Actress and presenter Mel Giedroyc (1987) rose to fame alongside her comedy partner Sue Perkins on programmes such as RI:SE and Light Lunch, where they soon attracted attention for the easy, irreverent rapport picked up during their years on the stand-up circuit and as members of Cambridge University’s Footlights Club. However, it was as co-presenters of The Great British Bake-Off that Mel and Sue sealed their reputation as national treasures in the public imagination. Here, the pairing of luscious baked goods with exquisite puns proved irresistible, and stardom soon followed.
Of course, Mel is also celebrated for her work as an actress, which includes roles in The Vicar of Dibley, Blessed and Gimme Gimme Gimme, and as a presenter of shows including Have I Got News for You?, Let It Shine, Relatively Clever and The Gift.
The daughter of Michal Giedroyc, a Polish-Lithuanian aristocrat and aircraft designer, Mel attended the High School after moving to Oxford as a teenager, and soon gained a reputation as a somewhat irrepressible, yet highly likeable presence around school. She has since contributed to several alumnae and staff farewell events, including this memorable message to departing PE teacher Miss Derrick:
‘Lots of love to you, Miss Derrick, who taught me how to straddle, pike, lunge and burpee, from Mel Giedroyc (the small chubby girl whom you made run the mile at Sports Day in 1982 because she’d forgotten her regulation navy gym knickers).’
In addition to her television work, Mel has worked extensively in the theatre, starring in the 2018 West End Revival of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Company and as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. For this, for Bake-Off, and for her tireless energy contributing to charitable endeavours such as Sport Relief, Children in Need and Comic Relief, she really is a worthy OHS Original!