Period drama Hancock and Joan tells the intense story of the relationship between comedy legend Tony Hancock and Joan Le Mesurier who at the time their relationship began had just gotten married to Hancock’s best friend John.
With a waning career and a growing reliance on the bottle, Hancock is full of doubts and believes only Joan can save him from himself. With the chance to make a series in Australia Tony feels he has the chance for a fresh start and Joan herself tells him that she will leave John for good if hHancock can stay sober for a year.
Without actually looking anything like them the two lead players were superb, especially Stott with Hancock’s slow disintegration. Incredibly sad and brilliantly made Hancock and Joan was one of four BBC Dramas made under the banner The Curse of Comedy, the others were The Curse of Steptoe, Hughie Green, Most Sincerely and Frankie Howerd: Rather You Than Me.
UK / BBC-4 – World Productions – BBC Northern Ireland / 1×75 minute episode / Broadcast Wednesday 26 March 2008 @ 9.00pm
Writer: Richard Cottan / Based on the books Lady Don’t Fall Backwards by Joan Le Mesurier and Hancock’s Last Stand by Edward Joffe / Make Up Design: Sallie Adams / Music: Ruth Barrett / Costume Design: Rosa Diaz / Production Design: Amanda Bernstein / Director of Photography: James Welland / Producer: Simon Heath / Director: Richard Laxton
KEN STOTT as Tony Hancock
MAXINE PEAKE as Joan Le Mesurier
ALEX JENNINGS as John Le Mesurier
DON GALLAGHER as Dr Newman
GEORGE COSTIGAN as George
OLIVIA COLMAN as Marion
GEOFF McGIVERN as Billy Marsh
JUNE WATSON as Lily
JOHN KAY STEEL as Reporter One
JULIA DEAKIN as Landlady
TOM GEORGESON as Fred
LESLEY NICOL as Nellie
OSCAR LLOYD as David
GARETH TUNLEY as Chat Show Host
PETER SULLIVAN as Edward Joffe
DACID SCHAAL as Reporter Two
TOM SANGSTER as Floor Manager