Episode

Desert Island Discs

BBC Radio 4

Society & Culture, Personal Journals

Chart Positions

Personal Journals 25
Society & Culture 180

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

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Dame Elish Angiolini

February 9th, 2014

Episode 400 of 573 episodes

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the lawyer Dame Elish Angiolini. The first woman to become both Scotland's Solicitor General and Lord Advocate she's currently principal of St Hugh's College Oxford. It's a long way from Govan where her father heaved bags of coal round the streets and there wasn't always money for the meter. She was the youngest of four and by her own admission being "gabby" was the only way she got heard. It's an early skill that seems to have served her pretty well - in the legal establishment she gained a reputation as a gutsy moderniser, unafraid to challenge the system. Among her innovations a pioneering support scheme for vulnerable victims and establishing the National Crimes Sex Unit for Scotland - the first of its kind in Europe. Her predisposition to seeing things from the victim's point of view might have something to do with her own experience - in 1984 she was badly injured in a rail disaster that killed 13 others - including the two men sitting opposite her. She says "... Advocacy is a great life skill. If you go to your bank manager asking for an overdraft, or if you barter at a market, you are employing advocacy skills. It is all about empathy and charisma." Producer: Paula McGinley.

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