Alison Cork

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Alison Cork
Born Alison Helen Lucy Cork
(1963-07-28) 28 July 1963 (age 54)
London, England
Residence London, England
Nationality British
Education Classics at Cambridge University
Occupation Entrepreneur, writer, broadcaster, home expert
Years active 1983–present
Employer ITV, Channel 5 (UK), Daily Telegraph, Evening Standard

Alison Helen Lucy Cork (born 28 July 1963) is an English interiors expert, entrepreneur, author, and TV presenter. She is the founder and CEO of online brand and founder of Make It Your Business.


In 1992, Cork co-founded mail order publishing company Carnell Ltd with entrepreneur publisher John P Gommes. The company was subsequently floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1994. It published titles such as How To Talk To Your Cat and Vinegar, Honey and Lemon, Nature's Medicine Chest.[1] The Government Auction Handbook sold 200,000 copies in the space of a few months.[2] Alison's 1994 book Profit Through The Post, was voted Book of the Month by Mensa. From 1995 onwards, Cork wrote five books including The Streetwise Guide To Renovating Your Home and Special Occasions. Published in 2000, it included various recipes and creative ideas.


In 1996, ITV commissioned Cork's first network show, Home In The Country. From 1997 onwards, Cork has presented a number of TV series, including Countdown To Christmas and Domestic Magic (both for Channel Five). In 2005, Cork presented a 30-part series for ITV called Don't Move, Improve, which saw her travelling the country with fellow presenter Michael Holmes.[3] From 1997 onwards Cork has presented various home interest shows including Homes & Property, 60 Minute Makeover and Help I Hate MY House!. In 2012 she presented Secret Removers for Channel 4.

Since 2014, Alison has become a regular presence on QVC featuring her home-ware collections.

Since 2015, Alison has presented Cowboy Builders.


Cork has also written weekly interiors column for the London Evening Standard since 2002.[4] Since 2005, she has also written a weekly column for the Daily Telegraph called Bargain Hunters, showing readers where to find the best deals and negotiating discounts on their behalf.[5] Cork writes homes and interiors columns and features for several national papers, including Mail on Sunday, The Times, Guardian and other publications.[6]


In 2011 Cork launched two furniture collections for In September 2012, Cork launched an online furniture and accessories business, Alison at Home.[7]


Since 2013, Cork has been an ambassador for PRIME (The Prince's Initiative for Mature Enterprise).

In 2017, Cork founded The National Women's Enterprise Network, which incorporates Make It Your Business, an initiative to encourage women to set up their own business.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Cork met her husband Efi Zazo in 1996 after dialing the wrong phone number. They now reside in London's Belgravia with their two sons. The purchase of Cork's home was featured in the Telegraph under the headline Belgravia or Bust, detailing her journey to find out and overhaul her dream home.[8]

Television credits[edit]

Year Programme Channel
1996 The Christmas Show - writer/presenter - 6 part series Westcountry Television
1997–98 Home In The Country - writer/presenter - 6 part series ITV
1999 Home In The Country - writer/presenter - 6 part series Westcountry Television
2002 Countdown To Christmas - writer/presenter - 12 part series Five
2004 Domestic Magic - writer/presenter- 6 part series Five
2004–09 60 Minute Makeover - guest designer - various ITV
2005–06 Don't Move, Improve - co-presenter - 30 part series ITV
2007–08 Homes & Property - presenter - various ITV
2009–10 Help! I Hate My House - writer/presenter - This Morning segment
2010–11 Get The Look For Less - writer/presenter - This Morning segment[9] ITV
2012–13 Secret Removers - co presenter - 6 part series Four
2014–present The Alison at Home Collection - designer/presenter[10] QVC
2015–present Cowboy Builders - designer/presenter Channel Four


  • Cork, Alison (1994). Profit Through The Post: How to Set Up and Run a Successful Mail Order Business. Piatkus. ISBN 978-0-7499-1410-3. 
  • Cork, Alison (1995). The Streetwise Guide To Renovating Your Home. Piatkus. ISBN 978-0-7499-1445-5. 
  • Cork, Alison (1999). Home In The Country. Carlton Books. ISBN 978-1-85868-905-0. 
  • Cork, Alison (2000). Profit Through The Post. At Home Books. ISBN 978-0-9537920-0-9. 
  • Cork, Alison (2002). Special Occasions: Creative Inspirations for the Good Times in Life. At Home Books. ISBN 978-0-9537920-1-6.