The Spectator isn’t too keen on Lauren Laverne. Especially when it comes to her presenting Desert Island Discs apparently.
The weekly magazine published a piece yesterday calling the radio DJ’s time as Kirsty Young’s holiday cover “lightweight”, “uncerebral” and one of “the worst appointments Radio 4 has made in its apparent effort to alienate its listeners.”
While Laverne initially stayed quiet about the piece, her fans – both famous and not – did not. She finally took to Twitter last night to express her gratitude for their wholehearted support.
“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.”
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.— Lauren Laverne (@laurenlaverne) August 9, 2019
The post saw a second volley of positivity. Composer Nitin Sawhney, called Laverne, “a great interviewer” with “compassion, empathy, interest in their subject, sharp wit and an ability to extract the heart and soul of a personal journey.”
Friend and fellow DJ, Sara Cox, pitched in to deliver one of the most succinct summings-up of the situation, saying simply, “Malicious McDonut or whatever she’s called can just nob right off.”
Melanie McDonagh, who wrote the article, also targeted the fact that Laverne was “northern” and “nice”. Both reasons apparently why she shouldn’t continue to do the job now that it’s been announced that Kirsty Young will not be returning to the show.
Famous fans rallied from every quarter. Best-selling author Irvine Welsh said, “You’re the best that there is and they are the absolute worst”, while Strictly’s Richard Coles shouted out his opinion in block capitals “I AM IN YOUR CORNER LAUREN.”
But the positive outpourings weren’t just from famous names. One tweeter Jane Whitfield, said, “Hugely grateful for the article because we are stuck on the M4 and it reminded me we could listen to the DID podcast instead of letting the kids choose the music. I’m loving it, the kids are fuming, but then they wanted Donald Where’s Your Troosers, so...”
Others admitted that they wouldn’t have initially picked the DJ for the role, but had been won over by her “voice and interview technique”.
The Spectator’s tweet pushing McDonagh’s article has just 371 likes (compared with Laverne’s response which has 27.4k). The piece has been called “snide”, “snobby” and “stupid” by those commenting on the post.