Goodbye To The Lad From Wagga-Wagga
BILL KERR: ‘What does he mean, we’re falling to bits?’
TONY Hancock: ‘Oh dear, look what you’ve done, you’ve set him off now. He’ll be holding his breath and looking in the mirror every five minutes waiting for something to drop off. (Shouts) It’s alright, Bill, you’re ticking away like a mad thing. You’ve got a good six months left in you yet!’
Bill Kerr was Britain’s Australian (there was another one, but we’re not allowed to mention him anymore.) In entertainment terms we seemed to have just once actor of every race – Bert Kwouk was Our Chinaman for decades, and very good-natured about it too – but Bill, the slow-witted bloke from the outback, was Tony Hancock’s foil for the best of his radio shows – although they made him dimmer and dimmer as the shows progressed.
You could usually hear him offstage roaring with laughter in the show’s funniest bits. In photographs, he’s always laughing, while Hancock scowls. After starring alongside a great many major British actors and comedians, he returned to Australia in 1979 and firmly established himself within the country’s film industry. He was the last surviving member of the original main Hancock cast, and died laughing at a TV show. 92 – a good old age to go.
Cheers, Bill, and thanks for making us laugh so much.