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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tony Hancock

Another radio comedian... and if you haven't guessed yet, I'm clearing out a shelf of these things, hence the recent galleries relating to Joyce Grenfell and Spike Milligan (scroll down to see them if you like this kind of thing).

Tony Hancock was one of the comedy greats. Hancock was dead by the time I was six, so I doubt if I caught his Hancock's Half Hour first time round, so I guess I learned about him through osmosis. I remember hearing an episode of the radio series (in which he became a Scottish laird) on a car journey (where to and when I've no idea) and the BBC probably repeated episodes of the TV series in the late 1960s but I can't pinpoint the moment when I realised that Hancock and his scriptwriters Ray Galton and Alan Simpson were the finest team British comedy has ever produced. There can't be a person alive who hasn't seen at least a clip of the infamous line from "The Blood Donor" ("A pint? Why that's very nearly an armful!").

Pressure of time means I'll have to point you in the direction of Wikipedia to learn more about Hancock. He died on 24 June 1968 but, forty-two years on, and with radio shows and the remaining TV shows still available on CD and DVD, hopefully he'll not be forgotten.

Hancock by Freddie Hancock & David Nathan (London, William Kimber, 1969)
Coronet 0-340-20513-X, 1975.
Coronet 0-563-20461-3, 1986.
Chivers 0-745-17061-7, 1987. [Large Print]
BBC 0-563-38761-0, 1996.

Hancock's Half Hour by Ray Galton & Alan Simpson (London, Woburn Press, 1974)
Futura 0-860-07246-0, 1975.
(contains: The Missing Page; The Reunion Party; Hancock Alone; The Bowmans; The Blood Donor; Ray Galton and Alan Simpson in conversation with Colin Webb)

The Entertainers: Tony Hancock by Philip Oakes
Woburn-Futura 0-7140-0138-0, 1975.

Hancock's Last Half Hour by Heathcote Williams (London, Polytantric Press, 1977) [chapbook]

Tony Hancock 'Artiste': A Tony Hancock Companion by Roger Wilmut (London, Eyre Methuen, 1978)
Methuen 0-413-50820-X, 1983.

The Best of Hancock by Ray Galton & Alan Simpson (London, Robson, 1986)
Robson 0-860-51367-X, 1993.
(contains: The Economy Drive; The Two Murderers; Twelve Angry Men; The Big Night; The Cold; The Missing Page; The Poison Pen Letters; The Radio Ham; The Lift; The Blood Donor)

The Illustrated Hancock by Roger Wilmut (London, Queen Anne Press, 1986)
Macdonald Queen Anne Press 0-356-14781-9, 1987.

Hancock's Half Hour: Radio scripts by Ray Galton & Alan Simpson compiled by Chris Bumstead (London, BBC, 1987)

Lady Don't Fall Backwards by Joan Le Mesurier (London, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1988)
Pan 0-330-30994-3, 1989.

When the Wind Changed: The Life and Death of Tony Hancock by Cliff Goodwin (London, Arrow, 1995)
Century 0-712-67615-5, 1999.
Arrow 978-0099-609414-4, Nov 2000, 608pp. 

Hancock's Last Stand: The Series That Never Was by Edward Joffe (London, Book Guild, 1998)
Methuen 978-0413-74040-3, Sep 1999, 234pp.

Fifty Years of Hancock's Half Hour by Richard Webber (London, Century, 2004)
Arrow 0-099-46488-8, 2005.

Tony Hancock: The Definitive Biography by John Fisher (London, HarperCollins, 2008)
HarperCollins 9780-0729119-9, 2009, 627pp, £8.99. Cover photo by Camera Press

1 comment:

Mike said...

My little girl was watching the revamped Magic
Roundabout the other day and I gradually
realised that Dougal (the dog) was basically
Tony Hancock! Bizarre....but it seemed to
work somehow!