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Kevin McNally and Andy Secombe star in new recordings of original Hancock's Half Hour scripts by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson. Between 1954 and 1959, BBC Radio recorded 102 episodes of the hugely popular comedy classic, Hancock's Half Hour. The first modern sitcom, Hancock's Half Hour made stars of Tony Hancock, Sid James and Kenneth Williams, and launched Ray Galton and Alan Simpson as one of the most successful comedy-writing partnerships in history. Sadly, 22 episodes of the show went missing from the BBC archives, and have not been heard since their original transmission nearly 60 years ago - until Radio 4 lovingly recreated them over four highly-acclaimed series between 2014 and 2020. In a special treat for Hancock fans, Series 4 also premiered one episode - The Counterfeiter - that was never recorded by the original team. Complete with the classic score performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra, these hilarious episodes were recorded at the BBC Radio Theatre in front of a live audience. Kevin McNally stars as The Lad Himself, with Andy Secombe playing the role of his father Harry and a stellar cast including Simon Greenall, Kevin Eldon, Robin Sebastian, Margaret Cabourn-Smith and Susy Kane. Also featured is a bonus Director's Commentary for The Matador, in which Andy Hamilton chats to Kevin McNally and co-producer Neil Pearson about the joys, and challenges, of recreating a 1950s sitcom. In addition, we hear Kevin McNally and Robin Sebastian's riotous performance of 'The Test Pilot' sketch at the 2018 RAF centenary gala at the Royal Albert Hall, and the interview they gave afterwards. The episodes included in this collection are: The Matador The Newspaper The Hancock Festival The Breakfast Cereal The New Neighbour How Hancock Won the War The Red Planet The Marriage Bureau A Visit to Russia The Trial of Father Christmas A Holiday in France The Crown Jewels The Racehorse A Visit to Swansea The Three Sons The Winter Holiday Department Store Santa The Diamond Ring Prime Minister Hancock Christmas at Aldershot The Counterfeiter The Christmas Eve Party The New Year Resolutions Written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson Produced by Ed Morrish, Neil Pearson, Paul Sheehan and Hayley Sterling Music composed by Wally Stott, and performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Levon Parikian Thanks to Tessa Le Bars A BBC Studios Production Originally broadcast on the BBC Light Programme between 1954 and 1959 Recreated for broadcast by BBC Radio Comedy for BBC Radio 4, 31 October-28 November 2014 (Series 1), 23 November-21 December 2015 (Series 2), 14 March-11 April 2017 (Series 3), 6 December 2018-31 December 2020 (Series 4) Cast Tony Hancock - Kevin McNally Bill Kerr - Kevin Eldon Sid James - Simon Greenall Kenneth Williams - Robin Sebastian Andree Melly - Susy Kane Moira Lister - Margaret Cabourn-Smith Harry Secombe - Andy Secombe Director's Commentary Featuring Andy Hamilton, Kevin McNally and Neil Pearson 'The Test Pilot' sketch Performed by Kevin McNally and Tim Sebastian as part of the RAF 100 Gala, first broadcast BBC Radio 2, 6 April 2018 and presented by Ken BruceShow more
A fascinating collection of rare and remastered radio & TV material starring Tony Hancock In this fourth treasury of rare archive material, our irrepressible hero forms an association to save Fred's Pie Stall, in a newly restored 1959 radio episode of Hancock's Half Hour. From the BBC TV series comes The Italian Maid (1959) in which Tony and Sid are bowled over by the lovely Silvano. Two 1952 editions of Calling All Forces line up alongside a 1953 edition of Star Bill, and an extract from The National Radio Awards 1951 features Hancock in a rare Educating Archie sketch. In Hancock's Helpers, from 2004, Russell Davies looks at Tony Hancock's on-air and off-air relationship with his co-stars, whilst a 2009 edition of Great Lives examines the legacy of the lad 'imself. Hancock and Son, from 1998, traces the writing partnership of Galton & Simpson. In Briers on Hancock (1984) Richard Briers presents an affectionate tribute to Tony's memory, with contributions from Dennis Main Wilson, Denis Norden, George Fairweather, Ray Galton, Alan Simpson, John Lloyd, John Freeman, Sid James and Bill Kerr. Also included in this treasury are interviews with Paul Merton, Roger Wilmut and Freddie Hancock, who all talk about the life and career of Tony Hancock. A bonus PDF booklet looks at each item in the context of Hancock's broadcasting career, with insights into how many of these lost or rare items were discovered. Marking the legacy of one of our greatest comedy entertainers, this collection is a must for fans of Tony Hancock and Hancock's Half Hour.Show more
A fascinating collection of rare and remastered radio & TV material starring Tony Hancock This third treasury of rare archive material presents another four newly restored radio episodes of Hancock's Half Hour: 'The 13th of the Series' (1957), 'The Male Suffragettes' (1958), 'The Sleepless Night' (1958) and 'The Last Bus Home' (1959). Starring once again alongside Tony Hancock are Sid James, Bill Kerr, Hattie Jacques and Kenneth Williams. Three further editions of the radio hit Calling All Forces, from 1952, feature Hancock as co-compere with Charlie Chester, with a bill featuring Robb Wilton and many other light entertainment stars of the day. Hancock's Other Half's Hour, from 1997, sets Tony's widow Freddie Hancock centre stage, from where she invites many of his former colleagues to reminisce about the man. Among them are Harry Secombe, Peter Goodwright, Liz Fraser, Bill Kerr, Ray Galton, Alan Simpson, Stirling Moss, Sylvia Sims, Larry Gelbart, Patricia Hayes, Jim Dale, Bill Cotton Jnr and Frank Thornton. The lad speaks for 'imself in two rarely heard Tony Hancock interviews, first broadcast on Open House (1964) and Late Night Line-Up (1965). Elsewhere Robert Cushman and Denis Norden survey Hancock's life and career in Turns of the Century (1995) and Stone Me, What a Life! (2004) respectively. A bonus PDF booklet looks at each item in the context of Hancock's broadcasting career, with insights into how many of these lost or rare items were discovered. Marking the legacy of one of our greatest comedy entertainers, this collection is a must for fans of Tony Hancock and Hancock's Half Hour.Show more
A fascinating collection of rare and remastered radio & TV material starring Tony HancockThis second treasury of rare archive material is spearheaded by four newly-restored radio episodes of Hancock’s Half Hour, all from 1956: ‘The New Secretary’, ‘Anna and the King of Siam’, ‘The Stolen Petrol’ and ‘The Expresso Bar’. Starring alongside Tony Hancock are Sid James, Bill Kerr, Hattie Jacques and Kenneth Williams.A number of fascinating extracts from the long-running 1950s variety show Calling All Forces feature Hancock performing alongside Charlie Chester and others, whilst the famous Budgerigar Sketch - with Hancock as the eponymous bird - is featured here from 1958’s Christmas Night With the Stars on BBC TV.In What Happened to Hancock? from 1971, Philip Oakes reflects upon the complex personality of his friend, and elicits personal recollections from those who knew him, including Ralph Reader, Beryl Vertue, Sylvia Sims, Sid James, Duncan Wood, Michael Wale, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson. Heroes for a Time, from 1978, considers Hancock’s legacy ten years after his death, with contributions from Lyn Took, Barry Took, Arthur Askey and Billy Marsh. Freddie Ross Hancock recollects life as Tony’s second wife in a Woman’s Hour interview from 1979.Barry Cryer introduces Six Characters in Search of an Answer: Tony Hancock from 2003 and examines the man behind the character, with the help of Galton & Simpson, Dennis Main Wilson and Richard Briers. Finally, in two editions of The Essay from 2015, Simon Heffer examines and compares the careers of both Tony Hancock and his stalwart co-star Sid James. Marking the legacy of one of our greatest comedy entertainers, this collection is a must for fans of Tony Hancock and Hancock's Half Hour.Show more
A fascinating collection of rare and remastered radio & TV material starring Tony HancockTony Hancock’s broadcasting career began in the early 1950s with appearances in BBC radio programmes such as Variety Bandbox and Calling All Forces. Rare archive extracts of both are presented in this collection, along with an edition of Educating Archie, the radio comedy in which Hancock was a regular guest star. Soon he had his own radio series, Hancock’s Half Hour, which transferred to BBC television in 1956. This volume features four complete episodes: the recently discovered TV soundtrack of 'The Horror Serial', plus remastered and restored versions of 'The Blackboard Jungle', 'The Student Prince' and 'The Test Match’ from the radio series. Also rarely heard since first broadcast are soundtrack interviews with Tony Hancock - including the notorious edition of Face to Face from 1960 - and interviews with writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson. A bonus PDF booklet looks at each item in the context of Hancock’s broadcasting career, with insights into how many of these lost or rare items were discovered.Marking the legacy of one our greatest comedy entertainers, this collection is a must for fans of Tony Hancock and Hancock's Half Hour.Show more
Five more brand new recordings of original Hancock's Half Hour scripts, starring Andy Secombe and Kevin McNally. One of the first modern sitcoms, Hancock's Half Hour made Tony Hancock a household name and launched the careers of writing partners Galton and Simpson. However, 20 of the original radio shows were wiped or lost from the BBC Sound Archive, so Radio 4 decided to recreate them. This collection contains all five episodes from the third series. The first three – A Holiday in France, The Racehorse and The Crown Jewels – star Andy Secombe, playing his father Harry (who himself deputised for an absent Tony Hancock in the original run). In A Visit to Swansea and The Three Sons, Kevin McNally resumes the role of Hancock. Among the supporting cast are Simon Greenall, Kevin Eldon and Robin Sebastian. Written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson and with the classic score performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra, these hilarious episodes were recorded in front of a live audience at the BBC Radio Theatre. A piece of comedy history, they have not been heard since their first broadcast, and are a must-listen for fans of ‘the lad 'imself’.Show more
Series 5 and 6 of the vintage radio sitcom starring Harry H Corbett and Wilfrid Brambell, adapted from the much-loved TV series. Steptoe and Son was hugely successful, with eight series broadcast on BBC TV and two spin-off feature films. So popular was the show that many episodes were subsequently recorded for BBC radio. Collected together for the first time, here are all the episodes from the fifth and sixth radio series, scripted and adapted for radio by Hancock's Half Hour creators Ray Galton and Alan Simpson. In these classic episodes, Harold conquers his fear of ballroom dancing; falls for his drama society's leading lady; plans a solo holiday and pens an article for the church magazine. Plus, Albert is startled by his son's sleepwalking; tangles with the tax inspector; tackles some extortionists (with the help of his kung fu club) and becomes involved in spiritualism. The episodes included are The Desperate Hours; Come Dancing; A Star is Born; A Winter's Tale; Men of Property; Men of Letters; Loathe Story; Oh, What a Beautiful Mourning; Live Now, PAYE Later; Upstairs, Downstairs, Upstairs, Downstairs; And So To Bed; Porn Yesterday; The Seven Steptoerai; Seance in a Wet Rag and Bone Yard; and a Christmas special, first broadcast as part of David Jacobs' Crackers in 1976. Also included are two bonus Steptoe and Son sketches: Scotch on the Rocks, from the 1978 Radio 2 show Good Luck, Scotland and a special insert from BBC1's Christmas Night with the Stars from 1967. Duration: 8 hours approx.Show more
The complete third and fourth series of the classic radio sitcom starring Harry H Corbett and Wilfrid Brambell, adapted from the much-loved TV series. Steptoe and Son ran for eight series on BBC TV and even spawned two feature films. Such was the series’ popularity in the mid-1960s that the cast specially recorded numerous episodes for BBC radio. Here, collected together for the first time, are all the episodes from the third and fourth radio series, scripted and adapted for radio by Hancock’s Half Hour creators Ray Galton and Alan Simpson. In these hilarious episodes, Harold breaks some sad news to Albert; introduces his fiancée to his father; meets his older half-brother and receives some unexpected news from a visitor. Plus, a group of card sharks fleece Albert; Harold and Albert argue over their lack of money; Harold’s wedding day doesn’t go quite to plan and Albert is worried about an offer made to Harold. The episodes included are A Death in the Family, Two’s Company, Tea for Two, TB or not TB, Without Prejudice, Cuckoo in the Nest, Steptoe and Son – and Son!, Robbery with Violence, Full House, Is That Your Horse Outside?, The Lodger, A Box in Town, The Three Feathers, The Colour Problem, And Afterwards At… and Any Old Iron. Also included is a selection of trailers prepared for overseas radio broadcast.Show more
Series 1 and 2 of the classic radio sitcom starring Harry H. Corbett and Wilfred Brambell, adapted from the much-loved TV series. Steptoe and Son ran for eight series on BBC TV and even spawned two feature films. Such was the series' popularity in the mid-1960s that the cast specially recorded several episodes for BBC radio. Here, collected together for the first time, are all 21 episodes from the first and second radio series, scripted by Hancock's Half Hour creators Ray Galton and Alan Simpson and adapted by Gale Pedrick. Among the classic comic incidents in these timeless episodes, Albert's 65th birthday turns into a disaster; Harold finds love with a French girl; Albert is upset by Harold's plans for a proper bathroom; and the duo get an irresistible offer. Plus, Albert and Harold's creditors arrive seeking payment; two coffins lead to a burst of superstition; Harold regrets taking Albert to the cinema; and Albert disrupts Harold's Labour Party meeting. The episodes included are The Offer; The Bird; Sixty-Five Today; The Stepmother; The Economist; Wallah-Wallah Catsmeat; The Diploma; Steptoe à la Cart; The Holiday; The Bath; The Lead Man Cometh; A Musical Evening; The Bonds That Bind Us; The Siege of Steptoe Street; Pilgrim's Progress; The Wooden Overcoats; Sunday for Seven Days; The Piano; My Old Man's a Tory; Homes Fit for Heroes; Crossed Swords. Also included are two bonus features: a short 1966 Steptoe & Son sketch from The Ken Dodd Show and a selection of trailers prepared for overseas broadcast.Show more
The complete final series of the groundbreaking BBC Radio comedy starring Tony Hancock – plus five bonus episodes. Created by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson in 1954, Hancock’s Half Hour was the radio vehicle that made Tony Hancock a household name. Each week listeners would be admitted to the sometimes fantastical, sometimes mundane life of 'the lad ‘imself'. Aided and abetted by Sid James, Bill Kerr Kenneth Williams and Hattie Jacques, Hancock would enter into the spirit of each episode with characteristic dolefulness. This volume contains all 14 shows from the sixth radio series, collected together for the first time, including previously unpublished restored versions of The Waxwork, The Fête and The Poetry Society. Also included is the 1958 Christmas Special episode and four re-recordings made for the BBC Transcription Service. Among these hilarious Half Hours, Hancock enters an eating competition; sets out to save a local landmark; becomes the director of Sid's guided tours company and enjoys an evening of abstract verse with his avant-garde friends. The episodes are: Bill and Father Christmas (1958 Christmas Special); The 13th of the Month (Transcription Services Episode One); The New Secretary (Transcription Services Episode Two); The Ballet Visit (Transcription Services Episode Three); The Election Candidate (Transcription Services Episode Four); The Smugglers; The Childhood Sweetheart; The Last Bus Home; The Picnic; The Gourmet; The Elopement; Fred's Pie Stall; The Waxwork; Sid's Mystery Tours; The Fête; The Poetry Society; Hancock in Hospital; The Christmas Club and The Impersonator. Duration: 9 hours 30 mins approx.Show more
The complete fifth series of the legendary BBC Radio comedy series starring Tony Hancock. Created by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson in 1954, Hancock’s Half Hour was the radio vehicle that made Tony Hancock a household name. Each week listeners would be admitted to the sometimes fantastical, sometimes mundane life of 'the lad ‘imself'. Aided and abetted by Sid James, Bill Kerr Kenneth Williams and Hattie Jacques, Hancock would enter into the spirit of each episode with characteristic dolefulness. This volume contains all 20 episodes from the fifth radio series, collected together for the first time. In these hilarious Half Hours, Hancock has a makeover; turns his home into a private school; stands in the East Cheam by-election; presents three short plays from the East Cheam Repertory Company; takes in a wrestling match with Miss Pugh and gets more than he bargains for when he wins a TV quiz show. The episodes are: The New Radio Series; The Scandal Magazine; The Male Suffragettes; The Insurance Policy; The Publicity Photograph;The Unexploded Bomb; Hancock's School; Around the World in Eighty Days; The Americans Hit Town; The Election Candidate; Hancock's Car; The East Cheam Drama Festival; The Foreign Legion; Sunday Afternoon at Home; The Grappling Game; The Junk Man; Hancock's War; The Prize Money; The Threatening Letters and The Sleepless Night. This new set includes improved audio quality and extended edits for five episodes, plus a previously unreleased 'mini-episode' recorded to coincide with the 1958 Commonwealth Games. Duration: 10 hours approx.Show more
Kevin McNally stars in five further brand new recordings of original Hancock's Half Hour scripts by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson. Hancock's Half Hour was an enormously popular radio sitcom in the 1950s, but several of the episodes were not retained in the BBC Sound Archive and are believed to be lost. Following the successful first series, five more episodes have been recreated by BBC Radio 4, with Kevin McNally once more reprising the role made famous by Tony Hancock.The episodes are How Hancock Won the War, The Red Planet, The Marriage Bureau, A Visit to Russia and The Trial of Father Christmas. Also included is a bonus Director's Commentary for the Series 1 episode The Matador, in which Andy Hamilton talks to Kevin McNally and co-producer Neil Pearson about the challenges, and joys, of recreating a 1950s sitcom. Among the supporting cast are Simon Greenall, Kevin Eldon and Robin Sebastian. Duration: 2 hours 30 mins approx.Show more
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