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BBC to air Cook and Moore's fictional Bible sketches

Clips from The Dead Sea Tapes by late comedians Peter Cook (pictured above left) and Dudley Moore (right) will be broadcast in a BBC Four documentary next Wednesday evening.

The broadcaster is promising a "fascinating and unique hour of television" after Peter Cook's widow, Lin, allowed a crew access to his previously locked and untouched home in north London, where the material was kept.

It features fictional characters including tailors who recall how Jesus liked to have his clothes cut and a physician called to pronounce Lazarus dead but is left embarrassed after he is raised back to life.

The Dead Sea Tapes were recorded by Cook and Moore during a tour of the United States in 1963 but were judged to be unbroadcastable over concerns about blasphemy laws both sides of the Atlantic.

Writer and television producer Victor Lewis-Smith made the discovery searching through Cook's home in Hampstead after Lin convinced him to make a documentary about her late husband.

Lewis-Smith told the Radio Times: "Such laws were still strictly enforced in those days, although now the religious satire seems fairly mild, even affectionate."

"There's no shocking language of the kind found on their 70s Derek and Clive records, just Peter and Dudley playing - for example - tailors recalling how Jesus liked to have his cloths cut ('immaculate') and discussing the miracles that their customers had performed."

Peter Cook died in 1995, seven years before Dudley Moore.

The BBC declined to comment when asked its reaction to the suggestion some Christians might consider Dudley Moore and Peter Cook's The Dead Sea Tapes irreverent.

The Undiscovered Peter Cook will be aired on BBC Four next Wednesday at 10pm.

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