Ray Cokes, Poperinge, Belgium 2011
|Occupation||TV presenter, actor|
Ray's father was an officer in the Royal Navy, who was stationed at various navy bases around the world. When Ray was 15 the family permanently moved back to Britain. At age 20 Ray had become a punk and moved to Belgium, where he took on various jobs, including being a DJ in a club and on a local radio station. This led to a job as a music presenter on Belgian national TV channel RTBF in 1982, where he presented the show Rox Box (in French) which featured alternative music videos and live studio performances.
His success led to additional music video shows on Sky Channel and Music Box. When MTV Europe launched in 1987 he became a Video Jockey there. Arguably his most popular programme was Cokes and Vanthilt, with co-presenter Marcel Vanthilt.
MTV's Most Wanted
Between 1992 and 1995, Cokes hosted MTV Europe's live television series MTV's Most Wanted, an award-winning daily show which soon became the most popular on MTV Europe. It featured regular live acts playing in the studio as well as competitions and on-air phone calls to viewers. The show ended soon after a disastrous outdoor event in Hamburg, when a live satellite link up with the punk band Die Toten Hosen was planned. During the show, MTV would cut to the band playing a song at their own gig elsewhere, but a local journalist wrote that the band would be there in person, instead of on video screen. A large number of their fans turned up expecting to see them, and vented their anger by throwing beer and objects at a confused Cokes and camera crew (They were unaware of what had been written in the press), forcing them to end the broadcast early. After it ended a few weeks later, Cokes returned with a new weekly 90-minute show X-Ray Vision, but was not as successful. He left MTV Europe in 1996.
In 1994, Cokes released a single titled "Simply Sexy!" under the name Ray Cokes & the Sex Gods featuring Al Agami, the song's title referring to one of the catchphrases frequently used in Most Wanted.
During the summer of 2009, Cokes and Jean Blaute co-hosted Tournée Générale, a 10-part exploration of Belgian beer around the world from Sputnik media, on Flemish channel Canvas. A second 10-part series was aired in 2011 and a third in 2013 on the Belgian channel Eén.
From 2012 to 2014, he was one of the three judges in the first Belgium's Got Talent.
In February 2014, he hosted the Swedish Grammy awards.
In October 2014, he released his autobiography, My Most Wanted Life - On-Screen, Off-Screen and In-Between, available in German and English editions.
- "Ray+Cokes". Everything2. Retrieved 17 November 2009.
- "Ray Cokes & Sex Gods, The – Simply Sexy!". Discogs. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- "En Direct de - France 4" (in French). France4. Archived from the original on 14 February 2008. Retrieved 15 March 2008.
- Claeys, Jan (2 June 2010). "Cokes wil Belg worden" [Cokes wants to become Belgian]. De Standaard (in Dutch). Retrieved 4 August 2016.
- Canvas Tournée Générale Archived 10 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- Classic 21 Cokes Calling
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ray Cokes.|