The Arthur Haynes Show - Volume One
Forty-five years after his untimely death, Arthur Haynes' long-overlooked contribution to British comedy is acknowledged with this DVD release, presenting thirteen episodes from 1960's Series 6 of The Arthur Haynes Show - the earliest editions known to survive.
Running for an incredible 14 series between 1957 and 1966, this ITV show presented a lively mix of sketches, most scripted by Johnny Speight (Till Death Us Do Part, Curry & Chips), with musical entertainment and special guests, making Arthur Haynes the most popular comedian in Britain and one of television's first 'star' comics.
The son of a Fulham baker who had appeared alongside Charlie Chester in the frontline concert party Stars in Battledress during service with the Royal Engineers, Haynes' exuberant performances won him the Variety Club ITV Personality award of 1961, and he appeared on that year's Royal Variety Performance. The pairing of Speight's scripts, which often drew on familiar class antagonism, and Haynes' robust working-class delivery was inspired; "Speight's style of writing suited me to a tee", Haynes recalled. The shows also featured one of their most famous characters - a belligerent, heavily decorated tramp fond of recounting tales of patriotic bravery whilst being 'up to me neck in muck and bullets', usually found railing against condescending figures played by Nicholas Parsons, and occasionally joined by fellow down-and-outs (Patricia Hayes and Dermott Kelly).
First released: Monday 6th June 2011
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