Here I am outside the large semi-detached home where comedian Tony Hancock was born. When Iím out walking on the hills I sometimes put some of his comedies on my mp3 player and even though I know whatís going to happen theyíre still funny. They donít seem to date and seem to last as theyíre based on everyday situations folk can relate to.
There were about a hundred Hancockís Half Hour radio episodes over seven peak years in the fifties. Many thought it was a mistake to transfer it to television but it made Tony a bigger star and he was the first comedian to demands £1000 for a half hour show. I asked my mum and dad if it was true that his shows were so popular that they cleared they streets but they couldnít remember.
I prefer the episodes featuring Sid James but rubber-faced Tony got rid of him when he feared they were becoming a double act. In the end he got rid of talented regular actors and his legendary regular scriptwriters Galton and Simpson and isolated himself. He committed the ultimate isolation by swilling down lots of pills with vodka in his flat in Sydney Australia aged 44.
This roomy Victorian house was among others of similar size and quality. All the houses on Southham Road boasted the width and depth required to make a roomy guesthouse but they seemed to be privately owned and thankfully hadnít been butchered into flats. This is a nice house on a nice road in a nice area so Tony probably had a nice life here. However itís doubtful he had no memories of the place as when he was three the family moved to Bournemouth on the south coast where his dad ran a hotel (he died when Tony was ten.)
Iíve been to the hotel. Please see the link here...
The house is on a quiet road of detached houses. These two photos were taken with the house behind meÖ