Monday, November 26, 2012

Married BBC stars Tim Willcox and Sophie Long banned from appearing together on screen after revealing affair

Even amidst the battle-weary staff of the BBC, Cupid’s bow will not be deflected it seems. Indeed, two popular presenters on the Beeb’s 24-hour news channel — suave Tim Willcox and charming Sophie Long — have found themselves suddenly smitten with each other. Unfortunately, there is a teeny problem: they are both married. The couple, who have co-presented in the past, have been close chums for some time.

When Sophie, 35, decided two years ago to marry her childhood sweetheart, Willcox, 49, was invited to the wedding in Cornwall. Not only that but he brought along his trumpet to serenade the happy couple during the ceremony — Tim was a member of the British Youth Orchestra.  BBC presenter Jon Sopel was also a guest at the June wedding.

Lovebirds: Tim Willcox and Sophie Long have allegedly told their partners about the affair and are said to be smittenTim Willcox, 49, British journalist
Lovebirds: Tim Willcox and Sophie Long have allegedly told their partners about the affair and are smitten

Now, however, Sophie has told her husband, Will Green, also 35, who work as sales director for a Plymouth-based yacht company, that their marriage is over. His job at the luxury yacht brokerage is believed to involve overseas business trips. Meanwhile, Willcox who has accolades for his reporting and interviewing skills, has had to inform his wife Sarah, 49, mother of his four children, that he has fallen hopelessly in love with Sophie. The troubled foursome will be deciding in the next few weeks who will be remaining at their respective marital homes.  A colleague of Will Green's at his yacht business in Plymouth told the Mail Online this morning that he was 'away on business' until mid-December, and there was no answer at Will and Sophie's house in Plymouth this afternoon.
 Affair: Tim Willcox, seen here with fellow presenter Emily Maitlis, has fallen head over heels for BBC journalist Sophie Long

Affair: Tim Willcox, seen here with fellow presenter Emily Maitlis, has fallen head over heels for BBC journalist Sophie Long

Meanwhile, the BBC lovebirds have been banned – temporarily at least – from appearing on screen together in future. Says a friend of Tim: ‘He is very charming and has lots of female fans but he is also very honourable so all this will have been very difficult for him.’ Tim Willcox lives with his family in the Oxfordshire village of Wootton by Woodstock, where his wife Sarah is clerk of the parish council. She is also a director of his company Tim Willcox Limited. The Wilcox’s are believed to have bought their house in Wootton six years ago for £700,000.
Newsreader: Sophie Long is married to childhood sweetheart Will Green Childhood sweetheart: Will Green (pictured) married Sophie Long
Childhood sweethearts: Sophie Long, pictured right, is married to Will Green, left

A Durham university Spanish graduate, Willcox started his journalistic career on a Sunday newspaper. He worked previously as a presenter for ITN before switching to the BBC. In September 2010, not long after Tim attended Sophie’s wedding, he was sent to Chile to report on the miners’ rescue where his fluent Spanish came to the fore. He was praised for his extensive live coverage of the rescue operation and became the miners’ wives pin-up — and was the only foreign correspondent to interview Chilean President Sebastian Pinera. In a 2008 interview Willcox listed his hobbies as 'travel to Spain (where I lived and worked as a student), playing squash, long walks, playing the trumpet and drinking sherry with friends'. When asked for advice for would-be broadcast journalists he said: 'Get a strong news background and go for it.  Shrug off any knockbacks.'


Born in 1963, Tim was educated at Taunton School in Somerset and St Chad's College, Durham University, where he read Spanish.
He began his career in newspapers with stints at both Mirror Group Newspapers and Fleet Street News Agency.
He worked for ITN News as a presenter and correspondent, first as Art and Media Correspondent.
After joining ITN's news team, Tim presented the network's live reports from New York City during the city's terror attacks on 9/11
Tim then joined the BBC as an anchor with the BBC News Channel.
Career highlights at the BBC have included his reports from the collapsed Chilean mine in 2010, and reports from the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami.


Born in Torquay in 1977 and raised in Weston-super-Mare, Sophie graduated from Kings College, London, with a degree in war studies.
After working as an election monitor in Cambodia, she returned to the UK where she worked for Reuters news agency and ITN.
In 2000 Sophie won the first Jill Dando BBC bursary which enabled her to study broadcast journalism at University College, Falmouth.
After graduating from there, she worked for BBC Radio Cornwall and on the local BBC regional news progamme Spotlight, and then Midlands Today.
Sophie presented the South West issue of The Politics Show before moving to the BBC News Channel as stand-in presenter and correspondent.
Memorable moments include touring with Nick Clegg in the run-up to the 2010 general election.

 Source: Daily Mail UK 

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