Kirsty Young

Kirsty Jackson Young (born 23 November 1968) is a Scottish television and radio presenter.

Kirsty Young
Kirsty Jackson Young

(1968-11-23) 23 November 1968
OccupationTelevision and radio presenter
Years active1989–present
Nick Jones (m. 1999)

From 2006 to 2018 she was the main presenter of BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs and previously presented Crimewatch on BBC One from 2008 to 2015.


Young was born in East Kilbride.[1][2] Her media career began as a continuity announcer for BBC Radio Scotland in 1989. In 1992 she moved to Scottish Television as a presenter of Scotland Today and which resulted in her chat show, Kirsty. She left Scotland Today in 1996 to become a relief presenter for The Time, The Place and appeared on the Holiday programme. She co-hosted a consumer show The Street on BBC Two.

In 1997, she joined the news team of the new terrestrial channel, Channel 5. She left Channel 5 to join ITV in 2000 and briefly hosted the quiz show The People Versus. In 2001, she became a co-presenter of the ITV Evening News. Later the same year, after giving birth to her first child, she decided to return to Channel 5.

In November 2003, Young presented an edition of Have I Got News for You. She had since featured on the show a further eleven times. In 2004, she appeared on Room 101 during which she nominated cowboy boots, Britney Spears and 'baby on board' stickers among her pet hates.

In June 2006, Young was announced as the new presenter of the long-running BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs, replacing Sue Lawley; she began on 1 October 2006. According to the odds given by bookmaker William Hill she was an outsider for the job at 20/1.[3] She returned to Five News on 28 September 2006, but in 2007, Young announced that she would be leaving Five News in the autumn, following ten years as its head anchor. On 29 August 2007, she presented her last show for Five News.

On 29 September 2007, the BBC announced Young would succeed Fiona Bruce as the presenter of Crimewatch.[4] She presented the show from January 2008 until December 2015.

From 11 January 2010 she presented a four-part BBC TV series entitled The British Family. In March–April 2011, she presented the TV series The British at Work.

On 31 August 2018 it was announced that Young would be stepping down from Desert Island Discs "for a number of months" to receive treatment for a form of fibromyalgia, and that Lauren Laverne would deputise during this period.[5] In July 2019, Young announced that she was to stand down as the host of Desert Island Discs, saying: "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." The BBC's Director of Radio and Education, James Purnell, called Young a "wonderful host". It was confirmed that Lauren Laverne of Radio 6 Music would be continuing in Young's role "for the foreseeable future".[6]

Personal life

Young attended Cambusbarron Primary School and Stirling High School.[7] She returned in June 2008 to officially open the school's new building. She shared with viewers that she had suffered from bulimia as a teenager on the first episode of her first TV show. In a later interview she said "It only happened for a very fleeting few months and I dealt with it myself."[8]

Young is married to businessman Nick Jones, the founder of Soho House club. She has two daughters with Jones, Freya (born February 2000) and Iona (born April 2006), and two stepchildren, Jones's children from his first marriage, Natasha and Oliver.[9]


  1. Duncan, Andrew (28 January 2012). "Kirsty Young: "I'll be doing Desert Island Discs until I'm 85"". Radio Times. London. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  2. Farndale, Nigel (13 January 2010). "Kirsty Young Interview". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  3. ISBN 978-0-593-07006-2 p401-2.
  4. "Young is new Crimewatch presenter". BBC News. 29 September 2007. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  5. "Kirsty Young: The presenter is taking time off due to illness". Radio Times.
  6. "Kirsty Young to stand down from Desert Island Discs". 5 July 2019. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  7. "Kirsty Young: Island queen". The Independent. London. 1 July 2006. Retrieved 1 March 2009.
  8. "Give me five". The Sunday Telegraph Magazine. London. 6 January 2002. pp. 10–13.
  9. "Interviews of the week: Kirsty Young, Kurt Westergaard, Boris Johnson". The Sunday Times. London. 10 January 2010. Retrieved 4 November 2013. (subscription required)
Preceded by
Fiona Bruce
Host of Crimewatch
Succeeded by
Jeremy Vine
Preceded by
Host of The People Versus
Succeeded by
Kaye Adams
Preceded by
Sue Lawley
Presenter of Desert Island Discs
2006 – 2018
Succeeded by
Lauren Laverne
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