David Essex OBE (born David Albert Cook, 23 July 1947) is an English musician,singer-songwriter and actor. Since the 1970s, Essex has attained nineteen Top 40 singles in the UK (including two number ones), and sixteen Top 40 albums. He has also had an extensive career as an actor performing on stage and screen.
Essex was born in Plaistow, London E13 His father, Albert, was an East End dock worker and his mother, Olive (née Kemp), was a self-taught pianist and an Irish Traveller. His grandfather, Thomas Kemp, was named 'Philimore' which was the anglicised version of 'Philly Mor' - being Irish for 'Big Philly'. Essex was two years old when his parents moved out of the overcrowded home the family was sharing with relatives, to Canning Town where he grew up. Essex attended Star Lane Primary School. He loved playing football and did not answer any of the questions in the Eleven plus exam for entry into a Grammar School, so that he could ensure he attended Shipman County Secondary School where he knew they played the game. He was also a member of West Ham United Juniors for a while and dreamed of one day being a professional player. He then also became interested in music and played drums with a local band, before becoming a singer.