Rolling Stone Keef picks Portsmouth-set book as his Desert Island choice

Keith Richards on HMS Victory in Portsmouth during a visit in 2011
Keith Richards on HMS Victory in Portsmouth during a visit in 2011
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ROLLING Stones guitarist Keith Richards has named a collection of sea tales set in Portsmouth as his book of choice on Desert Island Discs.

The collection, Doctor Dogbody’s Leg, is mainly set in a fictional Portsmouth tavern named the Cheerful Tortoise.

Richards, speaking to Kirsty Young said: ‘He’s a sailor, 18th century, Portsmouth harbour, but he’s got one leg.

‘And every time he turns up at the table he has a different story about how he lost it. And they’re all plausible.’

The notorious hell-raiser tipped off listeners regarding the stories, written by American author and military veteran James Norman Hall and published in 1940, who in turn have purchased the out-of-print book in large numbers.

Several online retailers have sold all their available copies, with rare editions selling for up to £100.

Doctor Dogbody’s Leg was the most searched for book on last week,’ said an AbeBooks spokesman.

‘Sales of the book have been brisk with the most expensive copy to sell being a signed 1940 edition for £100 ($150).’