Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Defining the Discographic Self – Desert Island Discs in Context - British Academy Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Defining the Discographic Self: Desert Island Discs in Context

Julie Brown, Nicholas Cook, and Stephen Cottrell


The radio programme Desert Island Discs has run almost continuously since 1942, and represents a unique record of the changing place of music in British society. In 2011, recognising its iconic status, the BBC created an online archive that includes podcasts of all programmes from 1976 on, and many from earlier years. Based on this and extensive documentary evidence, Defining the Discographic Self: ‘Desert Island Discs’ in Context for the first time brings together musicologists, sociologists, and media scholars to reflect on the programme’s significance, its position within the BBC and Britai ... More

Keywords: radio, castaway, celebrity, media culture, identity, self, class, taste, emotion, music

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780197266175
Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2018 DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266175.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Julie Brown, editor
Professor of Music, Royal Holloway, University of London

Nicholas Cook, editor
1684 Professor of Music, University of Cambridge

Stephen Cottrell, editor
Professor of Music, City, University of London

Show Summary Details

subscribe or login to access all content.



1 Introduction: Desert Island Discs in context

Julie Brown, Nicholas Cook, and Stephen Cottrell

Personal Spin A

Lemn Sissay

Desert Island Discs in historical perspective

Personal Spin B

Derek Drescher

Personal Spin C

Anthony Wall

Cultural ideologies and the politics of sound

Personal Spin D

Uta Frith

Personal Spin E

Angie Hobbs

Desert Island Discs and British identities

Personal Spin F

Mary Beard

Personal Spin G

Nick Hornby

Narrativising and caring for the self

Personal Spin H

Debbie Wiseman

Personal Spin I

Steven Isserlis

Personal Spin J

Gavin Bryars

End Matter