British Comedy Guide

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

Hancock's Half Hour

BBC One sitcom about a pompous buffoon. 63 episodes (7 series), 1956 - 1961. Stars Tony Hancock, Sid James, Kenneth Williams, James Bulloch and others.

Hancock's Half Hour. Image shows from L to R: Sidney Balmoral James (Sid James), Anthony Aloysius St John Hancock (Tony Hancock). Copyright: BBC.

Hancock's Half Hour

Tony Hancock stars in Galton & Simpson's comic masterpiece, with his delusions of grandeur and acquaintances at the root of his every downfall

1956 - 1961
63   (7 series)
Tony Hancock, Sid James, Kenneth Williams, James Bulloch, Johnny Vyvyan, Alec Bregonzi, John Vere, Hugh Lloyd and others
Ray Galton and Alan Simpson
Duncan Wood
Duncan Wood

Welcome to 23 Railway Cuttings, East Cheam, residence of Anthony Aloysius St John Hancock - a down-at-heel comedian whose life never goes to plan.

Tony Hancock plays a fictionalised version of himself in this sitcom: a loser whose plans and aspirations are continually ruined by bad luck, the scheming and devious Sidney Balmoral James (played by Sid James) or, more often than not, by his own pomposity and ambition.

Hancock's Half Hour launched on the radio in 1954, with this TV version starting two years later. The radio and TV versions ran concurrently - sharing some scripts - until the radio version stopped in 1959.

The final series of this show, which saw Hancock alone in an Earl's Court bedsit, was broadcast under the shortened title Hancock.

Following these seven series, in 1963 Hancock moved to ITV to star in series with a similar premise called Hancock, but this new show was not written by Galton & Simpson. The star returned to ITV in 1967 for Hancock's, a series in which his character played the manager of a nightclub. This turned out to be his final British TV series, as he committed suicide the following year.

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