Desert Island Discs

BBC Radio 4

Society & Culture, Personal Journals

Chart Positions

Personal Journals 31

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


Steve McQueen

September 21st, 2014

Episode 444 of 566 episodes

Kirsty Young's castaway is the artist and director Steve McQueen. These days his talents are well recognized - his art has won The Turner Prize and his most recent movie, "12 Years A Slave" scooped an Academy Award, a Bafta and a Golden Globe. He wasn't always as lauded: at school in West London he was "shoved to one side" in the belief that the best he could hope for was to earn a living as a manual labourer. Instead he portrays the extremes of what human beings put themselves and others through. Expression is where his heart lies - he describes it as "dancing with ghosts". Along with reaching the top of two professions he has also managed to please the diverging demands of his parents - his father wanted him to get a trade, his mother urged him to do what he wanted. He says, "I want to make films that are essential. We're all going to die and we haven't got a lot of time on this planet. Life goes very quickly, so we might as well make films people will go to see because they need it or want it." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.