BBC to recreate missing Hancock’s Half Hour radio episodes

BBC to recreate missing Hancock’s Half Hour radio episodes 

BBC Radio 4 is to recreate some of the lost episodes of legendary radio sitcom Hancock’s Half Hour.

The station will record five of the scripts in front of live studio audiences in April, with the episodes broadcast under the title The Missing Hancocks.

The new recreations will star Simon Greenall, Kevin Eldon, Robin Sebastian and, as Hancock himself, Kevin R. McNally.

Written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, the first episode of Hancock’s Half Hour was broadcast in November 1954. The show soon became wildly popular with millions tuning in each week to hear Hancock’s adventures. In 1956, Hancock’s Half-Hour spun-off into an equally popular television show, and the format continued to run between both mediums until 1959.

Hancock’s Half Hour is particularly notable in the history of British comedy as it helped usher in and popularise the situation comedy genre, as opposed to variety and stand-up, which radio comedy had generally consisted of up to that point.

As is the case with many television programmes, it was not BBC policy to keep all recordings, and so some 20 original recordings are now missing, believed wiped. The Missing Hancocks is an attempt to re-create a number of these scripts for listeners in order to celebrate the anniversary of the series and of Galton and Simpson’s landmark writing partnership.

Source: British Comedy Guide

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