THERE'S a delicious irony in Patrick Stewart's choice of luxury items when he boldly goes on the desert island rather than in deepest space.
The man who for years commanded Star Trek's Enterprise as Captain Jean-Luc Picard wants a general compendium of the world's best sci-fi - because he admits he doesn't know nearly as much about it as he should.
And the actor who has been bald as a coot since the age of 18 because of inherited alopecia would also take his 1920s antique billiard table (as long as he can have a shed to house it in).
Interviewed by Sue Lawley on Radio Four's Desert Island Discs, Patrick, now 64 and the Chancellor of Huddersfield University, reveals that Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry actively didn't want him in his show at all.
And Patrick concedes that a bald, middle-aged English Shakespearian might on the face of it have appeared to be an unlikely choice.
He says he regarded his 1987 audition as "a bit of a hoot" and it was greeted by "pointed ears jokes" from his children.
In the end he had three auditions in six months and went on to sign a six-year contract and make 178 episodes and four feature films in the role.
The Patrick Stewart story began in Mirfield, where he tells Sue he was lucky in that there were 12 amateur dramatic societies and it was not considered unusual to go on the stage.
His mother, a weaver, was a member of the Methodist drama group and the middle of the three brothers was a panto star.
Patrick reveals the influence of a "very cross" father, Alfred Stewart, a former RSM with the Parachute Regiment who found it hard to adjust after the war and took it out on him and his brothers and especially his mother.
He talks about his first adult role at the age of 12 in The Happiest Days Of Your Life and the disappointment of studying 12 hours a day for two years at the Bristol Old Vic School and then going home to sign on the dole in Mirfield.
He said when he lost his hair at 18 he thought it would be a handicap as an actor. He wasn't to know that things would be very different and indeed at one time he was voted the sexiest man on American TV.
Patrick at the age of 20 was given the chance to go on the last tour of the Old Vic company. He said he had a very small part but remembers celebrating his 21st birthday in Melbourne with Vivien Leigh.
When he came home he was invited to join the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Throughout his career, Patrick says he has played men in the mould of his father: Scrooge, Shylock, Titus Andronicus and The Master Builder - all men with some good qualitises.
He thinks this was a way of getting close to his father and a way to forgive him.
Today, financially secure and working back in his first love, the theatre, Patrick says he feels there is plenty of unfinished business and he would like to play the parts that have so far eluded him: Hamlet, Macbeth and Lear.
His choice of music for the traditional desert island discs is wide ranging and surprising.
His number one choice is Peter Peers singing the Pastorale from Benjamin Britten's Serenade for Tenor Horn and Strings.
His final choice is less serious, that of Brent Spiner (Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation) singing It's A Sin To Tell A Lie - backed by Patrick himself and other male members of the Star Trek team, while one of his other choices is the theme from Marlon Brando's masterpiece film On The Waterfront.
* The Sue Lawley Desert Island Discs interview with Patrick Stewart is on Radio 4 on Sunday at 11.15am, repeated on Friday at 9am.