Gone are the days of working three jobs and bar-tending. Cliff Cole recalls, “I just bought my first house in Melbourne so I was working seven days a week to pay off my mortgage. I had three jobs—I was working at my mom’s restaurant and I had two bar-tending gigs.”
Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Cliff Cole, aka Cliff Ho, decided to pack his bags to travel the world and see what other opportunities were in store for him. Having Australian, Ukrainian, German and Chinese blood, Cliff is a medley of cultures. Having Aussie features and a Chinese last name, he decided to take his chances by trying to create a career in Asia, particularly the Philippines.
Trying to find his niche in Manila, Cliff started his career as a DJ on local radio station MAX FM. He instantly became a regular fixture in the nightlife/club scene and was discovered by former [V] Channel head JM Rodriguez, who trained and transformed him into a VJ overnight. Being one of the freshest VJs to hit the local scene and exuding the typical boy-next-door appeal, it is no surprise Cliff would gain popularity attracting viewers and top executives of [V] Hong Kong to take an interest in his talents and fun-loving personality.
From humble beginnings of bar-tending to a high-profile career, Cliff Cole has evolved and has become a permanent fixture in the industry—a full-fledged host and international VJ. Today, he has reverted back to his birth name, Cliff Ho, and has his own show on Star World, “The Source,” which he hosts with the lovely Georgina Wilson. Busy as ever, Cliff juggles his hosting career in Manila with his regular stint as VJ for Channel [V] International in Hong Kong.
Full Name: Cliffton Delroy Yee Narm Ho
Nicknames: Cliff, Cliffy, Fliffie, KiddCdog, Hoey
What is your life philosophy?
You’re a hodgepodge of cultures, with Australian features and an Asian last name. What is the history behind Cliff Cole/Cliff Ho?
My last name being Chinese comes from my father, who was born in HK. My middle name is Yee Narm, which is also Chinese. My western middle name is Delroy. I know I’ve got the weirdest name. My passport reads “Cliffton Delroy Yee Narm Ho.” I used to carry the stage name Cliff Cole when I started on radio (my station head gave me that name), but honestly I never liked it ’cause I’ve always been a Ho at heart!
Where did you grow up? When and why did you decide to come to the Philippines?
I was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. Two years ago, I left Australia ’cause I lost my driving license for a year, (I was caught drunk driving) so I decided to travel and work in Asia. I’ve always wanted to get into hosting and the Philippines had a lot of opportunities for me, so I decided to give it a try.
How do you think success changes people?
I guess you just feel more secure with yourself.
What is your proudest career achievement?
Receiving the call from Channel [V] Philippines telling me I landed the role as their new VJ.
What is the most challenging thing about your career?
Constantly reinventing yourself and staying on top of your game.
Who’s your mentor/role model?
I would have to say JM Rodriguez. He gave me my first hosting opportunity and believed in me, teaching me the industry and where I needed to improve.
You’ve hosted in [V] Philippines, [V] Hong Kong: Who is your favorite female co-host?
Hands-down my sister Georgina Wilson aka G funky fresh! It’s always great working with G. She is very professional and passionate about her work, which rubs off on me. We’re good mates outside of work, so when we hit the studio we’re so comfortable around each other.
If you weren’t a VJ/host, what do you think you would be doing? Why?
I’d probably be in Melbourne looking to open a bar.
What’s a typical day/week/month in the life of Cliff Cole/Cliff Ho?
I spend most of my time traveling between Hong Kong and Manila. I have to tape every Wednesday in HK for Channel [V] International. Every second week I fly back to Manila to tape for Channel [V] Philippines on Fridays and Star World’s “The Source” on Mondays then fly back to HK on Tuesday. Between the scheduled taping days, I generally have interviews and events I have to cover for my shows. Busy but it’s sooooo much fun!
What are the three things you do before the camera’s roll?
Where do you usually hang out when you’re in HK? Manila?
In Hong Kong, Tazmania Ballroom for a drink, Sheung Wan for the best won ton noodle soup.
In Manila, I go to Greenbelt for dinner, Republic and Fever for clubbing, and this secret sanctuary I go to unwind and recharge the batteries! Best place on earth!
What defines your style?
My Aussie Bums!
My favorite brands/shopping places are…
I like all the local Filipino designers like Jerome Lorico, Joey Samson, Raul Ramirez; and American Apparel, Aussie Bum and H&M.
My favorite scent is…
My favorite grooming essential is…
My travel shaver.
My favorite sport is…
Football (forever love my team Arsenal FC).
My top three vacation spots are…
Barcelona, Greek Islands (Corfu, Los, Santorini), Boracay
The last thing I bought was…
A Fred Perry jacket.
The three things a VJ must ALWAYS have are…
iPod, iPod, iPod!
The one thing I can’t live without is…
Three of my favorite songs that best define me are…
“British India,” by Run The Red Light, about taking a risk in life; Presets’ “My People,” just an amazing track that gets me motivated; and from [the movie] “Aladdin,” “A Whole New World”—enough said… haha!
I think women should always…
I think men should never…
Say never… (did I just quote Justin Beiber?)
The sexiest part of a woman’s body is…
What do you look for in a woman?
I want someone who’s cheerful, loyal, fun, smart and loving.
What are the three things a woman can do to make you happy?
Be herself, be supportive and just smile
What is the worst thing someone can do on a first date?
Talk about her ex-boyfriend.
What is the sweetest thing you’ve ever done?
Buying tickets to see “Lion King the Musical” only to find out two hours before the date that she’s standing you up.
What gets you through a tough week?
A phone call to my dear mother.
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Live every day as if it’s your last and there is no such thing as stress—it’s just a challenge.
What are the three things people don’t know about you?
(1) I was living with a broken wrist for a year and a half before I got it fixed.
(2) Whenever I watch a sad movie on a flight, I always cry. It must be something they put in the air.
(3) I was once homeless for three days when I was backpacking through Europe that put hairs on my chest!
What are your tips to all the people who are aspiring to be VJs or hosts?
Do your research on what you’re hosting.
Make a (great) show.
Practice, practice, PRACTICE!
Share anything that you’re looking forward to in the near future.
My new show on Star World, “The Source,” airs every Friday, 8:35 p.m.
I’m also looking forward to producing some of my own shows.