78. The demise of Desert Island

There was once upon a time a radio programme called Desert Island. I think it may have preceded Desert Island Discs. Its construct was to invite a famous or popular person, often from the arts, but also from other paths of public life, and ask what they would choose to take with them if they had to go to a desert island. I think it was 3 things. This allowed the guests to talk passionately about their favourite books, artworks, music, etc., and allowed the audience to learn interesting things and get to know this personality better. It was a good program and its narrative device really worked. I wonder how far it would have got if every second guest had chosen toilet paper, pasta and flour, which, in the light of stock shortages during coronavirus lockdown, are the favourite things for most humans. How long can you wax lyrical about each of these objects whilst still hoping to keep your audience entertained? John Cleese or Douglas Adams may have made a go of it, but not many others

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