Me & Arthur Haynes. Image shows from L to R: Nicholas Parsons, Arthur Haynes. Copyright: BBC.

Me & Arthur Haynes

BBC Four documentary. 1 episode in 2011. Features Paul Merton, Nicholas Parsons, Arthur Haynes and Johnny Speight.

Press Clippings

While some comedians are lionised after they've stopped appearing on TV, others are quietly forgotten. Nicholas Parsons spends more than Just a Minute with Paul Merton recalling his partnership with one of the latter - Arthur Haynes. Viewers of a certain age will recall the partnership that pulled huge audiences to ITV in the 1950s and 60s. It's the comedy of a simpler, slower age; Parsons remembers how depicting a vicar in a sketch was considered disrespectful. There's nostalgia and curiosity value, not least with a priceless archive interview with writer Johnny Speight. Plus, rewarding glimpses of Wendy Richard, Patricia Hayes, Michael Caine and the Rolling Stones.

Geoff Ellis, Radio Times, 1st March 2011

From the 1950s to 1966, Arthur Haynes was the biggest name in British television comedy. He followed the usual path for comedians from this era, working variety shows and joining the army entertainment division before finding stardom on independent television. His comedy dealt with puncturing the pomposity of the ruling classes. Paul Merton talks to Haynes's old comedy partner, Nicholas Parsons, about him.

Phelim O'Neill, The Guardian, 1st March 2011

Paul Merton invites his regular Just a Minute compère Nicholas Parsons to the stage for this one-off special celebration of the comedian Arthur Haynes, who was one of Britain's most popular entertainers (and an early star of ITV) before he died of a heart attack in November 1966. The young Parsons appeared as the straight man to Haynes in sketches on The Arthur Haynes Show. It's the sort of programme that Merton, who matches an easy improvisational style with a palpable interest in the history of comedy, does very well. Though it is uneven in quality, some of the archive footage is a real treat.

Ed Cumming, The Telegraph, 28th February 2011