Doc Cox

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For the fictional character in the TV series "Scrubs", see Perry Cox.

Robert "Doc" Cox (born 1 July 1946 in Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire), also known as Ivor Biggun, is a British musician and former television journalist. He is best known for his appearances on the BBC TV programme That's Life! from 1982 to 1992.

Education[edit]

Cox was educated at the King Edward VI Grammar School in Retford, Nottinghamshire and at one point became a prefect. He wrote and performed songs such as Charlotte the Harlot whilst at school and performed as the lead singer of Nurk Wildebeest and the Mutations. This was in the mid 1960s. Their performances were mostly at various local village hall dances and the risqué lyrics of their songs were quite bold for the time.

That's Life![edit]

A former teacher, Cox had worked as a sound engineer with the BBC since 1969. Becoming employed as a warm-up man for That's Life!, he recalled that 'Someone didn't turn up for one of the auditions or something, and I was sort of pushed in'.[1] It has been reported that the nickname "Doc" was acquired as a result of Cox habitually using a black doctor's bag to carry his packed lunches in when working on location.[2]

In October 2008, Cox was part of a That’s Life! reunion broadcast on BBC London 94.9. Cox said of the impending reunion: "It'll be lovely to chat to Esther again. Somebody once asked me who my greatest influences were, and I had to reply 'Buddy Holly, George Formby, my dad, Martin Luther King and Esther Rantzen'."[3]

Ivor Biggun[edit]

Under the Biggun name, he fronts a humorous band that is sometimes billed simply as "Ivor Biggun", or with varying band names, e.g. "Ivor Biggun and Red-nosed Burglars" or "Ivor Biggun and the Left-handed Wankers". His specialty is double entendre-laden smutty songs. One song, "The Winker's Song (misprint)" (released on Beggars Banquet Records) was Johnny Rotten's single of the week for New Musical Express when he was a guest reviewer in 1978, and sold well - reaching #22 in the UK Singles Chart - because of Rotten's interest. However, it was banned by nearly all radio stations due to its explicit content. Notoriously, it has been used in Ibiza nightclubs as a "floor clearer" at closing time. In April 2011, lyrics from the song appeared in the frames of a Steve Bell cartoon in The Guardian.[4]

He has since made four albums of bawdy songs (and recorded with Judge Dread and David "Screaming Lord" Sutch), the latest being Handling Swollen Goods, released by Stiff Weapon records in 2005. In 2000, under the name Ivor Biggun and the D-Kups, the song "Bras on 45" (aka "Bra Size 45") was released as a part of the Dementia 2000! collection.

The single, billed as "Bras on 45 (Family Version)" by "Ivor Biggun and the D Cups", was released on the Dead Badger label. It entered the UK Singles chart on 12 September 1981, reached a high of number 50, and was in the chart for 3 weeks.[5]

In 1999, he released a best-of CD entitled The Fruity Bits of Ivor Biggun, which included four sets of lewd artwork:

  • The Fruity Bits of Ivor Biggun
  • The Breast of Ivor Biggun
  • The Beast of Ivor Biggun
  • The Wurst of Ivor Biggun

Songs on the CD include

  • "Bras on 45"
  • "The Winker's Song (misprint)"
  • "The Winker's Rock 'n Roll (misprint)"

In October 2006, record label Stiff Weapon released a second best-of release, double CD titled More Fruity Bits! The Rest of Ivor Biggun.

In 2009, after Esther Rantzen confirmed that she would be standing as a parliamentary candidate for the Luton South constituency, The Guardian’s Hugh Muir joked in his diary column: “Local residents are keen to know what team she will bring with her. Cyril Fletcher, her best-loved sidekick on That's Life, has long departed to the land of funny-shaped vegetables, and thus the only member of the old gang who might be available is Cyril's successor as Esther's lieutenant, Doc Cox. But since they ended their association, he has been busy nourishing his career as the sexually explicit troubadour Ivor Biggun, "The Pharoah of Filth, famed for his one-in-a-bed sex romps". In a tight campaign, he'd be more hindrance than help.”[6]

Ivor Biggun is sometimes compared to and even confused with George Formby as Cox quite clearly parodies George Formby's comic musical style in "The Winker's Song". Currently resident in Suffolk, he is active in several pub bands, including the Trembling Wheelbarrows.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Audio Interview". 
  2. ^ "Doc Cox: Biography". http://www.imdb.com. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "BBC London 94.9FM to bring back the legendary That's Life!". http://www.bbc.co.uk. 2 October 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Bell, Steve (12 April 2011). "Steve Bell’s If: Nick Clegg's no punchbag". http://www.theguardian.com. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  5. ^ Rice, Tim; Rice, Jonathan; Gambaccini, Paul (1990). Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums. Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness World Records and Guinness Publishing. ISBN 0-85112-398-8. 
  6. ^ Muir, Hugh (29 July 2009). "Diary". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 31 March 2015. 

External links[edit]