In recent weeks – because of his role as one of the scientists working at CERN with the Large Hadron Collider, because of his bitchslapping of the alleged President of the British Association of the "Advancement" of "Science", Sir David King on Newsnight, and because I interviewed the man several years ago before he was uber-famous – this site has seen a surge in search queries looking for information about Professor Brian Cox. Is he gay? Is he married? Is he married to a gay? And so on. Well, I know the answers to all those questions but I’m not going to address them here.
Before he was a professor, before he was even a mere doctor, and before he performed with D:Ream, Brian Cox was a child actor who appeared on TV and in print many times in the United Kingdom throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. If you’re of a certain age then you might just remember growing up with Brian but if you need reminding then I’ve collected some of his more well-known youth appearances for your delectation.
Here Come The Double Deckers, 1970
Brian is front left
Brian was one of the original cast of cult children’s television programme Here Come The Double Deckers, playing the troublemaker Spotter. His role was quickly replaced by that of Sticks the American in order to pander to a wider audience. A little-known fact about Brian is that he developed a fixation with the London bus featured in the series and spent many years looking for it on the roads of Britain. These days, however, after receiving a box set of Jimbo and the Jet Set one Christmas, he confesses he is more likely to spend hours at airports wistfully gazing into the sky.
The Tomorrow People, 1976
Brian is far right
Season four of terrifying children’s sci-fi series The Tomorrow People introduced Brian in the role of telepath Mike, a working-class telepath with a criminal background. Viewers were unconvinced by Brian’s Cockney-cum-Mancunian accent and flooded popular magazines of the day such as Look-in with complaints. After his contract was not renewed Brian vowed to never buy Look-in again. And he never did.
Brian is front right
In addition to appearing in several episodes during the 1976 and 1977 seasons of Rainbow Brian also featured alongside Rod and Jane on an album of songs either from or inspired by the series including tracks such as "Where’s Your Other Hand George?" and "Gettin’ Zippy Wit’ It". What isn’t widely known is that Brian also filled in for Bungle on one of the episodes when the actor in question at the time – Stanley Bates – was ill after swallowing fur from the costume’s inner lining.
Saturday Superstore, 1983
Brian is holding the banana
Brian was the regular science presenter on Saturday Superstore between 1983 and 1985, the last times he would be on television regularly until after university. An unsuccessful attempt to have him removed early from the show was launched by Mary Whitehouse after she became convinced he was deliberately conducting experiments only on phallic objects. In later interviews the campaigner for decency admitted she’d been secretly besotted with Cox.