Des Cox at Training School Des Cox at Sea Des and Dave, Columbia Records Des Cox in Candid Camera Des Cox The Bubblies The Waterhole cartoon Maritime Memories The Great Liners The Worst Journey in the World Northern Star

Des Cox

I went away to sea with the New Zealand Shipping Company at the age of 16, after training at the wonderful TS "Vindicatrix"... now there's a story!

I'll never forget those days at the Vindi, neither will I ever forget the moment I first found myself in London's Docklands in the 1950s, looking for my first ship.

Those were truly amazing days and I will always remember of the sight before me on that cold, foggy November morning, when this frightened yet excited boy, jumped off the old trolley bus from Plaistow station, to find myself in a whole new world, where turning cranes and ships lined the quaysides for as far as the eye could see.

This was the start of my days at sea, days that brought me so much excitement and adventure, not to mention a bevy of beautiful women... so I won't mention them!

I joined my first ship as the cabin boy and for the next seven months, washed more dishes and scrubbed more alleyways and decks than any man before... well it seemed that way.

Later I managed to get myself promoted to Lift Boy aboard one of the NZSCo passenger liners and then, and I'm still not quite sure how I managed to do it... talked my way into being promoted to ship's writer and then on to acting assistant purser.

Pop Singer

When I left the sea I was signed to EMI as a recording artist under the name of "Des and Dave" on the Columbia Label, where we recorded and released several records and performed on Radio, Television and in concert all over the world.

I wrote most of the songs we recorded, as well as writing songs for other artists such as Roger Whittaker. 

I also appeared in several films including "Those Magnificent Men and their Flying Machines"... now there's a funny and fascinating story. 

Christmas Dreams

Des and Dave, Christmas Dreams

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Candid Camera

Whilst performing our latest release on the top pop show "Thank Your Lucky Stars" I was spotted and signed to co-star in the original series of "Candid Camera", which was actually the world's first reality TV show!

I used to come up with the ideas for the many strange stunts we did, which raged from the bizarre to the ridiculous, but we had such fun and believe me... I could write a whole book about this episode in my life alone.

I was then offered several shows including Monty Python, and feature films including The Spy with the Cold Nose.  I was also offered a contract from the top theatrical agents in Hollywood but strangely enough, although I really enjoyed performing, I hated all that celebrity bit and having to mix with so many talentless prima donnas, who in any other normal part of life would have starved to death.

Theatrical Agent

Thereafter I found myself on the other side of show-business, acting as a Theatrical Agent for top stars such as Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck and Roy Orbison.

Tired of working as a theatrical agent in the UK, I went to Australia where I set-up the largest concert touring circuit in the Southern Hemisphere, which was opened in 1972 with a tour by the Beach Boys. 

TV Writer/Producer

I went on to tour other artists before changing tack once again, this time to become a television producer/director. I co-produced with a Hollywood production company, the world's biggest music series titled "Super Stars of Rock", which as the title suggests, featured the top pop and rock artists in the world.

Children's Author/Producer

A change of tack, this time into the world of writing children's stories and making animated programmes for Children's TV.  I created and wrote my first set of children's stories titled "The Bubblies", for which I produced 52 episodes that were shown all over the world. 

I then went on to create new stories called "Tugs", which were all about the adventures of tugboats in a small harbour.  This went on to become a TV series, which was also shown all over the world, but unfortunately mu copyright was stolen and I had to fight through the High Courts for eighteen years before eventually win my case.  (What a story!)

Cartoonist

Working with Sweden's top cartoonist, Lars Mortimer, we created a new cartoon strip titled "The Waterhole".  Lars and I made over 1,500 of these strips, which were published all over the world including in the UK's top selling daily newspaper, "The Sun".

This cartoon is still being published in various countries and there is every chance that Lars and I might do more sometime in the future.

This really is a brief summary of my life, for if I were to go into everything I've been involved with or, if I went into things in any depth, then you would still be here reading this in ten years time!  But I have started writing my autobiography, which to-date stretches for 92 chapters and, would you believe, has only reached the point in life where I became a TV writer/producer!

Maritime Memories

To bring you right up to present times, I am still heavily involved with our cruise business called Maritime Memories, which I created to give people the chance to go away to sea on a real ship again and not aboard one of those giant, floating blocks of flats they call cruise ships today!

No, on one of these Maritime Memory cruises you actually sail on a real ship, much the same size as we used to sail on during my days at sea and instead for thousands of queuing passengers, we only have about 600 and... everyone has a name!

Yes, these cruises are aboard real ships with teak lined open decks, where you can sit having drinks with real people and listen to the wonderful, soothing sounds of the passing ocean as we sail beneath the wonder of a starry, tropical sky... now that's really what sailing on a ship is all about.

The Great Liners

Over the past twenty-years I have searched the world for rare of film of shipping, dating back to the turn of the last century.  I have now managed to create the largest maritime film archive in the world and as a result of this, written and produced 32 sixty-minute DVDs on shipping, showing the ports of the world as they were during their heyday, when every available berth was full of ships of every shape and size.

The films also take you aboard the ships as we sail with them on voyages all around the world during the Golden Age of Shipping... they really are quite special.

The Worst Journey in the World

Our latest DVD release is titled "The Worst Journey in the World", which are the words Winston Churchill used to describe the notorious WW2 Arctic Convoys to Russia.

This is an amazing documentary and the first every made to tell the very important story of those all-important convoys and the vital part they played in securing victory in WW2.

I am now working on new TV programmes to produce including a cookery series, a comedy, children's series, a couple of TV Game Shows, a new documentary titled "The Great Ports of the World" and a feature film that no fewer than seven film companies have requested the rights to.

Classic Ocean Liner (UK)

I have spent the last three years also working on a project to bring to the UK one of the few classic style ocean liners still in service.  This has been an extremely difficult and complicated task, but I'm pleased to say that we are now all but there, so do expect an exciting announcement in the not too distant future.

And just for fun, and in a hope of keeping myself still a little bit young, I have written and recorded a new Christmas song, which I intend to release next Christmas (2011), so please do me a favour and save up your pennies to buy a copy when it comes out.

Hopefully I will be able to publish the autobiography soon, even if I have to divide it into three parts, so if you're interested then do let me know.  One thing I promise you... it will be very funny and full of so many surprises like the behind the scenes stories of Candid Camera and Those Magnificent Men and their Flying Machines, or when I was introduced to Rock Hudson, thrown overboard in shark invested waters or, turned up naked at the Muppets Christmas Party... You'll l