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

CAPTION: Cig vicious: Pistols fan Cook.

HEADLINE: He wants to be Goering, but being Liberace would be "tasteless". PETER COOK, loveable curmudgeon and comedy doyen, is back, promoting an infamous video of Derek & Clive, the characters he created with Dudley Moore.
DAVID QUANTICK undertakes the worst job he's ever had...

Article originally printed in "New Musical Express" September 25 1993.


CREDITCREDIT: Thanks to Marilyn Burge for providing us with this article.

 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.


New Musical Express September 25 1993.


"We did this video for my company, Peter Cook Productions," drawls Peter Cook over a deadly-looking cigarette and a Bucks Fizz. "Not a company that did much. About as much as John Birt Production, in fact..."

So here I am in a Hampstead faded-posho cafe with the great Peter Cook, one of the most important figures in British comedy, the man who went from playing in Beyond The Fringe to starting Private Eye and thence forward through the '60s and '70s in splendour - and he is here to promote Derek & Clive Get The Horn a video redolent of dismalness to the max. Oh well. Let's talk about Derek & Clive for a bit. These two warped variants on Pete and Dud have, after all, been very popular.

"We did them for fun in '73 in New York and we got on to that tape which also included 'The Troggs Tape' - remember that, 'we need a f---ing 12 string'?" recalls Cook in a West Country bastard accent. "There was David Dimbleby and Harold Wilson losing his rag and saying, ' You wouldn't ask Edward heath about his yacht'. Orson Welles auditioning for the part of a frozen pea - a number of very funny tracks all on this bootleg cassette. And eventually Chris Blackwell (Island Records founder) put them out on an album."

There were three Derek & Clive albums, and this film. Cook hadn't seen Get The Horn until he and director Russell Mulcahy (Highlander, lots of pop vids) got together to edit the copious footage.

"I was quite shocked, I'd forgotten some of it," Cook admits. "I don't play those records for recreation. At my age you don't play `Derek & Clive' in the Vauxhall as a romantic background.

Or, indeed for laffs. No-one sane can possibly enjoy the awful 'c--- kicking' routine, can they?'

Cook nods. "That's the most horrible, but on the other hand, you can't re-edit it to fit in with fashion. It's like all those Bogart films where he's smoking... I'm not making the comparison, but it would be foolish to change it because it made you cringe a bit."

The video is preceded by trailers for equally excellent product by Bernard Manning and Chubby Brown. It is worse.

"Filth... Are we not under the sex education arm?" laughs Cook and then acknowledges the rampantly unpleasant misogyny of the whole thing. "One of the bits that Dudley wrote was this awful scene where I'm with the inflatable doll. I wound up slapping her round the face. It's an inflatable doll, I'm not slapping a woman. But I'd forgotten I'd done that. When the stripper comes back, she says I'm awful - an actual woman comes in and we're so embarrassed. Eventually, I remember getting rid of her by doing my impression of the c---sucker and strangling her... I edited out the footage where I stab her and put her in a bin-liner and throw her in the canal..."

Stop, our sides have split. How drunk were you when this film was made? Cook looks aghast.

"Not at all. Not any more than Dudley was drunk in Arthur. A bit of red wine in the control room... They're very easy characters to portray," he says, demonstrating by mumbling and swearing a bit. "The number of people who come up to me and go, my mates down the pub, are funnier than you. Well, why don't they do a f---ing record instead of talking to me?"

Quite. Moving on to happier topics, it seems Cook is playing a "cruel Lord" in a remake of Black Beauty and has a curious ambition.

"I've always longed to play an SS officer and I've always wanted to drive round in a jewelled tank," he drawls, louchely. "I'd like to be Goering, going round taking people's art, going round with this gigantic showbiz tank. I think I'd have silver filigree mirrors and Art Deco...

"And the uniform. I think he dressed too conservatively," says Peter, warming to his topic. "He should have veered a little bit more towards the Liberace style. I loved Liberace. I saw him at the Palladium. He was wearing tiny little Stars & Stripes shorts and moving about on stage. He said, `I can't dance but you have to admire my audacity'."

Why not play Liberace then?

"Well, Liberace. . . you have to be careful because he's dead," says Cook in an outbreak of tastefulness. "And I don't want to speak ill of the dead."

"Goering's dead;" points out photographer and accuracy man Derek Ridgers.

"I believe he is," agrees Cook. "I wasn't speaking ill of him, though, was I?"

We move on, a bit, to talk of Nazi film director Leni Riefenstahl, who Cook doesn't want to play, and then to 'Allo 'Allo.

"I mean, talk about tasteless," says Cook. "Occupied France under the Nazis..."

Does Peter Cook have any taste boundaries?

"I'm not sure I do. As I've said before, if I sat down to write something to shock - which is a pointless exercise - it would be a lot more tasteless than Derek & Clive," he declares. `But why shock everybody? Absolutely no interest in doing it. Dudley wrote a sketch on 'Derek & Clive Come Again' where he's wanking over a picture of his mum and dad, and his mum comes in, and Dudley says, `Oh, sorry, Mum, the doctor told me I've got cancer of the knob and I've got to get the pus out'. Shocking. That stretched my limits of shock to the full."

And there we have it. Follow Peter Cook and his career wherever it may take you, readers, but don't buy any Derek And Clive videos.

© "New Musical Express" September 25 1993.

Return to >>> The Spiggott

 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.