So, farewell then . . . Peter Cook

Peter Cook, one of the most significant influences on British comedy of the last 35 years, died yesterday aged 57. He suffered a gastrointestinal haemorrhage in the intensive-care unit of the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north London.

A genuine sense of loss accompanied his death, as stars lined up to pay tribute to both the man and his comic legacy.

Caustic, cruel but genuinely and effortlessly witty, Cook was one of the prime architects of the satire boom of the Sixties, achieving fame first in the revue Beyond The Fringe, with Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett and Jonathan Miller, then in the television comedy sketch show Not Only But Also, starring himself and Moore.

He founded the Establishment clubs in London and New York, and financed and wrote for the satirical magazine Private Eye, whose obituary writer, EJ Thribb, was one of his inventions.

While Moore went on to stardom in Hollywood, Cook's career seemed to flounder in the Eighties and the formerly lean comedian grew fat as his health deteriorated with a diet that could include lager for breakfast.

Veteran comic Eric Sykes said that "a bright light" had gone out, but added: "Of course, Alan Bennett has done very well, and Dudley Moore has done very well, and Peter didn't. But I think that was because he was not prepared to do what other people wanted."

Cook married his third wife Lin Chong Cook, a freelance property consultant, five years ago. In keeping with his eccentric lifestyle he lived 100 yards away from her.

THE WIT AND WISDOM OF A COMIC GENIUS n Pete and Dud visiting the National Gallery: "I saw the Leonardo cartoon. Didn't get the bloody joke."

n On his Cambridge contemporaries Michael Howard and Kenneth Clarke: "It's a bit distressing when you find them all running the country. They were all so self-important at 20, that you would have thought they'd have grown out of it."

n On insulting Zsa Zsa Gabor on a chat show: "She didn't say anything afterwards. She just went off in a chauffeur- driven huff."

n What he did in the small hours: Rang radio phone-ins posing as Sven, a Norwegian fisherman with a Scottish accent.

n On whether his career had lost its way: "I suppose I might have some regrets, but I can't remember what they are."

n On going into hospital last week: "I feel a bit poorly."

Obituary, page 12

Second Section front, page 17

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Maths Teacher

£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher (mater...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for an ...

Maths Teacher

£22000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: A West Yorkshire School i...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week