Fans of Peter Cook should delight in his 1990 return to television, "A Life In Pieces". A 12-part series of short interviews with Arthur Streeb-Greebling conducted by Ludovic Kennedy, broadcast at Christmas and themed around "the twelve days of Christmas". Kennedy is pitch-perfect. At the time he was a highly-respected 'serious' broadcaster known for interviewing politicians so it is a delight to have him playing along (rather than another comedian acting the role).
The credit sequence sets us up for a parody of portentous (late-night or early Sunday morning) religious/spiritual-type broadcasting. In fact the parody element is minor and the tone of the piece is more often surreal, full of improvised banter and non-sequitur. Quotable and most successful in the sustaining of the character throughout 12 rambling shaggy-dog type reminiscences, without the need for too many conventional 'jokes' or punch lines. The pieces are occasionally laugh-out-loud funny but generally quite meandering. Perhaps most immediately funny is "5 Gold Rings", Arthur divulging the time he ran in the Olympics for Barbados "because Hitler asked me to".
After watching these (perhaps at Christmas) it is worth tracking down the later radio interviews conducted by Chris Morris, "Why Bother?"
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