Hattie was a one off BBC drama about the life of the famous British Comedy actress Hattie Jacques.
Hattie Jacques of course found fame as Tony Hancock’s secretary Greselda Pugh in Hancock’s Half Hour, before playing Eric Sykes sister in Sykes And A…and Sykes. She wass probably best remembered for her many Carry On Film roles particuarly as Matron opposite Kenneth Williams.
First broadcast in January 2011, it became the most watched programme on BBC Four ever at the time defeating biopic The Curse of Steptoe, which had held the record since 2008.
Legendary comic actors Hattie Jacques and John LeMesurier seem the perfect couple, married with two young sons. However it’s not just their comic talents they are famous for there’s the legendary Christmas dinners they host for their friends.
Whilst they seem the perfect couple, things turn sour, when in 1963, following a charity fund raiser for leukaemia, Hattie meets the young and handsome John Schofield, whose son died of the disease. He tells her that she is lovely and boosts her confidence about her plumpness.
When Schofield splits with his wife, ever knd hearted John LeMesurier suggests he becomes the family’s lodger. However he becomes more than just the lodger, he becomes Hattie’s lover.
Jealously and anger get a hold when LeMesurier learns that he cannot be part of her ‘This Is Your Life’ TV tribute. Ever the gentleman LeMesurier moves into the spare room. Despite Schofield’s ongoing affair Jonh Le Mesurier remains good friends with Hattie, who encourages him to date family friend Joan Malin, whom he will eventually marry. This of course took a similar course with his friend Tony Hancock, a story told in the drama Hancock and Joan.
To preserve Hattie’s public reputation her husband accepts blame in the divorce court, the couplewill remain on good terms with her for the rest of her life.
Two years later Schofield deserts Hattie for an Italian heiress. She will never remarry,seeking the company of younger men and succumbing to illness propounded by her size,leading to her death from a heart attack at the early age of fifty-eight.
Ruth Jones – Hattie Jacques
Robert Bathurst – John Le Mesurier
Aidan Turner – John Schofield
Jeany Spark – Joan Malin
Jay Simpson – Bruce
Graham Fellows – Eric Sykes
Marcia Warren – Esma Cannon
Stephen Critchlow – Gerald Thomas
Susy Kane – Young Actress
Lewis Macleod – Eamonn Andrews
Brian Pettifer – Ron
James Martin = Reg
John Bell – Robin Le Mesurier
John Reader – Kim Le Mesurier
Written By: Stephen Russell
Original Transmission Date: 19th January 2011