Kirsty Young BLASTED other news outlets but insists she ‘trusts’ BBC

Desert Island Discs: Kirsty Young introduces Pam Ayres in 2018

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Kirsty Young, 53, is presenting coverage of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this morning. The veteran presenter is returning to the BBC for the first time in three years to cover the events marking her Majesty’s 70-year reign. The star hosted BBC Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs’ for 12 years before stepping down in 2019. She quit the role after suffering with fibromyalgia syndrome, a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body.

This week, the first instalment of Kirsty’s Jubilee coverage will see her present Trooping the Colour – the official celebration of the Queen’s birthday – on BBC One.

Joined by Huw Edwards and JJ Chalmers, the presenter will guide viewers through the parade, which marks the official birthday of the Queen.

This morning’s events finish with the annual appearance of the Royal Family on the Buckingham Palace balcony for a flypast by the RAF.

Kirsty, who began her broadcasting career with the BBC in 1989, opened up about the news coverage of other organisations in a throwback interview.

The presenter claimed she “trusts” the Corporation’s news coverage as she answered a question about media bias at a China Exchange event in July 2017, hosted by Sir David Tang.

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In response to an audience member, she said: “I do trust the BBC. I would not say it is perfect. Of course, it makes mistakes, but I pretty much do trust it.

“I think one of the great problems with news now – and I did not want to end up being that grumpy old lady in the corner of the newsroom saying, ‘it wasn’t like that in my day’ – is the 24-hour news cycle.

“It demands immediate answers. We saw that during the Obama presidency, the idea that they were not constantly feeding things and that he was judged as a procrastinator.

“I think the 24-hour news cycle has changed news a lot and I think – and I am going to sound like an old lady here – that is probably to the detriment of news, I would say.

“I think because things are less considered and less thought through and much more immediate.”

Kirsty has years of news reading experience under her belt, having worked for Channel 5, ITV and on the BBC’s ‘Scotland Today’ programme.

In her appearance at China Exchange, she was also asked what she teaches her children about which news outlets to trust.

She replied: “I say to my kids, and it is always an ongoing conversation about trying to understand, that just because it has parity on the platform, it does not mean it is as true as the next thing you are going to read.

“So, I just try and teach them critical faculties. And you know, if 60 percent of Americans, their main source of news is through Facebook, well, that is an entirely terrifying fact.

“Not because Facebook in itself is a bad thing, but because it is not a platform for reasoned journalism that has been cross-checked and all those things that we tend to take for granted.”

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This week, Kirsty will be joined by other broadcasting favourites, Clare Balding, AJ Odudu, and Anita Rani for the BBC’s jubilee coverage.

One of the highlights is set to be the Platinum Party at the Palace on June 4, which Kirsty will cover along with Roman Kemp.

The musical spectacular features an eclectic line-up of stars, including Queen + Adam Lambert, Diana Ross, Sir Rod Stewart and others.

Ahead of her return to the BBC, Kirsty was excited at the prospect of the huge royal occasion.

In a statement, she 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.”

‘Trooping the Colour’ airs on BBC One today from 10am.

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