Mel and Sue

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Mel & Sue
Born Mel Giedroyc
(1968-06-15) 15 June 1968 (age 49)
Epsom, Surrey
Sue Perkins
(1969-09-22) 22 September 1969 (age 47)
East Dulwich, London
Occupation Television presenters, comedians
Years active 1988–present
Television The Great British Bake Off (2010–2016)
Mel and Sue (2015)
RI:SE (2003)
Light Lunch (1997–98)

Mel Giedroyc (born 15 June 1968) and Sue Perkins (born 22 September 1969), known collectively as Mel and Sue, are an English comedy double act best known for hosting the BAFTA Award-winning BBC One cookery series The Great British Bake Off. Previously they hosted their lunchtime chat shows Light Lunch and Late Lunch on Channel 4.

Early career[edit]

Mel and Sue met at a comedy gig in 1988 while both students at the University of Cambridge in England (Giedroyc at Trinity College and Perkins at New Hall) where both were members of the famous performance club Footlights. They made their debut with The Naked Lunch, after which they took their show Planet Pussycat to the Edinburgh Festival. Giedroyc recalls of their early partnership: "We got on extremely well. We did some very lame gigs performing sketches with two guys, and Sue would compere. But because she was a year younger than me we never knew each other well until after college. We both got very shit degrees, and I failed to get into every drama school, so I gave her a ring and said, 'Do you want to write stuff for Weekending?'"[1]

Television[edit]

1990s[edit]

The pair's television breakthrough came on the French & Saunders sketch show, where they appeared together in several episodes. Mel and Sue gained widespread popularity in March 1997 when they launched a lunchtime chat show on Channel 4, Light Lunch, where celebrity chefs cooked lunch for the duo's celebrity guests. The show's first episode featured Cliff Richard with later guests of the first series including Richard Curtis, Joely Richardson, Tom Conti, Ken Russell, Toyah Willcox, Magnus Magnusson, Jackie Collins, Honor Blackman and Patrick Macnee. Light Lunch returned for a second series in 1998 with guests including Jonathan Ross, Jools Holland, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McKellen, Twiggy, Terry Wogan, Ben Elton, Robbie Coltrane, Kenny Rogers, Sacha Distel and Bill Bailey.[2]

The show was later moved to a more prime-time evening slot and renamed Late Lunch in 1999. Guests included Ant & Dec, Patrick Duffy, Jo Brand, Joanna Lumley, Graham Norton and Steps.[3]

In 1999, Mel and Sue were signed by ITV and hosted a comedy panel game for the network called Casting Couch, in a prime late evening slot, but it fared poorly in the ratings and was not recommissioned after its initial 6-episode run. ITV created Casting Couch as a vehicle to showcase Mel and Sue's comedic talents as a duo. In each episode, the pair form two teams under the guidance of team captains Chris Moyles and Tamara Beckwith, with regular guest celebrities Marcus Brigstocke and Kevin Day, and two guest celebrities.[4]

2000s[edit]

Mel and Sue were announced as new co-presenters on Channel 4's RI:SE breakfast TV show in January 2003.[5] The pair appeared together again with Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders in a French & Saunders Mamma Mia comedy sketch for Comic Relief in 2009.

2010s[edit]

Perkins confirmed on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross that the duo would be working together on something new in 2010. Their new show, a baking competition series, The Great British Bake Off, began on BBC Two in August 2010. The show ran for four series until it was moved to BBC One for its fifth series in 2014 and a sixth in 2015.[6]

In January 2015, Mel and Sue launched a new ITV daytime chat show called Mel and Sue, the show features appearances from celebrity guests, audience interaction and cookery, this time with members of the public being nominated to appear as the guest chef.[7]

In September 2016, when it was announced that The Great British Bake Off would be moving to Channel 4 in 2017, Mel and Sue said that they would not be a part of the channel move and be stepping down as hosts of the show after the 7th edition.

In October 2016, it was confirmed that Mel and Sue would become the presenters of Let's Sing and Dance for Comic Relief for BBC One in March 2017. On 23 July 2017, it was confirmed that Mel and Sue would host a new version of The Generation Game for BBC One.[8]

Radio[edit]

Mel and Sue's paired radio credits include their BBC Radio 2 show, Mel And Sue's Comedy Breakdown, a six-part series exploring the best of comedy,[9] and BBC Radio 4's, The Mel and Sue Thing, a six-part series that aired in 2002[10] and was later released on BBC CD.[11]

Live shows[edit]

As well as performing live as a duo in their early stand-up days, Mel and Sue embarked on a UK national tour from 1995 - 1996. When they appeared on Room 101 together, one of their choices was one of their dates from this tour - in Leighton Buzzard. They chose this because of the fact that they had a such a bad audience there. Once their television career was in full swing, in April and May 1999 they toured the country again with their show, Mel & Sue: Back to Our Routes[12] which was "a hilarious stage show that captures the submersive brilliance of their smash-hit TV show" according to the show's promotional material. One reviewer remarked: "Mel and Sue on stage is virtually the same as the TV incarnation, except they don't have any guests."[13]

References[edit]

External links[edit]