Peter Cook & Dudley Moore

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

Peter Cook & Dudley Moore Pencil Portrait
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The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.


A3 Pencil Print-Price £60.00-Purchase

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Last update: 9/12/17

Whilst I might personally consign the pair’s three largely improvised and provocatively obscene spoken-word “Derek & Clive” albums to the waste skip – more so for being essentially unfunny rather than the liberal use of the C-word throughout – there’s no denying in my mind that Peter Cook and Dudley Moore were geniuses in their chosen entertainment fields. Peter would no doubt have chastised me for not using the precise plural “genii,” whilst Dudley would have instantly composed a song around the word. They were that razor sharp.

As a writer and satirist Peter had few equals, whilst Dudley was a phenomenal jazz pianist and no mean slouch as a composer. If all they represent to you are grainy black and white clips on Not Only…But Also,” then you need to undertake some serious re-evaluation of the pair.

Of course, Dudley Moore wasn’t just a truly original comedian and star of stage, television and the Hollywood screen, he was also a successful classical musician and highly accomplished jazz pianist and composer. In fact, if I’m honest, the average person’s perception of Dudley annoys the hell out of me. For sure, he was a funny guy but Jeez, was he one shit hot musician!! An organ scholar at Magdalene College Oxford in the 1950s, he was a fine classical pianist, composer and sight reader but became better known for his jazz playing and comedy. His musical personality was as distinct as his comedic voice. It was amazing that he found time to do all these things brilliantly and give happiness to millions of people in so many different ways. The following link contains a fascinating interview Dudley gave to Les Tomkins in 1966 – thankfully preserved in the National Jazz Archive – about his education, experience and contemporaries. [Click on READ MORE to expand.]

Recommended viewing

An Audience with Dudley Moore (Network DVD)

Dagenham’s finest was honoured with an “Audience With” show by ITV in 1981. A cameo from Peter Cook as “Pete” to Moore’s “Dud” sets the tone and Dudley at the piano is the centrepiece. The star studded audience features Lulu, Rolf Harris, Clive James, Michael Grade, The Beverley Sisters, Dickie Davies, Robert Powell and Martin Shaw, and the then newly-formed Game For A Laugh team are in there too. Part of the fun of these shows is the celeb spotting, although the age of the show often means this can be a rather sad experience, some of the illustrious gathering having since passed away.

Moore blends music and comedy in a satisfying show that seems to be over too soon. A couple of movie scenes from Arthur appear along with a special performance from Christopher Cross. Describing the show as Any Questions meets a Nuremberg Rally, Moore fields queries from amongst others, his former Oxford tutor Dr Bernard Rose, Lance Percival, Bob Hoskins and Henry Kelly.

The main extra is an edition of The South Bank Show (sadly sans title sequence) from 1993 entitled Dudley Moore – Times Remembered.’ It provides an interesting companion piece tracing Moore’s journey from his Dagenham roots through university to his celebrated work with Peter Cook and his film career with Blake Edwards. The great and the good are gathered together in a film which concentrates on the musical side of Moore, whose skills as a pianist were much underrated.