Well, this is the first edition of what I anticipate will be an “irregular” series of blogs highlighting the many talented and noteworthy individuals who either live in, were born/brought up in/or adopted our amazing (and constantly evolving) town CROYDON. Although Starsongs raison d’etre is primarily to provide a platform for our original songs and to showcase the many great aspects of our town vis a vis the arts in general, many of the noted Croydonians we will be writing about will not necessarily be songwriters or musicians or reside here currently.
Susan Elizabeth Perkins grew up in Croydon (somewhere she describes as “less of a place, more of a punchline”) in the 1970s, the eldest of three siblings. Her father worked for a local car dealer, her mother worked as a secretary. She didn’t exhibit an early talent for showbusiness – she recalls being cast as a lowly fox in the class nativity play – and was hampered by chronic shyness and a stammer, eventually cured by years of weekly speech and drama lessons.
She was far from a goody-goody – she indulged in plenty of childhood mischief, and only made an effort in lessons that interested her. A stubborn streak, however, meant that when a careers adviser suggested she should set her sights no higher than a polytechnic, she immediately resolved she would go to Cambridge to study English. She did – which is where she met her long-term comedy partner and “Bake off” co-host, Mel Giedroyc.
The teenage Perkins wasn’t sure of her sexuality and had a long-term relationship with a boy, who was in a school production of Bizet’s Carmen with her. They went out for six years – throughout the whole of her time at university – until he confessed he was gay and had slept with other people.
Perkins is now in a relationship with TV presenter Anna Richardson, and describes Richardson as a “glitterball”. What does she mean by that? “Anna’s just so much fun, and [when we met] I was in such a big trough,” she replies. “If you look at my CV, you can’t imagine that person who is permanently gurning over a lemon drizzle could ever feel moments of despair and sadness like everybody else but I really was in a hole and I think she’s just so good at al
Together with her creative partner Mel Giedye, Perkins took her first steps into television under the name Mel & Sue, winning the Best Newcomers award at the Edinburgh Festival in 1993.Following few years writing for (and sometimes performing with) French & Saunders, they co-hosted a Channel 4 Light Lunch followed by an evening version Late Lunch. By January 2015, Giedroyc and Perkins were hosting their own daytime chat show on ITV shortly followed by their hosting a new version of The Generation Game for BBC One.
Sues career continues to go from strength to strength, she was until recently one of the presenters of the highly successful “Great British Bake off“, continues to be a panellist on BBC 4’s highly regarded weekly News Quiz, and of course makes regular appearances at the Edinburgh festival.
Although residing currently in Cornwall, we would most certainly welcome her back to Croydon anytime that