Home Fashion BBC star Kirsty Young said she ‘struggled to cope’ amid pain battle

BBC star Kirsty Young said she ‘struggled to cope’ amid pain battle

BBC star Kirsty Young said she ‘struggled to cope’ amid pain battle


Kirsty Young was a pillar of strength for the nation when she hosted the BBC coverage of the Queen’s funeral last year, stepping out of retirement for the sombre occasion.

King Charles’ Coronation also saw the iconic presenter return to our screens, fronting the historic moment, but prior to these two momentous jobs, Kirsty hadn’t been seen on our screens for many years, after she was forced into early retirement following ill health.

The 54-year-old, who celebrates her 55th birthday this month, has rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, two painful conditions which meant she had to step away from her beloved career.

Kirsty Young is feeling better now© Shutterstock
Kirsty Young is feeling better now

Speaking about her illness on the Adam Buxton Podcast, Kirsty said: “It was at its worst for a couple of years. You feel like you’re going mental. Quitting my job didn’t make me feel like it, but the pain it starts to corrode your personality. 

“You start to lose your sense of humour, you can’t really cope with things that would normally wash over you,” Kirsty candidly shared, continuing: “I felt like a loser because you can’t do things; if there’s a long drive to take your child somewhere, you can’t do that long drive.

“Or if it’s standing out in the cold to watch a hockey match, that makes you feel very bad. That’s part of the grinding down your sense of self.”

Sharing how awful her condition was at its worst, Kirsty previously told The Times: “I had extreme joint pain. I’d wake up and I’d feel like I’d got glass in my joints.”

Kirsty Young at the baftas wearing black
Kirsty Young was forced into retirement due to her health

“I couldn’t walk up the stairs without stopping in the middle. It’s like somebody had drugged me, like you’d taken a sleeping tablet at the wrong time in the day and you were completely losing it,” she continued.

Kirsty shared that the pain was so bad she couldn’t even lift a water bottle. She was eventually diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2018, which triggered her secondary condition, fibromyalgia.

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Kirsty said of her decision to quit her job:  “It was hard to walk away but it was clearly the only option,” though the Queen’s funeral lured her, sharing at the time: “It’s a unique moment. We’ll never see it again, certainly in our lifetimes and maybe never, so I couldn’t resist.”

Kirsty Young wearing a smart camel coat© Can Nguyen/REX/Shutterstock
Kirsty Young was in terrible pain with her conditions

Luckily for the star, her painful conditions are under control now, meaning she can take jobs when she’s feeling up to it.

“It’s all calmed on now, it’s under control. It is treatable,” she told Adam Buxton. “You have to do things to keep your health good, and if I don’t make sure I get good sleep, have lower stress levels, walk every day, do yoga – and I took complicated medications, which I’m glad to say I’m off now.”

  Visit our HELLO! Happiness Hub for advice on living a happier life 


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