Long lost Tony Hancock radio scripts to be revived at Black Country show

BOROUGH comedy buffs will be able to indulge in the discovery of some long lost Tony Hancock radio scripts which are set to be revived at Stourbridge Town Hall in September.

The scripts date back to the early 1950’s and are believed to be the first sitcom ever written in Britain.

Birmingham born Tony Hancock went onto become one of the giants of British post war comedy and was best known by many for his radio and TV series Hancock’s Half Hour.

The story of the lost scripts go back to 1952 when Halesowen-based comedy writer Larry Stephens convinced the BBC to let him create a new comedy series for his friend and rising radio star Hancock.

Entitled ‘Vacant Lot’, the series focused on life in the fictional seaside town of Churdley Bay, where the blundering, often pompous and barely tolerated Hancock operates as a local auctioneer and wannabe councillor who desperately aspires to better his lot.

Despite featuring a supporting cast of colourful characters, the series was never recorded and the scripts consequently lay buried in the BBC archives for over six decades.

Now the scripts will be brought back to life in Stourbridge by Birmingham Comedy Festival on September 19 at the Town Hall.

Impressionist James Hurn, who featured on the BBC 2 series Dead Ringers, plays Hancock, while the cast also includes Phoenix Nights star Janice Connolly, who is also renowned for her feel good stand-up comedy alter ego Mrs Barbara Nice.

Little of Hancock’s early work has survived, so the scripts give an all too rare glimpse into Hancock and what would have been his first major leading role.

Tickets are already on sale for Vacant Lot at £14 and are available from www.boroughhalls.co.uk or by calling the box office on 01384 812812.

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