, spinning and crochet supplies would be allowed as the “luxury”, or considered too practical? And would the patterns have to be counted as a book?
      The book I think would have to be a loooooooooong one if you were to be marooned for any length of time…

  • THANK YOU (again!) for an excellent recommendation. I have a loooong road trip coming up and these will be perfect.

  • Another UK knitter here, and I am so glad to see you enjoying this programme. For me, the episode with the footballer (soccer player) Ian Wright one of the best. And when you’re done with DID, try In Our Time for more smart people talking about everything from the beginnings of coffee houses to cave art, President Ulysses Grant to the evolution of crocodiles and everything in between.

  • The Tom Hanks episode of DID was wonderful. And John Cleese asked for Michael Palin as his luxury (not granted!). There are soooo many good programmes on BBC Radio 4 – try I’m Sorry, I Haven’t a Clue…..

  • Just wanted to follow up and let you know how much I’ve enjoyed this recommendation. DID got me through a 3,000 solo road trip and a trip through Spain/Portugal. Lots of time on planes, trains, and busses on that journey. And there are still thousands more episodes to go! I’m totally hooked.