Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Andy Kershaw on 'Desert Island Discs'

13 March 2007

I am a relative newcomer to Andy Kershaw's loyal band of listeners but, like many people, I have quickly become somewhat obsessive! I don't think I have a missed a single edition of his weekly Radio 3 show since I started listening in November 2002 - and many weeks I've listened to it at least twice (it's those tracks that stick after two or three hearings that are the really interesting ones!). Favourites that I first discovered through the Kershaw programme include Monica Vasconcelos, Rokia Traore, Kamel Nitrate, Jim Moray, Jim Halstain, Athena Andreadis, Horace X, K'Naan and many others. To use the word 'eclectic' would be an understatement - when Andy was banished from Radio 1, Roger Wright famously tempted him to join Radio 3 by saying the thing he liked about Andy's show was that he never knew what to expect next - almost exactly the reason the Radio 1 Controller had given for sacking him! A few weeks ago Andy told his listeners that he had been invited to be a guest on 'Desert Island Discs' and was agonising about how he would choose just 8 records - at that stage he said he had narrowed it down to about 1000. Somehow he managed it and his appearance on 'Desert Island Discs' was broadcast on Radio 4 this week. He came over as honest, passionate, shy, emotional, incredibly enthusiastic and with an encyclopedic knowledge of world politics and music. His idiosyncratic brand of journalism is always fascinating and compelling - particularly when he is reporting from one of the more troubed parts of the world. I was very chuffed having correctly guessed 4 of his 8 choices - you can see the full list at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/desertislanddiscs.shtml#discs. But I was also intrigued to realise that I'm not particularly keen on many of his personal musical favourites. In fact we have very little in common - I don't share any of his passions for motorcycles, fishing or boxing. Yet I could not contemplate missing the Andy Kershaw show because what we do share is an insatiable appetite for music that is new and different. One listener suggested he might alleviate the pain of selecting just 8 records by devoting this week's edition of his regular Radio 3 show (now on Monday nights at 11.15 pm - see http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/andykershaw/) to all those tracks that didn't quite make it. You can hear the results at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/networks/radio3/aod.shtml?radio3/andykershaw



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