Brian Cox responds to viral Rishi Sunak election speech with killer meme

Brian Cox And Rishi Sunak  Comp. (PA)
Rishi Sunak's announcement was drowned out by Brian Cox's Things Can Only Get Better...and the rain. (PA) ((PA))

Professor Brian Cox has responded to the moment Rishi Sunak calling a general election was interrupted by 1997 Labour campaign anthem Things Can Only Get Better with a funny meme of his own poking fun at the prime minister.

Cox, who was the keyboard player in 90s band D:Ream before pivoting to a career in physics and astronomy, had a number one hit with Things Can Only Get Better in 1994, which was later famously adopted by Tony Blair's Labour election campaign in 1997.

As Sunak stood outside 10 Downing Street on Wednesday afternoon announcing that the general election would take place on July 4, a large group gathered outside the gates with political activist Steve Bray blasting the song from a speaker over the top of Sunak's speech.

The moment grabbed public attention with many agreeing that it was still an apt campaign song for Labour's campaign against the Conservative government nearly 30 years on from the first time it was used, and others joked that "things can only get wetter" in reference to the downpour that Sunak made his speech during.

Cox responded with a meme of his own as he posted a clip of Sunak making his announcement in the rain on X, overlaid with the theme tune from Curb Your Enthusiasm.

He wrote: "Things Can Only Get Better is of course the most appropriate song for today, but let me throw another one into the ring to add a little variety…"

Professor Brian Cox leaves BBC Broadcasting House in London, after appearing on the BBC One current affairs programme, Sunday Morning. Picture date: Sunday May 22, 2022.
Professor Brian Cox's number one hit from his popstar days often re-emerges during election time. (PA/Alamy) (James Manning, PA Images)

The theme tune from Curb Your Enthusiasm, the sitcom parodying Larry David's Hollywood life where he is beset by misunderstandings and awkward interactions, has been used in political memes before, most memorably over former Conservative prime minister David Cameron's resignation speech where he was heard singing to himself on the way back into Downing Street.

Meanwhile Bray, a prominent anti-Brexit campaigner, has explained why he chose to use Things Can Only Get Better during Sunak's speech.

He told Sky News: "I thought about what would be the best trolling tune if he announced the election. And of course, it had to be Things Can Only Get Better. Because everybody can relate to that and the 1997 election.

"I didn't do it for Labour. I did it because it was the top trolling song for the Conservatives."

In 1997, Labour's use of the song as their campaign anthem propelled D:Ream back into the charts, but by 2015 Cox admitted he wasn't keen on the then Labour candidate Ed Miliband using it.

He told the Evening Standard at the time: "I’d probably say no to Labour using the song — there are immense pros and cons to all the parties and I can’t quite see a clear direction. It’s very different now than in ’97. In ’97, it was obvious that everybody supported Blair. But now I think it’s complicated, it’s a muddy political climate. I’m sort of apolitical intentionally, because I’m rather a single-issue person, so it’s definitely not clear-cut."

He and his former bandmates have not confirmed whether they would be happy to endorse Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer with the song.

This article originally appeared on Yahoo TV UK at