Main content

Sue Perkins

Kirsty Young interviews comedian and broadcaster Sue Perkins.

Kirsty Young's castaway is the comedian and TV presenter Sue Perkins.

She and her friend Mel Giedroyc first appeared as a comedy duo at the Edinburgh Fringe over 20 years ago and together they presented the first seven series of The Great British Bake Off.

Born at the end of the 1960s, Sue grew up in Croydon, the eldest of three siblings. By her own description a "shy and awkward" child, she nonetheless made it to Cambridge University to study English. She and Mel met at a Footlights open mic gig soon after she'd arrived. Their first joint high-profile success was landing a new live daytime programme on Channel 4 called Light Lunch, which turned them into household names.

Sue also formed a second presenting partnership, making historical food programmes with Giles Coren. When she was 38 she was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour which left her unable to have children. Sue has been in a relationship with the TV presenter Anna Richardson since 2013.

Producer: Cathy Drysdale.

Available now

53 minutes

Music Played

  • Sylvester

    You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)

    • Disco Hits of the ‘70s.
    • Universal-Island Records.
  • Lonnie Donegan

    Rock Island Line

    • Lonnie Donegan: The EP Collection.
    • Decca.
  • The Smiths

    How Soon Is Now?

    • Meat is Murder.
    • Warner.
  • T. Rex

    20th Century Boy

    • Tanx.
    • Edsel.

    • Kate Bush

      Moments of Pleasure

      • The Red Shoes.
      • EMI.
  • Giovanni Battista Pergolesi

    Stabat Mater

    Performer: Emma Kirkby. Performer: James Bowman. Performer: Academy of Ancient Music. Conductor: Christopher Hogwood.
    • Decca.
  • Nick Drake

    Northern Sky

    • Bryter Layter.
    • Universal-Island.
  • Philip Glass

    Opening (from Glassworks)

    • Glassworks.
    • Sony Classical.

    'How to Clone Your Dog'


    Her deceased dog's hair


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Sue Perkins
Producer Cathy Drysdale


Featured in...

The Desert Island Discs podcast

The Desert Island Discs podcast

Subscribe or download individual episodes.

Listen to over 2,000 programmes



Read the surprising things we've learned about some stand-out castaways.

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

Featuring David Beckham, the funniest and most moving moments, animations and quizzes.

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

Why does Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece appeal to so many castaways?