7th August 1961

Gerald Durrell features on Desert Island Discs

Jersey-based naturalist Gerald Durrell was Roy Plomley’s castaway on BBC Radio 4’s long-running interview and music programme at 1.30pm on Monday 7 August 1961. The programme was broadcast on the Home Service.

Durrell chose eight tracks, as is customary, starting with Rex Harrison’s A Hymn to Him. The rest was a mix of classical, popular and world music. Zulu Music’s Guabi Guabi was followed by Tikiminiki by Los Incas. Eartha Kitt was included for her song Just an Old Fashioned Girl, as was Flanders and Swann’s A Gnu, and The Almond Tree from Chorus with Mandolin and Orchestra.

His two classical choices were Mozart’s Der Hölle Rache from The Magic Flute and Beethoven’s Symphony Number 8 in F major. He named the latter as his favourite choice and thus the one record he would save if there was a risk of the collection being washed away.

All castaways can take one book (aside from the Bible and Complete Works of Shakespeare, both of which are supplied), and a luxury to the desert island with them. Durrell chose Encyclopaedia Britannica as his book and writing materials as his luxury.


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