Look East stars Susie Fowler-Watt and Alex Dunlop give an insight into their South Norfolk life

BBC Look East presenters Susie Fowler-Watt and Alex Dunlop

Susie Fowler-Watt and Alex Dunlop of BBC Look East met in Norwich more than 20 years ago - Credit: Contributed

Susie Fowler-Watt and Alex Dunlop are senior journalists at BBC Look East. This powerful couple started an office romance 23 years ago, and it’s been ongoing ever since! Before that Susie was a political correspondent at BBC Westminster, and Alex presented the regional political programme.

They live in South Norfolk, with their two children, a lively puppy and three loud ducks. Susie has continued to present throughout the pandemic, and Alex now files his TV reports from home. 

What’s been the impact of Covid-19 and how are you adapting?
Everyone has been hard hit in different ways, haven’t they? For us, work has continued throughout lockdown, but with the added stress of home schooling and caring for elderly parents. Alex likes working from home, but there is a constant tussle over who gets priority over the broadband – the lead story for BBC Look East or a GCSE project on the Cuban Missile Crisis.

What advice can you give to our readers?
What we try to do on Look East is look for the positive in these very difficult times. That is easier said than done, but it is definitely worth trying to look after your mental wellbeing as well as your physical health.

What is your connection to East Anglia?
We both came here – separately - in the 1990s to work at BBC Look East. Neither of us realised we would end up settling here, but we are very happy we did.

What is your East Anglian Heaven?
The sense of belonging and community. The skies are pretty stunning too!

What is your East Anglian Hell?
It takes so long to get down south to visit our families, although we haven’t been able to do that much recently.

What’s your favourite East Anglian landmark?
Blickling Hall in Norfolk – one of the first places we visited together as a couple, and still a favourite to go to with the children.

What’s the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?
There are lots of great festivals and arts events, which bring in world class performers, but Latitude has to take top place – it’s such a fantastic location at Henham and it has such a wide appeal for all age groups.

What’s your specialist Mastermind subject?
Susie - Strictly Come Dancing!
Alex - Operas by Handel and Mozart and Wagner
You can tell our interests diverge somewhat at this point…

What is always in your fridge?
Susie - Tiny pots of leftover supper that Alex says he will eat the next day and never does!
Alex - Well I do actually, albeit perhaps three days later (although I wouldn’t recommend it!)

What’s your simple philosophy of life?
Be kind - people always remember how you made them feel (and there we do not diverge!)

What’s your favourite film?
We both love The Lives of Others about the Stasi - and for lighter occasions, Notting Hill, which never fails to make us laugh and cry.

What was your first job?
Susie - I waitressed on a barge in Battersea.
Alex - I worked in a seatbelt factory in Chichester.

What is your most treasured possession?
Susie - Old family photos. Nothing is more important to me than family, and I love the memories they bring back.
Alex - My grandfather’s desk. He was a hugely important influence in my life and he’s always in my thoughts.

Who do you admire most?
Susie - Presenting Look East has shown me that the most courageous and outstanding people are not well-known. I have had the privilege to meet some amazing people who’ve faced adversity with such extraordinary strength.
Alex - Raphael Tuck, my grandfather, who was one of the most compassionate people I know. He introduced me to classical music and instilled me with values which helped make me who I am today.

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What is your biggest indulgence?
Susie - A lie in (hardly ever happens!)
Alex - Fillet steak (blue) with Bearnaise sauce.

What do you like about yourself most?
We both agree it’s our sense of fairness.

What’s your worst character trait?
Both of us -  We are both impatient. Alex admits he is turning into a grumpy old man!

Where is your favourite holiday destination?
Maldives – it’s where we had our honeymoon 20 years ago.

Best day of your life?
The birth of our first child - it was such a great joy and relief, as we had been through IVF to have a baby. 
The second one was a very happy occasion too!

What’s your favourite breakfast?
Susie - Pancakes with maple syrup and berries.
Alex - Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon.

What’s your favourite tipple?
Susie - Sauvignon blanc.
Alex - Rioja Reserva.

What’s your hidden talent?
Alex - I’ve yet to find it.
Susie - And I’ve lost it! I used to have an almost photographic memory – sadly not so much nowadays.

What’s your earliest memory?
Susie - My mother accidentally dropped me headfirst into a wastepaper basket when she was changing me as a toddler, and I lost two of my four teeth. 
I’m not sure if I actually remember it, or whether I have recreated the memory as it has been talked about so much.
Alex - Falling into a swimming pool when I was two years old and having to be fished out. 
My father watched from the shallow end, crying with mirth. I also remember being pretty furious at his reaction!

Tell us something people don’t know about you?
Susie - I was knocked out by a six hit by Colin Cowdrey in a county cricket match when I was three. The ball landed on my head, and I was whisked off to the first aid tent. 
As a result, my older brothers got to meet Cowdrey, which made their day!
Alex - I was taught Shona by my Zulu nanny in Zimbabwe. I can still say Good Morning and ask for a pint of milk (“Mangwanane, ndinoda mukaka”), but little else.

Tell us why you live here and nowhere else?
We settled here because of our jobs and now it has well and truly become home. 
In our village, we are almost local after 18 years!

What do you want to tell our readers about most?
I think what we have realised through the last year is just how everyone is going through their own struggles – loneliness, anxiety, job uncertainty, grief. You may not be aware of what someone else is having to endure. Above all, we need to support each other.

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