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From the archives

David Hockney’s lost Desert Island Discs

“I didn’t enjoy school at all – I hated it really,” David Hockney tells Roy Plomley on a resurfaced episode of Desert Island Discs from 1972. He was a non-conformist, and from the age of 10 he knew, “definitely”, that he wanted to become an artist. Unusually for the era, his parents were supportive: “They just thought, well maybe it’s a good idea to be an artist, and never gave it another thought.”

At 16, Hockney started at the Bradford School of Art. He remembers the college asking him if he had any form of private income, “and I said I didn’t know what that was. And they said, well, if you’ve not got one you can’t be an artist because you’ll never make a living at it.” After that he was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London, and started exhibiting and selling pictures. In his final year he was awarded a gold medal by the school, choosing to receive it in a gold lamé jacket. When asked about the accessory, Hockney is dismissive: “It’s not really gold, but their medal wasn’t gold either.”

Listen to the episode here.

🎵 Fedora, Monte Carlo Opera Orchestra
🎵 I’m Through With Love, Marilyn Monroe
🎵 Liebestod, Richard Wagner
🎵 Verachtet mir die Meister nicht, Richard Wagner
🎵 Les Biches, Francis Poulenc
🎵 La Belle Excentrique, Erik Satie
🎵 Symphony No 5, Ludwig van Beethoven
🎵 San Francisco, Jeanette MacDonald

📕 Route 69, Floyd Carter
🎁 Paper, pencils and a battery-operated sharpener