Saturday, December 07, 2013

Peter Cook nearly fought Hampstead for the Liberal Democrats

One of the perks of helping out with Liberal Democrat News at the party's conference was that I got to talk about The Archers with Jock Gallagher, who used to edit the programme, and comedy with Adrian Slade.

Adrian was the man who auditioned Peter Cook for the Cambridge Footlights. I remember him saying that Cook was the funniest person he had ever met. You would spend the whole evening with him laughing, but the next morning you wouldn't be able to remember what it was he had said.

Today I picked up a copy Something Like Fire: Peter Cook Remembered. Edited by his wife Lin, it contains tributes to Cook by many people who knew him.

One of those people is Adrian Slade, and he tells a story about Cook I had not heard before:
He had always felt more at home with the Liberals than any other party and he told me that he relished the idea of taking on Glenda Jackson, who had just become Labour candidate for Hampstead. The Hampstead Liberal Democrat candidacy was still vacant and for a short time he was on the verge of being persuaded by me to put himself forward for the next general election (1992). Discussions had become almost official when a new project intervened and he backed away. It would have been an intriguing and explosive contest.

1 comment:

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Yep, I was in and around NW3 (and especially the Cruel Sea, now deceased) at that period. What amazes there is that Cook was sober enough, long enough to have "discussions" on anything.