Until this week’s episode is posted, this will be the last “Moments of Wonder” for a while. I hope you’ve enjoyed your interlude with the dauntless Philomena Cunk (“Who are you and what are you an expert in or of?”); I know I have!
In this episode Philomena tells us that “Moh-neh” is simply the best way of telling us how much money we’ve got. (Her pronounciation of “money” is almost as good as that of “monkey”.) Diane Morgan (the real name of La Cunk) is terrific at playing the obtuse interrogator.
The British edition of Esquire had an article about Philomena last year, which includes these bits:
A spoof on the awed-up school of documentary presentation as pioneered by Professor Brian Cox, Philomena makes her yapping-head co-star Barry Shitpeas seem like Alain de Botton. And she is fast becoming a cult figure.
Now people stop Bolton comic actress Diane Morgan, who plays Philomena, in the street for photos. “They want me to Cunk it up, so I have to practice looking a bit thicker,” say Morgan. “Sadly, it’s not that difficult.”
Well, I take issue with the implied praise of de Botton, but I do love the phrase “Cunk it up” (which I’ll henceforth be using here), as well as Morgan’s addendum, “Sadly, it’s not that difficult.”
Philomena Cunk appeared as a foil for Barry Shitpeas, himself a spoof on the nano-celebrity rentaquotes who used to populate shows like I Love 2003. “She’s basically me if I had the nerve to stop pretending to be clever,” says Morgan. “She’s my braver, stupider twin. None of us want to admit that we don’t really understand the news or science or anything much really. We’re all just winging it. The difference with Philomena is, she doesn’t pretend.”