(born Rita Maria Crudgington
; 8 March 1954) is an English television presenter and singer.
[ Jenny Craig - About Cheryl Baker]
She best known for being a member of 1980s pop group Bucks Fizz, who won the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest. The group had 20 singles reach the UK top 60 between 1981 and 1988, including three number one hits with "Making Your Mind Up" (1981), "The Land of Make Believe" (1981) and "My Camera Never Lies" (1982). Baker left the group in 1993. She had previously represented the UK at the 1978 Eurovision Song Contest as a member of the band Co-Co. In 2004, she began performing alongside Shelley Preston and fellow original Bucks Fizz member Mike Nolan as The Original Bucks Fizz. Preston was replaced by original Bucks Fizz member Jay Aston in 2009. Due to a legal dispute in 2011,
the group now call themselves Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston, formerly of Bucks Fizz.
nnCheryl Baker was born in Bethnal Green, London. After leaving school and a series of secretarial jobs, she began her professional singing career with the band Co-Co. The group entered A Song for Europe
in 1976 with the song "Wake Up". They came second, being beaten by (eventual Eurovision winners) Brotherhood of Man by two points.
The group continued to perform together and in 1978, they entered A Song for Europe
again with "The Bad Old Days". This time they won and went on to perform for the UK in Paris. The song managed 11th place - the lowest placing by a UK entry up to that point.
The song became a hit single, reaching 13 in the UK Singles Chart. On the back of this, the group released their first (and only) album as well as further singles. None of these found any success.
In 1980, the group tried for Eurovision one more time. Now under a new name, The Main Event, their song "Gonna Do My Best" came last in A Song for Europe
and soon afterwards, the group disbanded.
nnthumb|left|Cheryl Baker in 1983A few months later, Baker was contacted by Nichola Martin, who was setting up a new group under the name Bucks Fizz, with a view to entering a song "Making Your Mind Up" into the Song For Europe
in 1981. Joined by Mike Nolan, Bobby G and Jay Aston, Baker performed the song at the contest and won. On 4 April 1981, Baker represented the UK again at the Eurovision Song Contest
. The song went on to win by a margin of four points and Bucks Fizz were catapulted into overnight stardom.
By winning the contest, Baker became only the third singer to represent the UK twice, following in the footsteps of Ronnie Carroll and Cliff Richard. This feat, however, was matched once again the following year, by Sally Ann Triplett. When Bucks Fizz went on to win the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest
with the song "Making Your Mind Up", Baker thus became one of the few artists to take part in Eurovision to win at their second attempt. According to The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History
by John Kennedy O'Connor, Baker also made the second single biggest improvement by any Eurovision competitor in the contest, moving up from eleventh in 1978 to 1st in 1981.
[O'Connor, John Kennedy. The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History. Carlton Books UK ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3]
"Making Your Mind Up" became a No.1 hit in many countries, including the UK and began a run of success for the group for the next five years. Baker along with the group toured the world and gained many hit singles and albums, including two more British No.1s; "The Land Of Make Believe" and "My Camera Never Lies". Bucks Fizz became established as one of the biggest groups of the 1980s.
In December 1984, Baker was involved in a serious coach crash while on tour with the group. She was injured and rushed to hospital. Although she broke three vertebrae in her spine, she made a speedy recovery but colleague Mike Nolan suffered serious head injuries and following this, she helped set up the charity 'HeadFirst', which deals with crash victims, specifically relating to head injuries.
Baker continues to raise money for this charity today.
nnIn the mid-1980s, while still with the group, Baker embarked on a career in television presenting. She joined Record Breakers
as a co-host alongside the long-serving Roy Castle in 1987, continuing alongside new hosts after Castle's death in 1994, finally leaving the show in 1997 after 10 years.
[ Record Breakers (TV Series 1972–2001) - IMDb]
She also co-presented The Saturday Picture Show
with Mark Curry from 1985 to 1986.
She continued her singing and television careers in tandem, although always maintained that singing was her first love. Bucks Fizz scored their final hit in 1988, and in the same year, Baker began presenting her own TV show Eggs 'n' Baker
. This went on to run for five years.
During this time, she also released two solo singles "If Paradise Is Half As Nice" in 1987 and "Sensuality" in 1992, although neither of these found chart success.
Still touring with the group, Baker finally quit Bucks Fizz in December 1993 to concentrate on raising a family.
After leaving Bucks Fizz, Baker carried on presenting Record Breakers
as well as other television work.
In 1997 she became the subject of the TV Biography show This Is Your Life
Into the 2000s, Baker made many guest appearances on television. She has also participated in a number of reality television shows, such as Drop the Celebrity
(which she won), 24-Hour Quiz
(which she also won) and I'm Famous and Frightened!
For the Eurovision Song Contest 2005
, she read out the points from the United Kingdom. In the EBU's 50th anniversary celebration of the show Congratulations
, she introduced the song "Waterloo" by ABBA. Later on during the same programme, she sang Bucks Fizz's winning song "Making Your Mind Up" live with Mike Nolan and Shelley Preston.
In 2006, Baker played the role of Vi Moore in the London production of Footloose
, the musical based on the 1984 motion picture of the same name, at the Novello Theatre. In 2009 she directed a youth production of Footloose in Sevenoaks, playing to sell out audiences. In 2007 she played the part of Ida in the musical Honk!
and in 2008 she was seen in the role of Mrs Mayor in a touring production of Seussical the Musical
. The tour visited many towns in the South East of England.
In 2011, Baker appeared on All Star Family Fortunes.
On 5 January 2013, Baker appeared on Celebrity Mastermind.
She also appeared on Who Dares Wins on 23 May 2015 with Dana Rosemary Scallon as her partner.
nnSince 2004, Baker has been performing selected gigs with Nolan and Preston under the name The Original Bucks Fizz and alongside the other original members, Bobby G and Jay Aston, appeared in the video for Comic Relief's 2007 single, "I'm Gonna Be ". A Bucks Fizz CD with a bonus DVD, The Very Best of Bucks Fizz
was released on 14 May 2007. A new CD of rare material The Lost Masters 2 - The Final Cut
was released on 19 May 2008.
In April 2009, Preston announced she was leaving The Original Bucks Fizz and has now been replaced by other original member Aston. This will be the first time Baker has performed with Aston since 1985.
[ The Original Bucks Fizz - News]
Baker still raises money for HeadFirst and regularly makes personal appearances on behalf of the charity, such as on Celebrity Cash in the Attic
in July 2008. She has also recently campaigned on behalf of IVF treatment and cleaner NHS hospitals.
In 2008 Cheryl became an Ambassador of Festival4Stars talent competition after she judged a national final.
On the 28th of April 2009 She appeared on Loose Women
to speak about the competition. During 2009 Baker toured with the musical Menopause
In late 2009 she revealed that she had been asked to appear in the 2010 series of Celebrity Big Brother
, but declined the offer.
In 2011, Baker undertook a mini tour of the UK with The Original Bucks Fizz, including a concert at the London Palladium on 11 July 2011. In June 2011, she reached the final of the ITV series Popstar to Operastar
, where she was beaten into second place by Joe McElderry. In 2012, The Original Bucks Fizz released the album Fame & Fortune?
nnBaker has three brothers, Eddie, Colin and Gary, and a sister, Sheila.
She married bass player Steve Stroud in Lewisham, London, on 25 January 1992. Their twin daughters, Kyla Olivia and Natalie Maria, were born in Westminster, London, in 1994.
[ Marriages and Births England and Wales 1984-2006]
She currently lives in Kent
In 2006 she spoke out about her experiencing the menopause and resulting hair loss. This led to her being contracted to advertise Viviscal and Nourkrin which helps thinning hair. She has also spoken of her weight fluctuations over the years. During 2010 and 2011 she took part in a diet and advertising campaign for Jenny Craig, where after nine months had lost two and a half stone. In association with this she ran and completed the London Marathon for the HeadFirst charity.
[ Jenny Craig - Cheryl's blog]
1954 birthsLiving peopleBritish Eurovision Song Contest entrantsEnglish television presentersEurovision Song Contest entrants of 1978Eurovision Song Contest entrants of 1981Eurovision Song Contest winnersPeople from Bethnal GreenPopstar to Operastar contestantsBaker, CherylSource: Wikipedia
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