Desert Island Discs presenter Kirsty Young is set to take a break from the BBC Radio 4 show later this year, with 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne hosting the programme while she is away.
Young, who has presented Radio 4’s flagship show since 2006, revealed this morning that she has been suffering from fibromyalgia, a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body, and will be taking time out to focus on her health.
According to the NHS, symptoms include extreme fatigue, muscle stiffness, headaches and difficulty sleeping. The exact causes are unknown, though it is thought to affect around seven times more women than it does men, and typically develops between the ages of 30 and 50. Lady Gaga has also spoken out about her experiences with the condition.
‘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,’ Young confirmed in a statement from the BBC. ‘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.’
On her personal Twitter account, Laverne confirmed that this autumn she would be ‘stepping into the biggest shoes in broadcasting for a while.’ In her statement, she continued: ‘It’s 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,’ she continued. ‘I wish Kirsty better and will do my very best to look after Desert Island Discs until her return.’
The show will return to Radio 4 on 16th September, with Young hosting the first two episodes with opera singer Danielle de Niese and neurosurgeon Henry Marsh. Laverne will then take the reins from the third episode onwards. She’ll continue to host the weekday mid-morning slot on 6 Music, and is still set to become the channel’s weekday Breakfast Show presenter from January of next year.
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