Keep 'em Laughing - 100 Years Of Tommy Cooper [Radio Wales]

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2021031920210322 (RW)Mike Bubbins looks back at the life and career of the Welsh comedian and magician Tommy Cooper

Known for his large gawky appearance together with his trademark red fez and famous catchphrase 'just like that' people would often laugh the moment they saw him.

Tommy broke every rule in the comedy book, he told jokes no other comedian would get away with, and he based his act around getting things wrong. In doing so he secured his place in our hearts forever.

And a century after he was born in Caerphilly in March 1921, Tommy Cooper is still finding new fans.

Here, in a magical mix of Tommy from the archives, as well as new interviews, Radio Wales celebrates the career of a unique force in British comedy.

From his early days and the first magic set, to the health problems and the fateful last television appearance, the programme looks back at his rollercoaster life - and examines what was so special and enduring about his act.

Mike hears via the archives from the likes of Ronnie Corbett, Michael Parkinson, Shiela Steafal and former producer Royston Mayoh together with new interviews with veteran entertainer Anita Harris who worked with him extensively on stage and Welsh artistes, actors and writers inspired by him including Tudur Owen, Leroy Brito, Noel James and Dyfan Rees. Mike also hears from Alan Wightman who was in the wings at Her Majesty's Theatre in London when he collapsed and died of a heart attack in front of millions watching television in 1984.

Producers: Ashley Byrne and Kurt Brookes
An MIM Production for BBC Radio Wales

Mike Bubbins celebrates the life of iconic Welsh comedian and magician Tommy Cooper