We have several national British Treasures: Buckingham
Palace, the Queen, the Houses of Parliament, Bruce Forsyth, Chicken Tikka Masala;
but a new one is bidding for glory. Sir Mervyn
King, the outgoing Governor of the Bank of England.
A massive tennis fan …
… and supporter of Aston Villa …
And now he’s making a rare and unusual appearance on another
British Treasure this weekend: Desert
Now I know I’m in danger of making an Olympic Opening Ceremony
faux pas for my international colleagues by mentioning so many British
Treasures that mean little overseas, so a small piece of explanation before I
get to the heart of the matter.
Desert Island Discs is one of the oldest continually running radio shows, running weekly on the BBC
since 1942. The format is simple: imagine
you are shipwrecked and lost on a desert island. What would be the eight pieces of music you
would take with you, what book would you want to have with you and which single
luxury would you desire.
Now the fact that Sir King is appearing on the show has
ignited a wild worldwide web of speculation about what songs, book and luxury
he will choose.
The papers have waded in with various suggestions, such as Abba's Money, Money, Money …
… suggested by the Evening Standard.
But the twitterati are far more active. Under the hashtag #MervynSongGuesses, you can find a huge range of suggestions. Here are my top eight:
The First (Rate) Cut
Is The Deepest, Rod Stewart
It’s Not About The
Money, Money, Money, Jessie J
Your Cash Ain't
Nothin' But Trash, The Clovers
Take the Money and Run,
Money’s Too Tight (To
Mention), Simply Red
Money for Nothing
or anything else by Dire Straits
And last but not least is a recommendation for Famous and Dandy by the Disposable
Heroes of Hiphoprisy.
The last one may sound like a strange and complimentary
choice. Leaving office on a high, Sir
Mervyn is now not only famous but could also be a City Dandy, rather than a
But no, @Bloke_On_A_Bike recommends this one for its
immortal line: “my pockets are so empty I
can feel my testicles”.
#MervynSongGuesses My pockets so empty I can feel my testicles. With backing vocals by Disposable Heros of Hiphoprisy
— Fat (@Bloke_On_A_Bike) May 29, 2013
So what book would Mervyn take with him?
Well the twittersphere hasn’t ignited this debate, but a
brief search on Amazon comes up with a few suggestions:
Financial History of the World by Niall
Money Can't Buy by Michael Sandel
the Money Runs Out by Stephen
D. King (not the horror author!)
A Suicide Note by Martin
I don’t think he would take any of these however, as they’re
all too dull.
Finally, what luxury item could he take? Hmmm … not sure, but Amazon is great at
giving suggestions, with this being number one:
Money by the Early Learning Centre
Postnote: so what did Mervyn choose?
Well, here is the eight track listing:
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Symphony No. 40, K.550 in G minor
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 7 in A major. Fourth Movement.
“Rotterdam 82”, a football anthem to mark the European Cup triumph of his beloved Aston Villa in the Dutch city
“London Concerto”, an unreleased work by composer Huw Watkins and played by the London Symphony Orchestra
“Highway 61 Revisited” by Bob Dylan
“Mambo No5” by Lou Bega
“I Remember the Wonderful Moment” performed by Boris Gmyrya and
“My Ship” from the musical Lady in the Dark, performed by Anne Sofie von Otter.
His book choice was The Complete Illustrated Catalogue Of The National Gallery, and his luxury item: a telescope.
Oh, and upon leaving the bank, he's going to take six months off dancing. Interesting.
You can hear the whole programme here, including further interesting snippets about his views on Mark Carney, his love life and more.