Peter Cook & Co

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  • One-off sketch comedy TV special produced by LWT in the UK
  • What Dahl Did: provided inspiration for a “Tales of the Much As We Expected” sketch
  • Program Information:
    • Originally aired on September 14, 1980
    • Cast and crew:
      • Directed by Paul Smith
      • Written by Peter Cook and Bernard McKenna
      • Produced by Humphrey Barclay and Paul Smith
      • Starring: Peter Cook, John Cleese, Beryl Reid, Rowan Atkinson, Terry Jones, Paula Wilcox, and Robert Longden


Peter Cook & Co was a one-off sketch comedy special produced by LWT and aired in the UK on September 14, 1980. It included a sketch where Cook portrayed Roald Dahl in a Tales of the Unexpected parody called “Tales of the Much As We Expected.”

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[Tales of the Unexpected credit sequence, but changed to “Tales of the Much As We Expected”]

Peter Cook as Dahl, seated before a fire:

“Ronald was a pretty ordinary name, and until I dropped my ‘n’ nobody took a blind bit of notice. ‘Roald’ makes me sound mysterious and important. If Ronald Biggs
had called himself ‘Roald’ like me, he could have got away with daylight robbery. Like many intensely private people, I’ve always had a burning desire to be on television so the public could recognise me in the street and I could pretend to be upset. [fire spreads to carpet and begins to expand] I’m often asked what it is that sparks up my ideas, what fires my imagination. In tonight’s story we see how a desire to be famous causes an author to lose more than his head, more than his reputation, more than life itself! [shouts as he escapes]