Charles Hawtrey, That Funny Fella With The Glasses. Charles Hawtrey. Copyright: BBC.

Charles Hawtrey, That Funny Fella With The Glasses

BBC Radio 4 documentary. 1 episode in 2010. Features Wes Butters and Charles Hawtrey.

Press Clippings

Wes Butters's investigation of the life of Charles Hawtrey, Charles Hawtrey: That Funny Fella With The Glasses, on Tuesday morning was excellent, though it took time to get used to Butters's Radio 1 presenting style. I liked the musical inserts, though, and the little drop-ins of Hawtreyisms: "Oooh, goody, what?" A sad tale, this, despite the campy comments: when Hawtrey died, of complications from his alcohol abuse, he was not loved. He lived in the Kent coast town of Deal for the last years of his life. A "nasty piece of work", said one anonymous neighbour; another remembered a time when Hawtrey had passed out in one of the few bars in Deal that would still serve him. "A lot of people was spitting on him," he said. "They were."

Miranda Sawyer, The Observer, 2nd May 2010

Deep down, we all experience a slight frisson at finding out that stars are unpleasant and unhappy in real life, don't we? There's plenty of grim fascination in this gossipy canter through the life of the embittered Carry On star. Charles Hawtrey's existence was beset by ironies that would be dismissed as cliches in a drama: he hated his typecasting as a puny fall guy but was so ungracious about it, he blew all his chances to change; he adored his mother but became trapped when she developed dementia. His associates tell the sad tale here, right up to his retirement as an unpopular, randy drunk in Deal, Kent - and the embarrassing incident that led him to die a recluse.

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 27th April 2010

When it comes to gay Carry On members, Kenneth Williams has tended to grab the interest. By contrast, the life of Charles Hawtrey is less well known. Wes Butters' documentary looks at the man behind the image of the puny fall guy, and how he came to die a recluse.

Scott Matthewman, The Stage, 23rd April 2010