Plaque unveiled for Hampstead's Peter Cook

Tan Parsons COMEDIANS joined friends and family of Hampstead s much-loved comedian Peter Cook for the unveiling of a commemorative plaque. Sunday s ceremony was held at the home of The Establishment club in Greek Street, Soho, which Mr Cook founded with h

Tan Parsons

COMEDIANS joined friends and family of Hampstead's much-loved comedian Peter Cook for the unveiling of a commemorative plaque.

Sunday's ceremony was held at the home of The Establishment club in Greek Street, Soho, which Mr Cook founded with his friend Nicholas Luard in 1961.

The plaque reads: "Peter Cook 1937-1995 comedian and "only twin" co-founded and ran The Establishment club here 1961-1964."


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The venue gave budding comedians and satirists the opportunity to perform new material in a prime London setting.

Among those who appeared were Lenny Bruce, Barry Humphries (as Dame Edna Everage), and the Dudley Moore Trio.

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Hampstead's self-proclaimed village idiot "Rainbow" George Weiss attended Sunday's ceremony in honour of his former friend and neighbour.

"He was a wizard," said Mr Weiss. "I'm sure he is out there watching what he left behind. He is still rightly regarded as a central figure of British comedy.

"I think the plaque is a fitting tribute and I hope very much that they will put plaques up at the houses where he lived in Hampstead - in Perrins Walk and Church Row before that."

Mr Weiss was a member of Mr Cook's fictional "What" party and was proclaimed Mr Cook's Minister of Confusion.

Heritage Foundation director David Graham said: "I was running around like a headless chicken at the unveiling. People were there from the national press and film crews too.

"Peter had a massive influence on modern comedy. After he died, he was being hailed as a comic genius.

"It is a bit sad that once we lose someone, only then do we realise how great they were.

"We should appreciate people like this more in their lifetime. We should appreciate the talent we have got - when we have got them.

"But at least with this new plaque, we are doing something to remember the great, late Peter Cook."

The club closed in 1964 but in March 2008, it was renamed Zebrano's. After some persuasion by a small group of Peter Cook devotees, the owners agreed to reinstate "The Establishment" in writing above the door.

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