Sue up early to open store

PUBLISHED: 15:21 06 December 2009 | UPDATED: 12:25 10 June 2010

Waitrose manager Mark Shepherd presents Sue with a Waitrose Island disc at the extended store's opening. Ref: P1983-47-09TI

Waitrose manager Mark Shepherd presents Sue with a Waitrose Island disc at the extended store's opening. Ref: P1983-47-09TI

YOU are lucky to have me here, said Sue Lawley, former BBC TV newscaster, Nationwide reporter and stand-in for Wogan, while poised to open the newly-enlarged Waitrose store in Sidmouth.

YOU are lucky to have me here," said Sue Lawley, former BBC TV newscaster, Nationwide reporter and stand-in for Wogan, while poised to open the newly-enlarged Waitrose store in Sidmouth.

Not lucky because she was a famous personality, but because of the early hour of the ceremony - 8.30am on a Friday morning.

"As my children say about mum getting up in the morning, this is just about the time I would be getting out of bed."

Before the opening Sue Lawley, who for 18 years presented BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, happily posed for photographs in a deckchair, ice cream sundae in hand, and signed a special disc for Waitrose manager Mark Shepherd.

She looks upon the various factions of her career from her roots as a newspaper journalist.

Training at the South Wales Echo after her upbringing in the Black Country, she has covered the whole gamut of broadcasting, from "taking the names of people at funerals" as a trainee reporter, to hard-hitting news reporting in Nationwide, current affairs as a newscaster and, of course, interviewing people on Desert Island Discs.

She says fronting a chat show, such as Wogan, might seem easy "but it was harder to do."

Sue Lawley doesn't think of herself as a famous personality.

"For me it has been about the subject matter and the person, less about me and more about them.

"I enjoy people. In over 18 years on Desert Island Discs I interviewed 750 people. I find it fascinating - what makes people tick.

"I am better person to person. You employ all your skills, whether being forensic with a politician or laughing with a comedian such as Billy Connelly."

Now 63, Sue has homes in London and Budleigh Salterton, where her 95-year-old mother Peggy also lives, and enjoys writing articles for Country Life magazine.

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