Melanie Sykes

Melanie Ann Sykes (born 7 August 1970) is an English television and radio presenter, and model. She is best known for co-hosting Today with Des and Mel with Des O'Connor and Let's Do Lunch with Gino D'Acampo. She also co-hosted Going Out with Alan Carr on BBC Radio 2 with Alan Carr from May 2010 until it ended in March 2012,[1] and returned with Alan Carr for Alan and Mel's Summer Escape from 2017.[2]

Melanie Sykes
Melanie Ann Sykes

(1970-08-07) 7 August 1970 (age 50)
OccupationTelevision and radio presenter, model
TelevisionToday with Des and Mel (2002–2006)
The Vault (2003–2004)
Let's Do Lunch (2011–2014)
Humble Pie (2015)
(m. 2001; div. 2009)

Jack Cockings
(m. 2013; div. 2016)

Early life

Sykes was born in 1970[3] at Ashton-under-Lyne[4] to an English father and a Catholic Anglo-Indian mother.[5] She attended Mossley Hollins High School and studied A-level Religious Studies at Ashton Sixth Form College. Sykes was a member of the Ashtonian Brass Band, along with her father, mother and two sisters (Samantha and Stacy), playing the baritone horn.


In the mid-1990s Sykes first came to public attention as the face of the Boddingtons Bitter advertisements.


After first reporting for The Big Breakfast, Sykes has continued her television career, including presenting stints on I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! and as presenter of EastEnders Revealed.[citation needed] In 1999, Sykes presented Melanie Sykes' Southall Stories, a documentary for BBC Two on Asian culture in Great Britain. She has also hosted a variety of awards ceremonies, including Miss World, the BAFTA Awards and the Q Awards.

Sykes' television career stalled for a period, although she made a successful comeback as host of Today with Des and Mel with Des O'Connor in 2002. On 12 May 2006, ITV announced that the show would be one of a number to be axed in a "painful, but utterly necessary" move.[6]

Sykes' other work for ITV has included hosting shows The Vault (2003–2004), Celebrities Under Pressure (2003–2004) and The British Soap Awards (2003).

Sykes appeared as a guest panellist on Loose Women in October and November 2005 and later returned as a guest anchor in October 2008 and May 2009.

From 2006 to 2009, Sykes regularly filled in for Paul O'Grady as presenter of The Paul O'Grady Show when O'Grady was unable to appear. She presented the show on eleven occasions.

Sykes was the presenter of the daytime series Gene Detectives for BBC One.[7] In 2008, Sykes was a judge on 'The Sofa Factor', an item for GMTV, where viewers sent in short clips and the winner got to present TV Pick of the Day and win a trip to Las Vegas.

In 2010, Sykes guest presented five episodes of The 5 O'Clock Show with Denise van Outen on Channel 4. In August 2011, Sykes returned to daytime television, co-hosting Let's Do Lunch with Gino & Mel and Let's Do Christmas with Gino & Mel with Gino D'Acampo on ITV. The show was cancelled in 2014.

On 13 September 2011, Sykes co-hosted the three-part series Missing Millions with Paul Heiney on ITV.[8]

In February 2014, BT Sport announced that Sykes would become part of their MotoGP team.[9] Due to other work commitments, she left the channel in May 2014.[10]

In 2014, Sykes took part in the fourteenth series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! where she finished in third place, behind runner-up Jake Quickenden and winner Carl Fogarty.[11][12]

In 2015, Sykes co-presented Humble Pie, a cookery series for Watch, alongside Marco Pierre White.[13] On 4 April 2017, Sykes was confirmed as the new voice of Blind Date, taking over the role most famously held by Graham Skidmore in the original series. The show is broadcast on Saturday nights on Channel 5.[14]

In 2017, Sykes appeared on a "celebrity" charity edition of TV quiz show, The Chase.[15] She departed early and did not make the final round.

In March 2018, Sykes won Star Baker in Channel 4's The Great Stand Up to Cancer Bake Off.[16]


Sykes presented The A List, a national radio chart show based on total sales, produced by Unique the Production Company at the studios of London's Heart 106.2. She left the show towards the end of 2006 and was replaced by Gail Porter.[citation needed]

Sykes was heard on BBC Radio 2 with Aled Jones sitting in for Steve Wright in the Afternoon on 22, 23 and 24 December 2008. In May 2010, she began co-hosting the BBC Radio 2 show Going Out with Alan Carr after Emma Forbes' resignation.[17] Sykes continued on the show until its end in March 2012. She returned on Boxing Day 2015 with Alan Carr for a one-off show on BBC Radio 2. In January/February 2017 she and Carr again returned to Radio 2 to sit in for Paul O'Grady for 4 weeks.

Sykes and Carr presented their own Saturday morning show called Alan and Mel's Summer Escape on BBC Radio 2 for 10 weeks during the summer of 2017.[18] She presented a show with Carr on BBC Radio 2 on Christmas Eve and another on New Year's Eve in 2017.[19] Sykes and Carr returned for further specials for Easter, for the Royal Wedding, and for further runs of Alan and Mel's Summer Escape in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

For a time, Sykes presented her own radio show on Capital FM.[citation needed]

Other work

Sykes has been the face of Head & Shoulders shampoo in Britain, appearing in print and television advertising and the high street chain Matalan.[citation needed] She has also appeared in advertisements for Morrisons, Wynsors World of Shoes and Churchill Insurance.[citation needed]

In 2006, the book Blooming Beautiful: My Plan for Looking Great, Being Healthy and Surviving Hormonal Havoc, Throughout Pregnancy and as a New Mum, co-written by Sykes with Hilary Boyd, was published by Michael Joseph.

Sykes posed naked for the December 2011 edition of men's magazine Esquire.[20][better source needed]

Sykes has her own line of underwear and lingerie with high street chain and retailer Debenhams. In June 2016, Sykes launched a lifestyle website which features fitness, food and lifestyle content as well as celebrity interviews and competitions.[citation needed]

Personal life

Melanie Sykes married actor Daniel Caltagirone in January 2001. The couple have two sons, Roman born in 2002 and Valentino born in 2004. In July 2008, it was reported that the couple had split up, with Sykes having "grown apart" from Caltagirone, who had moved out of their Hampstead, London home.[21] They divorced in June 2009. Sykes married her boyfriend Jack Cockings on 18 May 2013 at Sherborne Castle in Dorset.[1]

In November 2013, Sykes was arrested and cautioned by police over an assault against Cockings.[22][23] Soon after the common assault caution, after less than one year of marriage, Sykes began the process of filing for divorce.[24]


Year Title Role Notes
1997–2001 The Big Breakfast Co-presenter
1998 PB&J Otter Jelly Otter (Voice) UK Version
1999 Melanie Sykes' Southall Stories Presenter TV series
2002–2006 Today with Des and Mel Co-presenter
2003 The British Soap Awards One-off special
2003–2004 Celebrities Under Pressure Presenter 2 series
The Vault
2005–2013 Loose Women Guest presenter/panellist 13 episodes
2006–2009 The Paul O'Grady Show Guest presenter 11 episodes
2007 Gene Detectives Presenter 1 series
2010 The 5 O'Clock Show Co-presenter 5 episodes
2011 Missing Millions 1 series
2011–2014 Let's Do Lunch with Gino & Mel 4 series
2012–2014 Let's Do Christmas with Gino & Mel 3 series
2014 I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! Contestant Series 14
2015 Humble Pie Co-presenter 1 series
2017–2019 Blind Date Voiceover 4 series
2020 The Great Pottery Throw Down Presenter 1 series


  1. "Melanie Sykes – Northern Star", FHM, Bauer Media, archived from the original on 22 April 2012, retrieved 7 September 2012
  2. "Alan and Mel's Summer Escape – BBC Radio 2". BBC. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  3. "Melanie Sykes". BFI.
  4. "1 result(s)". Findmypast. Archived from the original on 29 July 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  5. Kemp, Charlotte (20 March 1999). "They called me a Paki at school. I stayed out of the sun so I wouldn't get darker; Melanie Sykes on Agony of Growing up Asian". Daily Mirror. Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd.
  6. "ITV swings axe to revive channel". BBC News. BBC. 12 May 2006.
  7. Gene Detectives at IMDb
  8. "Missing Millions" (Press release). ITV plc. 13 September 2011. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012.
  9. Hodgson, Claire (14 February 2014). "Melanie Sykes signs five-year deal to present MotoGP World Championship for BT Sport". Daily Mirror.
  10. Marsden, Liam (30 May 2014). "Melanie Sykes leaves BTSport". MCN. Bauer Consumer Media Ltd.
  11. Fletcher, Alex (11 November 2014). "I'm a Celebrity lineup confirmed: Michael Buerk, Kendra, Craig Charles". Digital Spy. Hearst UK Entertainment Network. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  12. Pocklington, Rebecca; Jefferies, Mark; Greenwood, Carl; Wilson, Jess (11 November 2014). "I'm a Celebrity 2014 full line up revealed: Gemma Collins is final contestant to land Down Under". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  13. Babbage, Rachel (17 July 2015). "Watch announces slice of Humble Pie: Melanie Sykes and Marco Pierre White will present the show that mixes culinary skills with a poker face". Digital Spy. Hearst UK Entertainment Network. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  14. "Melanie Sykes to join Channel 5's Blind Date". Channel 5. 4 April 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  15. Donaldson, Laura (13 August 2017). "The Chase: Bradley Walsh slams Melanie Sykes over shock claim". OK! Magazine. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  16. "The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer – bakers revealed!". Channel 4. 8 February 2018. Archived from the original on 9 February 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  17. "Melanie Sykes appointed new BBC Radio 2 presenter", The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group Limited, 15 May 2010, retrieved 30 July 2010
  18. "Alan and Mel's Summer Escape – BBC Radio 2". BBC. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  19. "Festive highlights for 2017 on BBC Radio are announced". BBC Radio 2 Media Centre. 22 November 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  20. "Melanie Sykes dares to bare at 41 years old in stunning new photo-shoot", Daily Mirror, Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd, 1 November 2011, retrieved 7 September 2012
  21. "Mel's Sad Split". Sky News. 21 July 2008. Archived from the original on 16 June 2009.
  22. Robertson, James (27 November 2013). "Melanie Sykes arrested and cautioned by police over an assault on toyboy husband". Daily Mirror. MGN Limited.
  23. "Melanie Sykes admits assaulting Jack Cockings". BBC News. BBC. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  24. Barrett, Jessica. "Melanie Sykes to divorce Twitter toyboy husband Jack Cockings after she was cautioned for domestic assault". Daily Mirror. MGN Limited. Retrieved 2 May 2014.