Desert Island Discs

BBC Radio 4

Society & Culture, Personal Journals

Chart Positions

Personal Journals 29
Society & Culture 194

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


Ruthie Henshall

August 17th, 2008

Episode 16 of 566 episodes

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the actress Ruthie Henshall. A West End and Broadway star she has performed in many of the most successful productions of the past twenty years, including Miss Saigon, Les Miserables and Chicago. On stage she has left audiences and reviewers breathless at the dazzling brilliance of her performances. But, off-stage, her life has often been defined more by shade than light. In this moving interview she talks openly about the abuse she endured as a child and the depression she suffered as an adult. She speaks too of her grief after the death of her "warm and brilliant" sister Noel last year and of the lasting impact Noel has had on her life. Now, Ruthie's happily married with two young daughters but, of the dark days behind her, she says, "I'd spent so many years entertaining and pretending everything was alright, but no matter where you get to it's never enough: you're always looking for the next thing." [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs] Favourite track: Over the Rainbow by Eva Cassidy Book: The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde Luxury: A jar of Hellman's mayonnaise.