Desert Island Discs – Dr Bellamy

This weekly feature gives us all a little insight into The Abbey staff, and our next Desert Island Disc ‘castaway’ is Dr Bellamy – Assistant Head Teaching and Learning.

Top eight pieces of music:

Birdhouse in Your Soul – They Might Be Giants: a song full of energy and intrigue, with the excellent line, ‘Say I’m the only bee in your bonnet’. This never fails to make me smile (and sing along)

Mis-Shapes – Pulp: a powerful anthem for anyone who has ever felt that they don’t quite fit in with the dominant crowd. I think Jarvis Cocker is a genius and I could happily have filled each of my song choices with Pulp songs. For me, they are the outstanding band of the Britpop era.

Side – Travis: this one makes me think of my Dad. We have been to see Travis together many times and I love the central idea of this song which declares that in spite of our differences, we are all human and subject to the same destiny, so should live our lives to the full every day.

For Once in my Life – Stevie Wonder: a song from my wedding day. Full of joy and fantastic harmonica.

The Bones of You – Elbow: one of my favourite bands, it was really hard to choose a song from their back catalogue. This one, however, is about the power of music to transport you to a moment, to infuse a memory with such power that you’re stopped in your tracks.

McNamara’s Band – Unknown: this is played at every Tottenham Hotspur home game, heralding the return of the team to the pitch to start the second half. I know it was used back as far as the 1960s, during the time when my Grandfather was a Football League referee, so I love to hear it as the match restarts, thinking of him also running out at White Hart Lane. It’s like a connection across the years.

Now It’s On – Grandaddy: alongside the upbeat melody, there are some life-affirming lyrics here. Take your own meaning from this one; I know what it says to me.

Flute Concerto No. 2 in D major – W. A. Mozart: one of my pieces for my Grade 8 flute exam. Hearing it always makes me happy and nostalgic.


Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë: it is a close contest between this and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein but Brontë just edges it. It’s an astoundingly accomplished novel, written by a woman who had to hide behind a male pseudonym in order to gain any recognition. The narrative, the characters, the structure: tremendous!

Luxury item:

A radio – I know I could live without a television but I’d be lost without a radio. The variety it would bring would help me to stay in touch with life beyond my desert island bubble.