Desert Island Discs presenter Kirsty Young has revealed that she’ll be taking some time away from her role on the BBC Radio 4 show to focus on her health.
Broadcaster Lauren Laverne will host the show in her absence, a job which she has said to be ‘a huge honour’, adding that her predecessor is ‘one of my heroes’.
In a statement confirming the news, Kirsty, 49, explained: ‘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.’
‘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.’
Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body. According to the NHS, sufferers may experience increased sensitivity to pain, extreme tiredness, muscle stiffness, problems with mental processes (known as ‘fibro-fog’), headaches and digestive complaints.
The condition can affect people of all ages, but is most common in those aged 30-50. While there are treatments that can ease the severity of symptoms in some patients, currently there is no cure.
Desert Island Discs returns to the airwaves on 16 September – Kirsty will host the first two episodes, with opera singer Danielle de Niece and neurosurgeon Henry March, while Lauren will pick up from episode three. There’s no word yet as to when Kirsty will return, although it’s expected that she’ll be away for a ‘number of months’.
‘As a listener first and foremost I know what a special place Desert Island Discs holds in the hearts of the British public,’ Lauren commented. ‘So much of that is down to the warmth, wit and peerless skill of Kirsty Young.’
‘I wish Kirsty better and will do my very best to look after Desert Island Discs until her return.’