38. Desert Island Poems with Alexei Sayle

Comedian, actor, presenter and writer, Alexei Sayle shares his favourite poems with Jonathan Davidson. Alexei Sayle’s television work as a writer and performer includes The Young Ones, Alexei Sayle’s Stuff, and The All New Alexei Sayle Show. His books include Thatcher Stole My Trousers and Mister Roberts.

52 – Desert Island Poems with Hugh Dennis

Hugh Dennis found fame with The Mary Whitehouse Experience and as an actor and comedian is known and loved for The Now Show, Outnumbered, Mock the Week and cult hit Fleabag among many other brilliant shows. He shares his favourite poems in conversation with Jill Abram. Local sponsors: John Goodwin and The Feathers Hotel.  

08 – Peter Tatchell’s Desert Island Poems

Community Hall Peter Tatchell has campaigned since 1967 on issues of human rights, democracy, LGBT freedom and global justice. In 1994, he named 10 Anglican bishops and urged them to “Tell The Truth” about their sexuality; accusing them of homophobia and hypocrisy. In 1999, in London, he ambushed the Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, attempting a…

18 – Desert Island Poems with Dame Eileen Atkins

Community Hall Dame Eileen Atkins was born in a Salvation Army Women’s Hostel in north London. Her father was a gas meter reader; her mother, a seamstress and barmaid. A drama teacher taught her how to drop her Cockney accent, and she studied Shakespeare and Greek tragedies. Her breakthrough role in The Killing of Sister…

48 – Edmund de Waal Desert Island Poems

Community Hall Edmund de Waal is an artist and writer. He is best known for his large scale installations of porcelain vessels which are informed by his passion for architecture, space and sound. His family memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes won many literary prizes and has been translated into over 30 languages. Other works…

46. Desert Island Poems with Shirley Williams

Shirley Williams shares her ‘desert island poems’ with Ursula Owen. The Lib-Dem grandee reflects on a life in politics, her memories of her mother Vera Brittain whose celebrated memoir, Testament of Youth, is now a film, and the poems that have helped her and inspired her along the way.

49. John Burnside’s Desert Island Poems

Festival poet in residence John Burnside tells Mark Fisher about his essential poems. Burnside is the author of eleven collections of poetry and five works of fiction and teaches Creative Writing, Literature and Ecology courses at the University of St Andrews. Latest works include All in One Breath and I Put a Spell on You….

24. Clare Short’s Desert Island Poems

Clare Short was MP for Birmingham Ladywood for 27 years and Secretary of State for International Development. In 2003, Clare resigned from the government over the Iraq war and later published An Honourable Deception? She is now active in various organisations working on slum upgrading in the developing world, transparency in oil, gas and mining,…

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