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Sara Cox on losing out on Breakfast to Zoë Ball, landing her dream job and redeeming her party girl past

Sara Cox on losing out on Breakfast to Zoë Ball, landing her dream job and redeeming her party girl past

WHEN one door shuts, one other one fairly often opens. Simply weeks after information broke that Sara Cox had misplaced out on bagging the Radio 2 Breakfast Present, alongside got here Drivetime to cushion the blow – and then some.

It’s humorous how issues work out.

 Sara Cox insists she knew in her 'heart of hearts' that she wouldn't get the Radio 2 Breakfast Show job

Mark Hayman

Sara Cox insists she knew in her ‘coronary heart of hearts’ that she would not get the Radio 2 Breakfast Present job

“Yay!” says Sara at present, giving the air a mini punch.

The cosy 5-7pm slot was freed up when present host Simon Mayo give up after eight years within the scorching seat.

“You can write: ‘At this point she did a cartwheel across the room.’ Honestly I cannot tell you how happy I am. It’s quite weird cos this has always been the goal, building towards daytime on Radio 2, and now I’m like: ‘Crikey, I’ve got it!’ I’ve landed on the magical lily pad after lots and lots of stepping stones.”

When the BBC revealed in October that it was to be Zoë Ball somewhat than bookies’ favorite Sara who can be changing the departing Chris Evans on radio’s most coveted present, it was met with widespread shock.

 When the BBC announced Zoe Ball was getting the Breakfast Show instead of bookies' favourite Sara Cox, there was widespread surprise

Mark Hayman

When the BBC introduced Zoe Ball was getting the Breakfast Present as an alternative of bookies’ favorite Sara Cox, there was widespread shock

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Sara, 44, had been offering Chris’ vacation cowl for 10 weeks of the yr, proving successful with the listeners, who fell in love with her pure wit, quirkiness and heat. Certainly she was a shoo-in for the job with Chris off to Virgin Radio? Sara says not.

“I knew in my heart of hearts and in my brain that I wasn’t getting Breakfast,” she says.

“As a result of with out getting all ‘man and boy’, I’ve labored in radio for therefore lengthy, and one of many first guidelines is that the stand-in by no means will get the gig. You by no means get given vacation aid with a view to getting the present. That’s genuinely not a factor.

“So everyone was getting excited for me, and I had a really tricky couple of weeks where I was managing people’s expectations, including a nice chap in Ikea at Wembley who popped out from a shelving unit and said: ‘The job’s yours, Coxy!’”

 Sara Cox insists 'one of the first rules is that the stand-in never gets the gig'

Mark Hayman

Sara Cox insists ‘one of many first guidelines is that the stand-in by no means will get the gig’

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Whereas hypothesis raged as to who had received the job, Sara tried to carry on as regular with her personal nightly Radio 2 present. It wasn’t all the time straightforward.

“I used to be on air each night time having to d**okay about so I couldn’t cover or go off to an unique island and escape the press. The one method I might get by means of all that was to joke about it.

“However hand on coronary heart, I by no means thought it was going to be me. So I wasn’t disenchanted and I wasn’t stunned, however the extra you clarify, the extra individuals assume: ‘Ah, she doth protest too much!’ So you’ll be able to’t actually win.

“It’s work, it’s business. And the way it’s turned out is that I’ve got this teatime show and I’ll be a much nicer person than I would’ve been on Breakfast.”

 Sara Cox tried to continue as normal on the radio during the speculation around who was getting the job

Mark Hayman

Sara Cox tried to proceed as regular on the radio in the course of the hypothesis round who was getting the job

She’s referring to the gruelling hours that go hand in hand with internet hosting the early morning present.

“Breakfast is a tremendous gig, nevertheless it’s all very nicely swanning in for a few weeks overlaying for Chris. When that alarm goes off at four.15am, make no mistake, for that first few seconds you’re like: ‘Christ, it’s darkish outdoors!’

“Zoë will be brilliant at it – you can’t say no to a job like that. She’d have been mad to say no. And now I feel a bit like in Braveheart where Mel Gibson is going: ‘Hold, hold, hold…’ I was essentially doing that, and then: ‘Yes, it’s the afternoon show!”

A lot has been product of the supposed rivalry between Sara and Zoë, with some reviews dubbing them “former best friends”.

 Sara Cox and Zoe Ball used to be very good friends back in the 1990s

Rex Options

Sara Cox and Zoe Ball used to be excellent pals again within the 1990s

Again within the ’90s they have been the closest of mates, hanging out on the Met Bar (the place else?), the poster women for Cool Britannia and darlings of the tabloid press.

They labored onerous – Zoë was host of Radio 1 Breakfast whereas Sara had made her identify on Channel four’s The Girlie Present – and partied more durable. Sara would later succeed Zoë on Radio 1’s flagship present, however the friendship waned as soon as youngsters began to seem on the scene.

“We drifted insomuch as Zoë lives in Brighton and I live in north London, and even my friends who I could throw a stone from my front doorstep and hit their house I don’t bloody see for weeks,” says Sara.

“So there’s nothing gone incorrect – there’s undoubtedly by no means been a cross phrase with me and Zoë – however you’ve acquired to nurture friendships. We’re each busy and we’ve each received youngsters, and in case you don’t put the time in with friendships then they do fade a bit bit.

 Sara Cox gears up for her Radio 2 show (with a little mutt-ly crew)


Sara Cox gears up for her Radio 2 present (with a bit of mutt-ly crew)

“But the roots are still there. It’s still there at its core. In the middle of the night I would drop everything and do anything that Zoë needed from me. She will always be a friend, but she’s got her best friends and I’ve got mine.”

These hedonistic days within the ’90s might by no means have lasted, she says. Everybody ultimately settles down and strikes on.

“There was only a time, a second in time the place I used to be with my ex-husband [DJ Jon Carter], she was with Norman [Cook] and the 4 of us partied collectively earlier than we had youngsters. After which in fact Woody [Zoë and Norman’s eldest] got here alongside.

“It was via that prism of partying within the ’90s to early Noughties and it was a very enjoyable time. However that’s the factor about these moments – they’re simply that. It’s not one thing that lasts for many years.

 Sara Cox says her life and career got instantly the minute that got with husband Ben

Simply Giving

Sara Cox says her life and profession obtained immediately the minute that received with husband Ben

“However there’s by no means been any falling out. She was texting me when all that s**tstorm with Breakfast was going on, like: ‘Hi, former best friend!’

“We were like: ‘Hope you’re OK, babe. What a load of balls this is.’ No pun intended. So we were fine, and I always knew we would be. There’s never ever been bad feeling.”

It will be onerous to think about Sara falling out with anybody. She’s continually and effortlessly humorous, utterly partaking, barely kooky, endearingly clumsy (she almost pulls a whole pc off a desk when her fold-away bike someway turns into entangled with the cables) and immensely likeable. It’s the little particulars she provides to anecdotes that make them amusing, the entertaining tangents she spins off on and her self-deprecating humour that make her such a pleasure to speak to.

Nowadays she lives quietly with promoting exec husband Ben Cyzer, who she describes as her “bezzie” – they’ve been collectively for greater than 12 years, marrying in 2013.

 Sara Cox says she instantly starts sweating when she's asked about her husband by journalists

Rex Shutterstock

Sara Cox says she immediately begins sweating when she’s requested about her husband by journalists

“I don’t talk about him much because it cringes me out. I instantly start sweating when I get asked about Ben.”

She laughs and pretends to fan herself down.

“It must be because he makes me so hot.”

Assembly Ben modified every little thing for Sara.

 Sara Cox was previously married to DJ Jon Carter

Information Group Newspapers Ltd

Sara Cox was beforehand married to DJ Jon Carter

“My life and my career as a whole got instantly better and more settled in a positive way the minute I got with Ben,” she says. “And you may truthfully monitor it from there.

“My work got better and I became more happy and confident and more sorted as a person. And then you add on to that getting a bit older and growing up a bit and boom shakalaka, here I am. It’s no small part that Ben’s a good influence – not a boring influence by the way – but he just makes me very happy.”

Now the youngsters are older (Lola, Sara’s daughter with Jon is 14, whereas Isaac and Renee are 10 and eight) Sara says she’s hit a candy spot and describes this time as “glorious”.

“For ladies with careers, the second all their youngsters are legally obliged to be at college it lifts that guilt. Heaven forbid, you may even go to the fitness center or for a espresso with a pal!

 Sara insists nothing went wrong between her and Zoe but says 'you’ve got to nurture friendships'

Rex Options

Sara insists nothing went incorrect between her and Zoe however says ‘you’ve obtained to nurture friendships’

“However they’re superior. They’re at a fantastic age, they’re humorous, they’re doing properly at college and they’re widespread as a result of they’re good youngsters. They’re fairly mega.

“I imply, I’d by no means be a type of mums who goes [she adopts a plummy voice]: ‘Oh, we’re extra greatest pals than mom and daughter, we even go clubbing collectively,’ as a result of that’s my precise worst nightmare.

I’m undoubtedly Mum, however having stated that we will hold out and chat.

“And me and Ben are good partners. There’s none of this s**t about ‘babysitting’. He doesn’t babysit his kids – he looks after them because he is their dad and we’re a partnership.”

 Sara Cox says freelancing can be 'feast or famine'

PA:Press Affiliation

Sara Cox says freelancing might be ‘feast or famine’

She’s candid concerning the actuality of life after leaving Radio 1 Breakfast again in 2003 and returning to work following her first maternity depart in 2005 to discover herself with no huge weekday present on the station. She introduced weekend afternoons for the subsequent three years, and then from 2008 crammed in for numerous presenters with out securing a present to name her personal.

“You already know that squirrelly creature at first of Ice Age making an attempt to cling on to that acorn? I’ve felt a bit like that with my profession at occasions. Won’t let go!

“You’ve gotten to sit tight with this job. When you’ve got success and it flattens just a little bit and the fizz goes out of your profession for some time and then you definitely handle to get it again, it provides you humility.

“What kept my career going was Radio 1 letting me [stay] on while I was trying to transition over to Radio 2 [from 2013]. So I’ve got Radio 1 to thank for keeping the faith in me, and also Fearne Cotton for having a second child [Sara filled in on Fearne’s morning show]. So it’s Fearne’s ovaries that I really need to create a small shrine to.”

 Sara Cox says her agent pushes her to be more relaxed when it comes to work

Getty – Contributor

Sara Cox says her agent pushes her to be extra relaxed when it comes to work

The precarious nature of freelance life coupled with her working class background rising up in Bolton means Sara struggles to “relax” when it comes to work.

“I stay within the kind of home now I’d by no means have dreamed of proudly owning. It’s not a palace, however I used to be introduced up in council homes and above pubs, and I actually keep in mind the place I got here from.

“If you’ve seen your mother and father attempt to make ends meet, that sticks with you. So I do discover it onerous to take my foot off the pedal cos it might all finish tomorrow.

“Whenever you’re freelance it may be feast or famine.

 Sara Cox believes The Great Pottery Throw Down helped people see her in a new light

Rex Options

Sara Cox believes The Nice Pottery Throw Down helped individuals see her in a brand new mild

My agent and Ben are all the time telling me I can chill out a bit extra now, however I’m like: ‘But a voiceover has come in to advertise support tights. And it’s £40! I’ll get £40!’ And everybody’s like: ‘No, Sara, relax! You’ve obtained three TV exhibits, a radio present and a e-book. You’re all proper!’

“So, yeah, when you’ve had dry spells you really appreciate the good times.”

Has she had to battle to be taken significantly? Does she assume her profession has suffered due to past status?

“Yeah. I’ve joked in the past that I’ve spent the second decade of my career apologising for the first. There’s a certain lifespan of going to premieres in low-cut dresses and falling out of celebrity bars after midnight, and that is in your 20s. If you’re still doing it in your 30s, fine, I ain’t judging. But you’re not going to get me falling out of anywhere now. I do still fall out of places, just not any places where there’s going to be paparazzi. Places like my friends’ houses.”

 Sara's friendship with Zoe waned once children started to appear on the scene

Rex Options

Sara’s friendship with Zoe waned as soon as youngsters began to seem on the scene

It was The Nice Pottery Throw Down that she reckons helped individuals see her in a brand new mild. The charming actuality programme turned certainly one of BBC2’s highest score exhibits over its two collection in 2015 and 2017, though, bafflingly, bosses have confirmed it gained’t be returning for a 3rd.

“It did me a huge favour because people were suddenly like: ‘Oh, yeah, she’s kind of funny and she’s warm and nice,’ which, without blowing my own trumpet, I’d been doing on the radio the whole time. Maybe a bit silly but never cruel or unthinking.”

That led to getting BBC2’s Love In The Countryside in addition to Britain’s Favorite Canine, which she co-hosted with Ben Fogle, who Sara quips should have probably the most understanding spouse on the earth.

“He’s like: ‘I’m just going to swim to this island and fight a hippo and then canoe it back!’ And she’s like: ‘All right, Ben. Eye roll.’”

 Sara Cox says Jo Whiley, pictured centre, is a really good broadcaster

Getty – Contributor

Sara Cox says Jo Whiley, pictured centre, is a very good broadcaster

Each these exhibits return this yr. However radio is Sara’s real love (“telly is my bit on the side”) and she’s proud to be a part of this new daybreak for Radio 2, which has confronted criticism within the past for its lack of feminine presenters.

“It feels like a new chapter for Radio 2 and it was a long time coming,” she says. “However they deal with individuals actually properly right here and I feel it was troublesome for them to transfer somebody off a really profitable present simply due to their gender.

“However I’m utterly thrilled – a lady on the helm of two of the most important exhibits on the station. It’s an enormous assertion and constructive for younger ladies arising by means of the ranks.

“But also, I don’t think I’ve got the job because I’ve got a uterus,” she provides. “I think I’ve got the job because I’m a good broadcaster and I’ve been mithering them, begging for a job for years.”

 Sara Cox strongly identifies as a feminist


Sara Cox strongly identifies as a feminist

Is she a feminist?

“Sure! I’m not an enormous fan of when ladies say: ‘Ooh, there are strange connotations with feminism so I don’t know if I’m one.’ Look, love, simply be a bloody feminist. Why would you say you’re not a feminist?

“Some time again I did have a second of questioning, nicely, am I allowed to be a feminist cos I used to have my cleavage out on The Girlie Present shouting w****r on the digital camera? However I discovered studying Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Lady a couple of years in the past actually useful. She makes you say it out loud: ‘I am a feminist.’

“I think I was in the bath when I read that bit. ‘Are you all right in there, love?’ ‘Yes, thanks. I’m just being a feminist in the bath.’”

 Sara Cox loves broadcasting and says it's a 'beautiful way to communicate with people'

2018 Lorne Thomson

Sara Cox loves broadcasting and says it is a ‘lovely method to talk with individuals’

She went out for “a flat white and a good old chinwag” with Simon Mayo lately and says it felt proper that he was “handing over the baton.”

It’s been no secret that Simon was sad with the introduction of co-host Jo Whiley final Might, and listeners despaired over the shortage of chemistry between the 2 of them. Sara diplomatically claims she “wasn’t really aware” of the difficulties.

“To keep radio fresh and not to rest on your laurels, sometimes you try and switch things up a bit and…” she breaks off. “Jo Whiley is a really good broadcaster. She’s amazing with a music show, so I’m really excited that she’ll be doing that again from 7pm. And Simon has loads going on. He will be grand.”

The brand new present goes to be all concerning the listeners, she says.

 Sara's new BBC Radio 2 show weekdays, 5-7pm, will have no celebs 'trying to flog stuff'


Sara’s new BBC Radio 2 present weekdays, 5-7pm, may have no celebs ‘making an attempt to flog stuff’

No showbiz visitors “trying to flog stuff”, simply Sara and a cup of tea and “possibly a prosecco” if it’s a Friday.

“Radio is a beautiful way to broadcast and communicate with people, and we’re going to have a really fun, funny time together for those two hours. That’s what I’m interested in – the text from Sue who’s busy making doilies or Jenny who’s just been for a six-mile run in the dark. Those are the people. Listeners are more funny and interesting than any of the DJs could ever be.”

She jokes that she and Zoë may get collectively for a remaining hurrah earlier than the onerous work kicks in.

“I texted her and suggested before our first shows, let’s go out like the old days. Y’know, the
night before? She was like: ‘Really?’”

Sara deadpans.

“Er, no, that’s a joke Zoë. We’re definitely, definitely not going out the night before the new shows.”


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  • Greatest on Insta? DJ Fats Tony (@dj_fattony_).
  • Final DM? To Hannah Beckerman telling her that her guide made me weep.
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Sara Cox reveals Chris Evans’s spouse has given delivery to twins and referred to as them Ping and Pong


  • Pay attention to Sara’s new BBC Radio 2 present weekdays, 5-7pm, from tomorrow.
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