Desert Island Discs: 8 reasons this podcast is an absolute MUST

As BBC institutions go, Desert Island Discs is easily one of the most recognisable.

Running since 1942, the radio programme has boasted countless world-famous guests who punctuate their life story with the help of eight musical tracks.

From actors, authors and activists to performers and philanthropists, guests share the songs which they would choose to bring to a desert island, and ultimately provide the listener with a snapshot of their life rarely shown in a regular interviews set-up.

Currently hosted by Kirsty Young, the Sunday morning show is available as a weekly podcast, and here are just 8 reasons why it needs to go to the top of your list.

1. Kirsty's tone of voice

Her soft Scottish brogue is undeniably one of the most appealing aspects of the weekly podcast.

Having replaced Sue Lawley as presenter back in 2006, Kirsty definitely has a way of getting her guests to open up in a manner not possessed by all her predecessors.

2. The discovery of new music

Discovering new music is easily one of the best things about Desert Island Discs, and if you have a particular fondness for a guest it's always interesting to know why a particular track means so much to them.

There are few people who listen to the weekly programme, and don't instantly update their music library afterwards.

3. The memorial moments

Over the course of the last 75 years, the show has had its fair share of memorable moments, confessions and reveals from some of the world's most renowned stars.

Always deftly navigated by Kirsty, the listener is quite regularly privy to remarkable conversations which rarely feel scripted, edited or peppered with soundbites.

4. The chosen book

In addition to choosing eight tracks, each guest is required to choose one book they would like to bring to the island with them.

BBC kindly gift them with the Bible (or Koran or Torah as appropriate) before marooning them, although not all guests are particularly impressed by the suggestion they might ever turn a page in the religious tomes.

5. The oh-so-important luxury

And in an effort to make decades alone seem more appealing, the good folk behind the programme also allow the guest to choose a luxury item which might make their time on the island a bit more bearable.

George Michael chose a car (despite at the time being banned from driving) Lily Allen chose her daughter's blankie, Ricky Gervais chose a vat of Novacaine while Simon Cowell, unsurprisingly, chose a mirror.

6. The tearful moments

There is something particularly refreshing about an interview which doesn't attempt to sidestep the subject's more difficult periods.

From Kylie Minogue recalling her relationship with the late Michael Hutchence to Jo Malone recalling her husband's battle with a life-threatening illness, the candid nature of the programme does much to set it apart.

7. The question you didn't know you wanted answered.

When it comes to Desert Island Discs, you always know you're in for an in-depth, no-holds-barred conversation, but often times the guest is thrown a curve ball and asked to reflect on a particular period in their life which you didn't realise you were so fascinated by.

And whether it's Kirsty's engaging manner or other extenuating factors, guests will almost always spill the deets.

8. The theme song

By The Sleepy Lagoon is like clutching a hot mug of tea or stepping into a warm bath – comforting, reassuring and utterly calming.

And if you don't believe us, have a listen for yourself…

Credit: Images BBC