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Shortly after Peter Cook's death, Dudley Moore spoke to Douglas Thompson about Peter, and the Derek and Clive LP's.

Is it worth mentioning the new-found maturity and sensitivity in Dudley's words?

This article first appeared in Issue 11 of Pub & Bed - now out of print.

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"Peter? He was basically a fucking cunt. He was an enormously soft-hearted/hard-hearted, sweet/sour, vulnerable/invulnerable man. He lived on the edge of two poles. I enjoyed Peter on my own, but with somebody else we always got into an argument. We always got pissed at each other. Peter was always pissed off with my nitpicking, logical mind. And I used to get pissed off at his lack of directness in dealing with people. I don't know if you can say we split up. If something right had come along for us we would both have been delighted to do it, I felt that Peter was more interested in doing caricature stuff than in acting. He was a very funny comedian but he's not as interested in comedic acting as I am. Right now, I just consider what I'm doing solo stuff.

It's true, though, that after we'd taken 'Good Evening'(sic) to Australia things just ground to a halt. But we did go on to do other things, such as the Derek and Clive albums. Peter and I wanted to do some material we couldn't do on the radio, TV or stage. So we went in a recording studio and basically improvised... The first out - or the first cunt, as we say in the vernacular, or the venereal - was 'The Worst Job I Ever Had'.' Peter said, 'The worst job I ever had was gettin' lobsters out of Jayne Mansfield's arsehole. Jayne used to go swimming off the beach at Mally-boo and these fuckin' lobsters used to go flyin' up her arse. And I used to have to pull the fuckers out.'

Again, I love that image. It's like a reversal, if you'll pardon the expression, of a cunt having teeth. Up the arse are giant lobsters ready to get you: No matter where you stick it, you find teeth...

What we basically did was speak the unspeakable. Take, for instance, cancer, which Peter and I discuss on one album. Cancer's one of those subjects that, when they come up, cause everyone to put on a serious face. Everybody fears it, because we all secretly feel it's self-induced through anxiety or doubt. I know that sometimes I sink into days when I get so anxious that I conjure up an image of a white-eyed, greedy little rodent gnawing away at my arsehole. That's cancer-causing.

Anyway, even though Peter and I knew that cancer was awful, it was something we wanted to ventilate. And in doing so we got into the most outrageous convolutions until we ended up competing with each other over who had the worst cancer...'I've got cancer of the wife'...'Only that? Well listen, I've got cancer of the house.' And it went on like that until we both got hysterical with laughter. As Peter said, there's absolutely no socially redeeming value about cancer, which is one of its greatest merits.

True obscenities are not orifices. Shit and holes of the human body are not obscene - nor is making love or screwing, or whatever you want to call it. Pictures of war or violence can be obscene. You know, a woman being handed her husband in a plastic bag in Vietnam. Dreadful. And obscene.

I remember the time I asked my mother: 'What does cunt mean?' Well, she farted, snorted, her head blew off and her arms fell out. She didn't know what to do with herself. She said it was the filthiest word that had ever been invented. Imagine.

...We caused a certain small tempest in a teacup among the British press, which pretended to be selfrighteous and moral. Generally, the disapproval came from those newspapers that ran a girl with bare tits on page three and talked about a vicar fucking a rooster on page four. They were the ones who objected to us boys talking dirty or calling people fucking cunts...

I have a ribald sense of humour, what is conventionally known as obscene. It's always been there, it's just my way of thinking. People always wonder how, with this ribald outlook, I can also write such moving, emotional music. Not to make a comparison, but Mozart had a very scatological sense of humour too. He was always talking about farts and cunts and arses. He had a very basic sense of humour. I don't find anything wrong with that. . . But there's a misconception that if you talk dirty, you're not a serious person. I'm very, very serious indeed. Gosh. Absolutely. Profoundly serious. Very, very, very serious. Phew. Gosh. Golly. Fucking A-serious."

(filched from 'Dudley Moore' by Douglas Thompson, 1996.)

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