Series 4

Broadcast between 14th October 1956 and 24th February 1957, this series comprised 20 episodes of which 16 survive in the archive. A further 3 episodes survive as good quality off air recordings and the remaining episode also survives in a reasonable quality off air recording.  The series was broadcast on Sundays at 16:00 with a Tuesday repeat at 20:00 (except episode 11, which was repeated on 24th December 1956 at 21:30).

Cast comprised Tony Hancock, Bill Kerr, Sidney James, Kenneth Williams and Hattie Jacques ( from episode 5 onwards).

1 Back From Holiday 14.10.56

(with Alan Simpson and Ray Galton) Hancock and Bill have been abroad on holiday.  On returning home they find that Sid has rented out their house.  The tenant won't move out so they retire to the doss-house...

2 The Bolshoi Ballet 21.10.56

(with Alan Simpson and Ray Galton) This episode survives as a good quality off air recording.  The initial episode  was repeated in the regular Tuesday repeat slot plus a further repeat in July 1957.

The Bolshoi Ballet visited London in 1956 and, in this topical episode, Hancock is determined to see the ballet.  However, there is a very long queue.  When Sid James sells him tickets, Hancock believes that he really will see the ballet after all.  But these are Sid James tickets and he soon finds himself back in the queue.

3 Sid James' Dad 28.1.56

(with Alan Simpson) This episode survives as a reasonable quality off air recording.  As with the previous episode, this episode was repeated in July 1956 in addition to it's regular Tuesday repeat.

Sid James' Dad is due to visit his son and Hancock agrees to allow Dad to stay at Railway Cuttings.  Sid explains his many court appearance by claiming to be a Judge but it appears that Sid may have inherited his true profession from his family!

4 The Income Tax Demand 4.11.56

(with Alan Simpson and Ray Galton) Rather than pay his tax bill of £14 12s 3d, Hancock takes the advice of Accountant Sid James and wishes that he had just paid the original tax bill in the first place!

5 The New Secretary 11.11.56

(with Alan Simpson and Hattie Jacques joins the cast). Wiped by the BBC and missing from the archives for many years, an excellent quality reel-to-reel off-air tape recording was discovered in 2003/ 2004 and the episode has subsequently been restored to the archive.

Hancock's paperwork is in a muddle and he decides that he needs a Secretary to sort it out. He puts an advert in the local paper which sets out his very specific requirements but he ends up with the incompetent Grizelda Pugh who makes a complete mess of his correspondence.

6 Michelangelo 'Ancock 18.11.56

(with Alan Simpson and Ray Galton) The local council decides to run a sculpture competition and Hancock decides to enter with Miss Pugh as the model.  But where is Sid getting the stone from?

7 Anna and The King of Siam 25.11.56

(with Alan Simpson, Ray Galton and Max Harris on piano) This episode was broadcast at the time of the release of the film 'The King and I' which was based on 'Anna and the King of Siam'. This tribute was a rather alternative version!

8 Cyrano de Hancock 2.12.56

Sid has fallen in love with Miss Pugh and decides to ask Hancock how best to propose.  But Hancock find that he has proposed to Miss Pugh ans she insists on getting married.

9 The Stolen Petrol 9.12.56

(with Alan Simpson and Ray Galton) his episode survives as a good quality off air recording.  The initial episode  was repeated in the regular Tuesday repeat slot plus a further repeat in August 1957.

Sid celebrates the return of petrol rationing by setting up a garage run by Hancock and selling petrol Sid and his gang have siphoned.

10 The Espresso Bar 16.12.56

(with Ray Galton) Hancock decides to open a coffee bar and rents a cellar from Sid.  All goes well and he's keen to expand. Sid offers him the cellar next door, when he realises it's the local nick where four of his mates are inside.

11 Hancock's Happy Christmas 23.12.56

(with Dorothy Marks, Michael Anderson, Alan Simpson and Ray Galton) Hancock hates Christmas and decides that there will be no decorations in 23 Railway Cuttings.  However, Miss Pugh has arranged for two children from the local orphanage to spend Christmas with Hancock with disastrous consequences.

12 The Diary 30.12.56

Hancock has been keeping a lock up diary for 1956.  He decides to reminisce on his year but instead imagines himself as a successful surgeon, lion-tamer and test pilot.

13 The 13th Of The Series 6.1.57

Hancock has joined the Druids and insists that he can't do the 13th radio show in the series. When the BBC threaten Hancock with a breach of contract action, Sub Druid Hancock decides to contact the Head Druid (Sid) who arranges an expensive ceremony at Stone Henge and comes face to face with the Stone Henge Police.

14 Almost A Gentleman 13.1.57

Hancock is once again missing from the New Year's Honours List so lakes lessons from Sid on how to become a gentleman.  But things don't go according to plan when he has to demonstrate his training before he receives his diploma.

15 The Old School Reunion 20.1.57

Hancock is invited back to his old school for the annual prize giving and tells Sid and Bill all about his time there.  But when they meet the Headmaster, all was not what it seemed.

16 The Wild Man Of The Woods 27.1.57

One of the most popular of the Hancock's Half Hours.  Hancock wants to get away from it all and decides to camp out on Clapham Common.  But after an initial setback Sid helps out by renting him a bit of forest..but what's in it for Sid?

17 Agricultural 'Ancock 3.2.57

Hancock can only keep paying his low rent if he proves himself to be an agricultural labourer.  Enter Sid, who sells Hancock a farm which looks suspiciously like Lord's Cricket Ground!

18 Hancock In The Police 10.2.57

Hancock and Bill decide to become Policemen and their beat is Bond Street.  But why are all the shops on their beat burgled.  The Police decide to set a trap...with Hancock disguised as a woman!

19 The Emigrant 17.2.57

Hancock decides to emigrate but can't choose which country should be honoured with his presence.  When they all refuse entry, Hancock asks Sid to help and he leaves the country using Harold MacMillan's passport.

20 The Last Of The McHancock's 24.2.57

(with James Robertson Justice) Hancock is left a castle in Scotland by his rich uncle so he goes to claim his inheritance but the local clan have other ideas..  When Sid finds out, he also heads to Scotland and poses as Bonny Prince Sidney with the result that Hancock is forced to defend his claim to the castle in a Highland Games contest between Bonny Prince Sidney, Seamus McNasty and Hancock.  But what is that heading towards Russia?!!

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