Sara Cox

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sara Cox
Sara Cox at Manchester Fashion Week, October 2007
Born Sarah Joanne Cox
(1974-12-13) 13 December 1974 (age 42)
Bolton, Greater Manchester, England
Other names Sara Cox
Occupation Television presenter, disc jockey
Years active 1996–present
Spouse(s) Jon Carter (m. 2001–2005)
Ben Cyzer (m. 2013)
Children 3
Website Official Radio 1 page

Sarah Joanne Cyzer (née Cox; born 13 December 1974), more commonly known by her radio name Sara Cox, is an English broadcaster. She presented The Radio 1 Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 1 between 2000 and 2003,.[1] She currently hosts Sounds of the 80s on BBC Radio 2.[2]

She has also presented a number of television shows for the BBC including The Great Pottery Throw Down (2015–present) and Too Much TV (2016).

Early life and career[edit]

Cox was born Sarah Joanne Cox in Bolton, Greater Manchester, but later dropped the use of the letter 'h' from her first name.[3] She is the youngest of five.[4] Cox attended Smithills High School until the age of 16, and left Canon Slade School after her A-levels to pursue a career in modelling. She appeared in the music video for Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's 1993 single "Everyday" and on a controversial promotional poster for the 1995 video game Wipeout.[5]

Cox won her first television show role in 1996, presenting the early "Girl Power" show The Girlie Show on Channel 4.[6] She later had stints on Channel 5 entertainment show Exclusive and Channel 4 music programme Born Sloppy. In 1997 Cox presented on the UK feed of MTV, hosting MTV Hot, a late night music show. In 1998 Cox won her first film role in "The Bitterest Pill".[7][dead link][8]

In September 1998, Cox became a presenter of The Big Breakfast, following in the footsteps of her friend Zoë Ball. During her time on The Big Breakfast, she interviewed stars such as Robbie Williams, Sting and Leonardo DiCaprio. Cox preferred to do interviews in her dad's caravan which was situated in The Big Breakfast garden.

BBC Radio 1[edit]


A transfer to radio came in September 1999 when she joined BBC Radio 1. Cox co-hosted the Saturday lunchtime show with Emma Boughton from 1 pm-3 pm and she launched the hugely popular Sunday Surgery with Dr. Mark Hamilton, a health and welfare show where listeners called in about their problems, with Sara acting as "Nurse Coxy". The show still proves popular today hosted by Gemma Cairney on a Wednesday evening.

In December 1999, it was announced that Cox would again step into Zoë Ball's shoes as presenter of The Radio 1 Breakfast Show, as Ball had decided to leave the organisation to bring up a family. Cox's breakfast show stint began on 31 March 2000, three days early so she could calm her nerves. Initially, her listening figures were very good, growing from 6.9 million to 7.8 million listeners during her first fifteen months in the job – earning Radio 1 its largest breakfast audience ever – higher than that of her predecessor and Chris Evans. By August 2002, however, numbers had dipped back under 7 million.

In August 2000, Cox controversially said live on air that the Queen Mother "smelt of wee".[9]


In January 2003, Cox denied rumours that she was preparing to leave the BBC for a rival show and signed a three-year contract with the public service broadcaster, tying her to the breakfast show until April 2004 and with the BBC for two years after that. In August 2003, the BBC again denied rumours, reported in the Daily Mail, that she had been given 10 weeks to increase ratings, or to face replacement. However, just two months later, the BBC announced that Cox, whose listening figures had slipped to 6.6m, would be replaced by Chris Moyles in January 2004. Cox hosted her final breakfast show on 19 December 2003. Her final track was "(I've Had) The Time of My Life".

Cox then presented the afternoon "drivetime" slot, effectively swapping shows with Chris Moyles. She hosted the Drivetime show for 6 months with features such as; 'For Your Ears Only', 'Me, Myself and I' and 'Chap's Eye Pub Quiz' (referring to her then sidekick Mark Chapman). In June 2004, Cox began her maternity leave to give birth to a baby girl, Lola Anne. Before she returned to Radio 1 in early 2005, Scott Mills, the presenter who took over her slot during her maternity leave, was given the drivetime slot permanently.

From February 2005, Cox took over the afternoon show (1 pm-4 pm) on Saturdays and Sundays.


On 17 February 2008, Cox presented her last show for six months before leaving for maternity leave to have her second child. Annie Mac presented the show during her absence. Cox later covered for Jo Whiley who was on maternity leave between October 2008 and February 2009. Following Whiley's return, Cox returned to weekends to present a Sunday mid-morning show, broadcasting between 10 am and 1 pm.

In March 2010 Cox went on maternity leave for the third time, leaving her show in the hands of the newest Radio 1 presenter, Matt Edmondson.[10] She returned to the airwaves on 9 August 2010 to cover for Fearne Cotton for three weeks. Cox made a self-confessed unexpected return to the breakfast show on 2 September 2010, as she sat in for the unwell Chris Moyles[citation needed].

In August 2012, it was announced that Cox would cover Fearne Cotton's show on BBC Radio 1 weekdays from 10:00 – 12:45 whilst Cotton is on maternity leave.[11][12] She was replaced by Matt Edmondson on Sunday mornings.

After Cotton's return, Cox did various cover shows; her final show for Radio 1 was on 17 February 2014.

BBC Radio 2[edit]

In June 2011, Cox began hosting the fourth series of the comedy programme Hot Gossip on BBC Radio 2, covering for Claudia Winkleman, who chose not to present the series as she was heavily pregnant at the time.[13]

During the first week of March 2012, Cox covered for Alex Lester on BBC Radio 2. She has also covered for Janice Long on the same station.

In the last week of September 2012, Cox covered for Vanessa Feltz on BBC Radio 2 in the 5:00 to 6:30 slot; during this week, she was immediately followed by Zoë Ball, who was filling in for Chris Evans on the breakfast show.

Cox joined BBC Radio 2 for her first regular show each Saturday night from 10 pm to midnight, presenting an 1980s show to complement the weekend 1960s and 1970s decade shows. The show began on Saturday 5 October 2013.[14] The show moved to Friday nights from April 2016

Cox has presented shows for Steve Wright, Ken Bruce and Simon Mayo when they have been away from the station

Starting 7 July 2014, Cox presented The Chris Evans Breakfast Show while Evans was off for a week. She also presented The Chris Evans Breakfast Show again, while the original members were on holiday for a week from 29 September 2014.


In July 2007, Cox presented The Album Chart Show on Channel 4, and appeared as a guest star on the Sky1 show Angela and Friends in November 2009.[15] and as Guest Presenter in January 2010.[16] Also in 2010, she appeared as a team captain on What Do Kids Know? along with Rufus Hound and Joe Swash on the Watch channel.[17]

Cox commentated for the semi-finals of the Eurovision Song Contest on BBC Three with fellow BBC Radio DJ Scott Mills[18] from the 2011 Contest through till the 2012 Contest. Cox was replaced by Ana Matronic starting from the 2013 Contest.[19]

On 21 October 2014, Cox guest presented a Children in Need episode of The Great British Sewing Bee.[20]

In April 2015, it was announced that Cox would present The Great Pottery Throw Down for BBC Two. The first series began in November 2015 and the second in February 2017.[21]

2016 saw Cox co-presenting Too Much TV, a daily magazine show on BBC Two.[22]

In 2017, Sara Cox appeared on Dara O Briain's Go 8 Bit and was on Steve's team in the show. She lost the episode in terms of points.[23]

On 4 June 2017, Cox co-presented the One Love Manchester benefit concert special and British television special with Ore Oduba. From 2017, Cox will present Love in the Countryside for BBC Two.[24]

Personal life[edit]

On 16 September 2007, Cox announced on her BBC Radio 1 weekend show that she was expecting her second child.[25] Cox's last weekend show was on Sunday 17 February 2008 before she left for 6 months maternity leave. Her second child, a baby boy named Isaac, was born on 10 March 2008 weighing 7 lb 12oz, at a London hospital.[26] She returned to Radio 1 in September 2008. Cox went on maternity leave for the third time, after her show on Sunday 7 March 2010. Less than a week later, on 12 March, she announced that she had given birth to a baby girl, named Renee, at 8:30 am GMT.

In November 2007, when a guest on news quiz Have I Got News for You, Cox revealed that she had been born with a dislocated hip.[27]

Cox is also committed to protecting the environment. In 2009, she joined the 10:10 project in a bid to help her reduce her carbon footprint. She explained that, as she was brought up on a farm, she has no problem wearing extra layers instead of turning up the thermostat. Giving up meat is a different story however, "My dad is a beef farmer so he wouldn't be best pleased. I tried going veggie once, but it lasted about four hours."[28]

On 23 June 2013, Cox tweeted a picture to announce she had just been married to long-term boyfriend Ben Cyzer.[29]

In August 2014, Cox was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.[30] She revealed, when taking part in a one-off celebrity special of the Crystal Maze, that she voted against Brexit in 2016.[31]


In June 2003, Cox and her husband received £50,000 in an out-of-court settlement from the British newspaper The People after it printed photographs of her sunbathing in the nude on her honeymoon in 2001. Cox, who was photographed with a telephoto lens while on a private island, initially complained to the Press Complaints Commission, who found in her favour. The People printed an apology. Cox was unsatisfied, and sued the newspaper in the High Court for a breach of her right to privacy under the Human Rights Act.

The People agreed to an out of court settlement with Cox and her husband before any judgement was made. Cox received £30,000 and her husband £20,000, The People also agreed to pay the couple's legal costs, reported to be in excess of £100,000. Cox was not the first person to sue after involving the PCC but the case was considered significant at the time because of the high profile of the case and size of the settlement.[32][33]

Stalking incident[edit]

In July 2017 a man, Anthony Collins, was convicted of stalking Cox, after sending her a series of letters. He subsequently pleaded guilty to harassment. He was incarcerated for one and a third years.[34]

Charitable activity[edit]

Cox was one of 52 celebrities contributing to a children's story entitled 'Once Upon a Time'[35] to promote a new charity directory inquiries number 118 520. The book will be auctioned with the profits going to the NSPCC. Cox is also a named supporter of the animal charity PDSA, and has promoted the charity by being photographed[36] with her pet dog, Snoop, by the late Lord Lichfield. Cox and other celebrities entered the women's race (The Magnolia Cup) fundraising for the charity Great Ormond Street at Glorious Goodwood on 28 July 2011. She came ninth.[37]

Cox has also been an ambassador for Centrepoint – the UK's charity for homeless young people – since 2000, making her its longest serving celebrity supporter. She takes part in the charity's flagship fundraising event, Sleep Out, every year, sleeping outside in a London location with around 800 other fundraisers. She also gives her time to Centrepoint for other events, messages of support and fundraising promotions.[citation needed]

In 2006, Cox participated as a celebrity showjumper in the BBC's Sport Relief event Only Fools on Horses.[citation needed]

On 20 March 2017 from 9.30am to the 21 March 2017 also to 9.30am Cox did 24 hour danceathon on her own, raising money for Comic Relief, Red Nose Day. She raised over £800 000 for Red Nose Day according to the commentary on television and the newspaper Manchester Evening News.[38]

Awards and honours[edit]

In November 2006, Cox was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Bolton for contributions to broadcasting.[39]


Year Title Role Notes
1996–1997 The Girlie Show Co-presenter
2007 The Album Chart Show Presenter
2009, 2010 Angela and Friends Guest appearance/guest presenter Cameo role
2009 The BRIT Awards: Red Carpet Co-presenter
2010 What Do Kids Know? Team captain
2013 Never Mind the Buzzcocks Guest presenter 1 episode
2014 The Great Children in Need Sewing Bee Presenter
2015— The Great Pottery Throw Down Presenter 2 series
2016 Too Much TV Co-presenter 1 series
Britain's Most Spectacular Backyard Builds Co-presenter 1 series
2017 One Love Manchester Co-presenter Television coverage
Britain's Favourite Dogs: Top 100 Co-presenter One-off programme
2017— Love in the Countryside Presenter Upcoming
2018— Back in Time for... Presenter Upcoming
Guest appearances


  1. ^ Digital Spy: Sara Cox presents final BBC Radio 1 show as Chris Moyles pays tribute
  2. ^ Radio Today: Sara Cox Makes Radio 2's Sounds of the 80s
  3. ^ England & Wales, Birth Index: 1837–1983. Retrieved 21 June 2007.
  4. ^ Loose Women, 9 October 2013
  5. ^ WipEout: The rise and fall of Sony Studio Liverpool •
  6. ^ "BBC Cult – I Love 1996". Retrieved 11 March 2008. 
  7. ^ "Sara Cox – Presenters". Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "The Bitterest Pill". 20 February 2007. Archived from the original on 11 August 2007. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "DJ Cox's Queen Mother gaffe". London: BBC News. 4 August 2000. Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  10. ^ "Press Office – Matt Edmondson to cover for Sara Cox on BBC Radio 1". BBC. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "BBC – Newsbeat – Sara Cox to fill in for Fearne Cotton on Radio 1 show". BBC Newsbeat. 10 August 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  12. ^ James Gill (10 August 2012). "Sara Cox to cover Fearne Cotton Radio 1 maternity leave". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 1 January 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  13. ^ "Radio 2 Programmes – Hot Gossip, Series 4, Episode 1". BBC. 25 June 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  14. ^ Hendry, Steve (29 September 2013). "Radio star Sara Cox dreamed of marrying George Michael.. now she can't wait to host new show celebrating the 80s". Daily Record. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  15. ^ "Angela and Friends cast list", "" July 2011
  16. ^ "Angela and Friends cast list", "" July 2011
  17. ^ "What Do Kids Know?" Archived 18 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine., "UKTV" July 2011
  18. ^ "Sara Cox and Scott Mills front Eurovision semi-finals exclusively on BBC Three". BBC Press Office. 21 April 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 
  19. ^ "United Kingdom: Ana Matronic replaces Sara Cox". ESCXTRA. 7 March 2013. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 November 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-22. 
  21. ^ The Great British Pottery Throw Down: Has BBC Two got the new Bake Off?
  22. ^ Emma Bunton, Sara Cox, Rufus Hound and Aled Jones are presenting BBC Two's new live telly show Too Much TV
  23. ^ Page of show shows points of each episode and who won each episode.
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Radio 1 host Cox expecting baby". London: BBC News. 15 September 2007. Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  26. ^ "Baby boy for Radio 1's Sara Cox". London: BBC News. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 12 March 2008. 
  27. ^ "Have I Got News for You". 18 November 2007. BBC Two.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  28. ^ "Case study: Sara Cox | 10:10". Archived from the original on 7 June 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  29. ^ "Celebrity Wedding – Radio DJ Sara Cox Secretly Marries Boyfriend Ben Cyzer". Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  30. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". 2014-08-07. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  31. ^ "The Crystal Maze October 2016". Channel 4. 16 Oct 2016. Retrieved 17 Jul 2017. 
  32. ^ "Cox privacy case 'a watershed'". BBC News. 7 June 2003. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  33. ^ "Privacy law remains confused". BBC News. 9 June 2003. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  34. ^ "Man jailed for stalking Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox". BBC News. 24 July 2017. Retrieved July 24th 2017 – via BBC News Website.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  35. ^ "Sara Cox to contribute to a children’s story to promote a new charity directory number 118 520", Charities Aid Foundation, 19 February 2008. Retrieved 20 February 2005.
  36. ^ "PDSA Celebrity supporters" Archived 10 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine., People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, 14 October 2008. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
  37. ^ "Nice and Edie for Campbell as model wins Magnolia Cup at Goodwood", Daily Mail, 28 July 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  38. ^ O'Rourke, Holly (21 March 2017). "Sara Cox finishes her 24 hour Danceathon for Comic Relief & raises over £800,000". Manchester Evening News. 
  39. ^ "University announces winter Honorary Doctorates". University of Bolton. 24 November 2006. 

External links[edit]