Cleo Rocos

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Cleo Rocos
Born (1962-07-24) 24 July 1962 (age 59)
OccupationComedy actress, producer, presenter, businesswoman
TelevisionThe Kenny Everett Television Show

Cleo Rocos (born 24 July 1962,[1][2] in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)[3] is a UK-based comedy actress, producer, presenter and businesswoman who starred alongside Kenny Everett on The Kenny Everett Television Show.[3][4][5]

Early life[edit]

Due to her father's work in shipping, Rocos was born in Brazil of a Greek father and an English mother.[6][7] 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.[citation needed]

Television career[edit]

Early career and Kenny Everett[edit]

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!.[8] 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. As she was 15 upon meeting Everett, she lied about her age in order to get onto the show.[9] Rocos went on to remark in 2013 that the show would not be made in modern times on account of "professional campaigning women with thick ankles and shrill ovaries who have nothing better to do than to police people’s opinions".[10] She also appeared, playing a white-coated lab assistant, alongside Everett in BBC1 science quiz series Brainstorm, which ran for one series in 1988. Marcus Berkmann described the pair as "two reticent, rather formal people who loved to play and perform but valued their privacy above all else."[11]

Later work[edit]

From the late 1980s to early 1990s, Rocos starred in a Welsh comedy show on S4C called Pobol y Chyff. Rhys Ifans and Meirion Davies played the main characters.

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.[citation needed]

Other TV credits include an acting role in US drama series Highlander,[11] presenting and co-producing a short Channel 5 series on the dresses of Princess Diana (whom she knew personally[10]), participating in BBC game shows such as Wipeout, Blankety Blank and Ready, Steady, Cook, and partaking in Channel 5'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!.[citation needed][when?]

Although her television work became less frequent after Everett's 1995 death, during the late 1990s she presented quirky reports from exotic locations for the long-running ITV travel show Wish You Were Here...?.[12]

2000s and 2010s[edit]

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.[13]

In 2007, Rocos entered the Celebrity Big Brother house[2] 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 30 December 2007, Rocos was interviewed on Sky News as a "friend of Benazir Bhutto", the recently assassinated Pakistan politician.[14]

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 2013 she appeared on BBC Radio 4's The Museum of Curiosity with Robert Llewellyn and Kevin Warwick.[15]

In 2014 (a few weeks before the World Cup association football 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.[16][17]

In 2017 she appeared in a Channel 5 reality show, Celebrity 5 Go Motorhoming.[18]

Radio, music, producer and film[edit]

Rocos is an occasional presenter for BBC Radio London. She has collaborated on some pop music singles, such as Love Dilemma in the 1980s – a traditionally-crooned number with the Enrico Valdez Orchestra – and 1993 dance track Back to Love with the band Vertigo (which disbanded when they learnt that their music was the last thing a woman murdered in Manchester had listened to[19]). She is not named on the latter's sleeve, beyond a small co-writing credit.

She co-produced a revival of The Seven-Year Itch for the London stage, starring Daryl Hannah, in 2000.[20] In 2005, Rocos produced ...Sex Actually, a special episode of The Comic Strip Presents in which a murder occurs amongst a group of swingers.[citation needed]

Her film credits 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).[clarification needed]


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. She has contributed travel articles to publications such as The Daily Telegraph.

Rocos's book The Power of Positive Drinking, published by Random House, covers how to drink well and avoid the pitfalls.[21]

Business career[edit]

In 2012 Rocos launched a premium brand of tequila called AquaRiva, made from 100% 'Weber Azul' agave.[22][23]

References and sources[edit]

  1. ^ "Cleo Rocos". British Film Institute.
  2. ^ a b Webber, Richard (7 October 2013). "Cleo Rocos: 'I went on Big Brother to pay my tax bill'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Profile : Cleo Rocos". Hello! Magazine. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  4. ^ Gorman 2012, p. 63.
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ Rocos, Cleo (11 May 2013). "What I see in the mirror: Cleo Rocos". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  7. ^ "Cleo Rocos". 11 April 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  8. ^ Brown, Curtis (2013). "Cleo Rocos". Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  9. ^ Rocos, Cleo (30 September 2012). "Forever my friend: Cleo Rocos on her kindred spirit Kenny Everett". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  10. ^ a b Jacques, Adam (7 September 2013). "Credo: Cleo Rocos - 'I have fantastic memories of drinking with Princess Diana'". The Independent. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  11. ^ a b 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.
  12. ^ "Cleo Rocos". The List. 22 July 1999. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  13. ^ Celia Walden (2006). "Carry on, Cleo". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 January 2007.
  14. ^ "Cleo Rocas on Sky News". 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
  15. ^ "Llewellyn, Rocos, Warwick, Series 6, The Museum of Curiosity - BBC Radio 4". BBC.
  16. ^ "Welcome to Rio - Episode guide - BBC Two". BBC.
  17. ^ Wollaston, Sam (28 May 2014). "Welcome to Rio; The Complainers – TV review". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  18. ^ "Celebrity 5 Go Motorhoming - S1 - Episode 1". Radio Times. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  19. ^ "Cleo Rocos". Metro. 3 January 2002. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  20. ^ Petty, Moira (16 October 2000). "From bimbo to big business". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  21. ^ Bruce-Gardyne, Tom (27 April 2013). "Drinking advice from an unlikely source". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  22. ^ Richard Godwin (18 October 2012). "The Spirits: tequila makes you happy, not drunk – London Life – Life & Style – London Evening Standard". Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  23. ^ Sinclair, Emma (15 October 2012). "How Cleo Rocos replaced light entertainment with tequila". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 27 May 2013.

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