Kirsty Young

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Kirsty Young
Born Kirsty Jackson Young
(1968-11-23) 23 November 1968 (age 49)
East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, Scotland
Occupation Television and radio presenter
Years active 1989–present
Spouse(s) Nick Jones (m. 1999–present)
Children 2

Kirsty Jackson Young (born 23 November 1968) is a Scottish television and radio presenter. She is best known as one of the original newsreaders of 5 News on Channel 5, particularly because of its unique presentation style for the time that featured newsreaders standing up, or sitting on a desk rather than behind it. She presented 5 News from its launch in 1997 until 2007, only leaving briefly in 2000 for ITV News before returning in 2002.

Since 2006 she has been the main presenter of BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs and previously presented Crimewatch on BBC One from 2008-2015.


Young was born in East Kilbride.[1][2] Her media career began in 1989 when she worked as a continuity announcer for BBC Radio Scotland. In 1992 she moved to Scottish Television where she presented the main evening news programme, Scotland Today and also hosted her own chat show, Kirsty. She left Scottish TV and Scotland itself in 1996. That year she guest-presented The Time, The Place and also featured on the Holiday programme. She co-hosted consumer show The Street on BBC Two.

In 1997, she joined the news team of the new terrestrial channel, Channel 5. She left Channel 5 to join ITV in 2000 and hosted a quiz show called The People Versus. In 2001, she became the co-presenter of the ITV Evening News with Dermot Murnaghan and, later the same year, after giving birth to her first child, she decided to return to Channel 5.

Young returned to Channel 5 in 2002 and hosted both the 5:30 pm and 7:00 pm editions until her maternity leave began in January 2006, when she was replaced by John Suchet and Helen Fospero. In November 2003, she guest-presented an edition of Have I Got News for You. As of June 2012 she has guest-presented ten times, and has appeared on the show eleven times in total. She appeared on Room 101 in 2004 during which she nominated cowboy boots, Britney Spears and 'baby on board' stickers among her pet hates.

In June 2006, it was announced that Young was to be the new presenter of the long-running BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs, replacing Sue Lawley; she began on 1 October 2006. According to the odds given by bookmaker William Hill she was an outsider for the job at 20/1.[3] She then returned to Five News on 28 September 2006, but in 2007, Young announced that she would be leaving Five News in the autumn, following ten years as its head anchor. On 29 August 2007, she presented her last show for Five News.

On 29 September 2007, it was announced that Young would replace Fiona Bruce as a presenter on the BBC's Crimewatch programme.[4] She presented the show until December 2015.

From 11 January 2010, she presented a four-part BBC TV series entitled The British Family. In March–April 2011, she presented the TV series The British at Work.

Personal life[edit]

Young attended Cambusbarron Primary School and Stirling High School.[5] She returned in June 2008 to officially open the school's new building. She admitted to suffering from bulimia as a teenager on the first episode of her first TV show. In a later interview she said "It only happened for a very fleeting few months and I dealt with it myself."[6]

Young is married to businessman Nick Jones, the founder of Soho House club. She has two daughters with Jones, Freya (born February 2000) and Iona (born April 2006), and two stepchildren, Jones's children from his first marriage, Natasha and Oliver.[7]

Young is a supporter of Rangers football club.[8]


  1. ^ Duncan, Andrew (28 January 2012). "Kirsty Young: "I'll be doing Desert Island Discs until I'm 85"". Radio Times. London. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Farndale, Nigel (13 January 2010). "Kirsty Young Interview". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  3. ^ ISBN 978-0-593-07006-2 p401-2.
  4. ^ "Young is new Crimewatch presenter". BBC News. 29 September 2007. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "Kirsty Young: Island queen". The Independent. London. 1 July 2006. Retrieved 1 March 2009. 
  6. ^ "Give me five". The Sunday Telegraph Magazine. London. 6 January 2002. pp. 10–13. 
  7. ^ "Interviews of the week: Kirsty Young, Kurt Westergaard, Boris Johnson". The Sunday Times. London. 10 January 2010. Retrieved 4 November 2013.  (subscription required)
  8. ^ McIver, Brian (20 October 2003). "WHATA FAN-TTASTIC GAME; Celebs line up for the Rangers Man Utd clash". Daily Record. Retrieved 9 March 2017. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Fiona Bruce
Host of Crimewatch
Succeeded by
Jeremy Vine
Preceded by
Host of The People Versus
Succeeded by
Kaye Adams
Preceded by
Sue Lawley
Presenter of Desert Island Discs
2006 – present
Succeeded by