You could say TV and radio presenter Melanie Sykes is as Manchester as Boddingtons Bitter or the Ashtonian Brass Band.
And you’d be right!
Born in Ashton-under-Lyne, she starred in an advertising campaign for Boddingtons and played the baritone horn along with her father, mother and two sisters in the brass band.
Today she is best known for co-hosting the TV shows Let’s Do Lunch with chef Gino D’Acampo and Today with Des and Mel with Des O’Connor.
Sykes was born in Ashton-under-Lyne in August 1970 and attended Mossley Hollins High School and Ashton Sixth Form College.
In the 1990s she became the face of Boddingtons Bitter as well as appearing as a model in a series of advertising campaigns. She also worked as an occasional TV reporter for The Big Breakfast.
She presented the documentary Melanie Sykes’ Southall Stories for BBC Two in 1999. It focused on Asian culture in the UK.
Sykes successfully presented the TV show Today with Des and Mel from 2003 to May 2006 and The Vault from 2003 to 2004.
Her other TV work includes Celebrities Under Pressure, Gene Detectives and Channel 4’s The 5 O’Clock Show with Denise van Outen in 2010.
She has been a regular guest panellist on the daytime show Loose Women as well as a presenter on the programme from 2008 to 2009.
Sykes also hosted The Paul O’Grady Show on 11 occasions from 2006 to 2009.
In 2014, she came third behind winner Carl Fogarty and runner-up Jake Quickenden in series 14 of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!
Sykes has enjoyed a varied radio career running alongside her TV appearances. She has worked extensively with comedian and presenter Alan Carr.
She started co-hosting the BBC Radio 2 show Going Out with Alan Carr after Emma Forbes’s resignation in May 2010 and continued in the role until March 2012.
Again with Carr, she presented the Saturday morning show Alan and Mel’s Summer Escape for 10 weeks in 2017 and again in 2018. They also starred in their own Christmas, New Year and Easter specials.
Along with Aled Jones, Sykes was the guest presenter for Steve Wright in the Afternoon in December 2008.
Away from the BBC, Sykes presented The A List for Heart 106.2 before being replaced by Gail Porter and had her own radio show on Capital FM.
Sykes has appeared in adverts for companies including Berlei, Matalan, Morrisons and Churchill Insurance and is the face of Head & Shoulders shampoo.
She also launched her own underwear and lingerie brand with high street retailer Debenhams and publishes her own lifestyle website.
Sykes co-wrote the book ‘Blooming Beautiful: My Plan for Looking Great, Being Healthy and Surviving Hormonal Havoc, Throughout Pregnancy and as a New Mum’ with Hilary Boyd in 2006.