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Kirsty Young ‘permanently’ stepping down as host of Desert Island Discs

Kirsty Young has announced she will be ”permanently” stepping down as the host of Desert Island Discs because it is ”time to pursue new challenges”.

Kirsty Young is ”permanently” stepping down as the host of Desert Island Discs.

The 50-year-old presenter has been the host of Radio 4’s long-running show since 2006 and has fronted 496 episodes of the programme, with castaways picking their favourite songs including Bruce Springsteen, noel Gallagher, George Michael and Sir David Attenborough to name a few, however Kirsty has now revealed she will be quitting Desert Island Discs after 12 years because it is ”time to pursue new challenges”.

Last year, Kirsty announced she would be taking a break from the hugely popular show, which has been hosted by Lauren Laverne in her absence, because she was suffering from a form of fibromyalgia, which is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body, and the star has insisted that the medical condition has ”altered” her perspective on what she ”should do next”.

In a statement, 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.

”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.”

The director of Radio & Education, James Purnell, went on to wish Kirsty the ”best for the future”.

He added: ”Kirsty has been a wonderful host of Desert Island Discs for more than a decade and her intuitive interviewing style as well as her warmth and humour has helped bring out incredible life stories and anecdotes from her castaways. We know how loved she is by listeners and we all wish her well for the future.

”Lauren Laverne has been doing a brilliant job at the helm in Kirsty’s absence and I’m delighted she continues to host one of Radio 4’s most popular shows.”

Meanwhile, Laverne has taken to Twitter to wish her all the best and called Kirsty her own personal ”hero”.

She wrote: ”Kirsty has always been a hero of mine. I’d like to thank her and wish her the very best in her next chapter. To take care of my favourite programme has been an enormous honour and her encouragement has been invaluable. Her D.I.D. archive will remain a joy and a masterclass. (sic)”