Sarah Joanne Cyzer née Cox (born 13 December 1974) more commonly known by her radio name "Sara Cox", is a British broadcaster, best known for presenting theThe Radio 1 Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 1 between 2000 and 2003,[3] but more recently as maternity cover for Fearne Cotton every weekday 10 am-12.45 pm from January to September 2013. She now hosts "Sounds of the 80s" on BBC Radio 2.[4]


 [hide*1 Early career

Early career[edit]Edit

Cox was born Sarah Joanne Cox in Bolton, Greater Manchester, but later dropped the use of the letter 'h' from her first name.[5] She is the youngest of five.[6] 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 forOMD's 1993 single "Everyday".

Cox won her first television show role in 1996, presenting early "Girl Power" show The Girlie Show on Channel 4.[7] She later had stints on Channel 5 entertainment showExclusive 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 she became a presenter of The Big Breakfast, following in the footsteps of her friend Zoë Ball (for whom Cox was a bridesmaid at Ball's wedding to DJ Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, in 1999). During her time on The Big Breakfast she interviewed stars such as Robbie WilliamsSting and Leonardo DiCaprio. Cox preferred to do interviews in her dad's caravan which was situated in The Big Breakfast garden.

BBC Radios 1 & 2[edit]Edit

Main article: BBC Radio 1===1999–2002[edit]===

A transfer to radio came in September 1999 when she joined BBC Radio 1. She co-hosted the Saturday lunchtime show with Emma B from 1 pm-3 pm and she launched the hugely popular Sunday Surgery with Dr. Mark Hamilton, a health and welfare show where listeners called in about their problems, with Sara acting as "Nurse Coxy". The show still proves popular today, and is currently hosted by Aled Haydn Jones.

In December 1999 it was announced that Cox would again step into Zoë Ball's shoes as presenter of The Radio 1 Breakfast Show, as Ball had decided to leave the organisation to bring up a family. Cox's breakfast show stint began on 31 March 2000, three days early so she could calm her nerves. 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 Chris Evans. By August 2002, however, numbers had dipped back under 7 million.

In August 2000 Cox controversially said live on air that the Queen Mother "smelt of wee".[10]


In January 2003 she 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 until April 2004 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 6.6m, would be replaced by Chris Moyles in January 2004. She hosted her final breakfast show on 19 December 2003. Her final track was "(I've Had) The Time of My Life".

Cox then presented the afternoon "drivetime" slot, effectively swapping shows with Chris Moyles. She hosted the Drivetime show for 6 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). She began maternity leave to give birth to a baby girl, Lola Anne, in June 2004. 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 she took over the afternoon show (1 pm-4 pm) on Saturdays and Sundays.


On 17 February 2008 she presented her last show for six months before leaving for maternity leave to have her second child. Annie Mac presented the show during Cox's absence. Cox later covered for Jo Whiley who was on maternity leave between October 2008 and February 2009. Following Whiley's return, Cox returned to weekends to present a Sunday mid-morning show, broadcasting between 10 am and 1 pm.

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 airwaves 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 September 2010, as she sat in for the poorly Chris Moyles[citation needed].

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.[12]

During the first week of March 2012, she covered for Alex Lester on BBC Radio 2. She has also covered for Janice Long on the same station.

In August 2012, it was announced that Cox would cover Fearne Cotton's show on BBC Radio 1 weekdays from 10:00 – 12:45 whilst Cotton is on maternity leave.[13][14]

In the last week of September 2012, Cox covered for Vanessa Feltz on BBC Radio 2 in the 5:00 to 6:30 slot; during this week she was immediately followed by Zoë Ball, who was filling in for Chris Evans on the breakfast show.

Cox presented Radio 1's mid-morning programme while Fearne Cotton went on maternity leave. She was replaced by Matt Edmondson on Sunday mornings.

Cox joined BBC Radio 2 for her first regular show each Saturday night from 10 pm to midnight, presenting an 80s show to complement the weekend 60s and 70s decade shows. The show began on Saturday 5 October 2013.[15]

After Fearne's return she did various cover shows; her final show for Radio 1 was on Monday 17 February 2014.

Personal life[edit]Edit

She married DJ Jon Carter on 6 October 2001; they split in December 2005. She gave birth to a girl, Lola Anne Carter, on 13 June 2004 at the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth in St John's Wood, north London.

On 16 September 2007 Cox announced on her BBC Radio 1 weekend show that she was expecting her second child.[16] Cox's last weekend show was on Sunday 17 February 2008 before she left for 6 months maternity leave. Her second child, a baby boy named Isaac, was born on 10 March 2008 weighing 7 lb 12oz, at a London hospital.[17] She returned to Radio 1 in September 2008. Cox went on maternity leave for the third time, after her show on Sunday 7 March 2010. Less than a week later, on 12 March, she announced that she had given birth to a baby girl, named Renee, at 8:30 am GMT.

In November 2007, when a guest on humorous news quiz Have I Got News for You, Cox revealed that she had been born with a dislocated hip.[18]

Sara Cox is also 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 is a different story however, "My dad is a beef farmer so he wouldn't be best pleased. I tried going veggie once, but it lasted about four hours."[19]

On 23 June 2013, Cox tweeted a picture to announce she had just been married to long-term boyfriend, Ben Cyzer.[20]


In June 2003 Cox and her husband 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 whilst 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 ActThe People agreed to an out of court settlement with Cox and her 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.[21][22]

Charitable activity[edit]Edit

Cox will be one of 52 celebrities contributing to a children's story entitled 'Once Upon a Time'[23] to promote a new charity directory inquiries number 118 520. The book will be auctioned with the profits going to theNSPCC. Sara is also a named supporter of the animal charity PDSA, and has promoted the charity by being photographed[24] 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.[25]

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. 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.

Other activities[edit]Edit

In 2006 Cox participated as a celebrity showjumper in the BBC's Sport Relief event Only Fools on Horses. In November of that year she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Bolton for contributions to broadcasting.[26]

In July 2007 she became the presenter of The Album Chart Show on Channel 4, and appeared as a guest star on Sky 1's Angela and Friends in November 2009.[27] and as Guest Presenter in January 2010.[28] Also in 2010 she appeared as a team captain on What Do Kids Know? along with Rufus Hound and Joe Swash on Watch.[29]

Cox commentated for the semi-finals of the Eurovision Song Contest on BBC Three with fellow BBC Radio DJ Scott Mills[30] from the 2011 Contest through till the 2012 Contest. Cox was replaced by Ana Matronicstarting from the 2013 Contest.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.