Kirsty Young has announced she is to step down as host of Desert Island Discs.
Lauren Laverne, who has been filling in for Kirsty due to health problems, will continue to host Desert Island Discs for the foreseeable future.
“After 12 incredibly happy and fulfilling years on Desert Island Discs I’ve decided to step down permanently,” said Kirsty.
“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.”
Kirsty has been the presenter of the programme since 2006 and in that time has presented 496 episodes of the programme as well as fronting the programme’s 70th and 75th anniversary celebrations.
Her illustrious castaways have included Zadie Smith, David Beckham, Bruce Springsteen, Victoria Wood, Denise Lewis, Dame Judi Dench, George Michael, Alice Walker, Tom Hanks, WWII pilot Eric Winkle Brown and Sir David Attenborough.
Lauren said: “Stepping in for Kirsty on Desert Island Discs (which was already my favourite programme) has been an enormous honour. I wish her the very best in her next chapter.”