“The Tony Hancock Show” gets DVD release

The first series of The Tony Hancock Show, produced by Associated-Rediffusion in 1956, is being released on DVD, initially as an exclusive from Kaleidoscope Publishing.

With scripts by Eric Sykes and guest starring June Whitfield, Clive Dunn, Hattie Jacques, Dick Emery, Sam Kydd, John Vere and Valentine Dyall, The Tony Hancock Show was broadcast live, for two series in 1956 and 1957, either side of the first television series of the BBC’s better known Hancock’s Half Hour.

Sadly, the second series of The Tony Hancock Show is Missing Believed Wiped.

This first series is being released by Kaleidoscope, the Birmingham-based organisation specialising in locating previously missing, believed lost, television footage, that coordinates ITV’s Raiders of the Lost Archives campaign.

Kaleidoscope Publishing exists to promote the appreciation of British television in general and particularly ‘classic’ television programmes that many of us remember from years gone by. The Tony Hancock Show will be available only from their TV Brain store until May, before being made available through Amazon.

The release also includes asmall book about the ITV series, written by Martin Gibbons, a member of the Tony Hancock Appreciation Society.

“It has one or two creaky moments but the 31-year-old (he turned 32 between the 5th and 6th shows on this set) Hancock is in fine, happy, brilliant form,” enthuses BEANO artist and Hancock fan, Nigel Parkinson, of this often overlooked series, who alerted us to this DVD release via social media.

“I’ve seen three of the six episodes some years ago but only a few minutes of clips have been broadcast since 1956, in a Channel 4 celebration of Hancock in 1998.”

Anthony John Hancock (12th May 1924 – 25th June 1968), better known as Tony Hancock, was an English comedian and actor who enjoyed a major success with his BBC series Hancock’s Half Hour, first broadcast on radio from 1954, then on television from 1956, in which he soon formed a strong professional and personal bond with comic actor Sid James.

During the run of his BBC radio and television series, he became an enormous star in Britain. Unlike most other comedians at the time, he was able to clear the streets while families gathered together to listen to the eagerly awaited episodes.

Although Hancock’s decision to cease working with James, when it became known in early 1960, disappointed many at the time, his last BBC series in 1961 contains some of his best-remembered work (including “The Blood Donor” and “The Radio Ham”). Sadly, after breaking with his scriptwriters Ray Galton and Alan Simpson later that year, his career declined.

Along with numerous specialist books, upcoming releases from Kaleidoscope include The Ads Show, the TV series about the history of advertising, with a humourous twist; and Frankie Howard: The Lost TV Pilots, featuring various pilots from Canada and Australia; and the recovered US pilot episode of Steptoe and Son, made in 1965.

The Tony Hancock Show will be available only from Kaleidoscope’s TV Brain store until May 2022, before being made available through Amazon

Orders will be dispatched from 13th February 2022

The Tony Hancock Appreciation Society is dedicated to preserving and promoting the works of Tony Hancock

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