Desert Island Discs (1974)

In 1974, Alan Ayckbourn was a guest on the popular radio series Desert Island Discs. The series notably asks guests to name the music they would wish to be stranded on a desert island with along with a book and a luxury item.
The programme was recorded on 14 October 1974 and broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 2 November 1974. The interviewer was Roy Plomley and the episode was produced by Ronald Cook.
These were Alan Ayckbourn's choices of music and his 'luxury' items.

Music Choices
Young Person's Guide To The Orchestra (Benjamin Britten)
"It's terribly exciting the way Britten uses the full orchestra, and introduces it stage by stage and however much one writes, I don't think, as a writer of words, I'll ever quite capture the excitement of someone sitting witnessing a full symphony orchestra."

Concerto for Oboe and Violin in C minor (Johann Sebastian Bach)
"Bach is the sort of master craftsman that I'd like to be as a writer, and which I strive to be."

Flamenco Sketches from the album Kind of Blue (Miles Davies)
"This is slightly nostalgic… it reminds me of theatrical digs and late night parties and so on."

Cinderella (Sergei Sergeyevich Prokoviev)
"It's very beautiful and it's very romantic."

When Or Where from Babes In Arms (Peggy Lee & Benny Goodman)
"One of their marvellous songs."

Welscher Tanz Wascha Mesa (Konrad Ragossnig & Ulsamer Collegium)
"This is medieval, or Renaissance music. It sort of conjures up a picture of when the world was better, but we jolly well know it wasn't."

Eclipse from Dark Side Of The Moon (Pink Floyd) *
"I'm very fond of pop… and I think this is marvellous pop."

Agnus Dei from Messe de Requiem (Camilee Saint-Saëns)
"This sort of music, I think, if I were there long enough, I'd like to die by."

Desert Island Luxuries
"It would have to be the master craftsman, Bach, I think - his double concerto."

Book: Act One (Moss Hart)
"One of the funniest books I know of… a terribly funny book about the theatre."

Luxury Item: Mellotron
"If I could take one of these with me, powered somehow, I could then play my own applause and all my own sound effects, and do my one-man dramatic society."

* The choice of Pink Floyd proved controversial and Alan received several letters bemoaning the fact this wasn't 'real' music and inappropriate for Desert Island Discs.
Copyright: Alan Ayckbourn.