Paul Merton introduces three hours of special programming to mark the 50th anniversary of the first airing of the very first edition of Hancock's Half-Hour, the landmark radio comedy featuring Tony Hancock with regulars Sid James, Hattie Jacques, Bill Kerr and Kenneth Williams. The series ran for five hit years; a TV version with the same title followed in 1956. Scriptwriters Ray Galton and Alan Simpson comment on the show's first ever episode, which follows. Producer John Pidgeon
7.08 First Night Party
Originally broadcast on 2 November 1954 at 9.30pm on the BBC Light Programme.
7.41 Stone Me, What a Life!
Dennis Norden recalls Tony Hancock 's early variety and broadcasting career, including the weak, if not terrible, bits.
8.31 The Wild Man of the Woods
A fourth-series episode, first transmitted on 27 January 1957.
9.03 The Complete and Utter History of Hancock's Half-Hour
Paul Merton interviews the show's creators, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson. With classic clips and gems from the archive.
9.48 Hancock's Fans and Round-up
The celebrations wind down with tributes from the show's contributors and fans, including Raymond Baxter, Fenella Fielding, Andree Melly, Warren Mitchell and Nicholas Parsons.
Freddie and the dreamer: p31
There are more than 5 million programme listings in Genome. This is a
historical record of the planned output and the BBC services of any
given time. It should be viewed in this context and with the
understanding that it reflects the attitudes and standards of its time
- not those of today.
To read scans of the Radio Times magazines from the 1920s, 30s, 40s and
50s, you can navigate by issue.
Genome is a digitised version of the Radio Times from 1923 to 2009 and
is made available for internal research purposes only. You will need to
obtain the relevant third party permissions for any use, including use in
programmes, online etc.
This internal version of Genome, which includes all the magazine covers,
images and articles as well as the programme listings from the Radio
Times, is different to the version of BBC Genome that is available
externally/to the public. It is only available inside the BBC network.