The Missing Hancocks, 2014
In November 1954 Ray Galton and Alan Simpson broke with the traditional format of comedy, ie comical sketches and musical interludes, to present the first British sitcom. For comedy things were about to change and as time has evolved the format presented for the first time in Hancock’s Half Hour has remained unchanged for sixty years, as hit sitcom after hit sitcom has arrived on our TV screens and indeed the radio.
Of the six series of Hancock’s Half Hour recorded for BBC Radio many are missing. In January 2013, Neil Pearson made an approach to writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson about the possibility of reading some missing scripts and approaching the BBC for a commission. Galton and Simpson duly obliged choosing five episodes they thought might work best.
In April 2014, in the BBC Radio Theatre, the five episodes were recorded before a live audience and writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson.
The series entitled “The Missing Hancocks” was a huge success, both at the time of broadcast and the sales of CD recordings of the series. This prompted Neil Pearson to gather the cast once more and re-create four more missing episodes for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2015.
Another huge success. By now the BBC had comissioned a second series of Missing Hancocks, this went out again on Radio 4 in November of 2015.
Battling through rumours of cancellation and discussions of a third and fourth series The Missing Hancocks did indeed return for a third and fourth series completing the recreations of the missing episodes.
Four series recreating the original scripts from the twenty two missing episodes first broadcast on BBC Radio in the 1950’s.
Details of Hancock’s Half Hour missing episodes
Kevin McNally – Tony Hancock
Kevin Eldon – Bill Kerr
Simon Greenall – Sid James
Robin Sebastian – Kenneth Williams (Various)
Susy Kane – Ensemble (Various Roles)
Channel: BBC Radio 4
Written By: Ray Galton and Alan Simpson
Produced By: Neil Pearson and Ed Morrish
Composer: Angela Morley (replicating Wally Stott)
Original Transmission Date: 31st October 2014 – 1st January 2020