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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.

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

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 as a continuity announcer for BBC Radio Scotland in 1989. In 1992 she moved to Scottish Television as a presenter of Scotland Today and her short lived chat show, Kirsty. She left Scottish TV and Scotland itself in 1996 to become a relief presenter for The Time, The Place and appeared on the Holiday programme. She co-hosted a 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 briefly hosted a quiz show called The People Versus. In 2001, she became a co-presenter of the ITV Evening News. Young rarely spoke to her ITV colleagues and was miffed that she didn’t get a higher-ranking anchor role.and, later the same year, after giving birth to her first child, she decided to return to Channel 5.

In November 2003, she guest-presented an edition of Have I Got News for You. appearing 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, she was announced as 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, Young replaced 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 lifeEdit

Young attended Cambusbarron Primary School and Stirling High School.[5] She returned in June 2008 to officially open the school's new building. She shared with viewers that she had suffered 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]


  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)

External linksEdit

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