Credo: Cleo Rocos - 'I have fantastic memories of drinking with Princess Diana'

The actress on tequila-tasting, tax bills and partying with Kenny Everett and Princess Di

The ‘Kenny Everett Video Show’ wouldn’t happen today [Rocos co-starred in the popular 1970s-1980s sketch show,  as Everett’s scantily clad sidekick]. Everyone now is so much more uptight and clenchy-buttocked; there’s these professional campaigning women with thick ankles and shrill ovaries who have nothing better to do than to police people’s opinions. We never worried about objectifying woman back then – it was just a great cartoon that was funny and cheeky.

I miss everything about Kenny [who died from an AIDS-related illness in 1995]. I miss our friendship, his mischievousness,  and how we would never run out of things to laugh about. I also miss the way things changed in comedy after his death, into this angry, yelling, terrorising comedy.

I have fantastic memories of drinking with Princess Diana She would regularly sneak out on her own, in disguise, to go to places round the corner from the Palace. I remember drinking peach Bellinis with her, Kenny and Freddie Mercury at the Bombay Brasserie nearby, before we all went up to Kenny’s penthouse to continue drinking. I’ll never forget watching Diana, Kenny and Freddie dancing around the lounge to the Gypsy Kings, each waving one of Kenny’s feather dusters in the air.

Most of us are here because our parents had a drink together Great songs, great friendship and great romances were forged over a cocktail or two. You become the favourite version of yourself and good things come from it. Where it goes wrong is the volume – and what’s in the drink. Wine can legally have up to 200 additives, which  I think is a huge problem. A lot of the time, even after only half a glass, I feel like I’ve been shot in the head. There are so many hidden sugars in some drinks that people are falling apart; the violence has a lot to do with sugar, though there is overconsumption of course.

I had a terrible first experience with tequila But then I went to Mexico and tried some there, and it tasted so smooth and natural. The stuff you often find in the UK is only 51 per cent agave and 49 per cent industrial, sugarcane-based alcohol and other chemicals, which give you a terrible hangover. So  I started my own tequila brand, AquaRiva [which won the 2012 Spirit Business’s Masters Medal], for which all my drinking experience with Kenny counted as research.

I went on ‘celebrity Big Brother’ in 2007 because  I had a huge tax bill I don’t mind people knowing that, though Kenny would have been horrified. The hardest part? You try to be in this house, covered with cameras, and you need to laugh. But trying to think of something to laugh about is hard.

You can’t market to me  You can’t walk me up and down Old Bond Street and tempt me. I look at people who buy £1,500 handbags  or huge £500 torture-chamber shoes as unwell. It’s the secret to my nauseating happiness. I’d rather be out having a good time with friends.

Why do people collect so much stuff? When I feel I have too many possessions I box them up and chuck them out. I last did that three years ago when I was moving. I was in the moving truck and suddenly thought, I only need half of this!  I was so horrified, I opened the back door and said to people in the street, “Anything you want, please do take it.”

Cleo Rocos, 51, is an actress and TV presenter. She is launching National Positive Drinking Month on 13 September to promote healthy drinking and sugar-free, low-calorie versions of traditional cocktails. For more information on her brand: aquariva.co.uk; cleorocos.com

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Compensation and Benefits Manager - Brentwood - Circa £60,000

£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker