Celebrate Desert Island Discs' Birthday With These Classic Episodes

This weekend, Desert Island Discs celebrates its 75th birthday with a series of special programmes, including yet another coup for the BBC Radio 4 staple: None other than David Beckham is becoming Kirsty Young's castaway.

Booking Becks is a testament to the show's enduring appeal and the sky-high esteem in which it's held. Since it launched in 1942, Desert Island Discs has asked more than 3,000 castaways to choose eight recordings, a book and a luxury item they would take if they were to be marooned on a desert island. A few very special guests, including David Attenborough and the late Terry Wogan, have actually become castaways twice.

Of course, their selections are just one aspect of the Desert Island Discs magic. The show's four hosts – creator Roy Plomley (1942-1985), Michael Parkinson (1985-1988), Sue Lawley (1988-2006), and Kirsty Young (2006-present) – are masters at gently coaxing recollections and revelations that other shows just don't get. Ahead, find eight of our favourite-ever episodes, with links to where you can hear them.