Hancock tops BBC7 poll to find greatest comedian ever
Hancock has been voted number one by radio listeners in a BBC 7
"top seven" poll to find the greatest comedian ever.
5,000 listeners cast their votes, with Hancock claiming 13% of the
poll marks the launch on Sunday 15 December of the new BBC digital
radio station BBC 7.
pure entertainment network, BBC 7 features the best of BBC comedy,
drama and books from the archive, together with a daily live kids'
programme that established Tony Hancock's reputation, the radio
classic Hancock's Half Hour, is one of the highlights of the BBC
7 schedules from launch week, as are more recent radio comedy gems
such as Dead Ringers, Alan Partridge and The League of Gentlemen.
from the golden age of radio comedy Hancock (number 1), The
Goons (number 2), Kenneth Horne (number 3), Kenneth Williams (number
6) dominate the top seven list.
Radio 4's I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue team (Humphrey Lyttelton, Graeme
Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Barry Cryer) are at number 4 and are
the only current day comedians featured.
favourites Morecambe and Wise claim position number 5, and the late,
great Spike Milligan appears twice once, at number 2, as
a member of The Goons, and again, at number 7, as a solo talent.
7s top seven -
2 The Goons (Spike
Milligan, Harry Secombe, Peter Sellers)
3 Kenneth Horne
4 Im Sorry I Havent A Clue (Humphrey
Lyttelton, Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Barry Cryer)
5 Morecambe and Wise (Eric
Morecambe and Ernie Wise)
6 Kenneth Williams
7 Spike Milligan
Kalemkerian, Head of Programmes, BBC 7 said: "Classic comedians
such as Tony Hancock and The Goons are obviously still firm favourites
with BBC radio listeners. Age
doesn't seem to matter if it's funny, it's funny.
in charge of programming at BBC 7 gives me a terrific opportunity
to bring these great comic talents to a new generation of listeners,
as well as playing top contemporary comedy acts from the best archive
in the world."
legends Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, writers of the original BBC
Radio Hancock's Half Hour series, draw parallels between Hancock's
comedy character and modern day comedy anti-heroes Alan Partridge
and David Brent (The Office).
thing they've all got in common is self delusion," says Alan.
all think they're more intelligent than everyone else, more cultured
that people don't recognise their true greatness. Self delusion
in every case.
there's nothing people like better than failure."
adds: "There's nothing intrinsically funny in success.
very gratifying that these [Hancock] shows have lasted. I suppose
it's because we were writing things that were permanent, indestructible
facets of all our collective natures."
Half Hour, The Goons, Round The Horne, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue,
Spike Milligan, Kenneth Williams and Kenneth Horne can all be heard
on BBC 7 in the classic comedy slot, daily from noon to 1.00pm,
repeated 7.00 to 8.00pm.
7 is available across the UK on DAB digital radio, digital television
(cable, satellite, Freeview digital terrestrial) and online.
18 hours a day, from 7.00am to 1.00am, the BBC 7 schedule is "stripped"
across the week, with regular programme zones at the same time each
material is drawn from BBC Radio 4, Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 1 and
Radio 5 (the forerunner of Radio Five Live), with other acquired
material not previously heard on radio.
day, Sunday 15 December, comprises a two-hour simulcast with
BBC Radio 4 (8.00-10.00pm), presented by Paul Merton, showcasing
shows include: Knowing Me, Knowing You; Dr Who; Hancock's Happy
Christmas; The Goons; The Woman In White; Fatherland and I'm Sorry
I Haven't A Clue.
7's poll to find the greatest comedian was launched on Wednesday
13 November 2002 and voting closed on Wednesday 11 December.
were cast on the BBC internet site, by email and by telephone voting.
if seven isn't enough, you're a purist and you really need a top
ten, the final three are: Tommy Cooper at number 8, The Two Ronnies
at number 9 and Billy Connolly at number 10.
Hancock is best remembered for his bombastic and self-deluding alter
ego Anthony Aloysius St John Hancock, resident of 23 Railway Cuttings,
East Cheam, and star of Hancock's Half Hour.
by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, Hancock's Half Hour went out on
BBC Radio from 1954 to 1959 and on BBC Television from 1956.
of the most influential of radio comedies, The Goon Show first aired
on BBC Radio in 1951 as Crazy People and featured Spike Milligan,
Harry Secombe, Peter Sellers and Michael Bentine.
became The Goon Show in June 1952, with Bentine leaving the team
five months later. After over 200 episodes, the last Goon Show went
out in 1960.
Milligan wrote most of the show and created almost all of the characters,
including Bluebottle, Eccles and Ned Seagoon.
straight man of Beyond Our Ken and Round The Horne, Kenneth Horne's
speciality was delivering outrageous double entendres in a very
The Horne ran on BBC Radio from 1965 to 1969.
Took and Marty Feldman were the main writers and performers included
Kenneth Williams and Hugh Paddick, voicing such memorable characters
as Rambling Syd Rumpo and the exceptionally camp Julian and Sandy.
Sorry I Haven't A Clue
years old, multi-award winning and still running on Radio 4, this
famous "antidote to panel games" features regulars Graeme
Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Barry Cryer playing party games
including the nonsensical Mornington Crescent under the droll
chairmanship of Humphrey Lyttelton.
Sorry I Haven't A Clue first started life as I'm Sorry I'll Read
That Again in 1964, morphing into I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue in
Saturday 21 December 2002 BBC 7 features the first ever episode,
recently restored to the BBC archives after a nationwide "treasure
closely associated with the BBC and arguably the best-loved comedy
double act ever to grace the tv screen, Morecambe and Wise's 1977
Christmas special was watched by over 27 million people, more than
half the UK population at the time.
first tv show, Running Wild, appeared on the BBC in 1954, was roundly
panned by the critics, and lasted only six episodes.
Morecambe and Wise Show first aired on ITV in 1961 before moving
to the BBC in 1968 where the duo enjoyed a 10 year run before returning
to ITV in 1978.
performer with one of the most instantly recognisable voices in
broadcasting, Kenneth Williams starred in the radio comedy classics
Round The Horne, Just A Minute and Hancock's Half Hour.
famous catch phrase "Ere, stop messin' about" was first
coined in Hancock's Half Hour.
creative genius behind The Goon Show and master of the surreal,
Spike Milligan's later career took in TV, films and novel writing,
poetry, children's books, volumes of autobiography and even songs.
also wrote and performed on television, including the Q series for
7 press kit (26.11.02)
7 launches 15 December with the best of BBC comedy, drama and books
- and a search for the greatest comic ever (12.11.02)
digital station from BBC Radio (30.09.02)