24 July 1962 |
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Cleo Rocos (born 24 July 1962[dubious ], Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is a UK-based comedy actress, producer, presenter and businesswoman, who starred alongside Kenny Everett on The Kenny Everett Television Show.
Due to her father's work in shipping, Rocos was born in Brazil of a Greek father and an English mother. She came to England as a child to attend school. She took acting classes whilst at school and a chance meeting with BBC director Alan Bell and Head of Light Entertainment Jim Moir led to an audition for a new television show.
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In the 1980s and early 1990s, Rocos appeared regularly on television, from a minor role in the TV adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to being a roving reporter for the consumer affairs show That's Life!. She was most frequently seen in Kenny Everett's BBC series The Kenny Everett Television Show, in which her glamorous and curvaceous figure was often used to comic effect – a role echoed by her similar appearances in the 1985 TV sketch series Assaulted Nuts. She also appeared alongside Everett in BBC1 science quiz series Brainstorm, playing a white-coated lab assistant and ran for one series in 1988.
An occasional sidekick to 'shock jock' DJ James Whale on late-night ITV in the early 1990s, she fulfilled a similar role with TV critic Garry Bushell on ITV nocturnal TV-review series Bushell on the Box. She also made a few appearances in the Ugly Bloke slot, as an incongruously glamorous escort to physically unattractive males, on Chris Evans' Channel 4 series TFI Friday in about 1996.
Other TV credits include an acting role in US drama series Highlander, presenting and co-producing a short channel Five series on Princess Diana's dresses, participating in BBC game shows such as Wipeout, Blankety Blank and Ready, Steady, Cook, and partaking in Five's karaoke show Night Fever. She also starred in Leigh Francis' TV series Whatever I Want as herself, as did Big Brother host Davina McCall. Rocos later appeared again with Francis, on Bo'! in the USA, the US version of Bo' Selecta!.
Although her television work became less frequent after Everett's death, during the late 1990s she presented quirky reports from exotic locations for the long-running ITV travel show Wish You Were Here...?. In 2002-3 she presented and produced a travel show for Five called Cleo Worldwide, and she spent much of summer 2006 recording a new travel show for television about the wonders of the world.
In 2007, Rocos entered the Celebrity Big Brother house and remained in the house until the final week. She was voted off the show on 26 January 2007 as part of a surprise joint eviction along with singer Jo O'Meara, a former member of pop group S Club 7.
On 2 January 2010, she appeared on the BBC celebrity special of Total Wipeout and on 2 May 2010, she appeared on the Watch game show, Scream If You Know the Answer. In October 2011, she was a participant in Channel 4 show Come Dine With Me and was joint winner with the pop singer Pete Burns.
In 2014 (a few weeks before the World Cup Soccer tournament in Rio de Janeiro in June), she narrated the three-part observational series, 'Welcome to Rio', which aimed to reveal the truth about the city's famous shanty-towns, the favelas, through the lives of people who live there; Rocos narrated the programmes saying 'we', indicating her connection with Rio.
Radio presenter, pop music, producer and film
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Rocos is an occasional presenter for BBC London 94.9FM radio. She has collaborated on some pop music singles, such as Love Dilemma in the mid-1980s – a traditionally-crooned number with the Enrico Valdez Orchestra – and 1993 dance track Back to Love with the band Vertigo. She is not named on the latter's sleeve, beyond a small co-writing credit. She produced a revival of The Seven-Year Itch for the London stage, starring Daryl Hannah in 2000. Her films include Mel Brooks's 1981 comedy History of the World, Part I, the 1983 comedy horror spoof Bloodbath at the House of Death (with Kenny Everett), Lindsay Shonteff's Number One Gun (1990), and Baby Juice Express (2004).
She narrated the three-part observational documentary series, Welcome to Rio, on BBC2, which reveals life inside Rio de Janeiro's favelas, through the lives of people who live there. It was broadcast in May and June 2014. Rocos narrates the programmes saying 'we', identifying herself as being from Rio.
Rocos' autobiographical book Bananas Forever: Kenny Everett and Me (co-authored by Richard Topping) detailing her relationship with Everett, was published in 1998 but later reissued under the title Kenny and Me. Dabbling in print journalism, she has contributed travel articles to publications such as The Daily Telegraph. Rocos's latest book The Power of Positive Drinking, published by Random House, covers how to drink well and avoid the pit falls.
References and sources
- I was just 15 and had lied about my age to get on the Kenny Everett Show in 1981.
- "Profile : Cleo Rocos". Hello! Magazine. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
- Gorman 2012, p. 63.
- Emma Sinclair (15 October 2012). "How Cleo Rocos replaced light entertainment with tequila". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
Cleo Rocos, best known as Kenny Everett’s glamorous side-kick, is now taking the tequila world by storm
- "Cleo Rocos". Curtisbrown.co.uk. 2013-04-11. Retrieved 2014-07-26.
- Daily Mail Weekend Magazine 27 April 2013. p3
- Brown, Curtis (2013). "Cleo Rocos". curtisbrown.co.uk. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
- Marcus Berkmann (27 September 1998). "MY BEAUTIFUL LOON – Arts & Entertainment – The Independent". The Independent. London: INM. ISSN 0951-9467. OCLC 185201487. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
- Celia Walden (2006). "Carry on, Cleo". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 January 2007.[dead link]
- "Cleo Rocas on Sky News". 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
- "BBC Two – Welcome to Rio – Episode guide". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-07-26.
- Richard Godwin (2012-10-18). "The Spirits: tequila makes you happy, not drunk – London Life – Life & Style – London Evening Standard". Standard.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-07-26.
- Sinclair, Emma (15 October 2012). "How Cleo Rocos replaced light entertainment with tequila". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 27 May 2013.