Sue Perkins’ sad fear for Mel Giedroyc friendship after brain tumour tore life apart
Sue Perkins feared it could be the end of the road for her friendship with Children In Need’s Mel Giedroyce after their lives diverged
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Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyce formed an immediate bond when they met as students at Cambridge University 32 years ago.
Together, the comedy pair have enjoyed one of the most successful careers of any TV duo, getting their big break on French and Saunders before fronting their own show, Late Lunch, followed by the Great British Bake Off.
But at one point, Sue, 51, feared her friendship with Children In Need host Mel could be ‘destroyed’ when their lives suddenly took very different directions.
The presenter, who has been unable to have children because of a brain tumour that she’s been living with for the last 13 years, feared that her friendship with Mel would change forever when she welcomed her first baby with her husband Ben Morris.
In a 2015 interview with Good Housekeeping, Sue revealed how she has been living with the growth on her pituitary gland, which has stopped her from having a baby.
On being told that one of the side effects is that she is unable to have children, Sue added: “We live in a time and place where we think everything is possible.
“I don’t know if I would have gone on to have children. But as soon as someone says you can’t have something, you want it more than anything.”
Her diagnosis was the more poignant given her co-star Mel Giedroyc has two children with husband Ben Morris.
On how she felt when Mel became a mum, she said: “When she had her first child I thought: this is an experience I won’t have or share.
“You’ve gone somewhere I can’t go. You think it is going to destroy something, but actually it hasn’t destroyed anything – we have very different lives and different experiences now.”
The popular presenting-duo starred on stage together as part of the university’s Footlights comedy troupe before they headed to Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival to show off their own material.
Eventually the pair were given their big break by Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, who offered them a chance to write for their show French & Saunders.
With a few roller coaster years in between, during which Mel had two daughters – Florence (born in May 2002) and Vita (February, 2004) – they eventually found their lane again with Great British Bake Off that kicked off in 2009, and has had rocketing success over the last six series.
Sue, who has been dating 50-year-old TV presenter Anna Richardson since 2013, said she felt “lucky” because the growth was not cancerous.
She said: “I’m lucky that it’s benign so it’s not in itself a worrying thing.
“Sometimes it’s big and makes me mad, and sometimes it’s small and is in the background.