This CD presents nine excerpts from Tony Hancock's radio shows. He is ably supported by stalwarts Sid James, Hattie Jacques, Bill Kerr, and Kenneth Williams. In my opinion, the best of the bunch is the first, `Almost a Gentleman', in which Hancock explains his ancestry, and shows his disgust at having been ignored in the New Year's Honours List yet again. It is a flight of lunacy beautifully crafted by his perennial writers, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, the men who penned all Hancock's TV and radio shows, and whose capacity for invention never flagged. In `Christmas, East Cheam Style', Hancock plays a modern-day Scrooge, pouring cold water all over his friends' plans for a perfect yuletide gathering, and allowing him to play-up to his curmudgeonly image. But he's not always so defeatist - in `P. C. Hancock', Tony and Bill decide the join the police and be a force for good, an idea which not surprisingly goes wrong from the first. Then, in `Michael Hancockelo', our boy decides to enter a sculpting competition, only to be told that all entries must be over ten feet tall. `That's coal-boxed that.' Says Tony, `I'm only five-feet nine.' Hattie then explains perspective to him, leading to the revelation that old Nelson wasn't fifteen feet tall. The remaining sketches are up to Galton and Simpson's, and Hancock's, usual high standard, and demonstrate perfectly why Hancock was so highly-regarded.
I had this album on LP and played it over and over. It's a delight finally to own it again on CD. The only downside is that each excerpt really leaves you wanting more.