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Farewell, Kirsty Young – Desert Island Discs won’t be the same without you

Deft in extracting unguarded tears: With Tom Hanks
Deft in extracting unguarded tears: With Tom Hanks

Kirsty Young, don’t go! After taking a leave of absence due to suffering from fibromyalgia, the broadcaster has announced she will step down permanently after 12 years of presenting Desert Island Discs on Radio 4. “I’ve decided it’s time to pursue new challenges,” she said. Well, fair enough, but I’m finding it hard to accept the Young years are over. 

After a shaky start – in 2006, this newspaper described Young as “too nice”, “nervous and gabblesome”, and unwilling to challenge her guests’ assertions – Young grew into the role and came to define in it for a new era, more than 70 years after it first began. 

Roy Plomley, the first presenter for more than 40 years, set the tone for the format....

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