Kirsty Young to host Desert Island Discs

4.45pm update: Kirsty Young is to be the new presenter of BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, taking over the prestigious role from Sue Lawley. By Julia Day.

Kirsty Young is to be the new presenter of BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, taking over the prestigious role from Sue Lawley.

Young, best known as the face of Channel Five News and the first news anchor to perch on a table rather than sit behind a desk, takes up the reins on the radio show at the beginning of the next series, starting this autumn.

She will be the fourth presenter to host one of the longest-running shows on BBC radio, in which guests are invited to choose the eight pieces of music, one book and one luxury item they would take with them if stranded on a desert island.

"I've loved Desert Island Discs for as long as I've been listening to radio," said Young.

"Its enduring success is testament both to the brilliant format and consistently fascinating guests. There isn't a show on radio I'd rather present. I'm completely thrilled to be doing it and can't wait to get started."

Desert Island Discs was first broadcast on January 29 1942 and was presented by its creator Roy Plomley until his death in 1985.

Michael Parkinson hosted the show until Sue Lawley took over in 1988. Mark Damazer, the controller of Radio 4, said he was "delighted" that Young was taking over the show, having been an admirer of her work for years. "She combines warmth and curiosity - the perfect combination to make a success of the programme," said Mr Damazer.

Previous castaways have included the last five UK prime ministers and the likes of Noel Coward, George Clooney, Doris Lessing, Stephen Hawking and HRH Princess Margaret. Young began her career in 1989 as a newsreader for BBC Radio Scotland, where she also presented its drivetime show.

In 1992, she moved to Scottish Television where she was the presenter of Scotland Today at Lunchtime and Scotland Today - the channel's midday and evening news programmes.

From 1994-95, she was the host of "Kirsty" - a bi-weekly live discussion programme on the week's hot topics - on STV, where she also presented live, late-night show Late Edition.

In 1996, Kirsty was a guest presenter of ITV's The Time, The Place and fronted Five News since the channel's launch in March 1997 until 1999 when she defected to ITV's news.

She returned to Five News in 2002 and remains the show's main anchor.

Chris Shaw, the senior programme controller of news and current affairs at Five said: "We are delighted that Kirsty will be the new presenter of Desert Island Discs.

"Everyone here is very pleased and I personally believe this will only enhance her reputation as a brilliant broadcaster and the face of Five. She remains committed to the channel and will be returning as the main anchor for Five News in the next few weeks."

Her BBC credits include presenting and reporting for Holidays Out, Holiday '96 and Film '96 on BBC1, and presenting BBC2's consumer affairs show, The Street.

She is a regular guest presenter for BBC2's Have I Got News for You and is occasional stand-in for both Michael Parkinson and Jeremy Vine on Radio 2.

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Julia Day

The GuardianTramp

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