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As Radio 4 's Desert Island Discs enters its 70th year, our Scraperwiki spreadsheet reveals a number of themes running through castaways' choices over the past seven decades. With the entire Desert Island Discs archive now available on the BBC Radio 4 websiteguests' selections of books and luxuries are comprehensively revealed in all their profound, surprising - and occasionally downright odd - glory.
Since the programme began ina total of 43 guests, including Terry Wogan and George Clooney, elected to while away the hours with Tolstoy's War and Peace, according to the BBC archive. Camila Batmanghelidjh and Raymond Tallis chose the existentialist writings of Sartre and Heidegger to aid the solitude, but Proust was the philosopher of choice, featuring in at least 50 episodes.
Unsurprisingly, booze featured heavily on the imaginary island, with politicians particularly keen on a tipple. David Cameron was one of dozens of guests who wanted whisky, while David Davis requested "a magic wine cellar which never runs out". Lord Brian Rix's choice of a "proper orthopaedic cushion" epitomised the trend towards home comforts: Christabel Bielenberg chose a "comfortable chair"; Daniel Baremboin a piano with a mattress.
The musical instrument was a winner, with guests, including Sir Ian McKellen, opting for a piano - perhaps unsurprisingly given of the show's guests have been from stage, screen and radio, and from music backgrounds.
Guitars were next, with 57 appearances in the archive. Five castaways chose the trombone and 12 chose the saxophone. One: James Mason inwanted bagpipes, to the undoubted consternation of island wildlife.
Ever resourceful, guests have increasingly chosen to harness solar power in their attempts to stay sane on the island. Thirty-six chose solar-powered items, the most eye opening of which being the solar-powered vibrator chosen by Cornelia Parker.
Desert Island Discs Diary
No doubt the ingeniously simple and effective Desert Island Discs format will continue to provide interesting data for years to come. What do you think of the castaways' choices? And how different will they look in another 70 years' time?
The 70th anniversary edition of Desert Island Discs, featuring Sir David Attenborough in his fourth appearance on the show, will be broadcast on Sunday 29 January. Data journalism and data visualisations from the Guardian. Turn autoplay off Turn autoplay on. Jump to content [s] Jump to comments [c] Jump to site navigation  Jump to search  Terms and conditions .
News Datablog. Desert island discs: every guest listed What have we learnt from 70 years of Desert Island Discs? Roy Plomley, creator and original presenter of Desert Island Discs. Some more facts from the archives: 1.
The 70th anniversary edition of Desert Island Discs, featuring Sir David Attenborough in his fourth appearance on the show, will be broadcast on Sunday 29 January Data summary Desert island discs castaways Click heading to sort Date.
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To comment on crosswords, please switch over to the new version to comment. Read more All rights reserved. A happy photograph of his whole family including the latest grandchildren. A child's guide to boatbuilding and Short Stories by O Henry. His diary which he has kept since he was 18, to relive his life since Cyanide tablet if he can't a tower and telescope, or a full-size snooker table.
Paper, pen and watercolours to record the plant life on the island. Video recorder and tapes of the Queen Mother's parade. Hot lemon flannels as provided in Chinese restaurants. Political works and music criticism by George Bernard Shaw.
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Unlimited supply of A4 white paper and cartridges for fountain pen. A virtual reality London Symphony Orchestra so he can conduct it. Portable radio with an endless supply of batteries. A fluffy purple worm which has been taken everywhere.
Two photographs one of his wife; one of Blackburn Rovers team. A copy of Chinese dictionary Cihai, which means Sea of Words. Opera di M. Bartolomeo Scappi recipe book of the Pope's chef in A never ending supply of pressed shirts and trousers.
Ice-cream maker especially for rum and raisin flavour. History of viticulture, with instructions on how to make wine.
Bundle of prunings from a good vineyard so he can plant his own vines.
Desert island discs: every guest listed
Translation of Shakespeare in either German, Italian or Czech. If a hot island - a huge bottle of suntan lotion and if a cold island - a pillow. A tandem bike with wooden models of his family on the front. A special compilation of all of David Attenborough's books.
Banjo with plastic head and an inexhaustible supply of strings and pegs. Cyanide, in a joint, in champagne truffle in a fridge.
The works of E. Forster, P.
Castaway Book Choices
James and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Her entire outfit including her Andrew Logan brooch. The lower half of the west window of Fairford Church, Gloucestershire. A large photo of a lot of people at a race meeting.
The document volumes of the Churchill biography by Martin Gilbert. A giant photo album of his children and grandchildren which goes back over 20 years. A set of different fragrances from the people she loves. Collapsible concrete model of Broadcasting House with plastic announcers etc.
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Fully restored Morris Minor Traveller with wooden detail. A very long stainless steel shaft to encourage pole dancing mermaids. Denison - a raft to fish Gray - a large supply of insecticide. Recorder and a portrait of Dame Sybil Thorndike. A set of books on Roman Republican and Imperial Coinage. Huge copy of The Times atlas - largest available so he can see where he has been countries so far.
The microscope used to examine the lineage of the roundworm. Vanity case including metal mirror and shaving kit. Specially-commissioned John Ward painting of family and friends.
Picture of Charlie Chaplin and model of a Rolls Royce.
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A life size laminated photo of James Caan from Dragon's Den. World of Wonder: 10, things every child should know. A sand wedge and endless golf balls for playing golf. John Constable's painting of Willy Lott's cottage. Hans Christian Andersen's mechanical bird and birdcage.
His wife Ruth, but if this is disallowed then a painting. A nice bed with comfortable mattress, sheets and mosquito net. Apophthegmata Patrum early writing of Egyptian fathers.
Blank sheets to write his thoughts on imagnation and memory. Molecular engineering laboratory - to construct a dog. Songs from the s with piano accompanimnet by Schubert.
Divine Comedy by Dante in Italian with English translation. A ceramic bowl from the village of Istalif in Afghanistan.
English translations and original Italian works by Dante Alighieri. Manual of astronomy plus a bookmark with a photograph of Michelangelo's Pieta. Murdoch - A test-your-strength fairground machine Horne - a mah-jong set. A clock given to him for turning on the Oxford lights.
Collected poems edition or not stated of Phillip Larkin. A power shower with white fluffy towels and constant hot water. Tape recorder with a cassette of recordings from home. Two packs of cards with photographs of his family on the backs. Doesn't read books - needs notepaper and pens to write recipes. Leatherman - like a Swiss Army Knife but more substantial.
Photograph album of family, friends and colleagues.