Marking Monkhouse

Great comedy, unlike great comedians, never dies. Rare treasures from Bob Monkhouseís personal archive are aired to mark the 10th anniversary of his death.

Many will remember Bob Monkhouse as the archetypal quiz show host but, in reality, he had been a prolific gag writer for most of his life. His first efforts were published in The Beano while he was still attending school in Dulwich. After the war, he teamed up with school friend Denis Goodwin to write for the likes of Arthur Askey, Max Miller and Bob Hope.

Monkhouse was an avid collector of not only his own output but also works by those he admired. By the time he died, he had amassed well over 30,000 tapes in a purpose-built store in his Bedfordshire home and itís from there that these two selections have been chosen. Fletcherís Fare and Mixed Doubles, both written by Monkhouse and Goodwin, will have their first airing in some 50 years.

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Great comedy, unlike great comedians, never dies. Rare treasures from Bob Monkhouseís personal archive are aired to mark the 10th anniversary of his death.

Many will remember Bob Monkhouse as the archetypal quiz show host but, in reality, he had been a prolific gag writer for most of his life. His first efforts were published in The Beano while he was still attending school in Dulwich. After the war, he teamed up with school friend Denis Goodwin to write for the likes of Arthur Askey, Max Miller and Bob Hope.

Monkhouse was an avid collector of not only his own output but also works by those he admired. By the time he died, he had amassed well over 30,000 tapes in a purpose-built store in his Bedfordshire home and itís from there that these two selections have been chosen. Fletcherís Fare and Mixed Doubles, both written by Monkhouse and Goodwin, will have their first airing in some 50 years.

Fletcher's Fare1953030220140101 (BBC7)
20180601 (BBC7)

Penned by Bob Monkhouse, comedy from Cyril Fletcher and guest Herbert Lom.

Comedy penned by Bob Monkhouse, from his private archive. Co-written by Denis Goodwin.

Cyril Fletcher mixes monologues and sketches with special guest, film star Herbert Lom (Inspector Dreyfus in the Pink Panther films) in a series of crazy mix-ups.

With Cyril's real wife, Betty Astell and budding comedy duo Bob Monkhouse and Denis Goodwin, who also scripted this series.

Back in the 1950s Cyril was one of radio comedy's pioneers, beginning on Radio Luxembourg before switching to the BBC. Cyril is probably best-remembered for reciting his 'Odd Odes' on BBC TV's That's Life with Esther Rantzen.

Producer: Leslie Bridgmont

First broadcast on the BBC Light Programme in March 1953.

4 Extra Debut. Penned by Bob Monkhouse, and from his private archive, comedy from Cyril Fletcher and his guest Herbert Lom. Co-written by Denis Goodwin. From March 1953.

Penned by Bob Monkhouse, and from his private archive, comedy from Cyril Fletcher and his guest Herbert Lom. Co-written by Denis Goodwin. From March 1953.

Mixed Doubles1957091320140101 (BBC7)
20180608 (BBC7)

Fun and games in SW19 from the pens of Monkhouse and Goodwin. Stars Cyril Fletcher.

Comedy penned by Bob Monkhouse, from his private archive. Co-written by Denis Goodwin.

Mixed Doubles in Wimbledon Avenue - a lesson in living.

Observed and written by Bob Monkhouse and Denis Goodwin.

Starring real-life married duo, Michael Denison and Dulcie Gray on one-side of the fence - and Cyril Fletcher and his sister Janet, played by Billie Whitelaw on the other.

With Pat Coombs and Anthea Askey.

Producer: Leslie Bridgmont

First broadcast on the BBC Light Programme in September 1957.

4 Extra Debut. Fun and games in SW19 from the pens of Monkhouse and Goodwin. Stars Cyril Fletcher and Billie Whitelaw. From September 1957.

Fun and games in SW19 from the pens of Bob Monkhouse and Denis Goodwin. Stars Cyril Fletcher and Billie Whitelaw.