Rae was born and raised in Dundee, and read English at Edinburgh University, having failed to gain a place at music college; as a child she had wanted to be a singer. She left the university before her finals, and began work with D. C. Thomson newspapers in Dundee, Scotland before taking up work on BBC Radio Aberdeen. After three years there, she left to work in London in the early 1980s as a continuity announcer and newsreader on BBC Radio 4. The response to her voice on Radio 4 at this time was negative, with listeners believing the BBC's commitment to accurate pronunciation was in decline, and she was obliged to stand down from her post.
Later in the decade, she moved to daytime television co-presenting Open Air and continued with voiceover work when it ended. Susan Rae began working on the BBC World Service around 2000, returning to BBC Radio 4 in 2004.
She has done voice-overs for many Discovery Channel shows including Forensic Detectives, some episodes of The FBI Files and Street Crime UK for Bravo. In 2007, she presented Eastern Skies for Anglia Television.
Rae lives in Suffolk.
- Jonathan Rhys-Evans "The Accent's on Success", Glasgow Herald, 18 April 1984
- David Crystal in Clive Upton, Bethan Davies (eds.) "Voices: a Case Study in the evolution of a linguistic climate at the BBC" Analysing 21st Century British English: Conceptual and Methodological Aspects of the 'Voices' Project, Routledge, 2013, p.13
- Lynda Mugglestone (ed) The Oxford History of English, Oxford: Oxford University Press , 2008 , p.479
- David Crystal "Language Developments ijn British English" in Michael Higgins, Clarissa Smith, John Storey (eds.) The Cambridge Companion to Modern British Culture, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p.27-8
- "BBC - Radio 4 - Presenter - Susan Rae", BBC biography.
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