David Beckham to reveal his Desert Island Discs for show's 75th anniversary

David Beckham to reveal his Desert Island Discs for show's 75th anniversary

Former England footballer David Beckham will be Kirsty Young’s castaway to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs.

The popular BBC Radio 4 series, which was the brainchild of broadcaster Roy Plomley, will celebrate the milestone on January 29.

The episode will also reintroduce sounds of the sea during the opening and closing of the programme, for the first time since the 1960s.

Kirsty with David Beckham (BBC)
Kirsty with David Beckham (BBC)

David said: “I’m delighted to join Desert Island Discs for its 75th anniversary celebrations. Music has been a huge part of my – and my family’s – life and it is a real pleasure to highlight that on such an iconic programme.”

Kirsty took over hosting the show in 2006 following the departure of its first-ever female presenter, Sue Lawley, who stepped down after 18 years and around 750 castaway interviews, according to the official website of the radio show.

She said: “75 is a birthday worth celebrating and having David Beckham as my castaway seems like the perfect gift. His sporting legacy is of course extraordinary.

“And along with his charisma, cultural impact and humanitarian work, he is a modern man of many parts. He’ll be a fascinating guest to welcome on to my little interview island!”

Previous host Kirsty Young
Kirsty Young (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The format of the show sees Kirsty asking guests to choose eight tracks, a book and a luxury item that they would take with them if they were to be stranded on a desert island.

While discussing their choices, Kirsty interviews her guests, who have ranged from A-list Hollywood stars such as Tom Hanks to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, about their lives.

The 75th celebration will kick off with a special three-hour programme on January 28, presented by Kirsty on BBC Radio 4 Extra, called Desert Island Discs At 75.

During the special, Kirsty will showcase some of the best moments from the series and will feature extracts from recently rediscovered episodes.

Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks (Matt Crossick/PA)

These include an episode from 1958 during which soprano Dame Elisabeth Schwarzkopf chose seven of her own recordings to be played on the show.

An additional show on Radio 4 Extra, Desert Island Discs Revisited, will see a run of recordings of notable guests over the years featured.

Roy Plomley
Roy Plomley

Extended versions of interviews will also be added to the online archive as part of the 75th anniversary.

The first-ever castaway on the show was actor and comedian Vic Oliver, whose first piece of music featured was pianist Alfred Cortot playing Chopin.