Hancock (BBC-1 1961, Tony Hancock)

Sitcom that is basically the final season of Hancock’s Half Hour with Tony Hancock going solo after tiring of working with Sid. Some of Hancock’s best known work turned up in this batch of six episodes.

This ended up being Ray Galton and Alan Simpson’s last work with difficult to work with comedian Hancock but they out did themselves.

The Bedsitter opened the series and consisted of twenty five minutes of solo Hancock whilst The Bowman’s was a brilliant spoof of The Archers radio show. Most famous of all was The Blood Donor.

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It was the fourth show that had the most lasting impact on Hancock himself though, he was injured in a car accident on the way home from filming the episodes and didn’t have time to learn his lines. Consequently he resored to “idiot-boards” ie Cue Cards and auto-cues to basically read his lines during the show’s taping.

Once Hancock realised how easy this was for him he never bothered learning lines again – unfortunately it didn’t always pay off as well as it did in this series.

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The Bowmans

classic quote
“A pint? Have you gone raving mad? I mean, I came here in all good faith, to help my country. I don’t mind giving a reasonable amount, but a int? Why, that’s very nearly an armful.”

production details
UK / BBC One / 6×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 26 May – 30 June 1961 Fridays 8.00pm

Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson / Producer: Duncan Wood


Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.