News Fortune was at his best in the Long Johns' sketches that poked fun at authority

John Fortune was the comedian and satirist best known for his work on the long-running television comedy series Bremner, Bird and Fortune, together with fellow comics Rory Bremner and John Bird, that ran for 16 series from 1999 to 2010.

Letter: Lasdun for the National Theatre

Sir: We, Emeritus, past and present Professors of Architecture, join in strongly endorsing Jonathan Glancey's plea in "The secret facelift: can you see the join?" (30 July) that the trustees of the National Theatre should henceforth employ its architect, Sir Denys Lasdun, at least as a formal consultant in their moves to upgrade this widely acclaimed monument of drama and of architecture, particularly by the young in heart.

Comedy Les Patterson Whitehall Theatre, London

If character comedy is the new vogue in stand-up, then its eager exponents should take a night off from their Edinburgh rehearsals, whip out an exercise book and get down to Whitehall for a Barry Humphries masterclass. There they will find Humphries holding court with his lesser-known but equally sublime creation, Dr Sir Lesley Colin Patterson, Australia's Cultural Attache to the Court of St James and mutant scatological half-brother of Dame Edna Everage.

The wives and times of cuddly Dudley

Dudley Moore, organ scholar and Sixties comedy icon, rode to Hollywood on a wave of popularity, but now his love life occasions more comment than his screen career. Perhaps it's time the Essex boy came home. By Daniel Jeffreys

Life after the black polo-neck

A year ago this week, on 21 June 1995, The Late Show finally departed from our screens. After more than 1,000 editions, six years of strutting its stuff, and a host of brainy presenters, the wolf had howled its last, leaving half a million viewers without their regular cultural fix. No more Sarah Dunant, no more Tracey MacLeod, no more carefree cantering through apparently unrelated fields, no more bust-ups between Keats and Dylan, no more double bills with Newsnight. Michael Jackson, the programme's former editor and now Controller of BBC2, was philosophical. "I am very proud of The Late Show's achievements," he said. "But nothing lasts for ever." Twelve months on, Ariadne Birnberg looks for solace in the current crop of arts programmes

Advice from the 'overqualified'

CASE STUDY

Stephen Johnson and Edward Seckerson compare notes on...

double play; Sibelius: Violin Concerto; Serenades; Humoresque Anne-Sophie Mutter, Staatskapelle Dresden / Andre Previn (DG 447 895 2); 'Intimate is the last word I'd use to describe Mutter - in your face, more like it' 'All that over-heated, over-larded zigeuner-schmaltz is frankly inappropriate here'

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Peter Edward Cook, writer and entertainer

Peter Edward Cook, writer and entertainer. Born Torquay, 17 November, 1937; died London, 9 January, 1995

Yesterday's man, today's hot spot

At a glittering ceremony in the Canary Wharf Ballroom Suite last night, the prizes were awarded in the 1995 Independent Awards of the Year during a presentation that will never be forgotten by those who stayed awake until the end. As the waiters passed among the star-studded tables doling out generous office sandwiches from their rural baskets, the chairman of Independent Newspapers, Lord Shareholder, rose to address the audience and spoke as follows:

For the love of an armadillo

"I'm quite a good liar," says Stephen Fry, "and I think that helps enormously." The cerebral star refers not to credit-card fraud or even temporary disappearance, but to his skill at Perudo, a dice game requiring poker-style bluff and deception. Long fashionable among the clubs and bars of Soho, Perudo has moved out of the shadows this year with a new distribution deal and its first National Championships, which take place next week.

INTERVIEW: DUDLEY MOORE

Turning 60, the death of Peter Cook, some naff movies and messy relationships have had a curious shrinking effect upon Dudley Moore. Perhaps his new appetite for the classics will help increase his stature.

Letter: Clarity on the Clapham omnibus

From Mr Peter Cook

Television: Too good to be continued

CHANNEL 4's My So-Called Life is the new luxury soap from the makers of thirtysomething. If you hadn't read this in the paper, you could have guessed it. The title has the same evocative precision. The setting is familiar (the leafy suburbs of Sophisticatesville, USA), and so is the look - muted and grainy, a sort of modern sepia. When a long-married couple are in bed, talking, earnestly, and the man is wearing a weathered coral T-shirt, you know you're in the land of Hope and Michael. Except that the central figure is their daughter, Angela, 15.

DEATH OF A SLACKER

A MESSY HAMPSTEAD living-room in the early hours of a mid-Eighties morning. Stacks of hippie records and yellowing newspapers line the walls. Cigarette ash is scattered on the stained shag pile. The television blinks. Peter Cook sits tired-eyed on a G-Plan sofa with his back to a floor-to- ceiling mural of an autumn forest. His friend and neighbour George Weiss, whose house this is, sits opposite him, smoking a joint and tugging at his straggly grey beard. A reel-to-reel tape-recorder in an alcove across the room turns as they talk. There is a knock on the door. Weiss goes to answer it, returning with a local tramp called Bronco John. He is wet - rain falls heavily outside in the mews - and carrying his habitual teabags. He is breathless and excited.
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