Comedy star Tony Hancock honoured with a blue plaque

  • 12 May 2014
  • From the section London
Ray Galton (left) and Alan Simpson in front of an English Heritage blue plaque
Image caption Hancock's Half Hour writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson unveiled the plaque

Comedy star Tony Hancock has been honoured with a blue plaque outside his former London home on what would have been his 90th birthday.

It has been placed outside 20 Queen's Gate Place, Kensington, where he and his wife Cicely Romanis had a flat.

The Birmingham-born star of Hancock's Half Hour first made his name on radio before transferring to TV.

After a lengthy battle with alcoholism and difficulties in his personal life he killed himself in June 1968.

'Colossus of comedy'

Hancock's Half Hour writers Alan Simpson and Ray Galton unveiled the plaque on Sunday outside the Grade II-listed building.

During his time at the property, co-stars such as Sid James and Kenneth Williams were regular visitors and it was there that Hancock mapped out the story for his later film, The Rebel.

Image caption Tony Hancock was one of "Britain's first comedy superstars"

Simpson said: "Tony Hancock was the comedian's comedian.

"When we were writing Hancock's Half Hour he told us; 'You're the writers, you write, I'm the comedian, I'll comede.' And boy, could he comede."

Galton added: "We are delighted that English Heritage is celebrating Tony with a plaque. It is a little ironic that a man who steadfastly refused throughout his career to use any blue material should be remembered with a blue plaque."

English Heritage's blue plaque historian Howard Spencer said: "This blue plaque recognises a colossus of comedy.

"In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Tony Hancock became one of Britain's first comedy superstars - a radio and television phenomenon - and his influence is still apparent today."

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