Kirsty Young was the award-winning presenter of Desert Island Discs between 2006 and 2018, interviewing 496 castaways. Her TV work includes BAFTA-winning coverage of events marking the centenary of World War One, and memorable live presentation from Windsor of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II earlier this year. Kirsty was born in East Kilbride in Scotland. After a chance meeting with a freelance TV cameraman, she became interested in a media career, and worked as a runner and then a researcher for an independent production company, before joining BBC Radio Scotland as a trainee news and continuity announcer, beating 700 other applicants. She moved to Scottish Television in 1992, and five years later she was part of the launch of Channel 5, presenting its main news programme while famously perching on the studio desk rather than sitting behind it. She also presented the BBC’s Crimewatch for many years. In 2018, Kirsty had to step back from broadcasting, to undergo treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. After four years away from the microphone, she returned to present coverage of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June this year. She is married to Nick Jones, CEO of Soho House and they have four children. DISC ONE: Cello Suite No.1 in G Major, BWV1007: I. Prelude [J.S.Bach] performed by Steven Isserlis DISC TWO: My Baby Just Cares for Me by Nina Simone DISC THREE: Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell DISC FOUR: Caledonia by Dougie MacLean DISC FIVE: I Happen to Like New York Bobby Short, performer. [Cole Porter, composer] DISC SIX: Songbird by Fleetwood Mac DISC SEVEN: O Magnum Mysterium by [Tomás Luis de Victoria] sung by The Voices of Ascension choir, directed by Dennis Keene DISC EIGHT: Count Me Out by Kendrick Lamar BOOK CHOICE: The Most of Nora Ephron by Nora Ephron LUXURY ITEM: A cinema and film archive CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Cello Suite No.1 in G Major, BWV1007: I. Prelude [J.S.BACH] performed by Steven Isserlis Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Bbc sounds music radio broadcasts, hallo unlearned event, and this is the desert island discs podcast. Every week I ask my guest to choose the eight tracks book and luxury they want to take with them if they were cast away to a desert island. This is an extended vision of the original radio full broadcast and for rights, reasons. The music is shorter than the original broadcast out you enjoy listening, the the the I cast away this week is kirsty young she's
The award winning broadcaster, who might at first glance require little introduction to desert island discs looseness, but is that true, after all, her phenomenal national skill lies in making her subject rather than herself the entire focus of her work. Her ability to reveal the truth of a story a moment. A person to her audience is nothing short of remarkable. It's a feat, she's accomplished again and again throughout her thirty years on air from the newsroom, where she chronicled the horror of nine eleven as it unfolded to her back to winning coverage of the centrality of the battle of passion, dale and more sadly that moment when she found exactly the right words to express the somber gratitude of a nation after the state funeral of her majesty the queen. Of course, there were also the twelve unforgettable. Yes, she spent as host of this programme personal note. They made her my broadcasting hero and the toughest imaginable active, follow she said, castaways
in Tom Hanks dame judi dench and David beckham to the island today. It's her turn in a desert island discs, tradition that goes back to the days of roy Plumlee, who cast himself away twice. She'll make the journey herself and look back on her own story. She says I never had the nerve to plan, but I found that if you work hard, you get the breaks. I've always been gung ho and that has been my friend kirsty young. Welcome back to desert island discs. You are very generous for such a lovely introduction. It is such a treat to be here honestly. You probably can hear my voice, I'm a little bit nervous. It was very
strange to sit on the other side of the table. I mean it's a privilege and also slightly disorienting I'll, do my best to be lucid. I can imagine, there's only one less arisen between interviewee an interview at a whole world of different says so desolate discs ten eighty this year, kirsty. What do you think is about the programme that people of so much all these decades on? I once described it as a sort of hamlet, like quality, just two fists itself around the person who is there. So therefore, if it is a sort of premier league footballer or if it is an astrophysicist, their music and the amount of time you spend talking to them and then also that the ways in the ways out of the music I sort of bee uses flee kind of soft and comfy. So people come into the studio, and they're kind of surrounded by their own bits of furniture in the music, so they ve got the comfort of that familiarity and also whatever they they choose gives each programme a unique cleaver are only meant to
He was at six or twelve. He liked seeing the original letter that roy plumlee rows in front of his three by sort of electric fire as a cause trying to get a commission knew he was a shoe freelancer, so it had very much beginnings, and I also think that's great. I think something that has sort of you, this tiny little seed that was planted that screen into this great oak tree that we all revere. It's a tribute to him. Great idea and your contribution to the enormous he met. Four hundred and ninety six castaways I, while presenting programme yet four hundred ninety six, it and obviously many of them, said that taking part in the programme had it a hugely profound effect on them, but I know from experience that it will have been the same few, these conversations where people open up that the change your perspective every single week, I'm I'm sure, that's an experience. You have many tone absolutely is, and it's a funny thing to think that
but something that is, in essence, just a little forty three minute radio program, but it did made me a more knowledgeable person that was good. The research took me to lots of places. I wouldn't naturally ever have gone reading about it, sort of neural plasticity or trying to understand what carlo rarely actually does for a living hand or those it takes you to places at that that are unfamiliar, that's great, because that kind of was my education for for all of those hundreds of guests, I think we'd better get started with your face. This with that in mind, kirsty, what's it going to be, why you take me with you, so this is the opening from box tellers sweet number, one in three major its played here by stephen soulis, who was one of my early guests. I had not heard this piece of music before Tal familiar with it, I can still remember sitting at my desk.
In the research for the programme and I put on it was one of those moments where I just stopped in my tracks. The other reason have chosen it is when I was interviewing stephen soulis, who is a remarkable cerebral, extraordinary musician Firstly, I asked him: the question is: when you recorded it, because it sorta is the pinnacle, fought for a cellist to record this piece of music and I set him so when you listen back to isn't it and I've never listened back to it, and I said why is that spoiler dog doesn't go back and inspect it's own mass and I thought for somebody as accomplished as him, and- and this happened a lot actually for actors and people that I interviewed people who for other serving us up and was prof. Sort of cultural gems there, of course, human too, and they hear the mistakes and they see the mistakes, and I learned something from that from him which As you know, we are all usually our own worst critics and it's not a bad thing to, because you end up with good work. I think it's actually beauty
Stevens never heard it, but I've had it so many times, and this is something I listen to a lot the
probably it from ox cello sweet number, one in G major played by Stephen S, illness, so kirsty in nineteen. Sixty eight in glasgow, the young. Sister to lower out for a little while it was set just you mom, catherine, and you and your sister. I know that you ve marveled at you, you His tenacity during that time tell me a little bit better. There are lots of single parents in the wild eyed man they all deserve to toss them for the work they do. I was really tiny: a baby She was on her. My sister was three and she is the very definition of a self starter. I can't imagine how difficult that would be
and I remember when my first daughter was a few weeks old lying in the bath, and it really hit me forcefully was the first time actually say difficult upset about it and I felt imagine you knew feel as vulnerable as a person can feel if your role as a mother when you're you're babies We stress that a few weeks and months and my mom was in an unhappy marriage and decided up with that. She would not boots and there was a lot of pain. Reasonable behaviour and she decided she wanted out of it and good for her, and yet she did that. Having of you know a very they young baby and my sisters, I say was only the half, so my mom always made us feel that we have the best thing that ever happened to her and still does and thinks of that pain only in a glass half full way, which has will look what I got so. Inevitably transmits itself you children, so there was never the sense in which I'm on my own. This is impossible. I don't remember any of that in my childhood. I can see them
ocean, and I know I know well. I do feel emotional. When I talk about an actually. You know she got herself a full time job and I went to childminder and she may choose a job with a car. You know she completely looked at she'd gauze had made the very very best when she didn't have. She had very loving parents, but she had no financial security from her family background, and so she did that, self and my admiration for that is on ending, and it said like she insulated you from the emotional impact of what she was experiencing until you're. Much later, she really I mean, I think. Obviously in was, as I've become older and understand more about myself, and I think more about those things. When you have you don't family Thirdly, do you understand that those things necessarily have an impact on the eu, but my mum gave us enough love for everybody. She definitely did that and not let you know that is that's no small feet. I think
time for small music curse to your second disc. Today, what are you going to hear? We are going to hear something by nina simone amid all eight tracks virtually could have been by nina Simone. I love her so much. I love her voice, all of the breadth of her catalogue, all of the pain that is writ across much of the stuff that she portrays. This is of a light one and it is he is glorious and I do listen to it regularly and I love it and I'm a real words person. So I love the lyrics of this. I'm very fortunate in that my sister laura, and my brother in really properly make me laugh, probably like no other people and laura was in a charity fashioned show when she was a teenager, and I was, three years younger and always in an all of her still sort of them. She is my best,
and- and sometimes I still persuaded her to do, the funny dance. It was a kind of parity of the fashions Sudan's that she originally did to this track knows a teenager. It's my baby. Just cares for me, let me show you baby man baby ma embracing me can't can, please I mean it's a moon on my baby. Just cares for me so kirsty Your mom, Marie John Hume, who you call tat, brought you up people's you dad when you were three and your brother in came along too. So there were three kids
and I think John run a news agency sweet shop, but if that's right did you have free reign of sweetly jaws did we my mom ruled the road of iron. I was sometimes a load spend my five people get money on the penny tree occasionally, but we weren't know we were not. it's sweets. We did. My mom was one of those mums. I mean good on her. You know we didn't have fizzy drinks in the house. That was what she was like and he is always been a very hard graft might add. John, and it was you know up to get the papers six am and all that sort of stuff. So you saw that drive and that work ethic. My dad has got an incredible work ethic and even know in his. You know he's he's in his early eighties. Even know you know. If, if you wanted him to build your staircase or a kitchen, he'd be the first one to where a visa is a train, join on his very, very skilled and and later on in his life. He he worked, restoring our buildings and scotland- and you he's a real craftsmen here- my mom had in, and
well, then we have this little brother can still remember in being brought back from the hospital and we were very much brought up as a family units. I didn't of any contact with my biology the father and John has always been my and a brilliant that you relocated it to sterling in from east kilbride, when you were eight- and it did not feel like a very big change to like a really big change, and it felt like a very positive change because we are sterling is a beautiful place and it's very very different from his complaints. It was a. It was a great move and I went to much much nicer school and the great had mastered it was a very positive thing for me. Is it tell me that school would we have read on your report? I didn't particular enjoy high school. Apart from the things that I was reasonable at so I enjoyed art MR carpenter, my teacher. He was brilliant. We had a really strong english department. There I loved english era. Tracing sees. It was asked to write the schooling newspaper and- and I was in the debating timber,
in the things that I liked I was really average average to medium crap as everything else, and also I kept encountering teachers who see, so you're lorna, laura young sister, because laura was effortlessly academic, which was so If you were me saying my husband should teach. I did. I felt in her satisfy had find my own things I did. I did feel in her shadow. I felt young well, no, I'm not. I'm knows not. Academics are, but I'm sorry- thing else you know in a way it's you know, one in families is good. I think that's why it's good to have siblings cause you to find you if not just in relation to europe, in our thoughts but externally to them to an and set agree. I think up early absolutely it's interesting, though, that the do seem to have been clues there, that you had a voice that you wanted to use them in debating society, the school newspaper, if only some including me had put tuned, get if I can those sorts of jobs. When and something in my consideration. You know I had I uncles who worked in the newspapers in Glasgow. They worked in the print rooms
we didn't. We didn't know people who were journalists, we didn't know, certainly didn't know people in broadcasting. So it's very other. I didn't perceive myself as that suppressant, but, of course, absolutely if the police were there as to what- and I remember being asked to do some public speaking at primary school, they asked me to do a vote of thanks and I just got up and did it and everybody kind of lieutenant she, She can actually do that and it didn't bother me to do it to stand up and speak in front of people, and I was probably only nine, I think, not to be flippant kirsty, but even in those days did people say her voice as a real gravity has a certain south africa. When, when did that kick in, when did when did the voice happen? I got chucks over the school choir when I was at high school. I remember the music teacher. He was so self selecting you just went along. It was like a club, an after school club, and he said old man river out out, I know so. I've always and even know, if I'm staying in a hotel in order them service. This it'll be with you, sir, and forty minutes you. I know I've got
slightly. It is a deep voice, but it was it's good later. It was good later and last laugh on that one bst, let's go to the music, it's time for your third selection, today. What are we gonna to hear in my well? Why? Wouldn't we hear johnny mitchell worshipped the shrine of juny mitchell for decades? I sometimes feel on her behalf assent of resentment that I know people revere her, but bob Dylan Johnny Mitchell, I'm thinking they are exactly the same. She is an absolute poet, the fact that she rootless when she was, I think, twenty five bamboozles me because really it's the song over maybe a fifty five year old woman who is extraordinary. It's beautiful and my brother used to shite, as I played it on my cassette recorder screaming which off he did not like joni mitchell so much so this is for you and actually rows and flows
dies in every way in the rain and snow on every joni mitchell, both sides now so kirsty young. Tell me a little bit more about this potential that you have this latent urge to to use your voice at school. You mentioned that you wrote for the school paper you're in the debating society. I think you also attended summer drama schools at the the scottish youth theatre. Those were residential courses when they they wherein I did get very, very homesick. I don't want to overstate the fact that I I was unhappy at school, but I didn't really
and when I was in those environments are really loved her and I thought you had. These are my people and it was a bit more exotic and were very dan's. It was more fun. I feel sorry for my parents. You know that they had two trips to see ibsen's peer gynt, when you see that sort of performed by a fourteen year old, I can't imagine that was the best night of their life. You know, but they they supported me and they encouraged me and it it made me. I I suppose just aware that the world's a big place- and there are all sorts of choices and it's not just about passing exams and sitting in french class. I think words. Actually I think that was the thing that I fell in love with. I think when I was a teenager yeah. I've never thought that that here we go desert the magical desert island discs. Soon you I would see in or whether it was the worst
junior mitchell or whether it was shakespeare. I was kind of falling in love with words, annually conversation or or lyrics or books are really my. My thing you didn't go seen very city, you didn't place it. What do you think it was because you thought you I'm not the academic once I'm not going to. I was like a b and c. I think my a level equivalent, sir in scotland, the cold hires, so that was it I mean results were fine. I think I had a slightly restless quality and I know it was long. I was earning after I finished my exams. My parents were fine with that, and so I am, I left school and took up her job working sort of, washing glasses and working a restaurant and saved up to go abroad, but on a plane. So I thought quite likes to see. Seventeen and seventeen you might I an au pair path, I went be appear adventurous. It was quite adventurous since you were quite far away with barcelona, barcelona and switzerland. Yeah always listened to radio in my teens in my bedroom
But I developed an abiding love of radio when I was an au pair cause. I listened to the world service for at least three hours a day when I did the ironing say he came home after that adventure and I took a job in a public area. I was going to get ready. I wanted to do english literature, a level and the only way you could do that I wanted to just be more specific, and so I was going to go to college and I was working over the summer in a bar and I was serving a pint to have a nice. Guy one evening- and he was a freelance camera operator and his runner had gone sick and he did sports and I thought well the next weekend rolling working here. Maybe I can lift those camera cases, and so that was a it's as they used to call a run it, and so that was my summer job. I started work on motor sports shoes and football sheets, neither which I'm interested in this matter
These are not really. I can see always that your daughter, I loved it, because it was this whole hidden, world and or hidden to me and yeah, and I thought would look now. These people doing jobs that they will love, which is this. That's the great gift of our such orbs and broadcasting. Is there an awful lot of people doing jobs? They really love, and that is a great which- and I saw all these people didn't jobs. They loved- and I thought maybe an answer so I said to my parents: I might not go to college the levels and upgrade my exam results on my Do this and they said well, I submit somewhere, it was runners who have we ve got have done, have done for years and therefore years older than me, and neither got jobs, a runner and they said and again to their great credit lease had right. While that's fine as long as you keep working in you, you do that. Then you carry on it. Such a brilliant attitude, I think, is apparent. Would find your thing, your sisters, things? Not your thing. What's your thing and they completely allowed me to do,
as long as I was in earning money in paying my way I'll find out. happen next at him in its first, though, I think we'd better here. Your fourth choice today closely. What have you got for craig you get? The tissues are who this is my mom and dad, and it's also a love letter to scotland by digging clean. It is. really for all the people who ever gone away as that you on the words person and the limits of this. Of course, I know we can't listen to all of it, but if people like I would urge them to listen to all of it, because it is a beautiful love letter to scotland by somebody who has left and yet there scottish, nor is it the very core of who they are and kind of defines everything they do, but but that need to leave to propel yourself away and then later to understand why you sad that you ve gone. This is explicitly cystic him clean and caledonia.
Crying stolen dreams, just there's no denying travel times travelled conscience. Sometimes somewhere we lead. Damn thing two Do you Can we clean and caledonia so you wrote loving working as a runner and evade a lot for a couple of years. Then a researcher and you beat seven hundred applicants to a job that you applied for it was as trainees, news and continuity answer for BBC radio, scotland, you just twenty one and you got it of all of those people. What
I think they saw in you. I think they were trying to lure the mean age of the department. Had it not been timing and a career is everything and I think obviously they thought they could train me up and I'd be reasonable at the job and that's great, but I think also the timing of. Maybe a younger voice in their department may be a young female, and I mean there were wonderful females in the department and I worked with a brilliant team and it was the best training I could ever have had or did they send me- I you know I don't know a little bit of potential. Probably I guess you almost didn't apply the. Why not? Why didn't have the nerve? It was the ppc lauren. I was working as a small independent. It was at the time when twenty five percent of all at tv production had been decreed, that it should be independent production and therefore there wait a minute you're explosion in Glasgow, these little independent election coming so as researching documentaries and pitching ideas, it's really interesting door and somebody who worked with me said he should apply for this. What I didn't news that the company was
close to going down the swanee at the time and I was like I love my job plus I'd. Never get that one and on the final d before it was closing, my work colleague said no, you, you really should apply for this, so I filled out. He literally drove me to the reception and watched me hand in so that was a very kind thing for them to do. I I I, I lacked a rebus of nerf. I think, even at that point by the time I was researching, I'd worked up enough nerve at the interview for that job, the researchers job to say you know, maybe one day I could be a reporter, but even seeing I felt like a fraud, I felt like the person's going to start laughing. They didn't start laughing, and that probably gave me the confidence came quite incrementally I think gradually. Well with with that in mind since eats he were a bit boo nervous. I mean how was it going on air for the first time I had that sort of tension where I definitely wanted this was a proper job. I was getting incredible training by brilliant professionals. I was surrounded with, and it also terrified me and I think hits home, quick
We lose the terror. I lost the tenor very quickly and I love being in a radio studio, and I who love being a tv student over into becoming before I did my first life news lewis and am I to go, and so often Oh yeah, I did have the nerves were churning cassius, small means it your fifth choice. What have you got for and why would this, is all about new york, I think, is actually probably the song written about new york and it's maybe not one. People think it is written by cole. Porter I have a never ending like so many people for ending love affair with new york of england there for thirty years, and it just absolutely never ever disappoints, and whenever I step into the middle of manhattan, I always somehow feel I come back guns in a movie, and I love her hat, and I remember the first time, as is my sister. When I went to new york and in a worked up there
the nerve to order martini, I didn't even know what was in a martini, but I remember, sitting a berlin in new york drinking a martini. There is a particular hotel in new york, but I've been lucky. After some time state and this was accorded live? That would tell they. Have this beautiful little lounge sort of jazz lines with a lamp on the table and listen, food and it is wonderful and now I have a great reason to visit new york, because two of our kids are currently based there once working there. Neither one study, and so this is a cool porter song and it was recorded, live coffee, carlisle and its bogey short singing. I happened, like new york lie, I want to hear the where of thought to ring my mom why
Bobby shoe. And I happen to like me: mule good taste, the martini wish. I could tell them all saying the opposite, loudly kirsty and in ninety. Ninety seven, you joined at channel five, you were there at it's launch hosting the news and you won many awards for your work. They're, your style was also hugely influential on the way the news is presented. Obviously, there was the famous perch on the desk rather than being sat behind it, but also this kind of a certain directness, in in to the way you covered the news. The way you handle the stories is lovely being at the start of something because everybody's kind of you know, you're all in the mess together and its way through binding, bonding in that way- and I think people were ready to find him,
area sooner, people were ready to look at the mess, and actually it wasn't an within two or three weeks. being on a year. We got a wonderful front page in a section of a broad shaken What it said is why this woman is changing the face of television news. I wasn't the editors and the producers and the people who'd formatted. The program were to be clear. I just happen to be the the person at the front that I'm the one that got the picture of. So that's what they say. You know people did start to loosen up a bit. We came out from behind the desk. It was during the the nineteen ninety seven election campaign, and there was this massive in chess on as to whether tony LEO was gonna cut through and and the first programme. We did. I him on an interview demand our member saint. We were talking tat, Mister Campbell, any Then he says: where does the secretary yeah and your words it and say what we don't have chair so apparent uneasily he'll. Do what and then we had this big discussion about. Will tony blair parents intuitively was happy to parent Alister, wasn't so happy for to have imperatives? Incidents,
It's glaring at me, through the suitable in by the side of the camera. Just I shot did you get more flak because you were in those days. This is me no twenty five years ago. I guess I certainly made on occasion with you know, a nice little dash of snow bringing the sergeant, but that's not unique to me, but I definitely, I remember, being launched the launch partiality, the whole channel and I was chatting away to an english female film producer who produce something for the channel behind me. Conversation and then towards the end of competitions house. Soon. I sought in a shit just on to something that the news- and I said yeah sure- are you going to do in that voice?. I well, it's the only one I've got. I was actually astonished by that. You know, but that was clearly. She meant. I think she meant accent and who she was talking about. My accent and I remembered Michael heseltine sing it to a party conference where we gonna and we went to the party conferences to salve, tell them, but what we were doing and try to smooth politicians- and you Michael has
Contains means hamilton, some little smart, elegant skirts. Try to get the better of me. I thought right. Well, suits from here on. In the you meet little things like that, the not even bumps in the route, but they are indicative of certain attitudes and certain perspectives. You were Two I tv for while two percent news over that ends up your honour on September, the eleventh on tv as no one. It was supposed to be justin ordinary day, but obviously it wasn't you I ended up being on air for over five hours stood. What are your memories of it? I'd gone back to work after having one of my daughters, so I'd only been back at work for maybe about six weeks. I think, and my husband called me on the way into work and said he was in york, and he said, there's been a plane crash and it wasn't long after John Kennedy junior had
watched his small plane on his way out. I think Martha's vineyard- and I am he said it went into the world trade towers of san you. What the buildings were- and I thought maybe it was a little by or two I had no sense of It- and I said god that's extraordinary. He said yeah it really is extorting and I ran off and I went into the newsroom that day I was doing the evening news and it was kind of vibrating I'd, never feel anything, like it was extraordinary atmosphere. When the news editor, the emperor editor and he said we're gonna do flash on this I said billy said yet was a passenger plain and husbands in new york. He is- and I said, he's with a guy who saw it cause he'd gone out into the street, because he'd heard the noise and it was a road sweeper, who'd set on a plane, just went in and he was only like five or six blocks from the twin towers site By the time I went downstairs, I didn't you:
time taken to make up, and I thought I was just going to do a news flash. I literally had not even twenty seconds worth of of their script, but by the time I got into the studio and I was getting rigged up with a mic. They said it's happened again, a second ones conan, so it was very clearly some moving story and from the back of the gallery, I heard in my earpiece were going open, ended, which basically means we're going on here and we don't know when we're coming off and we came off the fight just over. There was over five hours later. It was very, very intense experience, terrifying, for the world and not least for those extraordinary new yorkers. It helps extraordinary. Did you surprise yourself that you stayed so common in that kind of moment, because he he kind of been through anything convert, to that end before that was a unique event are used used to say will have the lot of robin era I was on air miles. You know I've got a lot of live and I think that really comes into its own. When you, when I I mean I was relatively,
relatively young. I was in my early thirties but old enough to be good at my job. That's the point. The point as you hold it together is: let's have some more music s, e t or sixth choice. Today, what are we going to hear? I was very lucky to er to enter. if you christine mcvie on desert island discs back in twenty seventeen, and I think she wrote the perfect love song kissing vienna. And I think this is the perfect love song and it's so exquisite and simple and yet profound- and this is for my husband, nick the. It's the
let's go christine mcveigh from fleetwood mac with some bad nasty in two thousand and six you became the fourth presented. Does island discs and he castaway nearly five hundred people over twelve years? Looking back, what do you take away from that experience? Very, very early on in my career, those given great advice by somebody witches in all, listen to them sir solvay well to think of your kind of smarty knickers questions listen to the answer, and so I got to listen. I got to listen to brilliants high, achieving com The victory infuriating, marvellous funny, talented people? I really love the long form nature.
I love that there was room for people to breathe and talk and there was room to give them to us the follow up question and you know that that's the great thing, so many great things went the job, but you know all of those things cassie. You did have to step away from broadcasting. You take a full year break in august twenty eighteen you'd become ill with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis yalta to step down from your role as president of unicef UK. Now you would always worked ever since leaving school at seventeen. It must have been at a huge change what was it like? Being told that you had to stop been around the hoses with my my heels for about a year, seeing different specialists trying to work out what was going on and it was a little bit more complex picture in that pain was increasing and I was I was feeling really really ropey really ropey and I eventually was fortunate enough to get in front of a brilliant man.
brilliant professor of rheumatology, who took time and not ever Physician does but really took time to understand what was going on and presented me with the facts and, along with giving me a diagnosis which makes complete sense to me. He said you know. This is how I believe you can get better and you ve got me if you want to get ass, you ve gotta, take seriously because it is going nowhere. If you Don'T- and one of the things he said was his way of doing your work where you sort of producer- or you did- and I want to do or you do that kind of job I've I've got you know, I can't do that part time and again I can't do those things are not new sort of commitment and he said well part of getting sir, is we can introduce all sorts of drugs can monarchy. We can do this and we can do, but you have to reduce the stress in your life and you have to. This seriously and you can't just keep shovelling painkillers. Your neck, which don't work anyway and feel shocking. If you want to get better, this excited it. So it was.
This very real said with extreme kindness much better than I I've just precede it but it was. It was just a moment of absolute reality and clarity, and I remember I pulled my car over and to set a good old monte is a good skill, shortages or great butter, and a lot right, well, them's the facts, and are you really going to have to think about this and am very aware in talking about this? People sit, opposites, physicians and get diagnoses, the article much more, the us than the one I goals, but it's a very painful sing I was in pain and chronic long term. Pink condition is an absolute pain. Yet little here it's a fort Lee to deal with it grinds your way. You lose your personality, you lose your sense of humor. You lose your sense of self there's all sorts of things that go with it. It's awful,
I had tickets use. If I was going to get better, so I did so. Can I pick up on that that that idea of a sense of self- because that's one of the key things is particularly when you know you, you change your daily routine. You change your job, you're, changing your identity related! step away. How did you handle that? I felt very shaky. Better because, as you said at works- and I had a job that I absolutely loved, and intended to do until they sort of shocked me at the door really- and I. Yeah. I thought, if I'm not that minor one, what my for what's a kirsty for If I did that- and that was ridiculous- oversee, because, given that. to use that well worn phrase, the cracks are where the light gets in all sorts of other things happened that were good things. Yes, but at that moment you kind of do lose yourself and in when you're in.
Chronic, daily pain. You sort of lose yourself anyway. So it's the kind. You know, there's a lot going on. There's a lot going on and actually the more the the thing I wanted most was to try to figure out how to get on top of this thing happen you are so much better now much better able to to come back to front the BBC's coverage of this year's platinum jubilee earlier this summer and and then of course, just a few months- lazy presented coverage of queen elizabeth seconds funeral from windsor now closing tribute kirsty, as I'm sure you know, went viral and many thought ads. You summed up her life magnificently while just about management to hold it together, could see and hear the the emotion and in voice. What you think, the twenty one year old, kirsty started out with a nervous and answer would have made that, oh goodness knows
particularly in a moment in history and our collective history. Will its communication? Isn't it in the end that sort of the job I'm supposed to be able to do that it's in a nutshell, is communicating with people and I'm not you know I don't wear, can use any more. I don't need to have the clinical. I have on the sand that and on that hand it was, it was really in those fine. it was really hot just happened. What have we all collective? Then? I absolutely appreciate the people, may not be interested in the walls and may have no feelings on the queen, but for the for the people who will watching and for the people had bothered to watch and the people who had watched the end of that period that remarkable in days of mourning what was it we were thinking and in the end, the data I worked was just funeral d, and so I think it was held. for me that had been one of those people also watching as I was writing it and because
I had the four days of doing the platinum coverage and white I'd read a lot and I've been thinking along by the queen, because that was that was my first thing back at work this year, so I was just really trying as honestly as possible. so any what I see without without any sort of cynicism, more attempting to be beyond but we are all in this moment and I am in you are, and we ve all been in it and what's it been about, why is this moment happened? The weights happened. That's what I'm trying. To sum up how much that, even actually because, in my view, it's very good and I know what's going to do that, but thank you for being couldn't in and under pressure, the kind of pressure that you must have been under it on a day like that, I didn't nearly. A bit of a moment it was. It was emotional I mean I felt emotionally was set, and we sitting right at the heart of it in windsor and the pipes that an help with amassed packets coming down in front. We were absolutely,
in this kind of surrounding, sounds and visual situation and an em. That's the point of the job. Isn't it? The point is to try to to have some clarity at the centre of something I think that's. The point is to try to see. what is this and if you can get hold of something that sometimes even feel a bit intangible. Of course the queen meant very different things to different people, but it actually the experience of what we call me too. I think it's their collective nato, if not more and in the historic nature of that moment, in that we were all in it together and also to humanize that you know- and I thought, what how do you find a way of talking about the paddington moment, using the words and beer cause they signed a little bit flippin in the middle of the. So there was a way of kind of working at that that that made it appropriate to the situation. I hope- and I am glad that some people felt was absolutely it was cast. You were going to make some time for the music disk number seven. What are we going to hear necks.
I am not not particularly her devoted of organised religion but organised, cordial, singing moves me to my very core and I absolutely love the signs of the. Unaccompanied human voice on my island, I only the company so? One of the reasons that have chosen at this particular time is the is the company of voices, the I would almost sort of surround me like a comfort, blankets. I also am am not proud of this. I'm a christmas not and I'm not even Iraq, but I mean I literally just love, it start thinking about christmas. When I put away my swimmer cozy at the end of august, I'm christmas is common. I also love that time of year, and so this is a beautiful, well, I'm to me anyway, veil, a beautiful piece of coral music that just encapsulates the beauty of the of the human voice, what its capable of, and also just that peaceful festive time.
here: the eye is, is my favorite, so this is who Magnum missed him. The
The. Oh magnum, mysterious by thomas louis, the victoria and the voices of essential choir directed by Dennis king so castillo. Let me ask you a bit about christmas since your christmas. Now How do you spend the big day? Is there a fixed routine? Yes, but very much as there's almost a time she took me through. There is an absolute sehgal, a time schedule there isn't really, but mostly in our heads. This is got to be at home. We're not allowed to be anywhere else, but at home as decreed by or for kids. So it's at home. Is it a shameful thing? I think it might be this year.
I have actually bought christmas pyjamas. Everyone is matching, apparently less a thing. Ass, a thing is a thing of net. We ve never done it. You not on social hefty I mean is. That is that. Why is he added thing than people? Do they post the cell fees? I haven't done it, but I say quite online to have the pajamas do yet rice, okay, so so this is a new thing, this christmas, so it starts with as many people as we can see in the house will be there always A couple of days before I am not one of our kids, who is a first rate, baker we make a christmas bunt village. You heard me right, so if you do five or six of them at different think then you couldn't together and put the icing icing should grant up christmas village. That's taxpaying satisfying, we have a city of the fits and completely of the taught me to my husband is never happier than when he's catering for four times the amount of people that he needs to be catering for and he's really. He is the king of the sunday roast I'm on stuffing bread
source sprouts and sausages, okay and he's on everything else: okay, so you're kind of acute trauma. I am, I am that's exactly what I'm doing and he's doing the hard stuff and some well. We did watch the queen's speech before we ate and this year we'll watch the king's speech, which will be remarkable and interesting. Kirsty know what happens next and were preparing to cast you away now. You've heard so many different versions of islands described to you. Yes, I wonder what island you imagined for yourself in this moment, if I was suitably attired I'd like a tiny, beautiful scottish island? Actually I used to go walking with my dearest group of girlfriends scottish girlfriends, and I had to give it up for a few years, and that made me quite miserable, but I'm back walking again and we went this year to a caravan, a tiny little ex
was it and fashion of said, an ex other people. Too many people could walk neighbours bay, they beautiful little little, which is some near open off the coast. There I wouldn't mind being stuck on care. Let me choose that one, but I need to have a nice big puffin, some proper walking boots on. I wonder about talking about the the building up the practicalities of surviving on you on your desert island. be able to start a fire build a shelter. You said you dad was very handy take. Him cannot suddenly no, it so no one minimal, obviously useless. All of that he didn't pass on his scales, No, not really. I can deal fires loans. At long as I be a tragic weeping me, asked by our for a merchant and what about the solitude? How would you handle that not too bad? I think cause I'm. I've got a vibrant inner dialogue. Sometimes too vibrant. I don't mind my own company. I mean it's easy to say that, isn't it, how long would I last I poly go kind of crackers after three days, but I'm not bad with my own company, I quite like it
before you go. You know you and I were modest. So I think with a here at this is number eight cast. You want to get a thing. This is for a four fabulous. Children is a great privilege is not period. The great privilege, them in the same way that you know children help you think about things in different ways and examine yourself in ways and may be question some of your attitudes. Ass. They grow up. They also introduce you to stuff. That is brilliant and you would never find it and I would definitely never listened to kendrick Lamar. Unless my children said Why do you not listen to kendrick Lamar you'd love it? You don't wanna pulitzer for nothing. Do you mean the guy? The guy's got chops and I thought on the island. I could learn the words to this least. If my children, all the words to this, and that kind of impresses me he sort of they are joni mitchell. In the same way that I can sing every word of her songs, they seem to know his and it seems a lot
difficult to learn and Johnny Mitchell. So maybe I can occupy some of my time on the island managing to learn this incredibly impressive and other wonderful piece of music when these last summer make these rather wrong. That dont, as one of you now with the planned this until they're, not fat, rain or may put the blame on the guy. You got her shame on weekends magazines. Does me don't ever magazine was fain to me is again to meet with the babble mechanism, may never had affairs with there was there when the horse in a worse, don't wish was bare mona money. Don't take these back Israel somebody technologies back. I can't do much one share too much I hear too much shut down to why they're too much emma complex, so they let me have them broke me down and morality does just a lack of trust, kendrick Lamar and can me out so
It's the young! You know the deal it's time for me to send you away to the island I'll, give you the bible through the complete works of shakespeare. You can also take one other book. What will it be? While I was thinking a lot about? What would I really really want, and what would I really really miss, and I think, given that I've got the complete works of shakespeare and the bible, and I would read the bible- I've never read the bible, so I'm definitely going to do that and ward. I would as I think, is the friendship of girlfriends, especially, and so I'm going to take with me. The collected works of Nora ephron is called the last of Nora ephron and it's pretty substantial. It's over five hundred pages. I haven't read all of her journalism. I recently re read for about the third one. At the time heartburn and I had tears running down my face now. I think that is really really smart to be able to do that from the written word. So that's what I take, because it is the the voices of all the wonderful, smart funny,
women, I have been lucky enough to noon- do no sort of encapsulated into the works of of Nora effort. So that's what I'm gonna take fabulous. You can have. Tree item to what would you like? I don't know how tough you gonna, I'm gonna, be tough on states, you ok, so some flimsy idiots let Dustin Hoffman take the bar. Who was that God only knows anyway I did that, and so I sort of think it was Dustin. Hoffman can take the part that I don't want the bar at the ritz okay. I thought right I'm going to take my bathroom from home because I'd love the feeling of fresh water, but I'm not going to. I recently went to see some end, as is brilliant new movie, and it has set an old cinema. I would like to take a cinema which has all of the films I've ever watched. How could I take that approach?
I can't take that. Yes, I don't see why not only gives a single seat, I don't even need a popcorn machine family could not give you a popcorn it's you, that's a nasty, so that's what I would like. I would like an old cinema with all the movies I've ever watched available for me to view and that way of company and I'll have memories and I'll have stories and I'll have escapism will make sure the chair. Incredibly configure for that. It is yours, and finally, if you could only save one of the tracks, which would it be, of course this is impossibly difficult, and I really resent you for even asking, but it's going to, I think it's going to be the bark, the cello suite, because everything is in there it to me. It is it's it's what it is to be human in music there, and because I'm a words person I've got a forgotten all the russian french I ever learned, but I've got the lyrics to every song I have enjoyed in my head to. Actually, I think it would be the bath cassie young. Thank you
very much for sharing your desert island discs with us such a pleasure. Thank you so much the hello. It was lovely too two kirsty and a hope, she's very happy on IRAN and watching her favorite films in her cinema there are more than two thirds in programmes in our archive, which you can listen to, including the programmes of former presented of desert island discs, boy, plumply, Michael parkinson, and similarly- and you can also find it. Allah discs of the musicians who kirsty chose to take to her own island, cellist, stephen zealous and fleet, would not member Christine Magee. You can find that programmes if he said through BBC sounds all on our own desert and discs website. The studio manager for today's programme was jackie, marjoram decision producer was Christine Pavlovsk iii and the producer with Sarah Taylor
the hello. This is marrying keys and this entire flynn we host upon cast. You might lie for BBC radio, four and BBC sounds called now you're asking each week we take listeners, questions about life, love, lingerie cats, dogs, dentists, pockets or the lack of anything really and apply our worldly wisdom in a way which we hope will have, but also hopefully, entertain, join us for. Don't you search up oh you're asking on BBC sounds tank anew
Transcript generated on 2023-01-22.