Philip Richard (P. Ric., or “Prick”) Knobinson-Canute is a journalist best known for his weekly column, “Last Orders,” in the high end magazine, “Fox and Turf,” and also notorious for a feckless and chaotic career and life of alcohol abuse.
He became associated with the louche and bohemian atmosphere that existed in London’s Soho district, Glasgow’s Merchant City, and Milton Keynes, “Cock and Bull Bar,” the hang out for the new city’s literati, in the early seventies.
Early Life to Present:
Knobinson’s father, Lord Freire Knobinson-Canute was the hereditary Lord traditionally tasked to clear animal excrement from path the Monarch of the United Kingdom if they had to walk on public paths. This role was made largely symbolic in the late 20th century , though was more recently reinstated for Prince Philip’s 1998 visit to Liverpool. This reinstatement of the role (taken up by P. Ric’s older brother Arthur), led to the resignation of the Prince’s advisor for insensitivity after riots and Liverpool temporarily leaving the Commonwealth. This led to the famous Tony Blair brokered Liverpool Peace Deal on Ash Wednesday that year.
Knobinson’s mother was the Opera Singer, Dame Ethel Appleby, who famously said about the Beatles in the early sixties, “They are common Cockroaches for plebs.” Appleby left her husband in the late sixties, and joined the famous Andy Warhol led Operatic Society, “Quod Fabrication,” had an affair with Lou Reed, the singer with The Velvet Underground, and was found dead in Hotel Chelsea, New York, lobby after a session of snorting cognac with William Burroughs.
Knobinson attended Abbotts Chalmsley school for Boys in Chelmsford, for two and a half weeks, but the Principal ordered him onto a train back to London as he was, “Quite simply, uneducatable.” His mother home tutored him until he attended Cambridge, majoring in the Literature of Henry Miller, Anais Nin and William Wordsworth.
When he left University, he was given a job on The Times, through a contact of his Father’s. He reported mainly on Debutante events and Public School sporting events for around a year before, as he put it in one of his later columns for “Fox and Turf;”
“I discovered jazz, women, gin, hashish, vodka, wine, my penis and that my father had a huge stash of bonds lying around his study he didn’t even know were fucking there.”
He asked his editor if he could change the nature of his column to one of reporting on his Soho adventures. This was granted after money changed hands, according to his ex wife, the classic knitter, Estelle Lauder (an allegation he has always denied). Part of the alleged deal was that he use his Royal contacts to report on Royal events.
After his infamous interview with the estranged wife of Prince Charles, Diana Princess of Wales in which he caused her to cry and then slap him after he asked her why she “hated Britain,” he was sacked.
“Six months of living in clubs, pubs and sleeping in the bedrooms, cars and wardrobes of rich and famous celebrity wives.”
Knobinson joined Alcoholics Anonymous, and then successfully sued them for a reportedly £1m for refusing him entrance to their groups after some of the meetings he was involved with transformed into riots.
Knobinson by chance, met Prince Philip, an old family friend, in a drinks reception at a polo match in Argentina (“I have no fucking recollection of how I managed to be in South America,” he wrote in 1992) who arranged a column in The Guadrion, which along with his “”Fox and Turf” columns formed the basis of a west end play based on his life, starring the TV actor Don Estelle in the leading role.
His new found fame earned him a late night TV chat show, “Jazz with Prick,” in which he interviewed famous jazz, pop, rock and blues artists over the course of a six hour drinking session. After three episodes, one in which he and the pop star Peter Andre drank seven bottles of champagne and a bottle of brandy, then drove a golf cart through a Tescos window to, “give access to the homeless” the TV company, “Shit-stir Productions,” went into liquidation.
Knobinson made a return to writing columns about the seedier side of life in the late nineties Lads Magazine, “Gonads,” while reporting on Royalty for Steve Wright in the Afternoon for Radio 2, then in 2008, The Sunday World.
He was absolved after accusations of phone tapping for the News of the World, when it was found that everything he wrote about Jeremy Clarkson, Prince Andrew and the Irish girl group B*witched was verifiable and in actual fact, had been videoed.
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