Cheryl Baker

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Cheryl Baker
Baker in 2013
Baker in 2013
Background information
Birth nameRita Maria Crudgington
Born (1954-03-08) 8 March 1954 (age 69)
Bethnal Green, London, England
  • Singer
  • television presenter
Years active1975–present

Rita Maria Stroud (née Crudgington; born 8 March 1954), known professionally as Cheryl Baker, is an English singer and television presenter. She was a member of pop group Bucks Fizz, which won the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest and, for legal reasons, now performs under the name the Fizz. The group had 20 singles reach the UK top 60 between 1981 and 1988, including three number one hits with "Making Your Mind Up" (1981), "The Land of Make Believe" (1981) and "My Camera Never Lies" (1982). Baker left the group in 1993. She had previously represented the UK at the 1978 Eurovision Song Contest as a member of the band Co-Co.

In 2004, she began performing alongside Shelley Preston and fellow original Bucks Fizz member Mike Nolan as the Original Bucks Fizz. Preston was replaced by original Bucks Fizz member Jay Aston in 2009. Due to a legal dispute in 2011,[1] the group renamed themselves Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston, formerly of Bucks Fizz. In 2017, they rebranded themselves as the Fizz[2] and are working on new material.[3]

Early career[edit]

Cheryl Baker was born as Rita Maria Crudgington on 8 March 1954 in Bethnal Green, London.[4][5] After leaving school and a series of secretarial jobs in the shipping industry, she began her professional singing career with the band Co-Co. The group entered A Song for Europe in 1976 with the song "Wake Up". They came second, being beaten by (eventual Eurovision winners) Brotherhood of Man by two points.[citation needed]

The group continued to perform together and in 1978, they entered A Song for Europe again with "The Bad Old Days". This time they won and went on to perform for the UK in Paris. The song managed 11th place – the lowest placing by a UK entry up to that point.[6][7] The song became a hit single, reaching 13 in the UK Singles Chart. On the back of this, the group released their first (and only) album as well as further singles. None of these found any success.[8]

In 1980, the group tried for Eurovision one more time. Now under a new name, the Main Event, their song "Gonna Do My Best" came last in A Song for Europe and soon afterwards, the group disbanded.[citation needed]

Bucks Fizz[edit]

Baker in 1983

A few months later, Baker was contacted by Nichola Martin, who was setting up a new group under the name Bucks Fizz, with a view to entering a song "Making Your Mind Up" into A Song For Europe in 1981. Joined by Mike Nolan, Bobby G and Jay Aston, Baker performed the song at the contest and won. On 4 April 1981, Baker represented the UK again at the Eurovision Song Contest. The song went on to win by a margin of four points and Bucks Fizz were catapulted into overnight stardom.[9]

By winning the contest, Baker became only the third singer to represent the UK twice, following in the footsteps of Ronnie Carroll and Cliff Richard. This feat, however, was matched once again the following year, by Sally Ann Triplett. When Bucks Fizz went on to win the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Making Your Mind Up", Baker thus became one of the few artists to take part in Eurovision to win at their second attempt. According to The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History by John Kennedy O'Connor, Baker also made the second single biggest improvement by any Eurovision competitor in the contest, moving up from eleventh in 1978 to first in 1981.[10]

"Making Your Mind Up" became a No.1 hit in many countries, including the UK and began a run of success for the group for the next five years. Baker along with the group toured the world and gained many hit singles and albums, including two more British No.1s; "The Land of Make Believe" and "My Camera Never Lies". Bucks Fizz became established as one of the biggest groups of the 1980s.[11]

On 11 December 1984, Baker was involved in a serious crash in Newcastle upon Tyne, while on tour with the group, when the tour bus crashed into a lorry. She was injured and rushed to hospital. Although she broke three vertebrae in her spine, she made a speedy recovery. Colleague Mike Nolan, however, suffered serious head injuries, prompting Baker to help establish the 'HeadFirst' charity which supports crash victims, specifically those with head injuries.[12] Baker continues to raise money for the charity.

Since 2016, Baker has been performing with fellow original Bucks Fizz members Jay Aston and Mike Nolan under the name the Fizz. They perform sell-out shows and have released several well-received albums.[13]

Television career[edit]

In the mid-1980s, while still with the group, Baker embarked on a career in television presenting. She joined Record Breakers as a co-host alongside the long-serving Roy Castle in 1987, continuing alongside new hosts after Castle's death in 1994, finally leaving the show in 1997 after 10 years.[14]

She also co-presented The Saturday Picture Show with Mark Curry from 1985 to 1986.[citation needed]

She continued her singing and television careers in tandem, although always maintained that singing was her first love. Bucks Fizz scored their final hit in 1988, and in the same year, Baker began presenting her own TV show Eggs 'n' Baker. This went on to run for five years.[citation needed]

During this time, she also released two solo singles "If Paradise Is Half as Nice" in 1987 and "Sensuality" in 1992, although neither of these found chart success.[15][16]

Still touring with the group, Baker finally quit Bucks Fizz in December 1993 to concentrate on raising a family.[17] After leaving Bucks Fizz, Baker carried on presenting Record Breakers as well as other television work.[18] In 1997 she became the subject of the TV Biography show This Is Your Life.[19] Into the 2000s, Baker made many guest appearances on television. She has also participated in a number of reality television shows, such as Drop the Celebrity (which she won), 24-Hour Quiz (which she also won) and I'm Famous and Frightened!.[17]

For the Eurovision Song Contest 2005, she read out the points from the United Kingdom. In the EBU's 50th anniversary celebration of the show Congratulations, she introduced the song "Waterloo" by ABBA. Later on during the same programme, she sang Bucks Fizz's winning song "Making Your Mind Up" live with Mike Nolan and Shelley Preston.[citation needed]

In 2006, Baker played the role of Vi Moore in the London production of Footloose, the musical based on the 1984 motion picture of the same name, at the Novello Theatre. In 2009 she directed a youth production of Footloose in Sevenoaks, playing to sell out audiences. In 2007 she played the part of Ida in the musical Honk! and in 2008 she was seen in the role of Mrs Mayor in a touring production of Seussical the Musical. The tour visited many towns in the South East of England.[17]

In June 2011, she reached the final of the ITV series Popstar to Operastar, where she was beaten into second place by Joe McElderry. In 2011, Baker appeared in an episode of All Star Family Fortunes. On 5 January 2013, Baker appeared on Celebrity Mastermind. She also appeared on The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins on 23 May 2015 with Dana Rosemary Scallon as her partner.[citation needed]

On 31 October 2017, Baker was confirmed as the second celebrity to take part in the tenth series of Dancing on Ice.[20] She was eliminated on 4 February 2018.[citation needed]

On 19 April 2023, it was announced that Baker would be appearing in a special episode of the BBC One soap opera EastEnders to celebrate the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.[21] The episode was broadcast, the night before the Eurovision semi-final, on Thursday 11 May 2023.[22]

Other work[edit]

Since 2004, Baker has been performing selected gigs with Nolan and Preston under the name the Original Bucks Fizz and alongside the other original members, Bobby G and Jay Aston, appeared in the video for Comic Relief's 2007 single, "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)". A Bucks Fizz CD with a bonus DVD, The Very Best of Bucks Fizz was released on 14 May 2007. A new CD of rare material The Lost Masters 2 – The Final Cut was released on 19 May 2008.[23] In April 2009, Preston announced she was leaving the Original Bucks Fizz and has now been replaced by other original member Aston. This would be the first time Baker had performed with Aston since 1985.[24]

Baker still raises money for HeadFirst and regularly makes personal appearances on behalf of the charity, such as on Celebrity Cash in the Attic in July 2008. She has also campaigned on behalf of IVF treatment and cleaner NHS hospitals.[25]

In 2008, Baker became an Ambassador of Festival4Stars talent competition after she judged a national final.[26] On 28 April 2009, she appeared on Loose Women to speak about the competition. During 2009 Baker toured with the musical Menopause.[27]

In 2011, Baker undertook a mini tour of the UK with the Original Bucks Fizz, including a concert at the London Palladium on 11 July 2011. In 2012, the Original Bucks Fizz released the album Fame & Fortune?.

Baker is the vice-president of the stillbirth charity Abigail's Footsteps.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Baker has three brothers, Eddie, Colin and Gary, and a sister, Sheila.[29] She married bass player Steve Stroud in Lewisham, London, on 25 January 1992. Their twin daughters, Kyla Olivia and Natalie Maria, were born in Westminster, London, on 20 June 1994.[30] She lives in Ightham, Kent.[17]

In 2006 she spoke out about her experiencing the menopause and resulting hair loss. She has also spoken of her weight fluctuations over the years. During 2010 and 2011 she took part in a diet and advertising campaign for Jenny Craig Inc., where after nine months she had lost two-and-a-half stone. In association with this she ran and completed the London Marathon for the charity Head First.[31]


  1. ^ "Losing its Fizz..." MAgrath LLP solicitors. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  2. ^ "TheFizzHistoryAndDiscography". Archived from the original on 3 April 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  3. ^ "The New Album". Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Cheryl Baker | THE FIZZ | Bucks Fizz".
  5. ^ "Jenny Craig – About Cheryl Baker". Archived from the original on 9 August 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  6. ^ BBC – TOTP2. "Where are they Now – Cheryl Baker". Retrieved 5 December 2008.
  7. ^ Eurovision covers. "Eurovision Song Contest 1978". Retrieved 10 October 2008.
  8. ^ "Co-Co discography". Cheryl Archived from the original on 29 May 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2008.
  9. ^ Eurovision covers. "1981 Eurovision Song Contest". Retrieved 10 October 2008.
  10. ^ O'Connor, John Kennedy. The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History. Carlton Books UK ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3
  11. ^ Official Charts. "Bucks Fizz Official Charts Company". Official Charts. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
  12. ^ HeadFirst. "Cheryl Baker's story". Archived from the original on 17 March 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2009.
  13. ^ "TheFizzHistoryAndDiscography". Archived from the original on 3 April 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  14. ^ "Record Breakers". Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  15. ^ Official Charts. "Cheryl Baker – "If Paradise is Half as Nice"". Official Charts. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
  16. ^ "Solo singles". Cheryl Retrieved 4 October 2008.
  17. ^ a b c d "Cheryl Baker biography". Cheryl Retrieved 10 October 2008.
  18. ^ Screen online. "Record Breakers". Retrieved 14 July 2008.
  19. ^ "This is Your Life – Cheryl Baker". Retrieved 14 July 2008.
  20. ^ "Bucks Fizz star Cheryl Baker confirmed as second Dancing On Ice 2018 contestant". 31 October 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  21. ^ "EastEnders announces Cheryl Baker cameo for Eurovision special". Radio Times. Retrieved 20 April 2023.
  22. ^ Radio Times 6-12 May 2023 page 104
  23. ^ The early years. "Bucks Fizz album releases". Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2009.
  24. ^ "News – The Original Bucks Fizz". 1 October 2009. Archived from the original on 1 October 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  25. ^ Tony Clayman. "Cheryl Baker biography". Archived from the original on 5 September 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2009.
  26. ^ "Welcome, International Songwriting Competition and UK Wide Talent Contest". Retrieved 31 December 2011.
  27. ^ Menopause the Musical. "UK Cast list". Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
  28. ^ "Hospital bereavement suite for parents who've lost babies". ITV News. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  29. ^ Look-in. "Cheryl Baker profile". Retrieved 4 February 2009.[dead link]
  30. ^ "Marriages and Births England and Wales 1984–2006". Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  31. ^ "Jenny Craig – Cheryl's blog". Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2019.

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