There now follows a transcript of a TV interview with Tommy which was recorded in the 1960s.......
Interviewer: Mr Cooper, I would first of all like to thank you for joining us this evening.
Cooper: Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you.
Interviewer: Now, I would like to talk to you today about your artistic
influences. When did you first realise you were of an artistic temperament?
Cooper: My mother. I was only five at the time. She was a teetotaler. She
used to take me to meetings of the local temperance group. They all said
I was very artful.
Interviewer: Why was that?
Cooper: Because I used to slip out of the hall before the meeting got
Interviewer: I see.
Cooper: My teacher said I was artful too. Everyone said I was artful. When
I left home, at my first digs, they called me the 'artful lodger'. It was a very
artistic household but I was always very lonely there. I was always asking
Interviewer: More? Henry More, the sculptor?
Cooper: No. Maur. Maureen Green. She was the landlady's daughter. I never actually met her. I only ever heard about her.
Cooper: She had a grate reputation. In front of the fireplace, anywhere, they were always talking about her. The other lodgers tried to tell me she was a cleaning lady or something, that she worked in a laundry. I knew she was a nurse though.
Interviewer: What became of her?
Cooper: She became a singer much later. She made some records and had a couple of big hits on her hands.
Interviewer: Now perhaps we could move onto books?
Cooper: Huh...............I'm quite happy in this chair, honestly.
Interviewer: Mr Cooper, you've always been very fond of books.
Cooper: Fond? Yes, very fond. I was always fondling something or other. I was much younger then, I was.
Interviewer: Can you think of any books that made a notable impression on you?
Cooper: There was one.
Interviewer: Which was?
Cooper: No I tell a lie. There were two....
Interviewer: Two books made a notable impression on you?
Cooper: Yes, two. Can I go now?
Interviewer: Mr Cooper, the interview has hardly begun.....
Cooper: Oh! No one explained.
Interviewer: Now what were these two books?
Cooper: Which two?
Interviewer: The two that made a notable impression on you, Mr Cooper?
Cooper: Those two!
Interviewer: Yes. Those two.
Cooper: I can't remember.
Interviewer: Well, they hardly made a big impression on you then, did they?
Cooper: No, they did make a big impression on me.
Interviewer: Mr Cooper, you are a sane, intelligent human being.
Cooper: I'm sorry. I forgot.
Interviewer: What were these two books?
Cooper: How long do I get?
Cooper: How long do I get to answer the question?
Interviewer: This is not a quiz programme.
Cooper: No, I didn't mean that. I don't know why I said it. I shouldn't have asked that question.
Interviewer: Good. We're getting somewhere at last.
Cooper: What I meant to say was...........uh.............You say this isn't a quiz programme?
Interviewer: Yes. I said this isn't a quiz programme.
Cooper: Good. I don't like quiz programmes.
Interviewer: What were the two programmes?
Interviewer: I mean books.
Cooper: You're talking about books again.
Interviewer: I know I'm talking about books again! Just what were the two books that made such an impression on you?
Cooper: I don't know. I give up. What's the answer?
Interviewer: Mr Cooper, you are doing your best to provoke me.
Cooper: Scout's honour I'm not! Honestly.
Interviewer: I'm not going to lose my temper.
Cooper: God, I like a man who knows his own mind.
Interviewer: Let me start again.
Cooper: Yes, it is rather hot today, isn't it?
Interviewer: And I would like simple and direct answers to these questions, Mr Cooper.
Cooper: No trick questions?
Interviewer: You like reading?
Cooper: I like reading.
Interviewer: Good. First base.
Cooper: What sort of question is that?
Interviewer: What books made a notable impression on you?
Cooper: Take a card. Any card. Don't look at it. Don't show it to me. Just put it in your pocket.
Cooper: No don't be silly. Come on. Take a card
Interviewer: I don't know why I'm interviewing you.
Cooper: Just take a card. Yes, that's right. Now put it straight into your pocket.
Cooper: Good. Now what two books made a notable impression on me?
Interviewer: Very interesting. Neither is the sort of book that one would .....uh.......immediately associate with you, Mr Cooper.
Cooper: That's as maybe.
Interviewer: That's as maybe.
Cooper: But whenever I misbehaved in the history lessons the school teacher would tell me to bend over and whack me with whatever was nearest. They made a big impression on me. A very big impression.
Interviewer: Mr Cooper, are you trying to make an ass out of me?
Cooper: Abracadabra - Abracadeee. Zooph!
Interviewer: Most amusing.
Cooper: Oh! You're still you I see.
Interviewer: Very much so.
Cooper: That trick cost me 25p. I bought it a year ago. This was the first time I've used it. The guarantee only lasted six months.
Interviewer: I'm only going to ask you one more question, Mr Cooper.
Cooper: Friday's out. I always wash my hair that night.
Interviewer: Could we be serious for just one moment?
Cooper: That's a poor question. I thought you would at least ask me something about Greek Philosophy.
Interviewer: If I thought for a second that you knew anything about Greek Philosophy we would discuss it.
Cooper: I know plenty.
Interviewer: For example?
Cooper: You name something and I'll tell you what he says about it.
Interviewer: He? There was more than one Greek philosopher, I seem to recall.
Cooper: Was there? I only know the one.
Interviewer: Plato? Socrates? Heraclitus?
Cooper: No. Aristotle.
Interviewer: Ah! Aristotle.
Cooper: We call him Ari for short.
Interviewer: Very familiar.
Cooper: He wouldn't have us call him anything else.
Interviewer: Aristotle has been dead for two thousand years!
Cooper: He has been looking a little under the weather lately.
Interviewer: Who are you talking about? Tell me that!
Cooper: Ari Galapagos.
Interviewer: Ari Galapagos!?
Cooper: He has the best kebab stall in Victoria. The kebabs are out of this world. He never has any in stock. The mousaka sundae is a sight for sore eyes. Don't try eating it, but if you have tired of sore eyes it'll work wonders. His speciality though is the cheese and tomato sandwich ............. if the bread's available, that is. If it isn't, well, he'll give you a tomato and a postcard of the Cheddar Gorge. You can gorge yourself on that. Very filling.
Interviewer: And what pearls of wisdom can Mr Ari Galapagos offer?
Cooper: All sorts of things. He has views on everything. He's very good on business philosophy.
Cooper: Old Greek proverbs like 'When the winds echo in the cash register the olive tree withers'.
Interviewer: I really think I've heard enough.
Cooper: 'The salad dressing which shuns the oil has no oil'.
Interviewer: Was that directed at me?
Cooper: 'Ask not for whom the mousaka overcooks. It overcooks for thee'.
Interviewer: I should have learnt my lesson by now, Mr Cooper.
Cooper: 'Once kebabed. Twice frittered'.
Interviewer: Enough of this. You've demonstrated to our viewers this evening - quite conclusively, I may add - that your intelligence is on a par with your conjuring ability.
Cooper: I knew I'd forgotten something.
Interviewer: Now in case there are any lingering doubts in the minds of our audience I propose to ask you one final question.
Cooper: I told you, I wash my hair on Friday nights.
Interviewer: Who, Mr Cooper, is the present Queen of England?
Cooper: That's a tough question.
Interviewer: To you it may be.
Cooper: Can I confer on this one?
Interviewer: You can do whatever you like as long as you give me an answer in one minute.
Cooper: No one told me I was going to be asked a question like that.
Interviewer: You have forty-five seconds left.
Cooper: Take that card out of your pocket.
Interviewer: Very well. Forty seconds.
Cooper: What card is it?
Interviewer: The Queen of Hearts. Thirty seconds.................
Cooper: Now turn the card over.
Interviewer: Twenty seconds..............
Cooper: What is written in the corner?
Interviewer: Uh .......... ten sec-!
Interviewer: The name Elizabeth.
Cooper: There you are. Queen Elizabeth.
Interviewer: But it's a trick!
Cooper: That's the name of the game!
Interviewer: But .....
Cooper: Fancy a cheese and tomato at Ari Galapagos' stall?
Interviewer: What a good idea.
Cooper: Yes, come on. We'll get a drink as well.