Peter Cook (born in Torquay on 17 November 1937) was, without doubt, one of the most intelligent wits of his or any other generation. Yet despite his obvious talent, his film and television output was erratic at best. This is especially true in the decades following his 1960s creative peak, when projects became relatively sporadic and his behaviour increasingly unpredictable (Cook himself often admitted that his ambition ran out at the age of 24). Nevertheless, Cook’s legacy is some of the finest comedy to have been produced in Britain. His influence on the British comedy scene remains immense.
A child of the Cambridge Footlights, Cook came to prominence between 1960 and 1963 with Beyond the Fringe, the stage comedy revue featuring himself and fellow Oxbridge students Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett and Jonathan Miller.
The four ‘satirists’ (as they became labelled) moved into television with less than enthusiastically-received appearances in the first three episodes of the… read more