Hancock's Half Hour. Anthony Aloysius St John Hancock (Tony Hancock)
The Norwegian Hancock

The Norwegian Hancock

  • Radio documentary
  • BBC Radio 4
  • 2022
  • 1 episode

Paul Merton examines the history of Norway's most popular sitcom, an adaptation of Hancock's Half Hour. Also features Kevin McNally, Bo Hermansson, Paul Wesenlund, Kari Simonsen, Simon Fieldstad and more.

Hancock's Half Hour. Anthony Aloysius St John Hancock (Tony Hancock). Copyright: BBC

Key details

Genre
Documentary
Broadcast
2022
Channel
BBC Radio 4
Episodes
1
Features
Paul Merton, Kevin McNally, Bo Hermansson, Paul Wesenlund, Kari Simonsen, Simon Fieldstad, Tony Hancock, Ray Galton and more
Producers
John Wakefield and David Prest
Company

Its 50 years since the first broadcast of Norway's most successful comedy - the misadventures of Marve Fleksnes (Rolv Wesenlund), a proud, arrogant storage consultant who, over 30 years, became a beloved figure for generations.

But unbeknown to the audiences in Scandinavia, this cultural icon was in fact a reimagining of Galton and Simpson's Hancock. Four years after his death, Tony Hancock's iconic down-at-heel comedy persona had found a new lease of life.

Culminating in 2002, the finale was watched by half the Norwegian population. While most episodes were translations of existing scripts, the finale featuring Marve's death, was written especially for Fleksnes by Galton & Simpson - making it truly the final Hancock script.

Paul Merton investigates just how the character was transformed from Anthony Aloysius St John to become Marve Almar, what he means to Norwegian society, and why Norway was a perfect cultural fit for duo's comic creation.

Featuring interviews with the original director and cast, as well as actor Kevin McNally and archive recordings of Galton and Simpson.

Catch-up

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Thursday 20th October 2022 at 11:30am on BBC Radio 4
Episode length
30 minutes

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