Waugh Featured on Desert Island Discs

A recent episode of the BBC’s Desert Island Discs featured TV comedy writers Maurice Gran and Laurence Marks. They are probably best known for their political satire series The New Statesman starring the late Rik Mayall as MP Alan B’Stard.

For his Desert Island book, Gran chose, somewhat anticipating their publication, the Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh.  His favorite record was Aretha Franklin’s A Natural Woman and his luxury was a really big drum kit. Marks’ favorites were: book–his own diary; record–Choral No. 58 from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion; and luxury–his choice of Chateau d’Yquem from 1900-2001, a fridge, and a set of Sauternes glasses. Waugh might well have approved of that luxury.

Waugh was, however, never a “castaway”on Desert Island Discs. He wasn’t fond of music and, in fact, once commented to Igor Stravinsky that he sometimes found listening to it painful. Perhaps this was related to his later loss of hearing. Waugh did, on the other hand, seem to enjoy musical comedy and is reported to have made multiple trips to performances of The Beggar’s Opera and Kiss Me Kate.

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