Tony Hancock, The Definitive Biography by John Fisher (Harper Collins, £8.99)
IT is difficult to argue with the author’s claims that without Hancock there would have been no Steptoe, no Alf Garnett, no Alan Partridge and no David Brent.
Hancock was undoubtedly one of post-war Britain’s most innovative comedians and probably its most popular, uniting the nation in laughter with Hancock’s Half Hour, the show that established the situation comedy.
In this thorough and fascinating appraisal of 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. Unprecedented access to the Hancock family and its archives adds to the celebration of this comedy hero.
This book truly shows the tears behind the laughter and how tragedy and comedy can often go hand in hand.