Ken Stott to play Tony Hancock in new BBC Four drama
Ken Stott (Rebus, Messiah) is to play troubled comic genius Tony Hancock
in a new BBC Four drama entitled Hancock & Joan.
Also starring Maxine Peake (Cinderella, Shameless) as Joan, this one-off
poignant drama charts the final year of Hancock's life and the love
affair with his best friend's wife, his battle with drink and his final
fateful series in Australia.
Only months after her marriage to Dad's Army favourite John Le Mesurier,
Joan Le Mesurier fell in love with his best friend, the godfather of
British sitcom, Tony Hancock.
Tony was fresh out of rehab and desperate to resurrect his career with
the offer of a new series in Australia.
John stood by as Joan and Tony
embarked on an obsessive and passionate love affair.
besotted with Joan, Tony was struggling with drink and violent
After months of turmoil, Joan gave him a final ultimatum: If he makes a
go of Australia, if he keeps off the booze for a year, she will leave
John and marry him.
Tony left for Australia determined to win Joan over.
But tragically he never returned.
Based on Joan Le Mesurier's autobiography Lady Don't Fall Backwards and
Edward Joffe's Hancock's Last Stand, this moving film tells the story
of Hancock and Joan's love affair and its tragic end.
Ben Stephenson, BBC Head of Drama Commissioning, says: "It's a sign of
the calibre of Ric Cottan's funny, moving, and powerful script that it
has attracted Ken Stott and Maxine Peake, who we're delighted to welcome
to BBC Four.
"Hancock remains a much-loved national treasure and this is
an extraordinary insight into the mind of a comic genius."
Hancock & Joan is being made for BBC Northern Ireland by World
It has been written by Richard Cottan, directed by Richard
Laxton and produced by Simon Heath.
Patrick Spence is Executive Producer
for the BBC.
Hancock & Joan is a 1 x 90-minute and will be shown in spring 2008 on BBC Four.
The drama follows in the footsteps of acclaimed BBC Four dramas Kenneth
Williams: Fantabulosa!, Fear Of Fanny and the recent, raucous Fanny