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


Sir Torquil Norman

December 12th, 2010

Episode 122 of 567 episodes

Kirsty Young's castaway week is the aviator, inventor and arts patron, Sir Torquil Norman. He comes from a family where derring-do is in the DNA - his grandfather was a pioneering airman, his grandmother an adventurer and his father also a keen pilot. Torquil ended up in the toy trade where the skills needed were, he says, a close attention to detail combined with the outlook on life of a seven year old. He was, he admits, perfectly qualified. In retirement he set about his biggest project - he bought a disused railway engine shed and raised tens of millions of pounds to safeguard its future as a venue for performing arts and a centre for young people. Record: Nobody Knows You when You're Down and Out - Bessie Smith Book: Book by his father: Nigel Norman - Verses 1911 - 1943. Luxury: A miniature still with a little ice-making machine attached to it to make dry martinis.

Featured Podcast