Desert Island Discs
Desert Island Discs was created by Roy Plomley in 1942, and the format is simple.
Eight tracks, a book and a luxury: what would you take to a desert island? Guests share the soundtrack of their lives.
Sun 23 Feb 2020
BBC Radio 4
Melanie Chisholm - known as Melanie C - is a singer and songwriter who found global fame as one fifth of the Spice Girls, the most commercially successful female group ever.
Melanie was one of 400 other hopefuls who answered an advertisement to form a new girl band in 1994 - little knowing how her life would be turned upside down by fame and worldwide success. She was given the nickname Sporty Spice and presented what she calls a "gobby' persona to the outside world, but inside she was a shy girl who preferred to stay in the background.
She grew up in Merseyside and as a child she loved performing. At 16 she attended the Doreen Bird College of Arts, aiming for a career in musical theatre. By her early 20s, she was an international star: Spice world was a high-octane life of constant recording and touring and the accompanying press scrutiny contributed to a stressful environment. As the pressure intensified Melanie suffered from eating disorders and in 2000 she was diagnosed with depression. Her recovery was long and painful but she says finally getting a diagnosis enabled her to begin the process of getting better.
When the Spice Girls went their separate ways for a while Melanie began a career as a successful solo artist. In 2009 she played Mrs Johnstone in the West End production of Willy Russell's musical Blood Brothers, earning five star reviews and standing ovations. Recently she has been back on stage with the Spice Girls on their stadium tour.
Presenter: Lauren Laverne
Producer: Paula McGinley
01. I Wish
Songs In The Key Of Life Vol.1
03. Prince Charming
Adam and the Ants
05. Girls & Boys
06. everything i wanted
Everything I Wanted (single)
07. Heaven on Their Minds
Unmasked The Platinum Collection
08. You'll Never Walk Alone
Gerry & the Pacemakers
20 Year Anniversary Album
Guests from all walks of life discuss their musical loves and hates.
Michael Berkeley talks to author Chibundu Onuzo about the challenge of writing novels while studying for her A-levels, and the role of music and faith in her life.
At the age of nineteen Chibundu became the youngest female writer ever to be signed by Faber and Faber. She started writing aged ten while growing up in Lagos, Nigeria and was working on her first novel, ‘The Spider King’s Daughter’, while doing her A levels at boarding school in England. It was published while she was still at university and was shortlisted for a host of prizes – winning a 2013 Betty Trask Award. Her second novel, ‘Welcome to Lagos’, was published in 2017 to great acclaim.
Chibundu talks to Michael Berkeley about growing up in Lagos, and the challenge of adapting to life at boarding school in Britain. She chooses a carol, ‘I Wonder as I Wander’, that she sang with her school choir in Winchester Cathedral. The soundtrack to a Nigerian television advert from the 1990s speaks to her about the tensions between Western and traditional values in Nigeria. We hear a miniature by Christian Petzold that will be familiar to anyone who has ever learned the piano, alongside music from Handel and from Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, ‘From the New World’.
And, in a special moment for Private Passions, Chibundu is joined in the studio by members of her family to sing a setting of Psalm 23 by her uncle, Bishop Ken Okeke.
Produced by Jane Greenwood.
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 3
Minuet in G
Performer: Lang Lang
George Frideric Handel
Hallelujah Chorus (Messiah)
Choir: Crouch End Festival Chorus
Orchestra: City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: David Temple
I wonder as I wander
Singer: Gerald Finley
Choir: The Cambridge Singers
Conductor: John Rutter
Symphony no.9 in E minor (From the New World)(2nd mvt: Largo)
Orchestra: Chineke! Orchestra
Conductor: Kevin John Edusei
My baby just cares for me
Performer: Nina Simone
The Lord is my Shepherd (Psalm 23)
Performer: Chibundu Onuzo