‘Lives up to its title, dispelling myths and replacing all previous accounts.’
Independent on Sunday
‘an exceptional book’
‘Packed to bursting point with painstaking attention to detail …a rich gift from Fisher to anyone who was ever a fan.
‘an indispensible book…a brilliant and much-needed account of Hancock’s extensive theatre work and its originality, a celebration of the audacity of the television work, and a kind of voyage round the comedian’s mind and the nature of his comic enterprise.
Praise for Tommy Cooper: Always Leave them Laughing:
‘A monumental and masterly biography of the great Cooper.' Daily Mail
' "The definitive biography of a comedy legend" – for once a book lives up to its blurb.' Michael Parkinson
From the Inside Flap
Without Hancock there would have been no Steptoe, no Alf Garrett, no Alan Partridge, no David Brent.
One of Britain's most innovative comedians and arguably its most popular, he united the nation in laughter with `Hancock's Half Hour,' the show that established the situation comedy.
But behind Hancock's success lurked a tendency to self destruction that would compromise his later years. Prone to professional insecurity and a quest for perfection, he gradually detached himself from the writers, agents and actors who had played an essential role in his success. Now forty years later after Hancock's death, John Fisher explores his turbulent life and tragic death of a still revered performer.
In this first full appraisal of both his life and work, Fisher sheds new light on Hancock's fall from grace, examining with sensitivity what went wrong and questioning whether his suicide was inevitable. At the same time, his unprecedented access to the Hancock family and its archives - together with interviews with friends and colleagues, several of whom have spoken for publication for the first time - add to the celebration of this comedy hero.
`What kind of Fool?' will redefine the Hancock legacy, reaffirming Hancock's body of work on stage, radio and television, as unsurpassed by a single British comedian.