03 May 2022

Kirsty Young to return to the BBC for Platinum Jubilee celebrations

03 May 2022

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, 53, previously presented BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs for 12 years before stepping down in 2019 due to illness.

She first stepped back from the programme in August 2018 after suffering from a form of fibromyalgia, a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body, according to the NHS.

Young presented Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4 for 12 years before stepping down (Sophie Mutevelian/BBC/PA) (PA Media)

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

Young will now return to the BBC in June to anchor a full weekend of programming for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and will be joined by presenters including Huw Edwards, Clare Balding, AJ Odudu, Roman Kemp and Anita Rani.

Hosts Young and Kemp, 29, will lead live coverage of the Platinum Party at the Palace which will take place on June 4 and air live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer and across the BBC network.

The celebration will see famous faces from the world of entertainment brought together to perform for a night of musical tributes to celebrate the Jubilee.

English singer-songwriter George Ezra is currently the only act to have been confirmed for the live concert.

Reporters across the UK will cover the celebration, including Jermaine Jenas at Buckingham Palace, Gethin Jones in Wales, Carol Kirkwood in Scotland, and Holly Hamilton in Northern Ireland.

Ahead of her return to the BBC, Young said: “I’m delighted to be back on the BBC for such an historic, unique, and happy event.

“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!”

The celebrations will also include the Platinum Pageant, during which Young will be joined by a variety of presenters, including Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton Du Beke.

The pageant will bring together artistic performers, dancers, musicians, military personnel, key workers and volunteers from across the UK and the Commonwealth who will unite to tell the story of the Queen’s reign in a festival of creativity.

During the pageant’s finale a number of national treasures will feature 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 during the lead up to the Jubilee weekend and following the main celebrations.

Journalist and newsreader Clive Myrie will present The Crown Jewels documentary on June 3.

Speaking about the programme, Myrie, 57, said: “It’s been a really powerful journey of discovery for me finding out more about the amazing crown jewels, their importance to the monarchy and their role in the complex history of our islands.”

Dame Mary Berry will host The Queen’s Jubilee Pudding: 70 Years In The Baking on May 12, which will follow a nationwide competition to find an original celebratory cake or pudding to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee.

The winning recipe will become a part of British culinary history, and the amateur baker who devised it will be revealed in the programme, chaired by Dame Mary with a team of award winning home bakers and professional chefs, authors, historians and patissiers.

The show’s five finalists have been revealed as Shabnam, Susan, Sam, Jemma and Kathryn.

A number of the BBC’s most-loved shows will receive a Jubilee makeover including EastEnders, The Repair Shop and Bargain Hunt.

In a special episode of EastEnders, airing on June 2, the residents of Albert Square will celebrate the Jubilee with a street party organised by one of the soap’s most recognisable couples Mick and Lina Carter.

The finalists and judges of The Queens Jubilee Pudding: 70 Years in the Baking (BBC/PA)

CBBC will also be marking the weekend with a Blue Peter Jubilee takeover special on June 3, as well as continued specials on June 4 and 5 to involve younger audiences in the celebrations.

BBC chief content officer, Charlotte Moore said: “The BBC is marking The Queen’s momentous Platinum Jubilee in spectacular style 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.”

Special programming across BBC networks will start in early May through to June 5 with significant live events broadcast across the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox