Sara Joanne Cyzer (née Cox; born 13 December 1974), is an English broadcaster. She presented Radio 1 Breakfast on BBC Radio 1 between 3 April 2000 until 19 December 2003.[1] She currently hosts Drivetime on BBC Radio 2 Monday–Friday 5pm-7pm.

Sara Cox
Cox at Manchester Fashion Week,
October 2007
Sarah Joanne Cox

(1974-12-13) 13 December 1974 (age 46)
Bolton, Greater Manchester, England
Other namesSara Cox
OccupationTelevision presenter, radio presenter
Years active1996–present
(m. 2001; div. 2005)
Ben Cyzer
(m. 2013)
Children3 Edit this at Wikidata

She has also presented a number of television shows for the BBC including The Great Pottery Throw Down (2015–2017), Too Much TV (2016) and Back in Time for... (2018–present).

Early life and careerEdit

Cox was born Sarah Joanne Cox on 13 December 1974, but later dropped the use of the letter 'h' from her first name.[2] Her parents lived in the village of Little Lever near Bolton, Greater Manchester where she grew up on her father's farm.[3] She was the youngest of five children. Her parents separated when she was six or seven, after which she moved with her mother and a sister to another house in the same village.[4] Cox attended Smithills High School until the age of 16, and left Canon Slade School after her A-levels to pursue a career in modelling. She appeared in the music video for Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's 1993 single "Everyday",[5] and on a controversial promotional poster for the 1995 video game Wipeout.[6]

Cox won her first television show role in 1996, presenting the early "Girl Power" show The Girlie Show on Channel 4.[7] She later had stints on Channel 5 entertainment show Exclusive and Channel 4 music programme Born Sloppy. In 1997 Cox presented on the UK feed of MTV, hosting MTV Hot, a late-night music show. In 1998 Cox won her first film role in The Bitterest Pill.[8][9]

In September 1998, Cox became a presenter of The Big Breakfast, following in the footsteps of her close friend Zoe Ball. During her time on the programme, she interviewed stars such as Robbie Williams, Sting and Leonardo DiCaprio. Cox preferred to do interviews in her father's caravan, situated in The Big Breakfast garden.

BBC Radio 1Edit


A transfer to radio came on 19 September 1999 when she joined BBC Radio 1. Cox co-hosted the Saturday lunchtime show with Emma B from 13:00 – 15:00 and she launched the hugely popular The Surgery with Mark Hamilton, a health and welfare show where listeners called in about their problems, with Cox acting as "Nurse Coxy".

In December 1999, it was announced that Cox would again step into Zoe Ball's shoes as presenter of Radio 1 Breakfast, as Ball had decided to leave the organisation to bring up a family and to start a new chapter. Cox's breakfast show stint began on 3 April 2000. Initially, her listening figures were very good, growing from 6.9 million to 7.8 million listeners during her first fifteen months in the job—earning Radio 1 its largest breakfast audience ever—higher than that of her predecessor and ex-BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Evans. By August 2002, however, numbers had dipped back under 7 million.

In August 2000, Cox said during a live broadcast that the Queen Mother "smelt of wee".[10]


In January 2003, Cox denied rumours that she was preparing to leave the BBC for a rival show and signed a three-year contract with the public service broadcaster, tying her to the breakfast show and with the BBC for two years after that. In August 2003, the BBC again denied rumours, reported in the Daily Mail, that she had been given 10 weeks to increase ratings, or to face replacement. However, just two months later, the BBC announced that Cox, whose listening figures had slipped to 6.6 million, would be replaced by Chris Moyles in January 2004. Cox hosted her final breakfast show on 19 December 2003.

Cox then presented the afternoon "drivetime" slot, effectively swapping shows with Chris Moyles. She hosted the Drivetime show for six months with features such as "For Your Ears Only", "Me, Myself and I", and "Chap's Eye Pub Quiz" (referring to her then sidekick Mark Chapman). In June 2004, Cox began her maternity leave to give birth to a baby girl, Lola Anne. Before she returned to Radio 1 in early 2005, Scott Mills, the presenter who took over her slot during her maternity leave, was given the drivetime slot permanently.

From February 2005, Cox took over the afternoon show (13:00 – 16:00) on Saturdays and Sundays.


On 17 February 2008 Cox presented her last show for six months before leaving for maternity leave to have her second child. Annie Mac presented the show during her absence. Cox and Annie Mac both later covered for Jo Whiley who was on maternity leave between 29 September 2008 to 20 February 2009.[citation needed] Following Whiley's return, Cox returned to weekends to present a Sunday mid-morning show, broadcasting between 10:00 and 13:00.

In March 2010 Cox went on maternity leave for the third time, leaving her show in the hands of the newest Radio 1 presenter, Matt Edmondson.[11] She returned to the station on 9 August 2010 to cover for Fearne Cotton for three weeks. Cox made a self-confessed unexpected return to the breakfast show on 2 and 3 September 2010, as she sat in for the unwell Chris Moyles.[12]

In August 2012,it was announced that Cox, Gemma Cairney, Huw Stephens, Jameela Jamil, Alice Levine, and Annie Mac would cover Fearne Cotton's show on BBC Radio 1 weekdays from 10:00 to 12:45, whilst Cotton was on maternity leave, until Cotton's return in September 2013.[13][14] After Cotton's return, Cox did various cover shows; her final show for Radio 1 was on 17 February 2014.[citation needed]

BBC Radio 2Edit

In June 2011, Cox began hosting the fourth series of the comedy programme Hot Gossip on BBC Radio 2, covering for Claudia Winkleman, who chose not to present the series as she was heavily pregnant at the time.[15] in 2012, Cox has covered for Alex Lester, Janice Long and Vanessa Feltz, as well as providing cover for Simon Mayo Drivetime, Steve Wright in the Afternoon, and Ken Bruce.

Also between 2012 to 2018, she was the stand-in of The Radio 2 Breakfast Show covering for Chris Evans.

Cox joined BBC Radio 2 for her first regular show each Saturday night from 22:00 to midnight, presenting a 1980s show to complement the weekend 1960s and 1970s decade shows. The show began on Saturday 5 October 2013.[16] The show moved to Friday nights from April 2016.

In May 2018, Cox began a new show on Radio 2 from Monday to Thursday between 22:00 to midnight. She was replaced as host of Sounds of the 80s by Gary Davies; Cox presented her final edition of the show on 11 May 2018.[17] Upon Chris Evans's announcement that he was leaving the station, Cox was heavily linked to being his replacement until Zoe Ball was announced.[18]

On 29 October 2018 it was announced that Cox would succeed Simon Mayo as drivetime presenter on 14 January 2019.[19]


In July 2007, Cox presented London Live on Channel 4, and appeared as a guest star on the Sky1 show Angela and Friends in November 2009[20] and as guest presenter in January 2010.[21] Also in 2010, she appeared as a team captain on What Do Kids Know? along with Rufus Hound and Joe Swash on the Watch channel.[22]

Cox commentated for the semi-finals of the Eurovision Song Contest on BBC Three with fellow BBC Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills[23] at the 2011 Contest and 2012 Contest, and again in 2021 as a late stand-in for Rylan Clark-Neal.[24] Cox was replaced by Ana Matronic starting from the 2013 Contest.[25]

On 21 October 2014, Cox guest presented a Children in Need episode of The Great British Sewing Bee.[26]

In April 2015, it was announced that Cox would present The Great Pottery Throw Down for BBC Two. The first series began in November 2015 and the second in February 2017.[27]

In 2016 Cox co-presenting Too Much TV, a daily magazine show on BBC Two.[28]

In 2017, Cox appeared on Dara O Briain's Go 8 Bit and was on Steve's team in the show. She lost the episode in terms of points.[29] On 4 June 2017, Cox co-presented the One Love Manchester benefit concert special and British television special with Ore Oduba.

Since 2018, Cox has co-presented Back in Time for..., where a modern-day family enjoy meals that were eaten by families of years gone by. She replaced Giles Coren.[30] From May 2018, Cox presents Love in the Countryside for BBC Two.[31]

On 5 March 2019 it was announced that Cox would host a new ITV show, entitled The Sara Cox Show, which would feature entertainment, live music and celebrity guests and which would air on Saturday and Sunday mornings.[32]

In October 2020, Cox launched and presented Between the Covers on BBC Two, a seven-part book programme.


In March 2019 her book Till the Cows Come Home: A Lancashire Childhood, a memoir of growing up in 1980s Lancashire, was published by Coronet Books.[33]

Personal lifeEdit


Cox married the DJ Jon Carter in October 2001.[34] Their daughter was born on 13 June 2004.[35] In December 2005 the couple announced their divorce.[36]

On 16 September 2007 Cox announced, on her BBC Radio 1 weekend show, that she was expecting her second child.[37] Cox's last weekend show was on Sunday 17 February 2008 before she left for six months' maternity leave. Her second child, a boy, was born on 10 March 2008.[38] She returned to Radio 1 in September 2008. Cox went on maternity leave for the third time, after her show on 7 March 2010. Less than a week later, on 12 March, she announced that she had given birth to a girl.[citation needed]

On 23 June 2013 Cox tweeted a picture to announce she had just married her long-term boyfriend and fiancé Ben Cyzer.[39]


Cox is committed to protecting the environment. In 2009 she joined the 10:10 project in a bid to help her reduce her carbon footprint. She explained that, as she was brought up on a farm, she has no problem wearing extra layers instead of turning up the thermostat. Giving up meat was for her a different story, however, saying: "My dad is a beef farmer so he wouldn't be best pleased. I tried going veggie once, but it lasted about four hours."[40]

In August 2014 Cox was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.[41] She revealed, when taking part in a one-off celebrity special of The Crystal Maze, that she had voted against Brexit in 2016.[42]


In June 2003, Cox and her ex-husband Jon received £50,000 in an out-of-court settlement from the British newspaper The People after it printed photographs of her sunbathing in the nude on her honeymoon in 2001. Cox, who was photographed with a telephoto lens while on a private island, initially complained to the Press Complaints Commission, who found in her favour. The People printed an apology. Cox was unsatisfied, and sued the newspaper in the High Court for a breach of her right to privacy under the Human Rights Act.

The People agreed to an out of court settlement with Cox and her ex-husband before any judgement was made. Cox received £30,000 and her husband £20,000, The People also agreed to pay the couple's legal costs, reported to be in excess of £100,000. Cox was not the first person to sue after involving the PCC but the case was considered significant at the time because of the high profile of the case and size of the settlement.[43][44]

Stalking incidentEdit

In July 2017, a convicted child sex offender named Anthony Collins was convicted of stalking Cox, after sending her and her husband a series of letters. He had sent the letters to her home address, which he reportedly obtained after purchasing the address for £17. He subsequently pleaded guilty to harassment and was sentenced to 16 months in prison.[45][46][47]

Charitable activityEdit

Cox was one of 52 celebrities contributing to a children's story entitled Once Upon a Time[48] to promote a new charity directory inquiries number 118 520. The book will be auctioned with the profits going to the NSPCC. Cox is also a named supporter of the animal charity PDSA, and has promoted the charity by being photographed[49] with her pet dog, Snoop, by the late Lord Lichfield. Cox and other celebrities entered the women's race (The Magnolia Cup) fundraising for the charity Great Ormond Street at Glorious Goodwood on 28 July 2011. She came ninth.[citation needed]

Cox has also been an ambassador for Centrepoint—the UK's charity for homeless young people—since 2000, making her its longest serving celebrity supporter.[50] She takes part in the charity's flagship fundraising event, Sleep Out, every year, sleeping outside in a London location with around 800 other fundraisers. She also gives her time to Centrepoint for other events, messages of support and fundraising promotions.[citation needed]

In 2006, Cox participated as a celebrity showjumper in the BBC's Sport Relief event Only Fools on Horses.[51]

From 09:30 on 20 March 2017 to 09:30 on 21 March 2017, Cox did a 24-hour danceathon on her own on BBC Radio 2, raising money for Comic Relief, Red Nose Day. She raised over £800,000 for Red Nose Day according to the commentary on television and the newspaper Manchester Evening News.[52]

Awards and honoursEdit

In November 2006, Cox was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Bolton for contributions to broadcasting.[53]


Year Title Role Notes
1996–1997 The Girlie Show Co-presenter
2006 Hustle Herself Cameo role
2007 The Album Chart Show Presenter
2009, 2010 Angela and Friends Guest appearance/guest presenter Cameo role
2009 The BRIT Awards: Red Carpet Co-presenter
2010 What Do Kids Know? Team captain
2011 Eurovision Song Contest 2011 UK Commentator Semi Finals
2012 Eurovision Song Contest 2012
2013 Never Mind the Buzzcocks Guest presenter 1 episode
2014 The Great Children in Need Sewing Bee Presenter
2015–2017 The Great Pottery Throw Down Presenter 2 series
2016 Too Much TV Co-presenter 1 series
Britain's Most Spectacular Backyard Builds Co-presenter 1 series
2017 One Love Manchester Co-presenter Television coverage
Children in Need Rocks the 80s Co-presenter
Tipping Point : Lucky Stars Contestant 1 episode (Season 4, Episode 2)
2018 Britain's Favourite Dogs: Top 100 Co-presenter One-off special
2018–present Back in Time for... Presenter 2 series
Love in the Countryside Presenter 1 series; 1 upcoming
2018 The Big NHS Singalong Co-presenter One-off special
This Morning Guest presenter
2019 The Sara Cox Show Presenter
2020–present Between the Covers Presenter 2 series
2021 Eurovision Song Contest 2021 UK Commentator (stand in) Semi Finals
TBA Britain's Top Takeaways (w/t)[54] Co-presenter With Darren Harriott


  1. ^ Digital Spy: Sara Cox presents final BBC Radio 1 show as Chris Moyles pays tribute
  2. ^ England & Wales, Birth Index: 1837–1983. Retrieved 21 June 2007.
  3. ^ Rucki, Alexandra (4 February 2019). "DJ Sara Cox furious after 'gang of young idiots' set fire at dad's farm". men. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  4. ^ Garratt, Sheryl (24 June 2001). "Vox Cox". The Observer. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  5. ^ Willis, Tania (17 February 2015). "'I didn't eat during my twenties': Sara Cox confesses what she did to stay skinny". OK!. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  6. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (30 November 2014). "WipEout: The rise and fall of Sony Studio Liverpool".
  7. ^ "BBC Cult – I Love 1996". Retrieved 11 March 2008.
  8. ^ "Sara Cox – Presenters". Archived from the original on 8 April 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  9. ^ "The Bitterest Pill". 20 February 2007. Archived from the original on 11 August 2007. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  10. ^ "DJ Cox's Queen Mother gaffe". London: BBC News. 4 August 2000. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  11. ^ "Press Office – Matt Edmondson to cover for Sara Cox on BBC Radio 1". BBC. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  12. ^ "Thursday – Sara Cox sits in for Chris, The Chris Moyles Show – BBC Radio 1". BBC. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  13. ^ "BBC Newsbeat Sara Cox to fill in for Fearne Cotton on Radio 1 show". BBC Newsbeat. 10 August 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  14. ^ James Gill (10 August 2012). "Sara Cox to cover Fearne Cotton Radio 1 maternity leave". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 1 January 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  15. ^ "Radio 2 Programmes – Hot Gossip, Series 4, Episode 1". BBC. 25 June 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  16. ^ Hendry, Steve (29 September 2013). "Radio star Sara Cox dreamed of marrying George Michael.. now she can't wait to host new show celebrating the 80s". Daily Record. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  17. ^ Media Correspondent, Matthew Moore (23 August 2018). "Women take over top shows in Radio 2 revamp". The Times.
  18. ^ "Zoe Ball to host the new BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show". BBC. 3 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  19. ^ "Sara Cox to present new weekday Drivetime show on Radio 2, Trevor Nelson to present 10pm-midnight show". BBC Media Centre. 28 October 2018. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  20. ^ "Angela and Friends cast list", "" July 2011
  21. ^ "Angela and Friends cast list", "" July 2011
  22. ^ "What Do Kids Know?" Archived 18 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, "UKTV" July 2011
  23. ^ "Sara Cox and Scott Mills front Eurovision semi-finals exclusively on BBC Three". BBC Press Office. 21 April 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
  24. ^ Grocott, Matthew (17 May 2021). "Sarah Cox replaces Rylan Clark Neal as UK Semi Final commentator". ESCBubble. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  25. ^ "United Kingdom: Ana Matronic replaces Sara Cox". ESCXTRA. 7 March 2013. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 November 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ "The Great British Pottery Throw Down is coming". 21 April 2015.
  28. ^ "Emma Bunton, Sara Cox to host BBC Two's live telly show". 13 February 2016.
  29. ^ Page of show shows points of each episode and who won each episode.
  30. ^ "BBC – Sara Cox takes Bradford family Back in Time For Tea as BBC Two series returns – Media Centre". BBC.
  31. ^ "BBC – Sara Cox to present Love in the Countryside for BBC Two – Media Centre". BBC.
  32. ^ "Sara Cox to host ITV weekend show". BBC. 5 March 2019.
  33. ^ Cox, Sara (7 March 2019). Sara Cox – Till the Cows Come Home – Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 9781473672710. Retrieved 9 March 2019 – via
  34. ^ "Caine 'in talks' for Austin Powers 3". BBC News. 5 October 2001. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  35. ^ "Sara Cox gives birth to baby girl". BBC News. 14 June 2004. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  36. ^ "Sara Cox Exclusive". 3am. Daily Mirror. 25 July 2007. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  37. ^ "Radio 1 host Cox expecting baby". London: BBC News. 15 September 2007. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  38. ^ "Baby boy for Radio 1's Sara Cox". London: BBC News. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 12 March 2008.
  39. ^ "Celebrity Wedding – Radio DJ Sara Cox Secretly Marries Boyfriend Ben Cyzer". Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  40. ^ "Case study: Sara Cox | 10:10". Archived from the original on 7 June 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  41. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". The Guardian. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  42. ^ "The Crystal Maze October 2016". Channel 4. 16 October 2016. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  43. ^ "Cox privacy case 'a watershed'". BBC News. 7 June 2003. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  44. ^ "Privacy law remains confused". BBC News. 9 June 2003. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  45. ^ "Man jailed for stalking Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox". BBC News. 24 July 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  46. ^ "Sara Cox stalker jailed". 24 July 2017.
  47. ^ "Stalker jailed for sending disturbing letters to Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox". 24 July 2017.
  48. ^ "Sara Cox to contribute to a children’s story to promote a new charity directory number 118 520", Charities Aid Foundation, 19 February 2008. Retrieved 20 February 2005.
  49. ^ "PDSA Celebrity supporters" Archived 10 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine, People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, 14 October 2008. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
  50. ^ "Our ambassadors".
  51. ^ BBC. "BBC – Radio 1 – Sara Cox – biography". BBC. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  52. ^ O'Rourke, Holly (21 March 2017). "Sara Cox finishes her 24-hour Danceathon for Comic Relief & raises over £800,000". Manchester Evening News.
  53. ^ "University announces winter Honorary Doctorates". University of Bolton. 24 November 2006.
  54. ^ "BBC Two Factual announces Darren Harriott to join Sara Cox for Britain's Top Takeaways w/t". Retrieved 18 November 2021.

External linksEdit

Media offices
Preceded by BBC Radio 1
Breakfast Show Presenter

Succeeded by
Preceded by BBC Radio 2
Drivetime Show Presenter

Succeeded by