Paul Merton

Hancock’s Half Hour: Selected TV Soundtracks & more
  • Hancock’s Half Hour: Selected TV Soundtracks & more

    • Ray Galton & Alan Simpson

    • Tony Hancock (Read by)

    • Sid James (Read by)

    • Bill Kerr (Read by)

    • Kenneth Williams (Read by)

    • June Whitfield (Read by)

    • Steve Punt (Read by)

    • Richard Briers (Read by)

    • Paul Merton (Read by)

    • Full Cast (Read by)

    • Moira Lister (Read by)

    Over 30 brilliant BBC recordings, including TV shows, radio highlights and a wealth of previously unreleased material

    Tony Hancock was one of Britain's best-loved and most influential postwar comedians. Collected here are some of the very best radio and TV episodes from Hancock's Half Hour, plus celebrations, compilations, interviews, original dramas and documentaries - many of which have never before been available on audio.

    There's the debut show from the radio series, The First Night Party, introduced by writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson; and the last ever BBC television show, The Succession - Son and Heir. Also included are four new-to-audio TV episodes - The Oak Tree, The Train Journey, The Tycoon and The Lift - as well as many other television favourites: The Flight of the Red Shadow, The Wrong Man, The Economy Drive, Lord Byron Lived Here, The Cold, The Emigrant, The Baby Sitters, The Poison Pen Letters, The Bedsitter, The Bowmans, The Radio Ham and The Blood Donor.

    Two programmes introduced by Galton and Simpson, The Best of Hancock's Half Hour (Radio) and The Best of Hancock's Half Hour (TV) showcase the show's finest moments, and more classic clips can be found in Unique Hancock, an extended version of the vintage 1973 vinyl LP complete with commentary and linking narration. And in Steve Punt's Hancock Cuttings, included here for the first time on audio, the comedian and Tony Hancock fan presents a host of oddities and rarities featuring the lad himself.

    The life and wonderful work of Hancock, his writers, and fellow radio actor Kenneth Williams are commemorated in three never-before-released documentaries - The New Elizabethans: Tony Hancock, Celebration: Galton & Simpson and Great Lives: Kenneth Williams. Also making their audio debut are two poignant radio dramas, Hancock's Last Half Hour (starring Richard Briers as Hancock) and Hancock's Ashes (starring Ewan Bailey as Willie Rushton).

    Finally, we go behind-the scenes with Galton and Simpson in a trio of insightful interviews - a fascinating 30-minute discussion, specially recorded for BBC Audio in 2003, and the radio programmes In Conversation with Galton and Simpson and The Complete and Utter History of Hancock's Half Hour, in which the duo chat to Paul Jackson and Paul Merton respectively.

    Please note: due to the age of these recordings, the sound quality may vary.

    Production credits
    Hancock's Half Hour written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson
    Produced by Dennis Main Wilson (radio) and Duncan Wood (TV)
    Theme and incidental music composed by, and orchestra conducted by, Wally Stott
    Collection compiled by Martin Gibbons
    With thanks to the Tony Hancock Appreciation Society

    The First Night Party
    The Best of Hancock's Half Hour (Radio)
    The Best of Hancock's Half Hour (TV)
    The Succession: Son and Heir
    The Flight of the Red Shadow
    The Wrong Man
    The Oak Tree
    The Economy Drive
    Lord Byron Lived Here
    The Train Journey
    The Tycoon
    The Cold
    The Emigrant
    The Baby Sitters
    The Poison Pen Letters
    The Bedsitter
    The Bowmans
    The Radio Ham
    The Lift
    The Blood Donor
    Celebration: Galton and Simpson
    Unique Hancock
    Hancock's Last Half Hour
    In Conversation with... Galton and Simpson
    Interview with Galton and Simpson
    The Complete and Utter History of Hancock's Half Hour
    The New Elizabethans: Tony Hancock
    Steve Punt's Hancock Cuttings
    Hancock's Ashes
    Great Lives: Kenneth Williams

    © 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
    (p) 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

RELEASED 20/01/2022

Paul Merton was born in 1957, long before such things were fashionable. He spent his first eight years living within cheering distance of Fulham Football ground at Craven Cottage although he can’t remember any cheering. Upon leaving school with two ropey A Levels and a CSE Grade 5 Maths, Paul enlisted in the Civil Service where he survived for two and a half years. He made his stand-up debut at London’s Comedy Store in 1982 where his policeman on acid routine regularly stopped the show. In 1985 he joined the Comedy Store Players, an improvised comedy group which led, in 1988, to him appearing on Whose Line is it Anyway? for the first few series before he couldn’t stick it anymore. He has appeared on Have I Got News For You as a team captain since 1990 and is also proud of his other long running gig, Radio 4’s Just a Minute. Other TV highlights include his eponymous surreal sketch series from 1991-3; interviewing Spike Milligan in what was to be his last major television appearance as host of Room 101; and making several programmes about early cinema, including The Birth Of Hollywood which he co-wrote with his wife, Suki Webster. He still performs with the Comedy Stores Players every Sunday.

We use cookies on this site to enable certain parts of the site to function and to collect information about your use of the site so that we can improve our visitors’ experience.

For more on our cookies and changing your settings click here

Strictly Necessary


Preferences & Features

Targeting / Advertising