British Comedy Guide

Sheila Hancock

Why Just a Minute hides a far more ruthless reality

Just A Minute has become one of the nation's most beloved radio shows -- but it began as a classroom humiliation, inflicted on daydreamers by a history teacher at Sherborne School in the Thirties.

Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail, 1st December 2017

The enduringly likable panel show trundles cheerfully on. This week's guests for the good-natured fib-fest are Stephen Mangan, Mark Bonnar, Sheila Hancock and Anita Rani but, as ever, the show truly hits its stride when Lee Mack and David Mitchell lock horns and engage their counterintuitive comic chemistry. There are vanishingly few things we can rely on in today's bewildering world but it seems this programme is one of them.

Phil Harrison, The Guardian, 27th November 2017

Sky confirms more Urban Myths episodes

Jack Whitehall, Ade Edmondson, David Suchet, Noel Fielding, Sheila Hancock and Philip Glenister are amongst the stars of Sky Arts' 2018 Urban Myths episodes.

British Comedy Guide, 21st November 2017

Sheridan Smith stars in Jo Brand film The More You Ignore Me

Sheridan Smith is to take the lead role in The More You Ignore Me, the new comedy drama film written by Jo Brand.

British Comedy Guide, 7th November 2016

Cast announced for Dawn French's Delicious

Emilia Fox, Iain Glen and Sheila Hancock have joined the cast of Delicious, the Sky series in which Dawn French will play a cook.

British Comedy Guide, 4th August 2016

Radio Times review

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

Barking In Essex review

Sheila Hancock, Lee Evans and Keeley Hawes star in Clive Exton's ill-judged black farce.

Paul Taylor, The Independent, 17th September 2013

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 bĂȘtes 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

Lee Evans to star in new stage show

Lee Evans is to star as a dumb gangster in Barking In Essex, a new comic play for 2013 alongside Sheila Hancock.

British Comedy Guide, 30th November 2012

Sheila Hancock & Katy Brand on Strictly Xmas special

Actress Sheila Hancock, comedian and Telegraph writer Katy Brand and footballer Fabrice Muamba are among the names confirmed for this year's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special.

Ben Bryant, The Telegraph, 28th November 2012

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

Video - Five minutes with: Sheila Hancock

Actress Sheila Hancock talks to Matthew Stadlen about first-night nerves, home life with late husband John Thaw, leaving school at 15 - and how actors protect one another.

Matthew Stadlen, BBC News, 25th February 2012

Sandi Toksvig becomes Portsmouth University chancellor

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

My Teenage Diary - review

My Teenage Diary (Radio 4) returned yesterday with Sheila Hancock reading from her 14-year-old self's account of a trip to France.

Elisabeth Mahoney, The Guardian, 15th December 2010

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

Lifetime award for Carry On actor Sheila Hancock

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