The Establishment
 Pub & Bed
 The Spiggott
 Rainbow Tapes
 Clive Anderson
 Derek & Clive
 Dudley Moore
Coming Soon
 Coming Soon
. . .
The Establishment

Derek and Clive: Ad NauseamHugh Padgham was the sound engineer on the final Derek & Clive album, "Ad Nauseum". He met with the Holy Dragger in April and September 1997.

This interview first appeared in Issue #10 of Pub & Bed (which is currently out of print). It is with "Maximum Respect" that we thank Hugh for allowing us to re-use this article.

This is part two of "His Story".

 Peter Cook Presents The Misty Mr. Wisty LP
audio files taken from the wonderful 1965 album.
 Peter Cook Docu
as we were asked to contribute 'ideas' for the Carlton TV "Legends" docu, I thought I'd make it available via the site.

 Would you like us to notify you, via email, each time we update The Establishment?

 Hosted by Yahoo!, this list is used only to announce updates at and is in no way supposed to replace the Peter Cook eMail List.


I only recently saw the Get The Horn video and, firstly, I was quite amazed at how young Peter and Dudley looked. Secondly, and more amazingly, is the difference between the film and the album. The album, being obviously an aural experience, enables you to imagine Derek & Clive, the characters, in whatever you imagine them to dress in, however you imagine them to look. The film's a somewhat different proposition, where we have Pete and Dud, best of friends and best of enemies, on their stools in the studio, needling each other. You'll notice in the film Pete and Dud, when performing, always face the control room. We would be their focal point; they needed to feel like they were playing to an audience. The great thing about them was it was all so mad. You're either into that humour or you're not. But, for me, even the larking around between takes is priceless in its way because it's not ever going to happen again.

Personally, I prefer the more scripted, prepared, stuff "Behind The Fridge" and so on - because there's more substance to it. Not so reliant on effing and blinding. The Derek & Clive albums deserve their place 'cos no-one but Pete and Dud had the balls to do it and I suppose it broke down barriers for the next wave of comedians. Some Derek & Clive skits are very funny, others marginally so, but seeing the film again brought home to me the fact that Pete and Dud as a collaboration were past their best. The first Derek & Clive was the most spontaneous; the other two were very formulaic. Their Derek & Clive alter-egos became sort of restrictive.

I record and produce bands and the trouble with musicians is that by the third album they can get lazy, rest on their laurels, and become repetitive. They constantly need kicking up the arse to get them to be as inspired and responsive as when they began; fresh and hungry. Peter and Dudley had the same trouble with "Ad Nauseum". Rather than working with each other as they used to, they were working against each other. A lot of their comedic vocabulary narrowed and they went for easier laughs through general laziness. Bits of the film are great but a lot more, for me in hindsight, is tinged with sadness. One upsetting incident was the stripper episode, when Peter has his hands round her neck. You can see she's shitting herself. Absolutely mortified. He had this mad look in his eyes that was unnerving. I think Peter got peeved about her telling him he's horrible and going off to talk with Dudley at the piano. While Dud's flirtily chatting with her you realise there's not another sound in the room. Peter's there, but he's silent, perched on his chair. He's probably thinking, How can I get one up on him? That's maybe why he launched himself onto her. He gave her a hug after, but she was frightened there. The old myth about comedians being miserable sods may be true, and you wonder whether Peter was a bit of a woman-hater. It's hard to tell when comedians are being themselves or when they're putting on an act, deliberately acting contrary, and that 'Line Of Snot' skit, the Guinness Book Of World Records skit, is a case in point. This begins as a really cool sketch, going on about the ten yard trail of snot looping, and then it suddenly degenerated into this 'I kicked and kicked for half an hour!' Jekyll and Hyde time.

The whole experience of watching the film is an odd one. The film is very dark - they didn't use any of the lights film sets generally employ - which gives it that forbidding atmosphere. It looks like they're down a mineshaft or in a cell. Uneasy viewing. It's the end of a long and close relationship, and it's ugly in places. A shame, but there it is. The record is much funnier, more entertaining, With the film, you're left wondering about the state of Peter's mind. Pete and Dud are caught in the twilight of their career together; not only does Dud seem unable to make much of a contribution to the session, he also seems to be unwilling. Saying all that, though, there are moments when Peter cracks Dud up hilariously. That's when the bitchiness stops and you see the friendship. Those instances are warm and touching. Then they go and call each other 'Cunt!' again.

After the second night we all went off to some party and got horribly drunk. I can't recall much of it since I got pretty drunk myself, although I vaguely remember Dudley trying to say some mad drunken speech. After that, Peter and I went to The Manor, which is a huge, vast place with four or five live-in staff. We had two and a half staff each. Peter would get up very early, about 5 or 6, and I'd wake up at 10 to start work by 11. He'd already had most of a bottle of wine by then. He was alright, his judgements weren't impaired, but he carried on drinking through the day. We had a good time and we got the work done. We listened to all the tapes and did lots of editing. We tightened up the material by 'losing' fluffs, stammers, pauses and giggles, and occasionally by splicing one-take of a sketch to another. 'Endangered Species' is a particular favourite of mine.

Peter would toddle off to bed by about 10 or 11 at night. He would be fairly sozzled by then because, other than working on the record, there was absolutely nothing to do at the Manor. There was a snooker table and that was about it for entertainment. If you didn't relish long strolls in wintry countryside then you had pretty much had it.

He'd wake so early because that's generally what happens when you have a skinful the night before. He may have been an insomniac, I dunno. But he was always pleasant. There was none of the verbal violence and obnoxiousness one saw in the studio. So, because of his sleep habits - or lack of them - we worked quite early in the morning. Early for me, anyway - we rock and rollers don't usually emerge from our beds till midday! We'd work through the afternoon, supper, then perhaps an hour or so after that. It was a lot of work dredging through the tapes, marking the good bits, cutting. Nowadays, with digital editing, it would take a fraction of the time. After a day's work I'd go and play snooker with the staff and Peter went off to his room. He didn't socialise particularly, but he was never rude or brusque with anyone. He smoked the entire time we were there and still liked his joints. I saw on the credits to the video - 'Herbal cigarettes by Haile Selassie'.

As for the shocking content of those Derek & Clive records, I suppose Peter just didn't care about what anyone else thought, but I think he probably needed a drink inside him to conjure up some of those statements. He didn't act like a raving nutcase when he was sober. He was perfectly nice to everybody. That part of him, to me, was him showing off when the microphone was on and he being pissed. You know, 'Right, I'll shock the fuckers!' I think there was a side of Peter that never grew up, the naughty schoolboy aspect.

It's a bit weird not having him around anymore. There are some good comedians around now but no-one's going to replace him."

 Have you joined the Peter Cook eMail List yet? If not, this could be your ideal opportunity. To see our page giving further details of the list, please select the link below (you will not leave this site).
 Peter Cook eMail List
I run ting, Anne T'ing.