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Roger Cook (born 6 April 1943 in New Zealand) is an investigative presenter, reporter and broadcaster.

Contents

Biography

He was born in New Zealand but was brought up in Australia,[1] and began his career with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as a reporter and newsreader on both radio and television. In 1968, he joined the UK's BBC Radio 4's The World At One, and subsequently worked on several BBC radio and television programmes, including PM, Nationwide, and Newsnight.

Checkpoint

In 1971 he created and first presented the Radio 4 programme Checkpoint, which specialised in investigating and exposing criminals and con-men. One 1979 programme about notorious rock manager Don Arden proved to be a colourful encounter. 'When you fight the champion you go 15 rounds, you've got to be prepared to go the whole way,' Arden tells Cook: 'I'll take you with one hand strapped up my arse. You're not a man, you're a creep.' 1

The Cook Report

In 1985 he moved to Central and presented The Cook Report. The show is best remembered for Cook's trademark confrontations with his targets, complete with the camera crew, in which they would often get verbally and physically abused. The Cook Report ran regularly until 1998, when dwindling budgets led ITV Network Centre to cancel the show. The show returned for a one hour special entitled "Roger Cook's Greatest Hits," in which Cook revisited previous stories in October 2007.

Roger Cook has also held a Visiting Professorship at the Centre for Broadcasting and Journalism at Nottingham Trent University.

Roger Cook was interviewed about his latest book on BBC Radio 5 Live on Monday 5 November 2007, on the Stephen Nolan show.

Parodies

Roger Cook has been parodied by many comedians such as Benny Hill and Reeves and Mortimer. In the eighties his 'Checkpoint' series got its sitcom counterpart in BBC Radio 4's Delve Special, where investigative journalist David Lander, played by Stephen Fry, doorstepped many a villain. When Roger Cook's investigations moved to television, so did his parody, in Channel 4's This is David Lander, which was followed later by Tony Slattery taking over the central role in This is David Harper. Many of Lander and Harper's investigations were based on reports made by Cook, Panorama and World in Action [1]

A puppet version of Cook also appeared in the satirical series Spitting Image. In one such sketch he goes to the Heavenly Gates and confronts God as if He were a crooked estate agent who promised land to the Jews, only to offer the same land to the Arabs under the name of Allah.

Personal Life

He has been married twice, first for 5 years whilst he was still living in Australia. He married his second wife Frances in 1983, they have a daughter Belinda born 1985.

Trivia

Roger Cook is mentioned in the lyrics of Sheriff Fatman on Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine's 1989 debut album, 101 Damnations. The relevant line is: someone call up Roger Cook and the United Nations.

References

  1. ^ Pepper, D (1998-08-16). "Roger Cook: 'I think I passed my brain going the other way'". The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/travel-passport--roger-cook-i-think-i-passed-my-brain-going-the-other-way-1172038.html. Retrieved 2009-08-11.  

External links

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