Ed Miliband defends his Desert Island Discs choices in this week’s NME

The Labour leader admits that he's not the "coolest kid on the block"

Ed Miliband has defended his Desert Island Discs picks in this week’s NME.

The Labour Party leader appeared on the BBC Radio 4 show last month (November 24), to pick the eight songs he would take with him if he were stranded on a remote island. Robbie Williams, A-ha and Neil Diamond were some of the artists on the list.

Defending his picks in this week’s NME, which is on newsstands now (November 4) and available digitally, Miliband said that his music taste may not be “cool” but he did at least pick his own songs.


“In my wildest dreams I never thought I would be writing for NME,” he writes. “Given the reaction to some of my Desert Island Discs choices last week, you can probably understand why.”

“I know that choosing A-ha and Robbie Williams doesn’t make me the coolest kid on the block,” he added. “That’s not exactly my style. But when I was choosing my records, I wanted to share stories that really matter to me.”

When David Cameron appeared on the radio show in 2006 and cited bands like The Smiths and Radiohead, he was accused of letting spin doctors put the list together to make him look more credible. Miliband, however, insists his choices are entirely his own.

“What probably came as the biggest surprise to the political journalists out there wasn’t Edith Piaf or the ANC anthem. It was A-ha and Robbie Williams. No committee of spin doctors would have chosen either of those. I did it, though, because they reminded me of some of the most important moments in my life.”

Ed Miliband’s Desert Island Discs:

‘South African national anthem’ (Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika)
Hubert Parry – ‘Jerusalem’
Paul Robeson – ‘Ballad of Joe Hill’
A-ha – ‘Take On Me’
Neil Diamond – ‘Sweet Caroline’
Robbie Williams – ‘Angels’
Josh Ritter – ‘Change of Time’
Edith Piaf – ‘Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien’


David Cameron’s Desert Island Discs
Bob Dylan – ‘Tangled Up In Blue’
Benny Hill – ‘Ernie’
Pink Floyd – ‘Wish You Were Here’
‘Felix Mendelssoh’ (performed by Kiri Te Kanawa) – ‘O, For the Wings of a Dove’
Radiohead – ‘Fake Plastic Trees’
The Smiths – ‘This Charming Man’
REM – ‘Perfect Circle’
The Killers – ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’

Subscribe to NME here, or get this week’s digital issue