Jarvis Branson Cocker (born 19 September 1963) is an English musician and radio presenter. As the founder, frontman, lyricist, and sole consistent member of the band Pulp, he became a figurehead of the Britpop genre of the mid-1990s. Following Pulp’s hiatus, Cocker has pursued a solo career, and for seven years he presented the BBC Radio 6 Music show Jarvis Cocker’s Sunday Service.
Cocker was born in Sheffield, growing up in the Intake area of the city, and attending City School. His father, Mac Cocker, a DJ and actor, left the family and moved to Sydney when Cocker was seven, and had no contact with Cocker or his sister, Saskia, until Jarvis was in his thirties. Following their father’s departure, both children were brought up by their mother, Christine Connolly, who later became a Conservative councillor.
Cocker credits his upbringing, almost exclusively in female company, for his interest in how women think and what they have to say. He wrote a song (“A Little Soul” on This Is Hardcore) about being abandoned by his father, working briefly as a butler, and in 1998 travelled with his sister to Australia to meet him for the first time in nearly 30 years.
Mac Cocker was a radio DJ in Sydney, with Double J in the 1970s and then Triple J in the 1980s. By the time of his son’s visit, Mac Cocker had moved to a hippie commune in Darwin, Northern Territory. Cocker said he forgave his father (who died in 2016) for abandoning them, saying, “I don’t feel any bitterness towards him at all. I feel sorry for him.”