In the mid-1960s, Joan, not long married to comic actor John Le Mesurier, meets and is mutually attracted to comedian Tony Hancock, married to the long-suffering Freddie. Hancock's most ... See full summary »
In the mid-1960s, Joan, not long married to comic actor John Le Mesurier, meets and is mutually attracted to comedian Tony Hancock, married to the long-suffering Freddie. Hancock's most successful period is in the past and he has become depressive and alcoholic, recently emerging from a stay in a rehab centre. Joan tells him that if he can remain sober for a year she will leave John for him. Hancock goes to Australia to film a comedy series there but it does not work out and he commits suicide. Joan stays with John until his death in the 1980s. Written by
[Tony and Joan have just made love; in a panic at his forthcoming stage performance, Tony rushes to the toilet, suffering from a sudden attack of diarrhoea]
What am I doing? My arse has exploded and my teeth are chattering.
Joan Le Mesurier:
When I was living in Ramsgate, my friend Sheila worked on the dog track. She said when you see the dogs on parade before the race, if one of them has a hard-on or has just had a crap, put your money on it. I'd back you on both counts tonight.
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This was a superbly well crafted TV drama with cracking performances form both leads that made your heart go out to both characters even though you could not help but see the banality of their relationship and the selfishness both of them showed to all those who loved them. Stott and Peake are both outstanding and I hope they receive credit and praise for their performances (it is good to see Peake moving on from 'Shameless' and I for one never expected such a quality performance of restraint from her). The depiction of Tony Hancock's affair with Joan is not pleasant viewing as most of us will know the outcome from the start and it is certainly not pleasant watching people fall into a circle of disaster all caused by one man's impending sense of doom thoroughly fuelled by chronic alcoholism, and you do really feel for the people around them, especially Joan's husband John (another excellent performance by Alex Jennings). Hightly effective viewing which achieves all it sets out to do.
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