Former Royal Navy test pilot Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown CBE is The Navy Fleet Air Arm’s most decorated pilot and has held the record for the most flight deck landings for over 65 years. He is also considered to have flown more types of aircraft than anyone else in history.
“Captain Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown was the perfect castaway to celebrate our 3000th edition. Talking to him about his remarkable, dare-devil life was like touching history. A charming and twinkly man.” – presenter Kirsty Young
Desert Island Discs began 72 years ago and is one of the longest running interview programmes in the world. From Aung San Suu Kyi to Elton John, Nicole Kidman and Stephen Hawking, the thousands of castaways on the series have included people from all walks of life who have played a significant role in their specialist field or in society.
Guests share personal, memorable and defining moments in their life punctuated by their choice of eight tracks. They are also allowed a luxury item and over the years these have included some intriguing choices including a continental railway timetable (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959), a Union Jack (Barbara Windsor, 1990), tweezers and a blow-up chair (Ant and Dec, 2013) and a stuffed version of Michael Palin (John Cleese, 1997).
The very first edition was recorded in the BBC’s bomb-damaged Maida Vale studio on 27 January 1942 and aired in the Forces Programme two days later.
“We all love Desert Island Discs – and the incomparable Kirsty. What is thrilling for me is to see this Radio 4 jewel of a programme take on new life in the digital world. Listeners – and often young listeners – are discovering it and exploring the rich archive, so it brings Radio 4 to new audiences as people listen in different ways. Here’s to the next 3000 editions.” – Gwyneth Williams, Controller of BBC Radio 4
The 3000th episode airs on Friday November 14th on BBC Radio 4 at 9am. Young also presents BBC One’s Crimewatch for the corporation.