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The Missing Hancocks: The Complete BBC Radio Series: New recordings of classic ‘lost’ scripts

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Audio Book Summary

Kevin McNally and Andy Secombe star in new recordings of original Hancock's Half Hour scripts by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson.

Between 1954 and 1959, BBC Radio recorded 102 episodes of the hugely popular comedy classic, Hancock's Half Hour. The first modern sitcom, Hancock's Half Hour made stars of Tony Hancock, Sid James and Kenneth Williams, and launched Ray Galton and Alan Simpson as one of the most successful comedy-writing partnerships in history.

Sadly, 22 episodes of the show went missing from the BBC archives, and have not been heard since their original transmission nearly 60 years ago - until Radio 4 lovingly recreated them over four highly-acclaimed series between 2014 and 2020. In a special treat for Hancock fans, Series 4 also premiered one episode - The Counterfeiter - that was never recorded by the original team.

Complete with the classic score performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra, these hilarious episodes were recorded at the BBC Radio Theatre in front of a live audience. Kevin McNally stars as The Lad Himself, with Andy Secombe playing the role of his father Harry and a stellar cast including Simon Greenall, Kevin Eldon, Robin Sebastian, Margaret Cabourn-Smith and Susy Kane.

Also featured is a bonus Director's Commentary for The Matador, in which Andy Hamilton chats to Kevin McNally and co-producer Neil Pearson about the joys, and challenges, of recreating a 1950s sitcom. In addition, we hear Kevin McNally and Robin Sebastian's riotous performance of 'The Test Pilot' sketch at the 2018 RAF centenary gala at the Royal Albert Hall, and the interview they gave afterwards.

The episodes included in this collection are:
The Matador
The Newspaper
The Hancock Festival
The Breakfast Cereal
The New Neighbour
How Hancock Won the War
The Red Planet
The Marriage Bureau
A Visit to Russia
The Trial of Father Christmas
A Holiday in France
The Crown Jewels
The Racehorse
A Visit to Swansea
The Three Sons
The Winter Holiday
Department Store Santa
The Diamond Ring
Prime Minister Hancock
Christmas at Aldershot
The Counterfeiter
The Christmas Eve Party
The New Year Resolutions


Written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson
Produced by Ed Morrish, Neil Pearson, Paul Sheehan and Hayley Sterling
Music composed by Wally Stott, and performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Levon Parikian
Thanks to Tessa Le Bars
A BBC Studios Production

Originally broadcast on the BBC Light Programme between 1954 and 1959
Recreated for broadcast by BBC Radio Comedy for BBC Radio 4, 31 October-28 November 2014 (Series 1), 23 November-21 December 2015 (Series 2), 14 March-11 April 2017 (Series 3), 6 December 2018-31 December 2020 (Series 4)

Cast
Tony Hancock - Kevin McNally
Bill Kerr - Kevin Eldon
Sid James - Simon Greenall
Kenneth Williams - Robin Sebastian
Andree Melly - Susy Kane
Moira Lister - Margaret Cabourn-Smith
Harry Secombe - Andy Secombe

Director's Commentary
Featuring Andy Hamilton, Kevin McNally and Neil Pearson

'The Test Pilot' sketch
Performed by Kevin McNally and Tim Sebastian as part of the RAF 100 Gala, first broadcast BBC Radio 2, 6 April 2018 and presented by Ken Bruce

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