Kirsty Young

Biography: Kirsty Young was born on November 23rd, 1968 to policeman Joe Jackson and his wife Catherine, the second of three children. She has an older sister, Laura, and a younger brother, Iain. However, Joe Jackson left the family six weeks after Kirsty’s birth and has not been in contact with her since. When Kirsty was two, her mother remarried a newsagent; John Young and he brought Kirsty and Laura up as his own. Kirsty has always considered him to be her father. When Kirsty was seven, her dad sold his newsagent business and moved the family from East Kilbride to Stirling, where Kirsty would attend Stirling High School. She would gain 5 O Levels and 2 Highers, in History of Art and English.
She decided to take a year out before going on to study A-levels. During this year, she worked as an au pair in Spain and Geneva and as a barmaid. It was during her stint as a barmaid that she happened to come across a job as a runner for a small production. While she did not enjoy the job much,
Kirsty Young was born on November 23rd, 1968 to policeman Joe Jackson and his wife Catherine, the second of three children. She has an older sister, Laura, and a younger brother, Iain. However, Joe Jackson left the family six weeks after Kirsty’s birth and has not been in contact with her since. When Kirsty was two, her mother remarried a newsagent; John Young and he brought Kirsty and Laura up as his own. Kirsty has always considered him to be her father. When Kirsty was seven, her dad sold his newsagent business and moved the family from East Kilbride to Stirling, where Kirsty would attend Stirling High School. She would gain 5 O Levels and 2 Highers, in History of Art and English.
She decided to take a year out before going on to study A-levels. During this year, she worked as an au pair in Spain and Geneva and as a barmaid. It was during her stint as a barmaid that she happened to come across a job as a runner for a small production. While she did not enjoy the job much, she took pleasure in the atmosphere and quit her job as a barmaid.
In 1989 she became a continuity announcer on BBC Radio Scotland, at the mere age of 21. She had, by now, decided not to pursue further education. She was, at this point, dating Ian Patterson, creator of Rab C Nesbitt who was most 20 years her senior. In 1992, she became an anchor for STV’s Scotland Today. This caused ructions among her colleagues who pointed out her lack of university education. This was ignited even more when her chat show, Kirsty, was produced. This turned out to be a poison chalice. The first episode resulted in Kirsty’s throwaway revelation that she suffered from bulimia when she was 15. The show also caused controversy when it emerged that Kirsty was engaged to one of the guests on the show, a double-glazing salesman called Michael Antoniou. However, in 1995, Kirsty broke off the engagement amid stories of a pub brawl involving her producer and Antoniou and allegations that he hit her. Antoniou promptly sold his story to the press. Kirsty was, by now, enduring a torrid time at the hands of the press because of the bulimia revelation, the relationship with Antoniou and how the press had found “Kirsty’s secret father” after her estranged stepmother sold her story to the press about her involvement in Kirsty’s life.
In 1995, after dating Dominik Diamond for two months, she began seeing rugby player Kenny Logan. In 1996, she decided to move down to London with her boyfriend. She began work as a freelance presenter, presenting shows such as The Street – during which a stunt caused her to contract laryngitis – Holiday, Film 96 and The Time The Place. It was during an interview with Kenneth Branagh that she became aware of a pounding headache. It transpired that she had contracted meningitis and remained in hospital for a week.
In 1997, it was announced that Kirsty would become the news anchor for the brand new terrestrial channel, Channel 5. While Channel 5 itself didn’t have many viewers, Kirsty gained national recognition for her unique news reading style, otherwise known as The Perch. Such recognition would earn her the opportunity to be on the cover of fashion magazine Vogue. Again, critics pointed at Kirsty’s lack of university qualification, but Kirsty resolved not to let this get in her way, and this was shown when she won the Newsreader of the Year award in 1998. It was in 1998 that the on-off relationship with Kenny Logan ended, and she began dating millionaire businessman, Nick Jones, whom she married in 1999.
In 2000, Kirsty defected to ITV, which, as it turned out, was not a wise move. Kirsty was a revolutionary and would normally stand out form any other newsreader. However, ITV wanted her to be just another newsreader and gave her half-hearted programmes such as The People Versus and Rat Trap. To make matters worse, she fell pregnant within months of joining ITV and suffered from severe morning sickness and low blood pressure, causing her to faint and resulting in her taking maternity leave two months earlier than planned. After giving birth to Freya in February of 2001 and gaining praise for her professionalism on the broadcast of September 11th (her husband was in New York, phoned Kirsty and ended up on the broadcast) she defected back to Channel Five in 2002, with a brand new look to coincide with her return. In 2003, she guest-presented Have I Got News For You, to critical acclaim, with one reviewer stating that she was “funnier than Angus, and a million times more glamorous.” She would go on to guest-present another three times. In 2005, she announced that she was pregnant again and in April 2006, she gave birth to her second daughter, Iona. It was publicized in June 2006 that Kirsty would be replacing Sue Lawley as the presenter of Desert Island Discs.
As the years have progressed, Kirsty’s career has gone from strength to strength, and at this rate, it will continue to do so.
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