Englishman goes from insurance to topping bill at glitzy casino

Barry Cox used to work the usual 9 to 5 grind. But he became bored in his job at an insurance company and decided he needed a change of life.

He decided to learn a new language and in the space of eight years, he has moved to Hong Kong from Merseyside and been offered residency at the biggest casino in Macau, The Venetian.

"I was working in an insurance company but it wasn't going anywhere - it had no future and I was thinking about how to better myself,” said Mr Cox, who is known as Gok Pak-wing.

"I was really thinking about languages. As we have a Chinatown on our doorstep, I thought if I could learn Chinese that would be brilliant as not a lot of people can do it.

"There was a local chip shop, so I just went in and got friendly with the guys there. One of them was learning English so we just exchanged language. Then I left my job and worked in a Chinese supermarket and a restaurant to work on the language."

Mr Cox then set about doing small performances around Chinatown. Extraordinarily, he had never really sung before and only started after being given a bunch of Cantonese music CDs from a guy in the fish shop.

After word of his act got around he decided to take a big step and moved to Hong Kong. He continued to do more performances and he built up quite a following, which landed him the residency at The Venetian Casino, which has seen performances by the likes of Beyonce and the Black Eyed Peas.

"I sing all the popular Chinese songs that everybody knows, we have a live band that sings all the English songs so it's no use just doing a copy of what they're doing, so I stick to the Chinese stuff."

Editor, Jackpot.co.uk - 2007-12-13 15:22:11

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