Kirsty Young to take break from Desert Island Discs due to illness

BBC 6 Music presenter Lauren Laverne is going to fill in for Young while Young attempts to get "back to good health and back to work"

Kirsty Young, presenter of Desert Island Discs

Kirsty Young is stepping down from presenting BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs for “a number of months” due to illness.

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6 Music presenter Lauren Laverne has been announced as the host in her absence, taking over the iconic programme while Young has treatment for a form of fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain in the body and fatigue. Lady Gaga has also spoken about suffering from the condition.

In a statement, Young explained her decision to step down from the show, adding that she is looking forward to “getting back to good health and back to work”.

“Casting away some of the world’s most fascinating people is a wonderful job – however, I’m having to take some time away from Desert Island Discs as I’m suffering from a form of fibromyalgia,” the broadcaster said.

“I wish Lauren all the very best, I know she will be great. And I very much look forward to getting back to good health and back to work.”

Lauren Laverne
6 Music presenter Lauren Laverne will step in as the host of the iconic Radio 4 interview programme

The new series begins on 16th September, with Young fronting the first two episodes with opera singer Danielle de Niese and neurosurgeon Henry Marsh. Laverne will take over from episode three.

There have only been four presenters of the iconic Radio 4 programme to date: host and creator Roy Plomley, Michael Parkinson, Sue Lawley and Young, who has so far hosted the show for 12 years.

Laverne, who will continue to host on 6 Music, called the job the “biggest shoes in broadcasting”.

In a statement, she added that it was “a huge honour to be asked to cover my favourite programme on behalf of one of my heroes.

“As a listener first and foremost I know what a special place Desert Island Discs holds in the hearts of the British public. So much of that is down to the warmth, wit and peerless skill of Kirsty Young.

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“I wish Kirsty better and will do my very best to look after Desert Island Discs until her return.”