The only happiness I could achieve is to perfect the talent I have, however small it may be...if the time came when I found out that I had come to the end of what I could develop out of my own ability, I wouldn't want to do it anymore.

The words of the lad 'imself, and how prophetic. Had he not commited suicide in June 1968, Hancock would be celebrating his 75th birthday, this coming May and what a bash that would have been, ten crates of stout, winter brew... five crates of best brown... twelve quarts of Dragon's Breath... two barrels of bitter... two crates of Danish lager... and a barrel of rough cider, and that is just to get the dust out of everyones throats!

In his heyday, he was one of the few things that could clear the pubs and shops (and the BBC still have the complaint letters fromt he owners to prove it!), as no-one wanted to miss the goings on at 23 Railway Cuttings, East Cheam. Antony Aloysius St John Hancock was pompous, petty, argumentative, and loved by a nation, and he was supported by the rogue Sid James, his secretary Miss Pugh, played by Hattie Jacques, and the almost as well known snide, Kenneth Williams (Stop Messing About). Bill Kerr, (previously of Wogga Wogga) made up the crew and between them they brought laughter to the nation, firstly on radio and then latterly on television. With scripts written by Galan and Simpson, who later went on to write Steptoe and Son, it is no wonder that the popularity is still as strong today as it ever was, and a recent poll in the Radio Times pronounced it as the most popular radio comedy series, no mean feat when you think of some of the other shows that have hit the airwaves and are detailed on this site!

Now it could not be easier to own all the surviving radio shows as the BBC have just released the second of six boxed sets of CDs. Each box covers all that is left of one series, and so far there are a total of 15 shows, each lovingly restored by Ted Kendall, for meagre sums (the prices vary from store to store, so shop around for the best deal!). But, I hear you cry, why should I bother getting these if I have the cassettes. Well, it is a point that I thought of, but then when I heard the quality of the CDs I knew instantly why, and, being an archivist, it was nice to have the shows in order and neatly packaged. There is a booklet accompanying each box, giving details of the all the shows in that series, including those missing from the set, peppered with newspaper cuttings and photos, and nicely topped off with words from the authors. I am just hoping that several other series will get the same treatment!

TitleTX DateNotes
The First Night Party2.11.54
The Diamond Ring9.11.54Lost
The Idol16.11.54
The Boxing Champion23.11.54
The Hancock Festival30.11.54Lost
The New Car7.12.54
The Department Store Santa14.12.54Lost
Christmas At Aldershot21.12.54Lost
The Christmas Eve Party28.12.54Lost
Cinderella Hancock4.1.55
A Trip To France11.1.55
The Monte Carlo Rally18.1.55
A House On The Cliff25.1.55
The Sheikh1.2.55
The Marriage Bureau8.2.55Lost
The End Of The Series15.2.55

Series One

Series Two

TitleTX DateNotes
A Holiday In France 17.04.55Lost
The Crown Jewels 26.04.55 Lost
The Racehorse 03.05.55 Lost
A Visit To Swansea 10.05.55 Lost
The Holiday Camp 17.05.55
The Chief That Died Of Shame 24.05.55
Prime Minister Hancock 31.05.55 Lost
The Rail Strike 07.06.55
The Television Set 14.06.55
The Three Sons 21.06.55 Lost
The Marrow Contest 28.06.55
The Matador 04.07.55 Lost
TitleTX DateNotes
The Pet Dog19.10.55
The Jewel Robbery26.10.55
The Bequest02.11.55
The New Neighbour09.11.55 Lost
The Winter Holiday16.11.55 Lost
The Blackboard Jungle23.11.55Lost
The Red Planet30.11.55Lost
The Diet07.12.55Lost
A Visit To Russia14.12.55Lost
The Trial Of Father Christmas21.12.55Lost
Cinderella Hancock28.12.55Lost
The New Year Resolutions04.01.56Lost
Hancock's Hair11.01.56
The Student Prince 18.01.56
The Breakfast Cereal 25.01.56Lost
How Hancock Won The War01.02.56Lost
The Newspaper 08.02.56Lost
The Greyhound Track 15.02.56
The Conjurer 22.02.56
The Test Match 29.02.56

Series Three

Series Four

TitleTX DateNotes
Back From Holiday14.10.56
The Bolshoi Ballet 21.10.56
Sid James's Dad28.10.56 Lost
The Income Tax Demand04.11.56
The New Secretary11.11.56 Lost
Michelangelo 'Ancock18.11.56
Anna And The King Of Siam25.11.56
Cyrano De Hancock2.12.56
The Stolen Petrol9.12.56 Lost
The Expresso Bar16.12.56
Hancock's Happy Christmas23.12.56
The Diary30.12.56
The 13th Of The Series6.01.57
Almost A Gentleman13.01.57
The Old School Re-union20.01.57
The Wild Man Of The Woods27.01.57
Agricultural 'Ancock3.02.57
Hancock In The Police10.02.57
The Emigrant17.02.57
The Last Of The McHancocks24.02.57
TitleTX DateNotes
The New Radio Series 21.01.58
The Scandal Magazine 28.01.58
The Male Suffragettes 04.02.58
The Insurance Policy 11.02.58
The Publicity Photograph 18.02.58
The Unexploded Bomb 25.02.58
Hancock's School 04.03.58
Around The World In Eighty Days 11.03.58
The Americans Hit Town 18.03.58
The Election Candidate 25.03.58
Hancock's Car 01.04.58
The East Cheam Drama Festival 08.04.58
The Foreign Legion 15.04.58
Sunday Afternoon At Home 22.04.58
The Grappling Game 29.04.58
The Junk Man 06.05.58
Hancock's War 13.05.58
The Prize Money 20.05.58
The Threatening Letters 27.05.58
The Sleepless Night 03.06.58
Bill And Father Christmas 25.12.58 Xmas Special

Series Five

Series Six

TitleTX DateNotes
The Smugglers 29.09.59
The Childhood Sweetheart 06.10.59
The Last Bus Home 13.10.59
The Picnic 20.10.59
The Gourmet 27.10.59
The Elopement 03.11.59
Fred's Pie Stall 10.11.59
The Waxwork 17.11.59
Sid's Mystery Tours 24.11.59
The Fete 01.12.59
The Poetry Society 08.12.59
Hancock In Hospital 15.12.59
The Christmas Club 22.12.59
The Impersonator 29.12.59