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Not Only But Always (Channel 4 2004, Rhys Ifans, Aidan McArdle)

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In the early 1960’s brutishly witty Peter Cook is introduced to Dudley More by Jonathan Miller to put together a revue (along with the legendary Alan Bennett) for the Edinburgh Festival, their satirical diatribes strike a chord and the quartet are soon taking England by storm; Pete and Dud’s relationship is rocky at best but the pair manage to create a TV legend with their Not Only But Also and attempt to break into the movies in a series of hit and miss ventures, later Dud decides to go it alone in Hollywood, hitting the big time in Arthur and a whole raft of other big time movies whilst Cook spends his days drinking and making calls to late night radio shows…

Pete and Dud have quite rightly acquired Godlike status in the eyes of TV and Comedy aficionado’s, this production tracks their relationship from their first meeting to the eventual decline and death of the pair.

Writer, director Terry Johnson (who tackled another troubled TV relationship – that of Sid James and Barbara Windsor in Cor Blimey) uses the interesting framing device of a Rosencrantz and Guildenstern style Pete and Dud looking over the proceedings as their lives unfold.

Their relationship, seen pretty much only from the point of view of Cook, is pictured as highly self destructive (but then again so are most of Cook’s other relationships), Cook always putting Moore down and is bitter and resentful when Moore finds success in Hollywood.

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There is a real streak of melancholy that runs right through the heart of Not Only But Always, neither Cook or Moore seem to have spent much of their lives satisfied with their lot.

production details
UK / Channel 4 – Company Pictures / 1×100 minute episode / Broadcast 30 December 2004

Writer: Terry Johnson / Book: Harry Thompson / Script Editor: Jack Williams / Music: Colin Towns / Executive Producers: George Faber, Charles Pattinson / Producers: Alison Jackson / Directors: Terry Johnson

cast
Rhys Ifans as Peter Cook
Aidan McArdle as Dudley Moore
Jodie Rimmer as Wendy
Daphne Cheung as Lin Chong
Camilla Power as Judy Huxtable
Alan Cox as Alan Bennett
Jonathan Aris as Jonathan Miller
Joanna Morrison as Dawn
Josephine Davison as Eleanor Bron
Richard Durden as Proctor
Robin Soans as Mr Boylett
Tandi Wright as Julie Andrews
Brett O’Gorman as David Frost
David Sterne as Tea-Bag
Charmaine Guest as Violin Girl
Derek Payne as Audience Member
David Aston as Upper Class Man
John Leigh as Joe McGrath
Owen Black as Michael Peacock
Cameron Smith as Nick Leard
Andrew Conlon as Lewis Marley
Mary O’Riordan as TV Assistant
Charlotte Rasmussin as Lucy
Alexandra Hassell as Daisy
Patrick Wilson as Immigration Officer
Jon Brazier as Hotel Clerk
Michael Saccente as NY Cab Driver
Peter Feeney as Chat Show Host
Tim Balne as NY Club Compere
Charles Pierard as Eamonn Andrews
Ewen Gilmour as Therapist
Alistair Browning as Blake Edwards
John Glass as TV Executive
Elizabeth Hawthorne as Joan Rivers
Peter Rowley as Bernard Manning
Katrina Devine as TV Showbiz Reporter
Anthony Starr as LA Cab Driver
Tim Raby as Clive Anderson

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Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

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