She graduated from Sidney Sussex College at the University of Cambridge with a Bachelor's degree in Engineering. In 1985 she received a Master's Degree in Engineering from the University of Cambridge. She was awarded an MBE in June 2000. After making her name on Countdown, she went on to present numerous other television programmes, to the point where she was regarded as being over-exposed. She has been criticised for not growing older gracefully, and in 2002 was mocked for wearing a revealing dress at a media event.