Stella McCartney, the fashion designer daughter of ex-Beatle Paul, faced an “agonising” choice when choosing her Desert Island Discs on Radio 4.


Which may not comes as a surprise.

How to choose just eight records when you have met and known many of music’s great artists including (as she reveals) David Bowie, Brian Wilson, Iggy Pop and Peter Gabriel?

And, of course, when one of the greatest musicians ever happens to be your Dad.

But fortunately, she found room in Sunday's broadcast for one of her Pa’s records – the 1968 song Blackbird.

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And she also selected a little-known book by the ex-Beatle to accompany her on the desert island along with The Bible and the Complete Works of Shakespeare.

Yes, it's a little known fact (well, to non-Beatles obsessives) that Paul wrote a private book called Japanese Jailbird in which he recounts in detail the time he was incarcerated in Japan in 1980 after being caught with 8oz of marijuana during a tour with his band, Wings.

The bust was devastating for him and his band - and costly because concerts had to be cancelled. He was eventually released after nine days.

He has spoken about the experience in interviews but very very few people have read his book. In fact Stella revealed that Paul had given each of his five children a copy and he is understood to have decreed that Japanese Jailbird should not be released in his lifetime.

Stella told Kirsty Young that the book would remind her of the importance of “family and freedom” while on her fictional desert island.


Choosing the Beatles song Blackbird among her eight records she said: “I find it incredible how contemporary this song feels. It’s never aged which I find shocking".

She said her childhood was “madness" adding: “At the weekend I would be hanging out with Peter Gabriel or John Lennon and I would go back to school on Monday and not tell a living soul."

She also recalls her idyllic childhood living in the country, saying that her Dad would try to play to her and the rest of the family and they would dismiss him.

“He would sit and pick up a guitar and be jamming out and we would be ‘oh Dad shut up we want to watch the telly'.

“He was like ‘people would die to hear me play and my children are telling me to shut up’.”

In the interview she also recalls her embarrassment at choosing supermodels Kate Moss, Yasmin Le Bon and Naomi Campbell to model for her Central St Martin’s degree show in 1995.

“I look back on that moment and just feel a bit embarrassed that I was so naive,” she reveals.

“They were my mates and that’s who I was hanging out with when I was at college, so when it came to choosing the models for my degree show I kind of thought I might as well ask my friends.”


Stella McCartney's Desert Island Discs is on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday June 25 at 11.15am