Holiday isle

Kirsty Young acquires her own island retreat

Kirsty Young and Inchconnachan Island (pics: BBC and Savills)

Former TV and radio broadcaster Kirsty Young spent more than a decade interviewing celebrities before packing them off to a remote island with nothing than a luxury item and their eight favourite music tracks.

Now Ms Young, and her husband Nick Jones, are seeking their own piece of tranquility after paying £1.6 million for Inchconnachan island in Loch Lomond, inhabited only by wallabies.

Ms Young, a studio presenter for STV before hosting BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs for 12 years, and Mr Jones, founder of the private members’ club chain Soho House, intend to demolish a derelict 1920s bungalow and replace it with a timber lodge and boathouse for their own personal use.

In 2015 the Estate obtained planning consent for the lodge, which was renewed in 2018. 

Since the 1940s the island has been inhabited only by wallabies, introduced in the 1940s by Fiona Bryde Colquhoun, known after her marriage as Lady Arran, and whose family owned the 103-acre island from the 14th century.

The island was sold by Savills and Knight Frank, which invited offers of more than £500,000. It is understood Mr Jones and Ms Young, will maintain rights of way.

The island is one of the most picturesque on the loch, and is largely covered by trees including Aspen, Alder, Douglas Fir, Larch and Scot’s Pine.

But plans lodged by the couple with Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority last month noted that it is in “very poor condition” and the couple wish to work in partnership with the authority and eradicate invasive plant species, such as rapidly-spreading rhododendrons and non-native trees.

“Nick and Kirsty are tremendously excited to have this unique opportunity to participate, to not only conserve the island, but to enhance the natural habitat and restore it to its natural state,” a source told the Scottish Sun on Sunday.

The couple married in 1999 and have two daughters. The Dean Street branch of Soho House was where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex first dated and Mr Jones was a guest at their wedding at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in May 2018 while his wife commentated on the event for the BBC.

In August that year she announced that she would stop presenting Desert Island Discs to receive treatment for a form of the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia.

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