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At an early age Hegarty moved to Brighton, England. Hegarty formed the 1950s styled band, Darts in August 1976, along with vocalists Rita Ray, Griff Fender and sax player Horatio Hornblower, all of whom he had played with in the band Rocky Sharpe & the Razors (pre-Rocky Sharpe and the Replays). His role in Darts was as the bass singer, songwriter, arranger and music director. He left Darts in 1978. He signed to Mercury Records and released a solo single "Voodoo Voodoo" in March 1979 which was his only solo hit, reaching number 73 in the UK Singles Chart.
Hegarty moved into broadcasting, hosting the Tyne Tees Television show Alright Now. After working for BBC Radio 1 (presenting Talkabout), and featuring in three series of Jack Good's final television show, Let's Rock, he moved on to host the final series of Tiswas along with DJ Gordon Astley, and comedian/impressionist Fogwell Flax, along with Sally James. After its demise Hegarty became a cable show quizmaster, and then took another direction providing voices for animated characters in television advertisements.
Hegarty lives with his wife and one son in Devon. He now works as a lecturer in psychology at Exeter College and with the Open University, but he is still singing. He has fronted an a cappella band called Slackapella, plus a 15-piece outfit called Soul Traders, and he still sings with the doo-woppers, The Metrotones.
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- "Den Hegarty", Chart Stats, retrieved 2010-07-03
- Gilbert, Pat (2005) Passion Is a Fashion: The Real Story of the Clash, Da Capo, ISBN 978-0-306-81434-1, p. 279
- Clarkson, Wensley (1996) Sting: The Secret Life of Gordon Sumner, Blake, ISBN 978-1-85782-125-3, p. 85
- "From the Music Capitals of the World: London", Billboard, 21 April 1979, p. 64
- "Pied Pipers Archived 9 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine", Tiswas Online, retrieved 2010-07-03
- "Tiswas - the TV show", BBC, retrieved 2010-07-03