Frankie Howerd.

Frankie Howerd

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New Frankie Howerd play to tour

A new play about Frankie Howerd's personal life is to tour. Howerd's End focuses on the clandestine relationship between the comedy star and his boyfriend Dennis Heymer.

British Comedy Guide, 7th March 2020

Seven comedy icons with a seedy reputation

It seems that every day a new showbusiness career lies in tatters as the world finally catches up to the men who abuse their power to harass and grope women. But for decades bad behaviour has gone unpunished... here are seven comedians beloved in their day - and some even now - despite widespread reports of pretty salacious behaviour that surely would not be tolerated today.

Chortle, 20th November 2017

Beryl Vertue: People don't give British comedy a chance

She represented Spike Milligan, Tony Hancock and Frankie Howerd. But Beryl Vertue refuses to believe that comedy's best days are behind us.

Ben Lawrence, The Telegraph, 16th March 2017

New play about Frankie Howerd announced

Howerd's End, a new play about the career and private life of Frankie Howerd, has been announced. The script by Mark Farrelly has been endorsed by the Frankie Howerd Trust.

British Comedy Guide, 6th March 2017

York unveils a new blue plaque for Frankie Howerd

A new blue plaque dedicated to comedy actor Frankie Howerd has been unveiled at his birthplace in York.

British Comedy Guide, 26th July 2016

New exhibit shows archive pictures of BBC comedians

Compton Verney exhibition charts 60 years of comedy, from Hancock's Half Hour to Miranda Hart.

Mark Brown, The Guardian, 26th June 2016

While not as laugh-a-minute as the first series of W1A, the new offering again crackled with good lines, from the pen (and now direction) of John Morton, who also tackled the monster that was the London Olympics in 2012, in a comedy of the same name. He likes a challenge.

Has he thought about the EU, and Brussels? That may be a farce too far. According to Morton's script his royal highness "needs a three-day lockdown on his loo".

As one person said in the meeting, "that's a little too much information".

The strength of this series is to mix what we assume happens within the BBC, with what actually does go on in the daft world of TV. "The Frankie Howerd room"? In the end, we don't have a clue as to where the truth lies.

If a quarter of what happens within those meetings is close to reality, it explains what we sometimes see on the screen.

It's good comedy, yes, but it does make you wonder, which we hope is the whole idea. Or is it simply a weekly video for BBC staffers to watch and reflect upon? For example, there was talk in the show of a new role as "Director of Better".

We laugh, but it might not be too far from reality either. What it does show is an organisation easily parodied for being obsessed with image. The BBC is not alone in that, but we do hope that coming up with decent programme ideas then making them is the real focus.

There was a funny storyline about Jeremy Clarkson. His surname was bleeped out, as someone was "tasked" with counting up the number of times he had said the word "tosser" in the past four years on Top Gear. Alas, the hapless "oh, cool, yeah" intern Will was given the job. If only he'd been given the task of sorting out the real-life Clarkson case.

The hour-long format did the show no favours. For example, there was a little too much from Perfect Curve, who are now genuinely the "world's most annoying PR agency". That aside, solid performances from the likes of Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Hynes have ironically made this one of the best comedy series on the BBC in recent years. One thing is sure, though, viewers will quietly desert the show before John Morton runs out of material.

David Stephenson, The Daily Express, 26th April 2015