Kirsty Young to anchor Queen’s platinum jubilee coverage on BBC

Presenter will return to broadcaster for first time since 2018 to oversee weekend of programming

The radio and TV presenter Kirsty Young will return to the BBC for the first time since 2018 to lead the broadcaster’s platinum jubilee coverage.

Young, who presented BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs for 12 years, stepped back from the programme in August 2018 because she had a form of fibromyalgia, a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body.

In July 2019 she confirmed her break from the show would be permanent, saying it had inspired her to pursue new challenges.

The 53-year-old will return to the BBC in June to anchor a weekend of programming for the Queen’s platinum jubilee and will be joined by other presenters including Huw Edwards, Clare Balding, AJ Odudu, Roman Kemp and Anita Rani.

“I’m delighted to be back on the BBC for such an historic, unique, and happy event,” Young said. “It’s going to be quite a weekend and our coverage will bring viewers everywhere a front row seat at the celebrations. I can’t wait.”

Young and Kemp will lead live coverage of the Platinum Party at the Palace on 4 June. The celebration will bring together famous faces from the world of entertainment to perform for a night of musical tributes. The singer-songwriter George Ezra is the only act confirmed so far for the live concert.

The weekend will also include the Platinum Pageant, at which artistic performers, dancers, musicians, military personnel, key workers and volunteers from across the UK and the Commonwealth will tell the story of the Queen’s reign.

The pageant’s finale will feature a number of celebrities and Ed Sheeran will appear on stage to lead a special tribute to the Queen.

The BBC will also host a variety of programmes celebrating the Queen’s 70-year reign before and after the jubilee weekend, including The Queen’s Jubilee Pudding: 70 Years in the Baking on 12 May. Hosted by Dame Mary Berry, it follows a nationwide competition to find an original celebratory cake or pudding to mark the jubilee.

The winning recipe by an amateur baker will become a part of British culinary history. The five finalists have been revealed only as Shabnam, Susan, Sam, Jemma and Kathryn.

The BBC’s chief content officer, Charlotte Moore, said the corporation was marking the jubilee with an unprecedented range of special programming. “In celebration of Her Majesty’s 70 years of service the BBC will bring the people of the UK together with something for everyone to commemorate this historic anniversary culminating on the extended bank holiday weekend.”


Nadia Khomami Arts and culture correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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