DUDLEY MOORE by Peter Cook
(From the Behind The Fridge theatre programme, 1971)
Dudley Moore was born in Dagenham in 1935 which makes him some
three years older than myself; despite the use of heavy make-up
and yearly visits to a Swiss clinic, this age difference is readily
apparent to the perceptive observer (namely me). He was educated
(and I use the word in the loosest possible sense) at a local grammar
school. Having failed in his attempt to become a pole vaulting champion
he turned his attention to music; by diligent study, or possibly
bribery, he won an Organ Scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford.
It was here, through mingling with his betters (not me, I was at
Cambridge) that he acquired his somewhat effete upper class accent.
At Oxford he divided his time between the serious study of his
classical organ, and the futile pursuit of women. It was for the
latter reason that he took up jazz, his main influences being Oscar
Peterson, Errol Garner and Mae West.
In 1959 came his first stroke of real luck; he met me, and together
with Jonathon Miller and Alan Bennet we wrote and performed "Beyond
the Fringe", which ran for four years in London and three years
Since returning from America in 1964, we have worked on several
series of "Not Only, But Also". Out of a feeling of charity
I have also managed to secure him supporting roles with me in such
films as "Bedazzled", "Monte Carlo or Bust"
and "The Bed Sitting Room".
Like many smallish men (Napoleon, Adolf Hitler, to name but two)
Dudley has a superficial charm and warmth that deceive many. Underneath
lurks a demented sadist, capable in private of unspeakable deeds.
It is my personal belief that his secret ambition is to initiate
World War Three. I can only hope that my unfailing modesty and tact
may prevent this disaster for a few years to come.
We present a couple of audio numbers by Dudley Moore:
Even if Jazz isn't really your bag "Song
For Suzy" by the Dudley Moore Trio is still well worth
a listen - you never know it might even stir an interest.
My favourite Derek & Clive ditty is "Little
Flo" from Derek & Clive(Live).
[ Download: Song
For Suzy mp3|2m20s|2.14mb ]
[ Download: Little
Flo mp3|0m13s|214kb ]