Sarah Millican: When I was asked to do Desert Island Discs I was thrilled—and alarmingly prepared
"Pride and Prejudice won’t tell me the best way to drink my wee and which parts of a lizard are the tastiest"
I think life is full of moments. And it’s important to remember those moments. Take a mental snapshot if you can. For me, they are either when I feel truly happy or a standout moment in my career. For the former, that could be lying on the grass in the garden dozing with my husband, sparring with my funny family, watching my cats play, chatting in a café with a group of brilliant friends, picking up a frog, taking a cake out of the oven.
For work, moments are either amazing or bonkers. So, me and David Mitchell being handed a massive trophy by the Cheeky Girls, being on Who Do You Think You Are?, explaining letting one go during sex to P Diddy, being on stage at the Royal Variety Performance, weeing on Bette Midler’s toilet at the Royal Variety Performance, standing side of stage in a theatre watching a full, excited audience before my show, resting a boob on Lee Mack’s head.
I’m sure you can work out which I consider ridiculous and which make me swell with pride.
One thing I recently ticked off my WOW list and added to my “swell with pride” photo album was Desert Island Discs. I just corrected myself from typing Desert Island Disks, which would just be me holding some floppy disks containing the film reviews I wrote when I was 17, with no way of accessing them.
I’ve been a fan of DID since they released their back catalogue onto podcast and for someone who drives a lot, they are a godsend. Podcasts can entertain you in a traffic jam and stop you dying when driving a bit tired. Some favourites would be Kathy Burke, Len Goodman, George Michael, Stephen King, Liz Smith... so many fascinating lives told through music.
So when I was asked, I was thrilled. And also, alarmingly prepared. I think when you listen to it, you can’t help work- ing out what your choices would be. I was convinced that my luxury item would be tweezers for those errant hairs. But then when it came down to it, if there aren’t any mirrors, other people or Twitter, I could grow a beard. In the end, I chose notebooks and pens as writing is living, to me.
In the run up to the recording, I thought seriously about what I’d be like on a desert island and came to the conclusion that I’d be a do-er. Sure, I’d have a few days of sleeping and eating melons, but then I’d be surviving and trying to get home, so my list became songs that would keep me “up” and motivate me. And my book was a survival guide. I’m not an idiot. Pride and Prejudice won’t tell me the best way to drink my wee and which parts of a lizard are the tastiest.
1. Chocolate by Snow Patrol — it’s very rousing, good to stomp about to.
2. Wake Me Up before You Go-Go by Wham!—I can never hear this too much. Good to pop on repeat when building my shed/grass house/boat/bridge.
3. We All Stand Together by Paul McCartney and the Frog Chorus — seems a daft song but the lyrics are simple
4. Home for the Holidays by Perry Como — the song that, for me, signifies Christmas with family. That and...
5. Homeward Bound by Simon and Garfunkel will remind me what I’m working towards.
6.Thunderbird from the soundtrack to Thelma & Louise — an inspiring Hans Zimmer piece from my favourite film.
7 Happy by Pharrell Williams — to lift my mood. I’ll be dancing to it in my nightie for a long time yet.
8.The theme from Superman by John Williams. Always makes me feel I can handle anything.
What an honour to be asked to do this. With the added bonus that I feel quite ready to be abandoned on a desert island. For a weekend or so, with an iPod dock and a generator, of course.