Kirsty Young and Huw Edwards among presenters of BBC’s coronation coverage
Kirsty Young and Huw Edwards have been named among the BBC’s presenting team for next month’s coronation celebrations.
The corporation did not name veteran presenter David Dimbleby, who last year came out of retirement to cover the Queen’s funeral procession, as among those contributing to its live coverage of the “full glory” of the King and Queen Consort’s coronation in May.
Former Question Time host Dimbleby, 84, has played a central role in the BBC’s political and royal coverage for several decades, including commenting on last year’s Platinum Jubilee service at St Paul’s Cathedral.
On Tuesday, the corporation detailed who will present The Coronation programme, on Saturday May 6, which will cover the lead up to the Westminster Abbey service, the ceremony, the return procession to Buckingham Palace and the King’s balcony appearance.
Young, 54, will be in a studio at Buckingham Palace on the day and will also anchor the next day’s special live broadcast of the coronation concert in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
The former Desert Island Discs and Crimewatch presenter said: “I’m very happy indeed to be part of the BBC’s coronation coverage, as our cameras capture history in the making.
“Ceremony, spectacle and a right royal celebration – it’s got all the ingredients of a weekend worth watching.”
Edwards will provide commentary as the doors of Westminster Abbey open to greet those arriving for the ceremony as Sophie Raworth, Clare Balding, Anita Rani and JJ Chalmers also contribute to the day’s coverage.
BBC News presenter Edwards, 61, said: “People will be relying on the BBC for coverage of what promises to be a memorable weekend.”
Edwards and Young also featured in the Queen’s state funeral coverage, which included the service from Westminster Abbey and the procession of the coffin from London to Windsor, in September.
On Sunday May 7, the concert on the castle’s East Lawn will see TV presenter Clara Amfo and Diversity dance-troupe member Jordan Banjo speaking backstage to the artists who will perform for an estimated 20,000 members of the public.
The event, which is produced and staged by the BBC, will see yet to be announced “music icons” as well as a 74-piece classical ensemble formed from the strings of the Countess of Wessex’s String Orchestra and woodwind, brass and percussion sections from the Bands of the Household Division.
The 300-strong Coronation Choir, made up of performers from different backgrounds including Gaelic speakers, deaf and refugee singers, Northern Irish farmers and London cabbies, will also take to the stage.
Radio 2 DJs Zoe Ball and Dermot O’Leary, Radio 4’s Martha Kearney and royal correspondent Jonny Dymond will also be among those presenting the weekend’s coronation coverage on BBC Radio and BBC Sounds.
Ahead of the celebration, new BBC programmes such as Charles R: The Making Of A Monarch, Stitching For Britain and Sing For The King: The Search For The Coronation Choir will also air.
Tim Davie, director-general of the corporation, said: “The BBC is very proud to bring landmark events and major historical moments to audiences across the UK and beyond.
“We will be delivering the full glory of the coronation with all the quality, ambition and excellence that our teams are globally renowned for.”
EastEnders, Countryfile, Antiques Roadshow, Songs Of Praise and Bargain Hunt will also be among the broadcaster’s shows featuring coronation specials.
The coronation will air on Saturday May 6 and the Coronation Concert will be broadcast on Sunday May 7 on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
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