During this podcast, Young asks each or her “castaways” to select eight songs that are significant to them in some way, as well as one book and one luxury item that they would like to take with them when they are sent to live out the rest of their life on a desert island. Surrounding these musical selections Young interviews her guest, interviews which reveal the very human side of the celebrity.
Young is an extraordinary interviewer and for excellent reasons. Prior to their meeting she has spent a lot of time reading up on her guest, so she knows a lot about the individual already. She has a series of base questions from which to work, but is not afraid to stray from her script should her guest insert something unexpected. She is also not afraid to ask the pointed or penetrating question in order to clarify or uncover the truth.
However, Young does not lack in guests, so all I can assume is that celebrities want to be on her show and do not feel threatened despite the probing questions. Why? Because she isn’t hostile or judgmental. Only interested.
So here is my takeaway. Often there are those in our own circle that we don’t really know but have already formed opinions about. Perhaps through others’ comments. Perhaps through brief encounters. Before we go sharing those “opinions” perhaps we would do well to follow Kirsty Young’s lead. Perhaps we should take time to get to know them, show a genuine interest in them, and demonstrate that we are listening to them. Perhaps if we didn’t come across hostile or judgmental, they might open up to us and willingly answer our questions.
I am always amazed and pleasantly surprised at how much and what I learn about these celebrities (even those I have never heard of before) by listening to Desert Island Discs, and how much I look forward to hearing the next episode. I think I need to show that much interest and enthusiasm to those around me.