Lauren Laverne thanks fans after criticism over Desert Island Discs role


Lauren Laverne has thanked her listeners for their ‘surreal’ and ‘wonderful’ support in the wake of criticism of her presenting abilities.

The DJ, who is best known for presenting on BBC 6 Music, was the subject of an attack piece in weekly magazine The Spectator arguing that Lauren was an inappropriate host for Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs due to being ‘lightweight and uncerebral’.

The article, titled ‘Desert Island Discs has completely lost the plot’ saw writer Melanie McDonagh accuse the BBC of trying to attract under 35s to the show and only hiring Lauren because she was ‘youngish, regional, a pop presenter and a woman’.

‘She runs Kathy Clugston of Gardeners’ Question Time close as the worst appointment Radio 4 has made in its apparent effort to alienate its listeners,’ Melanie added.

Naturally, the article sparked outrage online, with Lauren’s listeners and celebrity fans alike supporting the presenter and calling the piece ‘snobbish’.

Thanking her fans for their kind words, Lauren wrote: ‘Today has been an entirely unexpected inventory of who is in my corner.

‘I have to say I couldn’t be happier. In fact, it’s been the best day in ages. Isn’t it funny how it goes that way sometimes? Thanks very much to everyone who has been so kind.’

‘You are the best,’ wrote comedian Matt Lucas, while author Philip Pullman called the presenter ‘warm, intelligent, interested, ideal for DID’ and Radio 4’s Jenny Eclair declared that she was ‘Team Laverne’.

Lauren temporarily took over presenting duties on long-running BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island last year after frontwoman Kirsty Young was forced to step down due to illness.

However, it was announced in July that Kirsty would not be returning to the show she had presented for 12 years, with mother-of-two Lauren staying on in the presenting chair for the foreseeable future.

‘The wave of messages is as surreal as it is wonderful,’ Lauren wrote. ‘Thank you all so much for your kind words. I hope to live up to them.’


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