1. Elisabeth Schwartzkopf is remembered by a handful of opera enthusiasts for her career as a soprano, but whatever singing ability she may have had is almost entirely eclipsed by her appearance in 1958 on Desert Island Discs, a BBC radio programme that requires interviewees to choose eight songs that would be their sole entertainment on a desert island. Seven of her choices featured her own voice, and the eighth was the instrumental prelude to an opera recording in which she was the star.
2. Norman Wisdom chose five of his own songs, including the appropriately titled Narcissus.
3. Rolf Harris, cartoonist, artist, pop singer and a national treasure who recently admitted that he’d never read any Shakespeare, has appeared on Desert Island Discs twice, so he cannot claim not to understand the concept. Nevertheless, for his second outing, in 1999, he chose three songs of his own.
4. Only two people have ever chosen Gary Glitter records to take with them, and one of them was Gary himself. Paul Gadd, to call him by his real name, was interviewed in 1981, 15 years before he was convicted of abusing two underage girls.
5. And finally, Engelbert Humperdinck, the ham-faced cheese-peddler who, if placed under a metaphor grill, would be a crooning croque monsieur. He only chose one of his own records, but earns his place with his spectacular choice of book to take with him to the island: his own autobiography.