hancocks half hour

Of course this year marks the 60th anniversary of the release of Elvis’ ‘that’s all right’ and with it the career start of one of the – if not the – finest performer (s) in rock pop history (something we will come back to ponder later this missive). For now though another anniversary looms for this November – the 2nd to be precise – it will have been 60 years since Hancock’s Half Hour first took to the airwaves. Galton and Simpsons finest creation ran for six series running to over 100 episodes, the scourge of publicans the length and breadth of the nation it was oft reputed that public houses delayed opening hours waiting for the show to finish its transmission. Amid the immortal settings of East Cheam, 23 Railway Cuttings to be precise, the played upon absurdist and gullible middle Englander Tony Hancock headed an all-star cast that included Sid James, Hattie Jacques, Kenneth Williams and the recently departed Bill Kerr, applying a sit com style as opposed to the trademark radio variety that was prevalent among other noted broadcasts of the day, the Lad would on a weekly basis befall mishaps and disasters with one of Sid’s money making scams playing a not so helpful guiding hand. In our humbled opinion the being ‘the last bus home’, ‘the jewel robbery’ and this gem ‘a Sunday afternoon at home’- which utilised pauses and silence to great effect – you can hear the episode here  –

To date some twenty episodes still remain lost of the original radio series including all those featuring Harry Seacombe in the lead role – this as a result of the BBC’s policy to wipe tapes – see Doctor Who, not only…but also, quatermass, top of the pops and many more besides. To celebrate the shows 60th anniversary the BBC commissioned five of those lost episodes not heard since their original broadcast to be recreated anew for transmission – the first due to be aired this Halloween will feature ‘the matador’ and star Kevin McNally in the lead role . for more information go to – http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2014/43/missing-hancocks-directors

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