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Defining the Discographic SelfDesert Island Discs in Context$
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Julie Brown, Nicholas Cook, and Stephen Cottrell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266175

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266175.001.0001

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Introduction: Desert Island Discs in context

Introduction: Desert Island Discs in context

(p.1) 1 Introduction: Desert Island Discs in context
Defining the Discographic Self

Julie Brown

Nicholas Cook

Stephen Cottrell

, Julie Brown, Nicholas Cook, Stephen Cottrell
British Academy

This chapter provides an overview of the long-standing and highly popular British radio programme Desert Island Discs (DID). It sets out the historical contexts in which the programme was established and developed, and interrogates both its changing format and the meanings and values that have been associated with DID over time. Developments in the production process are also assessed, including the impact of various presenters and the selection of castaways, as well as the programme’s place in broader media culture and its relationship to particular national identities. Finally, it considers the potential value of DID to the world of scholarship, particularly following the establishment in 2011 of the programme’s online archive, and the contribution of chapter authors to the realisation of that potential.

Keywords:   Desert Island Discs history, DID history, presenters, castaways, national identity, media culture, Desert Island Discs online archive, DID online archive

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