Hancock’s Half Hour

Goodbye G&S

The writer Ray Galton has died at 88, following his writing partner Alan Simpson by just a year, and their passing marks the end of one of the great comedy partnerships. The writing team regularly voted the funniest in sitcom history created ‘Hancock’s Half Hour’ and ‘Steptoe & Son’. The success of the Hancock show, […]

Ten Day Book Challenge: The Final Run

It looks nice outside. I wish I was there. While I’ve been entombed in the flat, locked away like a lighthouse keeper, summer has kicked in, late this year but welcome. London is hotter, bizarrely, but here there is silence. I live in the old town where there are no cars, so the only sounds […]

Script Ends: Goodbye Alan, And Thank You

It’s pretty clear to me now that without Alan Simpson and his writing partner Ray Galton I would not have started writing. I first found them listed on the back of an LP (that’s cool vinyl, kids – oh, you’re interested now aren’t you?). It was Tony Hancock’s first album, ‘This Is Hancock’ (I should […]

Tony Hancock’s 90th Birthday

As comedian Tony Hancock would have now been 90, his writers Galton & Simpson (they deserve single name status) unveiled a blue plaque for him in Kensington and the Daily Telegraph ran 20 great quotes including; ‘Does the name Magna Carta mean nothing to you? Did she die in vain?’ and ‘Have I been sought […]

How We Sound (And Why It’s Funny)

A good actor can make an ordinary line sound better than it reads. Years ago, I worked with Kenneth Williams, who kindly sat with me for a while to discuss how to get the best out of words. He was meticulous about the crafting of sentences and where to place intonations, but it clearly came […]