Desert Island Discs

BBC Radio 4

Society & Culture, Personal Journals

Chart Positions

Personal Journals 25
Society & Culture 172

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


Captain Eric 'Winkle' Brown

November 14th, 2014

Episode 458 of 567 episodes

Kirsty Young's guest is former Royal Navy test pilot Captain Eric 'Winkle' Brown - the programme's 3000th edition. The Fleet Air Arm's most decorated pilot, his life reads like a handbook in beating the odds. Landing on a flight deck is acknowledged as one of the most difficult things a pilot can do. Eric Brown has held the world record for the most flight deck landings - 2,407 - for over 65 years. He was one of only two men on his ship, HMS Audacity, to survive a German U-boat bombing. In a long and remarkable life he has witnessed first-hand momentous events in world history, from the Berlin Olympics in 1936 to the liberation of the Belsen concentration camp. Flying, he believes, is in his blood. He originally climbed into the open cockpit of a Gloster Gauntlet as a child to sit on his father's knee. Thirty years later he would pilot Britain's first ever supersonic flight. He says: "It's an exhilarating world to live in. There's always that aura of risk - you come to value life in a slightly different way." Producer: Paula McGinley.

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