New Crimewatch presenter Kirsty Young says she didn’t win the role because of her looks: “I’m not some leggy, pouty bird.”

The 39-year-old presenter is about to take over as the new host of BBC One’s Crimewatch.

But the BBC was accused of ageism when it announced plans to revamp the show, parting company with veteran host Nick Ross and moving 43-year-old Fiona Bruce to the Antiques Roadshow. But Kirsty dismissed the claims as ‘nonsense”.

“If I was 22 and some leggy, pouty bird, then I could see it, but they’re stretching it a bit thin,” she said. “Fiona and I are of the same generation.”

She said she won’t find it difficult to sleep at nights after hosting Crimewatch, despite the murder of former presenter Jill Dando in 1999.

“I don’t have a nervous disposition. People’s fear is disproportionate to the likelihood of them being involved in a violent crime.

“A boy being shot riding his bicycle occupies the news for weeks because it’s so unusual. Madeleine McCann going missing preoccupies us all because it almost never happens that a girl is taken from her bed.”

Kirsty has two daughters with her partner Nick Jones – Freya, six, and 21-month-old Iona.