Desert Island Discs was created by Roy Plomley in 1942, and the format is simple: a guest is invited by Kirsty Young to choose the eight records they would take with them to a desert island
January 20th, 2013
Episode 305 of 579 episodes
TV producer Beryl Vertue is Kirsty Young's castaway on Desert Island Discs. In the famously fickle world of telly where last year's hero is this year's zero she has stood the test of time. Indeed in TV circles the noun "vertuosity" is defined as "the ability to make enormously successful sitcoms for British television and then sell the formats to the American market". The cast list of her working life is a who's who of quality broadcasting and includes Jack Lemmon, Galton & Simpson, Frankie Howerd, Jack Nicholson and most recently Benedict Cumberbatch. She started out typing Goon Show scripts in the mid 50s, accidentally became an agent, and as a producer she has risen to the very top of her industry, with hits including the rock musical Tommy, the sit-com Men Behaving Badly and the drama series Sherlock. She says "it's terribly important not to know too many rules. If you know rules and obstacles you spend a lot of time dealing with them. If you don't know there's a rule you just do it." Producer: Alison Hughes.