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Myra Hindley

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Desert Island Discs
Diana Athill Writer
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I know I chose, sort of, the very first classical record, almost, that I ever listened to, because we didn't have much music. Oh, I chose Tit Willow, Tit Willow, Tit Willow, because we did have that. We had a few records of... I don't know which… I think it was only one of the… the Gilbert and Sullivans that… we thought… the children adored these records, but no one bought us records. These were ones that our aunts or uncles had bought. Tit Willow. Tit Willow, we loved. We played it again and again and again. So I chose that, because that was one of the first things I ever listened to. I chose the first, sort of, serious classical thing I ever listened to, almost, which was a song of Sibelius's, which a friend of mine at Oxford had, called Der Erste Kuss. Terribly sentimental song, but we used to listen to that over and over again, and we adored it.

I chose… oh, one of the… one, if not two, of the things we always used to dance to. I've Got You Under My Skin, I think it was. I chose Mozart… something out of The Clarinet. You were only two minutes, you see. It's quite difficult to choose a bit of music which was only two minutes made sense. I can't remember. Then I wanted to have a bit out of The Creation, of the bit when Adam and Eve are walking around, and he's introducing Eve to the wonders of the world, because it's wonderful writing for the soprano voice, that. But there wasn't a bit of it that would fit into two minutes properly, and by that time it was getting a bit late. Because, you see, having made one's choice, one then went down an hour earlier in order to choose the two minutes. And so in the end, we just said, 'Oh well, we better have a bit out of… out of one of the choruses', which I didn't actually… I'm not particularly keen on the choruses, but that was… it made quite a good ending. I think that was all.

Born in 1917, Diana Athill is a British literary editor whose publishing career began when she helped André Deutsch establish his company. She has worked with many notable writers, namely Philip Roth, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean Rhys and VS Naipaul. Following the publication of her memoirs, she is now hailed as an author in her own right.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Tags: Desert Island Discs, Tit-Willow, The First Kiss, I've Got You Under My Skin, Creation, Gilbert and Sullivan, Jean Sibelius, Frank Sinatra, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Adam Lee

Duration: 2 minutes, 36 seconds

Date story recorded: January 2008

Date story went live: 23 December 2008