It is with great sadness that we announce that Sue Baker has lost her fight with Motor Neurone Disease, passing away aged just 75.
She fought hard, was optimistic, and always had a glass half full attitude throughout, but the past few months have been tough for her. But despite losing the ability to use her legs, her electric wheelchair, Bertha, was piloted with precision. In a tight confined space, she would manoeuvre it to within millimetres of a wall or object, but never hit it. We shouldn’t have been surprised, as she had just translated the skill that she showed on the road to getting about at home.
The word legend is overused, but in the case of Sue Baker, it is particularly apt. Trailblazer is another description for her – a driving force in changing the motor industry for ever. A sharp-elbowed lady in a man’s world, she never let her sex stand in the way of getting a good story. She could show the men a thing or two and usually beat them to an exclusive or pipped them to the post.
Ian Robertson, Chairman of the Southern Group of Motoring Writers writes “My first acquaintance with Sue was, like many, on a Thursday night watching her on BBC’s Top Gear. At the time, I was a spotty teen, watching the motoring programme to get the news on what was going on in the car industry. Sue presented the programme for 11 years and more than 100 episodes, only leaving to have her second child, Hannah. Her replacement you might know, the bold and boisterous Jeremy Clarkson, and Sue taught him everything he needed to know. At age 24, she was the youngest motoring correspondent in the industry, and carved out a career as the motoring lead at both the London Evening News and The Observer. In fact, you probably couldn’t name an outlet that Sue hasn’t worked for over the years, as she was a talented and prolific writer and broadcaster.”