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Hancock (ITV 1963, Tony Hancock)



Hancock 1963 ITV

After Tony Hancock had decided (unwisely in retrospect) to distance himself from writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson he decided to switch to the commercial channel for this series offering more of the same kind of material. However it was a major disappointment after the joy of his final BBC season (also called simply Hancock). Where the prompts and cue-cards worked well on the BBC series to disguise his lack of line learning here he was all over the place. Hancock himself was severely under rehearsed and drinking heavily at the time. It must have been galling too to see that around this time xGalton and Simpson were scoring big with the iconic Steptoe and Son.

Lots of big names popped up though including Martita Hunt, Patrick Cargill, Mario Fabrizi, Peter Vaughan, Pauline Yates, Denholm Elliott, Dennis Price, Geoffrey Keen, John Bluthal, Edward Chapman, Gerald Harper, Shaw Taylor, Brian Wilde, Derek Nimmo, Donald Hewlett, John Le Mesurier, Francis Matthews, John Junkin, Pete Murray and Reginald Beckwith.

Writers on the series were actually names that would go on to major success in action adventure genre including Terry Nation, Dennis Spooner and Richard Harris.

Following this less than stellar effort Hancock’s film career also fizzled out the same year with the release of The Punch and Judy Man (which was actually an excellent movie but far too downbeat for Hancock’s comedy fans).

production details
UK / ITV – ATV / 13×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 3 January – 28 March 1963

Producer: Tony Hancock / Executive Producer: Bernard Delfont