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Her father, William Thomas, worked for the Commission on Industrial Relations (later ACAS). She has two younger brothers, and lived on Burnham Avenue in Ickenham. She attended Glebe Primary School, then passed her eleven-plus enabling her to attend the (newly opened in January 1960) Vyners Grammar School (now called Vyners School) also in Ickenham, on Warren Road. She gained ten O-levels and three A-levels and went on to Leicester University to gain an honours degree in Psychology.
Her career began as a producer, presenter and DJ for London's Capital Radio before moving over to the BBC where, over the next twenty years, she presented programmes for both radio and television, notably the BBC's Nationwide, Breakfast Time, Children in Need, Out of Court, and Crimewatch. Other BBC TV presenting credits include Pebble Mill At One, Daytime Live, Omnibus At The Proms, Having A Baby, Out Of This World and The Children's Royal Variety Performance. She was a regular guest on Call My Bluff and one of Holiday's team of reporters. For Channel 4 she hosted the popular afternoon show Collectors Lot. She also appeared briefly as herself in the BBC television drama serial Edge of Darkness (1985) and in The Life and Loves of a She-Devil (1986).
She was famously referred to often in the first series of I'm Alan Partridge, although she only ever 'appeared' on the other end of a telephone, and personally did not take part in the show. For effect she was portrayed as a foul-mouthed heavy smoker, in contrast to her good-natured screen persona. In To Kill A Mocking Alan, the fifth episode of the first series, Cook pulls out at the last minute from a planned guest spot on Alan's live show, 'An Afternoon With Alan Partridge', which has the twin effects of seriously rattling Alan's nerves and causing half his audience to walk out before the show begins. She is also extensively referred to in Alan's second autobiography (the first to be actually published) I Partridge: We Need to Talk about Alan. In its' pages, the fictional Cook's love of smoking is referred to again, along with abiding passions for betting on horse races, heavy drinking and voicing her hatred for other TV personalities. Alan reveals that he finds Cook extraordinarily attractive, once going so far as to make a drunken pass at her. The attempted seduction was rebuffed emphatically.
Her first two novels On Dangerous Ground (2006) and Force of Nature (2009), are published by Hodder Headline. She is currently working on her third. She devised and presents the supportive series for writers The Write Lines for BBC Oxford .
She is Executive Producer for Tracker starring Ray Winstone. Released in the UK April 2011. She also script edited the movie. She is adapting her first novel On Dangerous Ground for the screen.
Cook has been married three times. She lives in Oxfordshire with her third husband, film director Ian Sharp. She has two children, Charlie Williams, son to former husband John Williams, the classical guitarist, and Megan Macqueen, daughter to children's television and GMTV producer Billy Macqueen with whom she lived for fifteen years. Her first marriage was in 1971 to the musician Brian Cook, whom she met at Leicester University.
Official websites: www.suecook.com www.thewritelines.co.uk
|Co-host of Crimewatch|
with Nick Ross