Home Doctor Who Matt Smith spills some secrets to Kirsty Young on Desert Island Discs

Matt Smith spills some secrets to Kirsty Young on Desert Island Discs

Matt Smith - Desert island Discs -2017 - Photo by Amanda Benson - (c) BBC
Matt Smith - Desert island Discs -2017 - Photo by Amanda Benson - (c) BBC

Kirsty Young had another famous Time Lord in her booth for today’s BBC Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs. Desert Island Discs was initially broadcast on the BBC Forces Programme in January 1942. Within the programme, the guest (called a ‘castaway’) chooses eight recordings, a book and a luxury item that they would take with them if they were to be stranded on a desert island.  This week Young invited Matt Smith to introduce and explain his diverse choices while revealing some interesting facts about himself.  The programme first aired on BBC Radio 4 and will repeat Friday 9th March at 9:00 am.  You can also listen worldwide on BBC iPlayer at the Desert Island Disc site. 

Naturally, the first topic of conversation was Doctor Who.  “I’d never seen an episode [of Doctor Who]. Not one. Not one episode in my whole life.” Matt confessed to not having seen an episode of Doctor Who before his first audition at a Travelodge in South London. He later admitted to having a bit of “wobble” about signing up for the role that would change his life.  “It’s the greatest part of my life. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I loved every minute of it”. 

Matt almost became a professional footballer, confessing “All I did was play football. Ten hours a day.” He was the captain of Leicester City’s youth team but after suffering from a back condition known as spondylosis, the club released him. He went through a tough time but his drama teacher turned his life around recognising Smith’s potential as an actor. Mr Hardingham encouraged him stating “you were never meant to be a footballer. I always thought you were really great at acting”. To begin with, Matt considered acting a “bit girly” and he kept his acting hidden from his friends. He then rediscovered the same “sense of freedom” he had in acting that he had during playing football. His teacher changed his life entirely.

Matt Smith has been at a number of conventions around the world and loves meeting the Doctor Who fans.  But he has definitely seen some strange things include tattoos of his face and David Tennant’s on the high inner thighs of woman.  And of course he was asked to sign the image.  But as he states Doctor Who fans are a good bunch: “Once you’re in, you’re in.”

As the Doctor, Matt was given pages of technobabble to memorise.  There was no ‘reverse the polarity’ line he could use so he came up with his own interesting method for learning his lines. He rapped them. “I learned [lines] rhythmically. I would literally rap them.”  He also loved dance music – garage, house and trance – when he was around 18 and his fourth disc is classic trance track For an Angel by Paul Van Dyk, featuring Rachel McFarlane.

Matt Smith’s full ‘Desert Island Discs’ collection is below.

  • Oasis – Roll With It – (WHAT’S THE STORY) MORNING GLORY?
  • Pink Floyd – The Great Gig In The Sky – THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
  • Marvin Gaye – Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) – WHAT’S GOING ON
  • Paul van Dyk For An Angel (E-Werk Club Mix) (feat. Rachel McFarlane) – FOR AN ANGEL
  • Arcade Fire – Keep the Car Running – NEON BIBLE
  • The Notorious B.I.G. – Juicy – JUICY
  • Giacomo Puccini – Nessun Dorma – Performer: Luciano Pavarotti. Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Kurt Herbert Adler. ESSENTIAL PAVAROTTI I



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