Desert Island Discs

BBC Radio 4

Society & Culture, Personal Journals

Chart Positions

Society & Culture 148
Personal Journals 24

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


Sir Ben Ainslie

January 26th, 2014

Episode 396 of 567 episodes

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the sailor Sir Ben Ainslie. Eleven times World and 9 times European Champion he's also the most successful sailor in Olympic history. As he crossed the finishing line at the London 2012 Games, winning his fourth gold, the crowd gave a rousing rendition of Rule Britannia: indeed he rules the waves with such a ruthless will to win it seems somewhat contradictory that on dry land he comes across as an unassuming bloke from Cornwall. He was eight when, in a duffle coat and wellies, he made his first solo journey in a little wooden boat. Ever since sailing has been his obsession. He's brave, strong and skilled, but it's his tactical nouse and maverick streak that sets him apart. In last year's America's Cup he turned a 1-8 defeat into a 9-8 win for the US. Whether he can do the same for his home team may be his next big challenge. He says, "The desire to win is still the same as ever ... if it wasn't there, that would be a worry. Motivation has never really been a problem for me." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.