Fast And Loose, 1954

Everybody knows who Bob Monkhouse was, but it’s surprising how many people forget he was once part of a double act with Denis Goodwin.

Bob Monkhouse and Denis Goodwin were a successful writing team during the 1950’s, but in 1954 they got their own TV show: Fast and Loose.  It was to have been called The Bob Monkhouse Show but Goodwin was not too keen on the idea.

Television was still in it’s infancy and Hancock’s Half Hour had yet to make the jump to television.

Unusual for it’s time Fast and Loose episodes ran for 45 minutes during the first series instead of the usual 30 minutes.  The show ran for two series: 4 episodes broadcast monthly in series one and five episodes (thirty minutes duration) broadcast fortnightly for series two.

Fast and Loose was a huge successs but the writers felt they needed time to recharge their batteries for a second series.

So Bob Monkhouse faked a collapse at the end of the first series. The newspapers carried pictures of him ‘recovering’, this gave him and writing partner Denis Goodwin breathing space thus to prepare material for a second series.


Fast and Loose was a series of live sketches performed by Bob Monkhouse and Dennis Goodwin alongside special guests.

Famously not all the sketches went according to plan.  Comedian Charlie Drake sustained lasting scars from his appearence on the show

This occurred when Monkhouse accidentally blew off half of Drake’s left ear during a sketch, after he fired a blank-firing revolver which blew the packing out of the cylinder of the gun at Charlie’s face.

He completed the live sketch, keeping his right side to camera, before collapsing and having his ear stitched back by a doctor.


Sadly we were unable to find any footage of the show.  We thought you might find these two excerpts from the Bob Monkhouse Archive interesting.




Bob Monkhouse and Dennis Goodwin


Channel: BBC1
Written By: Bob Monkhouse and Dennis Goodwin
Original Transmission: 1954 and 1955


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