Channel 5 take a look at the Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins story

Mel and Sue are to be the latest stars to fall under the spotlight of Channel 5.

Channel 5 is to air a documentary on the life and times of comedians and presenters Mel and Sue. As part of the ‘…Story’ series the broadcaster charts the lives of some of Britain’s best known entertainment stars.

The next edition to air on the network looks to Light Lunch and Great British Bake Off hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins. They have become, Channel 5 say, the UK’s favourite female double act, famed for their beautifully pitched raised-eyebrow humour and cheeky innuendo.

But its the pair’s undeniable warmth for one another, which audiences can sense – the documentary believes – comes from years of genuine friendship off-screen. It’s this element that ‘sets the twosome apart’.

But the journey to the telly top for Mel and Sue hasn’t been a smooth one. The Channel 5 programme tells the story of two supremely down to earth people, who have earned adoration from a massive mainstream audience without trying to be something other than what they naturally offer.

Both hailing from South London, Mel and Sue met at Cambridge in the comedy Footlights Review. Like so many others before them they horned their self effacing doubt act on the stages of Edinburgh’s festival before getting a break appearing in sketches with their most famous forerunners – Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders in their BBC One showcase, French & Saunders.

Their first show as lead presenters was for Channel 4 and the daytime food, fun and chat show Light Lunch which later spawned the teatime, Late Lunch. The pair also attempted to boost the faltering ratings of The Big Breakfast replacement RI:SE for the broadcaster, however RI:SE sunk quicker than a GBBO badly baked cake.

Light Lunch and its spin-off made Mel and Sue telly stars however just as it looked like nothing could stop the pair from further successes things began to falter. For several years the twosome carried on working together – and on solo projects – however Mel nearly came close to bankruptcy just before a offering in 2010 put the pair back at at the top of the TV block.

The BBC and Love Productions offered the double act a chance to present a series on paper which may have looked ‘a bit Countdown‘ in television terms. Anyone trendy doesn’t go near appearing on, or hosting, Channel 4’s ‘oldies’ game show Countdown. The Bake Off could have ended up coming across in the same corny un-cool way, however it’s become quite the opposite.

Since hosting the baking competition its success, and their success, is the stuff of telly legend. The show pulled in genuinely astonishing audience figures – up to 16 million – as armchair bakers hoped to pick up tips from experts such as Mary Berry.

Widely admired for not ‘going with the dough’, when Channel 4 waved a wad of cash at Love Productions to swipe the programme from BBC One, Mel and Sue are now firmly established as top of the fame as far as presenting talent goes, and the world of telly entertainment is truly their oyster; or indeed a Matcha mousse cake.

The Mel and Sue Story is to air on Channel 5 shortly.

Pictured Top: On Channel 4’s breakfast offering RI:SE, Pictured Middle Top: on ITV’s The Mel and Sue Show, Pictured Middle Bottom: French & Saunders on TTTV’s The Tube and Pictured – without a soggy – Bottom: On BBC One’s The Great British Bake Off.
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