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
December 7th, 2014
Episode 466 of 579 episodes
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the Chief Executive of the Guide Association, Julie Bentley - or, more accurately, Girlguiding. The name change is surely a clue to the evolving nature of an organisation determined to be relevant and useful to girls in the 21st century. Indeed being relevant and useful is how Julie Bentley has spent her entire working life. From her early efforts at an HIV charity to running the Family Planning Association she says her passion lies with helping young people develop confidence and direction. Never a Brownie or Girl Guide herself, she was brought up in what she describes as "a happy working class family in Essex" and it took her a little while to find her own self assurance and sense of purpose. A painfully shy child, who was bullied at primary school, she later went on to become Head Girl, but left school with very few qualifications. In her 30s she used a bequest from her mother to fund her Master's degree. She says of the Girl Guides, "It is not about itchy brown uniforms and sewing and baking. It is a modern, contemporary, vibrant organisation." Producer: Christine Pawlowsky.