See Moore of Dudley

Rare film unearthed

Rare footage of Dudley Moore, filmed before he shot to fame in Beyond The Fringe, is to be shown on BBC Four later this month.

The film shows Moore with Peter Maxwell Davies, now one of Britain’s most respected composers. At the time, both were 25, and the documentary tips them both for musical greatness.

It first aired in 1961 as part of The Arts Show Monitor and has not been seen since. It has spent the intervening 46 years languishing in the BBC archives, and has just been unearthed by chance.

The film apparently shows a remarkably well-spoken Moore – his accent belying his Dagenham council estate roots – sharing a flat in Kilburn with jazz singer Cleo Laine and her husband Johnny Dankworth.

The film shows all three of them performing together in cabaret, and shows him stumbling round Soho, apparently suffering with a colossal hangover.

Producer Francesca Kemp found the film while working on the BBC4 music series Classic Britannia

She said it indicates what an 'amazing musician Dudley was and could have become had fate not held something else in store for him'.

‘It is quite astonishing really that these two people were used in the film because there must have been dozens of young composers in Britain at the time they could have used,' she told The Observer. 'They were in no way dead certs for fame.’

The film will be shown on BBC4 on 29 June.

Published: 17 Jun 2007

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