Stephanie de Sykes

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Stephanie de Sykes (born Stephanie Ryton,[1] 1948) is a British singer.

Early life[edit]

She attended Brays Grove School in Harlow, Essex; she returned to the school for a final reunion in June 2008 as guest of honour.


Solo singer[edit]

De Sykes had a hit in 1974 with the Simon May penned "Born With a Smile on My Face" which reached Number 2 in the UK Singles Chart.[2][3] She also recorded the theme tune to the television programme The Golden Shot with the group "Rain" that same year.[4] The theme song, "Golden Day" was written for them by Lynsey de Paul and Barry Blue.[4] Around this time, the television company ATV Midlands started each day's broadcasting with a short film accompanied by another song performed by Rain with de Sykes singing vocals, "Odyssey" (often incorrectly referred to as "Life is a Beautiful Book"). De Sykes returned to the UK Top 20 a year later as a solo artist with the song "We'll Find Our Day"[3] from Crossroads, which was featured at Meg Mortimer's wedding in the UK TV soap opera in 1975. De Sykes appeared in the show as singer "Holly Brown". She also had a starring role in the comedy Side by Side.[1]

Groups and backing singer[edit]

De Sykes was one of the "Birds of Paris", a combination of backing singers used throughout the 1970s to add vocals to a number of disco groups and artists. The other members of the Birds of Paris included Madeline Bell, Joanne Stone, Kay Garner, Sunny Leslie, Sue Glover, Vicki Brown and Katie Kissoon.[5]

She was once a member of Love & Kisses,[6] a group started by Demis Roussos' producer Alec R Costandinos. She also sang with the group "Sphinx"[6] and with "Voyage".

De Sykes / Slater[edit]

De Sykes lived with Stuart Slater (born Stuart Leslie James Slater, 14 July 1945, Liverpool), lead singer of The Mojos, with whom she had two children, including their son, Toby Slater.[5] De Sykes and Stuart Slater wrote two UK Eurovision Song Contest entries, Co-Co's "The Bad Old Days"[4] and Prima Donna's "Love Enough for Two" in 1978 and 1980 respectively.[7][8] In 1981, she teamed up with Angus Deayton to record a parody of that year's Eurovision winner "Making Your Mind Up" by Bucks Fizz. The song, "It's Only A Wind Up" by "Brown Ale"[9], did not make the UK singles chart. De Sykes and Slater had one other song in the UK final, "All Around The World" in 1983, which was performed by Slater, ostensibly as a soloist, but with five musicians, including De Sykes on keyboards and vocals. The song placed fifth of the eight submissions. Notably, they were introduced by Terry Wogan in all of the broadcasts as "...the husband and wife team of..."

Later career[edit]

De Sykes provided background vocals for Meat Loaf's 1984 album Bad Attitude,[10] which included the Jim Steinman penned single, "Nowhere Fast".[11]

Personal life[edit]

De Sykes lived with Stuart Slater (born Stuart Leslie James Slater, 14 July 1945, Liverpool), lead singer of The Mojos,[12] with whom she had two sons: musician Toby Slater;[5] and Barnaby Slater, a comedian, writer and producer.[13]

She was then in a relationship with comedian/presenter Angus Deayton.[14] Their relationship broke up in the early 1990s, after he began an affair with scriptwriter Lise Mayer in 1991.[15]

She is a long time human rights activist who wishes to see an end to the violence between the Israelis and the Palestinians.[16] In 2015 her song "Bomb Babies" was chosen as the opening track for the pro-peace anti-war album Not In Our Name, a collaboration of singers and musicians, songwriters and poets, the CD released in December 2015. She also performed the short poem on the same CD entitled "Dying Child" by Janis Hetherington.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b [1]
  2. ^ "ChartArchive – The Chart Archive". Archived from the original on 3 June 2009. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
  3. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 145. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ a b c "Stephanie De Sykes – Biography – IMDb". 1 May 2009. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
  5. ^ a b c "Stephanie De Sykes | Profile & Photos". Retrieved 2014-08-05.
  6. ^ a b "Stephanie de Sykes | Songs". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
  7. ^ "Coco* – Bad Old Days (Vinyl, LP) at Discogs". Retrieved 2014-08-05.
  8. ^ "Prima Donna (3) – Love Enough For Two (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2014-08-05.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Bad Attitude – Meat Loaf | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
  11. ^ William Ruhlmann. "Bad Attitude – Meat Loaf | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
  12. ^ "Stephanie De Sykes | Profile & Photos". Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  13. ^ "Barnaby Slater | TROIKA". Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  14. ^ Ironside, Virginia (28 October 1994). "Dear Stephanie de Sykes". The Independent. London. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  15. ^ "Have they got news for him? Angus Deayton returns to prime time TV". This is London. 24 May 2007. Archived from the original on 24 January 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  16. ^ Stephanie de Sykes