My Hero: Ben Miller on Tony Hancock

Tue Aug 27, 10.35-11.35pm, BBC1

Fair play to any comedian who, even by implication, places himself next to Tony Hancock. This fond tribute comes from the amiable Ben Miller, who wisely keeps himself firmly out of the story.

Miller doesn’t seem the agonised type, whereas Hancock redefined the notion of the sad clown during his sadly truncated life. And, as Miller explores his hero’s career, he finds plenty of betrayal, disappointment and dysfunction. ‘A moody perfectionist with a great interest in money and no sense of loyalty,’ was the BBC’s verdict.

Still, while Hancock’s output isn’t characterised by any great consistency, his finest moments suggest a true original. As he retraces Hancock’s footsteps through life and meets various of his comedy co-conspirators, Miller’s excited engagement with Hancock’s traces becomes palpable. Enjoyment of the resulting film will still largely depend on your feelings for Hancock himself but, if you’re a fan, this will be a treat.

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