SUSIE Dent has made headlines this Friday, 9 July, 2021, after her reported split with Paul Atkins.
The Countdown star had been married for the past two decades but has been allegedly separated from her husband for a year.
Who is Susie Dent?
Hailing from Wokey, in Surrey, Susie is an English lexicographer and etymologist, perhaps best known for her appearances on Countdown.
She first joined the Channel 4 show in 1992 and has become a familiar face on the programme ever since.
She also takes part in its spin-off show, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, hosted by comedian Jimmy Carr.
Her career in TV was slow in the making as she began working as a waitress before joining the Oxford University Press to produce English dictionaries.
She was first educated at the Marist Convent in Ascot and spent a term at Eton College in order to study Oxbridge entrance exams.
Susie has a B.A in modern languages and a master's degree in German, obtained at Somerville College in Oxford and Princeton University.
Since her big break on the box, she has published a total of 13 books, all focusing on her passion for the English language.
She has also launched a podcast called Something Rhymes With Purple, which she co-hosts with Gyles Brandreth.
Why have Susie Dent and Paul Atkins split?
Not much is known about the reasons behind Susie and Paul's – a primary school teacher – split.
However, they are said to have remained on amicable terms following their separation.
The Mirror reports that "there are no other parties involved in the reason for their split."
Both spouses have been living apart for the past year and have informed their friends and family of their break up, after being married for almost 20 years.
A source told The Sun that Susie "is trying to make the most of a heartbreaking scenario" by focusing on her work.
"It's obviously a very sad situation, but Susie has handled everything stoically."
"She has ploughed on professionally with all aspects of her working life and is simply trying to make the most a heartbeaking scenario."
"Obviously Susie and Paul did all they could to make things work, but decided in the end to part ways."
Do Susie Dent and Paul Atkins have children?
The split also impacts on Susie and Paul's family.
The dictionary expert shares two daughterscalled Lucy, 21, and Thea, aged 13, with the teacher.
In October, 2020, the lexicographer shared a rare insight into her family life in The Times' column, Day In The Life… without mentioning her split from her husband.
"I'm an early bird, up at 6. Morning is mum-time", she said.
"I have breakfast – oats, Brazil nuts and seeds, soaked in apple juice and yoghurt – then I walk to school with Thea. We have some of our best chats watching the gossamer float across the fields."
The family lives in Oxfordshire. "If I'm not filming, I spend a lot of time at home, living in my head", Susie said.
She then went on about how she made time every evening to bond with her youngest daughter.
"Thea and I sometimes read a book together in the evening", she explained, "To Kill a Mockingbird will get us talking. "
Susie has tried to pass on her passion for the English language to her daughters.
"I've tried to show my daughters that a passion for language is a wonderful thing, but you can't force that on a child."
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