This post was originally an episode of The Old Time Review Daily Podcast. In each edition, Jamie Dyer spoke off the cuff about a famous person, film or song for up to three minutes. The following is a transcription, which has been cleaned up to remove any hesitation and some repetition. Where possible, the subject has been expanded on from the original broadcast.
This is the Old Time Review Daily Podcast for the 12th of May 2021, and this is Jamie Dyer speaking to you from the UK. On this day in 1924, British comedian, Anthony John Hancock was born. Best known for Hancock’s Half Hour, he is very much loved in the UK. Now for those around the world who might not know him, he had a radio show, initially, called Hancock’s Half Hour, which was broadcast on the BBC from 1954 onwards, and then on television from 1958.
The show had him, Bill Kerr, Sid James, Hattie Jaques, and Kenneth Williams; Some of the cream of the comedy scene at that time. There are so many memorable moments in the various versions, but I’m sure the episodes that spring to mind for many a British viewer and listener are the Blood Donor and The Radio Ham; The former of those where the line, “That’s very nearly an armful comes from”, and it’s a classic piece that has been distributed on vinyl many a time.
Hancock’s Half Hour ended in the early 60s. He decided to split with his writers, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, and sadly after that, his career never seemed to pick up again. The ITV series that he made afterwards is pretty much unreleased for all this time. As far as I know, it does still exist. I know that episodes of the BBC TV series exist, and have been distributed on home media. A lot of the Radio series has been released too. Hopefully one day, we’ll get to see a complete release of his works.
So that is Tony Hancock born on this day in 1924. And that is your Old Time Review Daily for the 12th of May, 2021. What are your memories of Tony Hancock?