To make a show about Pete and Dud almost unwatchable

Not Only... But Also - Series 1, episode 6, 20th March 1965 - Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, with Peter Sellers and T-Bone Walker.

is a British TV art form.

Finally got around to watching Channel 4’s programme of recently found clips from Peter Cook and Dudley Moore and I almost wish I hadn’t, it was awful.

I don’ watch stuff live, unless it’s absolutely necessary, I don’t even know why people do, why sit through adverts, why sit through pundits, why wait until next week for the next episode?

The thing is I don’t end up watching those that I’ve recorded that soon after they were broadcast. They just sit there on the hard drive, in the little box, gathering dust, or in the case of Channel 4’s “Peter Cook & Dudley Moore’s Missing Sketches” going off.

It was everything that is wrong with this type of TV programme, all rolled up in one hour of blood pressure rising awfulness. An hour of Pete and Dud, what could be better, anything, anything but this. First up it wasn’t an hour of them, no it was actually very little of them.

So much of the hour is taken up by Rob Brydon telling us, repeatedly, what is either coming up or what has just gone. And I mean repeatedly, he starts with what’s coming up and before every advert break and then after every advert break he tells us… what’s coming up. After the advert break there’s also time for him to tell us what happened before the advert break.

You are of course given forewarning of how awful it was going to be in the intro when it showed what was coming up and it was talking heads.

Now some of them yes they should have been on, Dick Clement after all was there, he produced “Not Only… But Also” and Barry Humphries was part of the original BBC series and the two shows the pair did for Australian TV, bits of which were shown here.

People that were there and part of it yes, that works, people who weren’t are pretty much a needless waste of time. Filler. I mean Ron Wood, yes he may have been mates with the pair, but he looked like Guy Goma in the studio. He looks startled at the best of times but he genuinely looked like he didn’t have clue why he was there.

To top it off though, even worse than all the repeats and the insipid talking bleedin’ ‘eads, it was the inclusion if the worst thing that has ever happened to British TV documentaries….

Watching people watching what you tuned in to watch.

Do I want to watch these unseen for 50 years Pete and Dud clips? Of course not, I want to watch Josie Lawrence fake laughing as she claps like a seal while she watches the clips.

Yup it’s up there with a clip being shown that we can’t hear because the announcer is telling us how funny it is or how good on the piano Dud was.

So we basically saw very little uninterrupted Pete and Dud and a lot of filler, more filler than a newsreader who has just seen herself on 4k.

You can find the first episode of the Australian show on YouTube, far from being unseen for 45 years. It’s funny seeing the duo and Humphries playing camp actors, I’m surprised they’re even allowed to show it today.

Anyway, there’s plenty of Pete and Dud on teh interweb, so if you haven’t watched the Channel 4 show do yourself a favour and don’t bother. Yes Dudley Moore corpsing, while Peter Cook has that glint in his eye of a man that knows he’s got his prey, is one of the greatest things in comedy but it’s still not worth watching this abortion of a programme.

Not only Peter Cook and Dudley Moore… but also Peter Sellers and T-Bone Walker…

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