It's business as usual for the final episode, which is to say moments of brilliance and stretches that go a bit tepid. But that's the deal with Toast: you put up with the iffy bits for the occasional dash of comic glory you wouldn't find anywhere else.
Our luckless curmudgeon gets a job at the Globe in a production of Twelfth Night by radical director Daz Klondyke. It's to be performed by a cast of dogs as "a metaphor for what's happening in Syria". Yes, it's daft, but if you want an idea of the series' celebrity fans, look out for cameos from Jude Law, Martin Freeman, Sheila Hancock and others. They're all basically agreeing that Toast is, as Sam Mendes puts it, "a colossal t**t".David Butcher, Radio Times, 16th December 2015
There's a lot of sniping between the guests in this edition and it's this, rather than their arguments for putting scented candles, house guests, wedding speeches and the like into Room 101, that produces the most laughs. It's perhaps inevitable that when Jon Richardson says he never dances, describing it as "arrogant walking", Craig Revel Horwood responds waspishly that Jon is "probably one of the dullest people I've ever sat next to". However, following that up by making joke-telling one of his pet hates is a bit strong. Even Sheila Hancock joins in the teasing, albeit inadvertently, until she gets threatened with being consigned to oblivion herself.Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 22nd February 2013
Frank Skinner's role as judge and jury seems inconsequential in tonight's final show of the series - its all about the verbal sparring that breaks out between the guests.
Comedian Jon Richardson is in the firing line, declared dull by Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood for wanting to dump dancing into Room 101, who then gets up actress Sheila Hancock's nose by admitting he buys scented candles - one of her pet hates.
It just leaves Skinner to bring the curtain down with a Macarena.Carol Carter and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro, 22nd February 2013
Actress Sheila Hancock, Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood and comedian Jon Richardson are the final celebrities bidding for their bêtes noires to be consigned to oblivion tonight. A sassy Hancock proves good value on subjects such as her aversion to fireworks and scented candles, although Revel Horwood lives up to his mean persona by insulting Richardson throughout, and even puts forward joke-telling as one of his pet hates, which creates a bit of an atmosphere. Although unfunny guests do tend to dampen the fun, host Frank Skinner's impromptu joshing largely makes up for the deficit of laughs.Vicki Power, The Telegraph, 21st February 2013
Robert Webb, actor and comedian, opens the diary he kept when he was 17 for the benefit of host (and comedian) Rufus Hound and an enthralled audience. His entries include one about going to a party and kissing a girl he didn't really fancy. I always listen to this programme, now in its fourth series. But I often wonder whether a real conversation with the diaries' authors (who have included Meera Syal, Sheila Hancock, Michael Winner and Julian Clary) would produce something more satisfying than some wisecracks from Hound and lots of easy audience laughs.Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 26th June 2012
Comedian, author and presenter succeeds Sheila Hancock and is welcomed by Professor John Craven (not that one).The Guardian, 23rd January 2012
An affectionate tribute to the actor as we approach the 10th anniversary of his death. It charts his rise to fame in gritty Seventies police drama The Sweeney, culminating in his most memorable role as opera-loving Oxford sleuth Inspector Morse, whom he played for 13 years. There are contributions from Thaw's widow Sheila Hancock and three daughters, plus home movie footage.The Telegraph, 29th December 2011
We're back in Katherine Jakeways's fictional small market town, Waddenbrook. Sheila Hancock acts as all-seeing narrator of the everyday lives of its inhabitants. Jan is returning from a big trip abroad, and agonising. Esther and Jonathan are still trying for a baby. Jan is longing for Jonathan. At the supermarket there's a special on choc ices and the manager is still sharing his longing for his ex-wife over the Tannoy. Marvellous cast (Mackenzie Crook and Penelope Wilton among them) juggle exactly with such elements of homely surreality.Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 1st December 2011
Sheila Hancock reads out her diary to host comedian Rufus Hound and a vocal Radio Theatre audience. She's been keeping diaries since she was very young but, because a water main burst in her street, most of them were lost in the resulting flood. She shares the one that's still left, from 1947 when she was a scholarship girl at a grammar school which, she said, changed her life. One way was by a trip to France organised for her by her teachers. She was 14, on her own in a foreign country for the first time. Abroad was a different place then, as we hear.Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 14th December 2010
Women in Film and Television honours 77-year-old for her 'outstanding and lasting' contribution to her trade.Esther Addley, The Guardian, 3rd December 2010
It would have been worth listening to the Radio 4 sitcom North by Northamptonshire just for Sheila Hancock and Penelope Wilton, but it turned out to be good in all sorts of other ways too. Setting it in the fictitious market town of Wadenbrook, writer Katherine Jakeways picked off local "characters" with the eagle eye of a rooftop sniper. For example, Rod relieves the tedium of managing the local Co-op by sending suggestive messages over the tannoy, while Frank and Angela celebrate their love by performing the worst ever version of Je t'aime.
Clearly a major comedy writing talent, Jakeways is as adept at coming up with stinging one-liners as she is able to create a choice gallery of English eccentrics. Casting Sheila Hancock as the narrator was inspired: her sardonic and sometimes downright snide interventions making a perfect counterpoint to the barminess of Wadenbrook's social round. I can imagine this one transferring well to TV.The Stage, 5th July 2010
North by Northamptonshire, the excellent sitcom set in a small Midlands town, continues to hit the spot. Sheila Hancock is the wryly cool narrator who takes us behind closed doors, where hearts are breaking and some poor sap is singing the worst rendition of Je T'Aime ever heard by mortal ears.Daily Mail, 30th June 2010
Sheila Hancock is the deadpan, beautifully spoken narrator of North by Northamptonshire, a four-parter set in an impeccably respectable small town, where everyone's going quietly bonkers. Cleverly written, understated comedy.Daily Mail, 16th June 2010