Desert Island Disc – Pete Holliday


This weekly feature gives us a little insight into The Abbey staff, and our next Desert Island Disc ‘castaway’ is Pete Holliday, Head of Marketing.


Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond

An absolute classic and it puts a smile on my face everytime I hear it played. I can often be seen belting out the chorus on a long drive to Devon – much to the dismay of other motorists on the M5.

The Winner Takes it All – ABBA

Guilty secret – I love ABBA. However, I only had three records as a child – this one, Shakin’ Stevens ‘Green Door’ and Orville the Duck’s ‘Come to my party’. So in fairness, it is easy to see why ABBA got the majority of airtime in my house. Love the song, and the Meryl Streep version from ‘Mamma Mia’ gives me goosebumps.

Chevaliers de Sangreal – Hans Zimmer

A stunning piece of music. It is the musical cornerstone for the film ‘The Da Vinci Code’. I find this track very spiritual and powerful and often play it two or three times in succession to absorb every aspect of the music.

Blinding Lights – The Weeknd

I sang this as ‘The Singing Stormtrooper’ for The Abbey’s Masked Singer competition in 2021. I was delighted to finish 4th and was really proud of my achievement. I must say I thought the other three competitors were amazing too. 

God is a DJ – Faithless

One of my dance anthem favourites and I used to play this song before going out to bat when playing cricket back in Peterborough. Although voted the worst city to live in England two years running, the standard of cricket in Peterborough wasn’t bad, and the song seemed to help me focus before the innings started.

I will survive – Gloria Gaynor

I love this song and I adore dancing to it as my wife will testify. Mid conversation with a French couple whilst holidaying in Cape Verde, I burst out of my seat when hearing the opening lines of this classic, and danced solo to stunned holiday makers who were expecting some entertainment for the evening. Three minutes later I received a standing ovation for my ‘unique’ performance and was handed a drink by the bar staff on the way back to my table. Weirdly, we didn’t see the French couple again that holiday.

Desiderata – Max Ehrmann

Not a song as such, but a piece that is etched in my memory forever. This poem was put to music, and was selected by my Dad as the song he wanted played as his coffin was carried into the crematorium. He had asked me to be a pallbearer too – so the saddest time was also one of my proudest moments too…fulfilling his final wish. I often read or play the piece…it brings me a lot of peace in my soul.

Hey Jude – The Beatles

I may look old, but The Beatles were before my time. However, the song will always make me smile as it was played by the hospital staff whilst my oldest son was being born. Having being told that his name was going to be Jude, the staff surprised us by playing ‘Hey Jude’ as my son was delivered by c-section, and when his mum and I cradled him for the first time, there was the gentle background sound of everyone else singing. It was perfect.


Any book by fictional TV host Alan Partridge. Doesn’t matter how many times I read his books, I still end up laughing out loud.

Luxury item:

My initial thought was shampoo, but I changed my mind to a digital radio so I could listen to Test Match Special and live football – without sport I am not sure I would cope.

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