Forest Radio logo small

Twitter: @forestradioE17

A Lockdown Homage to Desert Island Discs

For a bit of Lockdown diversion David Gardiner and some of his friends organised a spoof/tribute version of the long-running BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs.

In this series a well-known celebrity is told that they are to be marooned on a desert island and asked which eight gramophone records they would like to take with them and why. Through the subsequent discussion we learn a great deal about the celebrity in question, including their life story, personality, tastes and values, as well as their beliefs concerning their practical abilities and the luxuries they would find most difficult to forego.

For the Forest Radio version we have limited the choice of "gramophone records" (not often you hear of those nowadays) to six, and tried to conduct the whole proceedings over Zoom, swapping the interviewer's chair for each session. In this session David is interviewed by fellow Walthamstow resident Jean Seecharan, whose microphione leaves something to be desired. The music quality that can be achieved over Zoom link-ups also tends to justify the use of the term "gramophone records". However, in all the session recordings that follow we have tidied up the recording using video editing software and inserted full original-quality versions of all the music. Even if you have visited the page before it's worth viewing the featured recording (David interviewed by Jean Seecharan) once again to enjoy it at much better quality. Making these amateur versions of Desert Island Disc episodes is a pleasurable diversion for all concerned and something you might like to try doing yourself during lockdown. Please see "A Modest Proposal" below.

If you have a go at a home-brew Desert Island Discs or something similar please record the result (Both Zoom and Skype allow you to do this) and send us the recording using Dropbox or a similar file-forwarding service, or if you prefer by means of a memory stick shoved through the letter box of 55 Elmsdale Road E17 6PN. We'll be happy to add it to the Forest Radio website and return your memory stick when we've done so.

Our email address is:


This version of Desert Island Discs was set up for the enjoyment of the participants, letting the Forest Radio audience have a look was an afterthought. Forest Radio's Adele and myself (David) have been discussing a version designed for our station in which we would interview anybody who wanted to participate and put it up on the website for all to enjoy.

Our idea is to return to something closer to the original Radio 4 format by having just two people in the "studio", which would simplify everything considerably and remove the risk of interruptions and "noises off". The ideal platform would be not Zoom but Skype, which gives better sound quality and, as it uses less bandwidth, is more reliable and less dependent on very fast Broadband. Also, programmes wouldn't need to go out live, so we could insert the music at high quality, or even intersperse the discussion with actual YouTube music videos, or pictures of the artists. Music doesn't work very well on either Zoom or Skype but with the edited format it would be at Forest Radio's usual high sound quality.

If the idea appeals to you as an enjoyable Lockdown activity, just email in the first instance letting us know what questions you would like us to ask and what music you would like to choose. No need to send actual music tracks unless they're material that isn't generally available. We'll make a date with you for a Skype session and get all the talk side of things recorded. Then a day or two later you'll be able to view the whole edited version on the Forest Radio website.

Please do give it a go. If you like we can give you a private viewing of the finished item before making it live on the website. Our email address, as ever, is:

The songs chosen by David were:

The Mountains of Mourne ~ Liam McFadden

Ghost Riders in the Sky ~ Stan Jones

Only our Rivers Run Free ~ Kathleen Largey

Seems So Long Ago, Nancy ~ Leonard Cohen

Both Sides Now ~ Judy Collins

RUNNING TIME: 45 minutes 56 sec.

Some More Forest Radio Desert Island Disc Files

When we played our Desert Island Disc game various people in the group recorded the sessions, and we are in the process of collecting together as many recordings as we can, mainly for our own amusement and to show to family and friends it has to be admitted, but they also serve to show roughly what can be done using either Zoom or, for one-to-one sessions, Skype. Tese are "naked" files, not webpages, so they may not play on every device, but they will "stream" on most devices and play perfectly well. No guarantees though. We will be adding to these as the days go by.

Julia Duggleby interviews Pat Norwood

Pat Norwood interviews Julia Duggleby

Maggie Freeake interviews Jean Duggleby

For best image quality view in "full page" mode

If your browser is unable to play this video you can download it from this link:

MP4 Format: Desert Island Discs Tribute

Subscribe to our mailing list

Guestbookguestbook icon