Tony Hancock's premature death, in 1968 at the age of 44, deprived the entertainment world of perhaps the greatest post-war comedian to have emerged from this country.
It makes his 80 hours of material originally broadcast by the BBC on radio and television between 1954 and 1961 seem all the more priceless and rare. With his impeccable timing and brilliantly subtle shifts in intonation, he could create sound pictures that bore the unmistakeable hallmark of a genius.
Supported by Galton and Simpson's marvellous scripts, which so astutely complemented Hancock's talents, and admirably in the studio by Kenneth Williams, Sid James, Hattie Jaques, Bill Kerr and others, the work of Tony Hancock, here represented by four fine examples, lives on, sustained by a quality that transcends decades of cultural change and which sounds as hilarious now as it did more than 30 years ago.
This collection includes four more great episodes: The 13th of the Series, The Wild Man of the Woods, The Junk Man, and Bill and Father Christmas.
(P)1997, 1999 BBC Worldwide Ltd