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Rae was born and raised in Dundee, and read English at Edinburgh University. She left the university before her finals, and began work with D. C. Thomson newspapers in Dundee, Scotland before taking up work on BBC Radio Aberdeen. After three years there, she left to work in London in the early 1980s as a continuity announcer and newsreader on BBC Radio 4. The response to her voice on Radio 4 at this time was negative, some listeners believed the BBC's commitment to accurate pronunciation was in decline.
Later in the decade, she moved to daytime television co-presenting Open Air and continued with voiceover work when it ended. Susan Rae began working on the BBC World Service around 2000, returning to BBC Radio 4 in 2003.
She has done voice-overs for many Discovery Channel shows including some episodes of Forensic Detectives (Discovery Channel TV show), some episodes of The FBI Files; and Street Crime UK for Bravo. In 2007, she presented Eastern Skies for Anglia Television.
- Jonathan Rhys-Evans "The Accent's on Success", Glasgow Herald, 18 April 1984
- Rhys-Evans, Jonathan (18 April 1984). "The accent's on success". The Glasgow Herald. p. 10. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
- David Crystal in Clive Upton, Bethan Davies (eds.) "Voices: a Case Study in the evolution of a linguistic climate at the BBC" Analysing 21st Century British English: Conceptual and Methodological Aspects of the 'Voices' Project, Routledge, 2013, p. 13
- Lynda Mugglestone (ed.) The Oxford History of English, Oxford: Oxford University Press , 2008 , p.479
- David Crystal "Language Developments ijn British English" in Michael Higgins, Clarissa Smith, John Storey (eds.) The Cambridge Companion to Modern British Culture, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p.27-8
- "Why Brits are choosing Humanist ceremonies more and more". 11 December 2016.
- "Susan Rae: Humanist Celebrant".
- "BBC - Radio 4 - Presenter - Susan Rae", BBC biography.
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