Sunday, 29 January 2012

Illustrated Retrospace: Desert Island Discs at 70

"I do believe it's the man from
Desert Island discs"
- Roy Plomley's
Desert Island Book
- David & Charles, 1979
Today is the radio series Desert Island Discs 70th Birthday, so what better way to launch a new feature on Retrospace than with a new series of posts celebrating a variety of subjects through the medium of illustrations.

These can form the basis of pretty much any form of gathered ephemera from newspaper cuttings, programme billings, drawings, photographs, autographs. I'll be diving through my collection of material to share items in coming posts and of course if you see anything you can add to with a scan please get in touch!

So on with Desert Island Discs... I'm shipwrecked, armed with 8 gramophone records, a luxury and the complete works of Shakepeare, the Bible and a favourite book... Lets look back over a remarkable 70 years!

Comedian and entertainer Vic Oliver was
Roy Plomley's first castaway in January 1942

- Radio Times, 1983
Vic Oliver was the first Castaway on Desert Island Discs in January 1942, a documentary about him broadcast on BBC Radio 4 this week revealed how he annoyed the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and earned Adolf Hitler's enmity... Read More about Vic Oliver at BBC News
Singer Adelaide Hall is
the castaway on 2 December 1972,
she would be castaway again in 1991

- Radio Times, 1972
Singer Adelaide Hall was castaway to the mythical desert island twice. The first time on December 2, 1972 then nearly two decades later in January 1991. Read more about her choices at The Desert Island Discs website.
Dad's Army actor John Le Mesurier was a castaway
in 1973
- Andy Howells
Here's a rough illustration of castaway John Le Mesurier I drew for an article on Dad's Army's Desert Island Discs for the DAAS newsletter Permission To Speak Sir! I never finished the illustration to a satisfactory standard and so it got filed away. I thought some Desert Island Discs and Dad's Army fans might enjoy seeing it! Read more about Dad's Army's Desert Island Discs at Walmington-On-Sea 333.
Cover artwork for Roy Plomley's
Desert Island Book
- David & Charles, 1979
I love the front cover of this book compiled by Roy Plomley in 1979, totally summing up the concept of been a castaway on Desert Island Discs. The book itself is filled with a wide variety of Desert Island illustrations.
Roy Plomley - The creator and original
presenter of Desert Island Discs, 1975
A nice portrait of Desert Island Discs Roy Plomley which features on the rear of his 1975 book about the history of the programme.
Autograph of Roy Plomley from my signed copy
Plomley's Pick of Desert Island Discs - 1982
A few years ago I purchased a signed copy of Roy Plomley's Pick Of Desert Island Discs which features a selection of Plomley's favourite interviews from the programme. One wonders if he hadn't died a few years later if there would have been further volumes!

For much more on Desert Island Discs including an archive of programmes and all the castaways choices visit the official Desert Island Discs website. Also check out Andy Walmsley's Random Radio Jottings for more Desert Island Discs treats and my article on Suite101 for a brief history on the programme.

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