Typically fabulous BBC reconstruction of the life of one of the UK’s best loved comediennes, Hattie brings us the story of Carry On stalwart Hattie Jacques (Ruth Jones) from her successful acting career (14 Carry On’s, many years as sidekick to Eric Sykes (Graham Fellows)) through her sometimes hectic personal life. There is a heavy emphasis on the 1960’s when Hattie was in her prime and despite being married to fellow actor John Le Mesurier (Robert Bathurst) was indulging in a tempestous affair with her much younger chauffeur John Schofield (Aidan Turner).
Ruth Jones is simply stunning as Hattie, getting her just right and in best Hollywood biopic style what we have here is not necessarily how some of the events portrayed happened. The drama is based on the biography by Andy Merriman but with the caveat that some events have been changed or created for dramatic effect – which of course basically gives the production team carte blanche to do what they like with the story. Having said that the story does mostly follow the facts as we know them.
Cast: RUTH JONES as Hattie Jacques; ROBERT BATHURST as John Le Mesurier; AIDAN TURNER as John Schofield; JEANY SPARK as Joan Malin; JAY SIMPSON as Bruce; GRAHAM FELLOWS as Eric Sykes; MARCIA WARREN as Esme Cannon; STEPHEN CRITCHLOW as Gerald Thomas; SUSY KANE as Young Actress; LEWIS MACLEOD as Eamonn Andrews; BRIAN PETTIFER as Ron; JAMES MARTIN as Reg; JOHN BELL as Robin Le Mesurier; JOHN READER as Kim Le Mesurier
Writer: Stephen Russell / Book: Hattie Jacques – An Authorised Biography by Andy Merriman / Producers: Richard Osborne, John O’Callaghan / Director: Dan Zeff
UK / BBC-4 – Angel Eye Media / 1×85 minute episode / Broadcast Wednesday 19 January 2011 @ 9.00pm