Kirsty Young Quits Desert Island Discs After 12 Years As Host

Lauren Laverne will continue to present the Radio 4 show "for the foreseeable future".

Broadcaster Kirsty Young has stepped down as the host of Desert Island Discs after 12 years.

Last year, the broadcaster took a leave of absence from her Radio 4 show due to her battle with fibromyalgia, a chronic condition which causes pain all over the body.

In a new official statement, Kirsty explains that while she’s “well on the way to feeling much better”, her time off “altered her perspective on what she should do next”.

Kirsty Young
Kirsty Young

She said: “After 12 incredibly happy and fulfilling years on Desert Island Discs I’ve decided to step down permanently.

“Having been forced to take some months away from my favourite job because of health problems, I’m happy to say I’m now well on the way to feeling much better. But that enforced absence from the show has altered my perspective on what I should do next and so I’ve decided it’s time to pursue new challenges.”

During her tenure as host of Desert Island Discs, Kirsty helmed 496 episodes, with guests as wide-ranging as Sir David Attenborough, Dame Judi Dench, Tom Hanks and Kylie Minogue.

In Kirsty’s absence, Lauren Laverne has been guest presenting the interview series, which she will continue to do “for the foreseeable future”.

Kirsty added: “Having hundreds of Castaways share their triumphs, tragedies, tribulations and tracks with me over the years was a huge privilege and an education. I am so thankful to Roy Plomley for the brilliance of his format, and I wish the programme and Lauren all the very best.”

Lauren Laverne
Lauren Laverne
Ian West - PA Images via Getty Images

Lauren said: “Stepping in for Kirsty on Desert Island Discs (which was already my favourite programme) has been an enormous honour. I wish her the very best in her next chapter.”

Desert Island Discs celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2017, marking the occasion with a special interview with David Beckham.


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