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Kremlin backs revival of Peter Cook’s subversive comedy club – The Times

A young Peter Cook in the audience at the Establishment Club in the 1960sGetty Images

When Peter Cook founded the Establishment Club in 1961, he dreamt of fostering a new era of satirical comedy.

The Soho nightclub hosted early performances by the American comedian Lenny Bruce and Barry Humphries’ Melbourne housewife, Dame Edna Everage, and launched the careers of the satirists John Bird and John Fortune.

The anarchic atmosphere captured the rebellious spirit of the 1960s, which makes its new home more surprising. From next year an Establishment Club television show will be on RT, the Russian state-owned network known for the on-air resignation of news presenters at odds with Kremlin policies.

The series will be hosted by Keith Allen, the comedian and actor, and is being trailed as an alternative to “toothless” BBC satire. It will showcase new comedians…

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