Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Desert Island slip-up by Young

Kirsty Young was overcome interviewing Aung San Suu Kyi for Desert Island Discs

Desert Island Discs presenter Kirsty Young has admitted making a rare slip when she finally got to interview Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on the show.

Castaways on the long-running Radio 4 programme are famously asked which of their eight tracks they would save on the mythical island.

But Kirsty, 44, who had "been swotting for this interview like I was doing an exam", confessed that she completely forgot to ask the question during the recording, which took place on location in Naypyidaw, Burma, following six months of negotiations.

She told the Radio Times: "The experience was so intense and had such a surreal quality about it that I forgot to ask her which of the eight tracks she would save."

Kirsty said that senior world affairs producer Nick Springate saved the day when he "frantically signalled to me by holding up a single finger".

She added: "My mind was busy doing cartwheels of joy!"

Kirsty travelled to Burma to interview the Nobel peace prize-winner for this Sunday's instalment of Desert Island Discs.

She told the magazine: "The interview fell through two or three times and it wasn't until I was sitting opposite her with a microphone that I actually believed it was going to happen.

"I'd been swotting for this interview like I was doing an exam. Up until the point when she walked in the room and sat down, I could not allow myself to believe that it was happening."

Kirsty added: "To get the Queen to appear is, perhaps, the only comparable guest on the Desert Island Discs wish list."

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