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FIRST LEGENDS, NOW CASTAWAYS

We are now at last able to confirm officially that we are about to be jointly castaway on adjacent desert islands, with four gramophone records each. We recorded our Desert Island Discs in July, but were sworn to secrecy, with the threat of never being rescued. Our edition will be transmitted on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday, September 27, at 11.15am, and will be repeated the following Friday, October 2, at 9am.

It’s hard to believe, but we’re told there are people who have never heard of Desert Island Discs, probably the world’s most famous and longest running radio programme. Those people should be cast away on a desert island. It would serve them right. We, on the other hand, have always felt that this Robinson Crusoe-like fate – and we know some of you have never heard of Robinson Crusoe – remains one of the highest accolades the British establishment can bestow, far more satisfying than a mere knighthood. Though if Jeremy gets to Number 10, who knows.

Nevertheless, we did protest to the producer that surely being joint castaways is an anomaly, if not a contradiction. But since this fate was graciously accepted by our scriptwriting heroes Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, we agreed to endure the compromise as long as we were allowed our separate luxuries. However, Kirsty Young, the delightful interviewer, drew the line at authorising the luxury of four extra gramophone records.

Millions of people play the parlour game of trying to whittle their favourite discs down to a preposterous eight; imagine our individual difficulty of limiting ourselves to four each. Luckily, we can tolerate each other’s musical taste, so assuming our islands are reasonably close, and we manage to rescue our powerful hi-fi systems from the sinking ship, Maurice should be able to enjoy (SPOILER ALERT) Laurence’s favourite record, The Birdy Song, by Seventies supergroup Black Lace, whilst Laurence can dance around to Maurice’s beloved, The Collected Speeches of Stanley Baldwin, by Thirties heart-throb, Neville Chamberlain.