Philomena Cunk on Money

February 28, 2015 • 2:45 pm

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.”

And this:

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.”


20 thoughts on “Philomena Cunk on Money

  1. I always loath the shows where talented actors interview unwitting people and secretly ridicule, but the wonderful Ms Cunk (may her name be kept holy) is not doing that. –As she says, we’re all just winging it.

    How does a computer know what money looks like? How does in know?
    Well, the, ah, how does it recognize anything? How does a computer um…recognize…..
    So you don’t know…
    Well you know in principle but you don’t know in detail, no…

    The look on the poor fellow’s face is priceless.

  2. I was fortunate or unfortunate to be in Briton when they changed their money system. For a long time the question was, are you ready for new pence. So after spending a year and a half or more learning the old money and making change from a 5 pound note for something costing 3 pounds 5 shillings and 10 pence, suddenly it changed and any idiot could do it. I felt right at home.

    1. I was a lowly accounts clerk in old money times and became skilled at adding up L s d ledger columns in my head. What a sad waste that seems now. And all those lusted-after Olivetti adding machines with handles consigned to the scrap heap on 15 February 1971! It saddens the heart.

      1. From a recent book, ‘Letters of Note’ by Shaun Usher:
        a 1943 note from Sir Archibald Clerk Kerr, H.M. Ambassador to Moscow, to Lord Reginald Pembroke:

        In these dark days man tends to look for little shafts of light that spill from Heaven. . .So I propose to share with you a tiny flash that has illuminated my sombre life. . .God has given me a new Turkish colleague whose card tells me that he is called Mustapha Kunt. We all feel like that, Reggie, now and then, especially when Spring is upon us, but few of us would care to put it on our cards. It takes a Turk to do that.

  3. Just finished watching all of them and found a heap of other short pieces such as movie reviews. She is definitely one of the best.
    I did hope however that after filming she explained to the interviewees that it was a joke. I am sure they would love it.
    The endings where she describes what is on next weeks show are priceless. Where she is looking at trees and asking ‘What are these and why are they everywhere’ and ‘Where does your lap go when you stand up’.

  4. I was surprised to hear the announcer on BBC Radio 3 this morning introducing a violin concerto by ‘Cunk’ just how talented is this woman? I wondered. Turns out it was by Bozidar Kunc, a Croatian composer who was brother to the great soprano Zinka Milanov. Milanov changed her name when she moved to the U S ‘for professional reasons’. However Kunk’s daughter is also asoprano and has released CDs on her own label ‘Ivana Kunc’.

  5. I knew a guy at school called Francois Kunc, but pronounced like Koontz (I think he spelled it Kunç but apparently no longer). Just G88gled him, he’s a judge now.

Leave a Reply