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gertrude

November 2017

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Clement

Jeremy Thorpe and Peter Cook

The death of Jeremy Thorpe will fill many column inches in the papers over the next few days. I'm old enough to remember his glory days and to have followed the scandal and prosecution which ruined him very closely. Out of this came one of my comic hero Peter Cook's best ever sketches. As I understand it, after the first performance of that year's Secret Policeman's Ball, there was criticism that it wasn't satirical enough. Stung by this, Cook went home and overnight produced this brilliant version of the judge's summing up of the case.

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Jeremy Thorpe - yes, I remember him! Crazy to think that his homosexuality meant Cyril Smith's activities were covered up for the Lib Lab pact.
No one would think anything of it now whereas Cyril Smith is rightly despised.

The murder case is a different matter, of course.
Yes. It doesn't seem so many years away, but it was a different world then.

I recall the Dog Lovers' Party springing out of the court case, and also lots of jokes about Scottie's toilet tissue.

I was still very young when the case was going on, so have only a vague memory of it, and of the scandal. But Peter Cook is brilliant in this, as in so much. Thank you for sharing it!
My pleasure!
The judge sketch still makes me laugh, every time.