British Comedy Guide

The Missing Hancocks. Tony Hancock (Kevin McNally).

The Missing Hancocks

BBC Radio 4 sitcom recreating classic scripts. 16 episodes (3 series), 2014 - 2017. Stars Kevin McNally, Kevin Eldon, Simon Greenall, Robin Sebastian and others.

Another series is in development.

The Missing Hancocks. Image shows from L to R: Neil Pearson, Bill Kerr (Kevin Eldon), Kenneth Williams (Robin Sebastian), Tony Hancock (Kevin McNally), Sid James (Simon Greenall), Andrée Melly (Susy Kane), Ed Morrish. Copyright: BBC.

The Missing Hancocks

Lost episodes of the legendary radio sitcom Hancock's Half Hour re-recorded with a new cast

2014 - 2017
BBC Radio 4
16   (3 series)
Kevin McNally, Kevin Eldon, Simon Greenall, Robin Sebastian, Susy Kane, Margaret Cabourn-Smith, Andrew Secombe and David Cann
Ray Galton and Alan Simpson
Neil Pearson and Ed Morrish

Between 1954 and 1959, BBC Radio recorded 102 episodes of Ray Galton and Alan Simpson's comedy classic, Hancock's Half Hour. The first modern sitcom, it made stars of Tony Hancock, Sid James and Kenneth Williams, and launched Galton & Simpson as one of the most successful comedy-writing partnerships in history.

However, of the shows made, 20 are missing from the BBC archive.

Starting as part of the celebration of Galton & Simpson's diamond anniversary in 2014, BBC Radio 4 commissioned this series (supported by the writers themselves) to recreate the episodes live in front of a studio audience at the BBC Radio Theatre.

The new episodes star Simon Greenall, Kevin Eldon, Robin Sebastian, Suzy Kane and - as The Lad Himself - Kevin McNally. The BBC says: "The shows are as fresh today as the day they were written."

Accompanying the first series was The Missing Hancocks: Director's Commentary on Radio 4 Extra. In this version, Andy Hamilton stopped the action as he talked to co-producer Neil Pearson and actor Kevin McNally about the challenges, and joys, of recreating a 1950s sitcom. The conversation took in the casting, production and even the music of the show, as well as what got changed in these new recordings.

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