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Sid James; Tony Hancock

2 of 14 portraits of Sid James

Sid James; Tony Hancock, by Bob Collins, 1959 - NPG x45334 - © estate of Bob Collins / National Portrait Gallery, London

© estate of Bob Collins / National Portrait Gallery, London

Sid James; Tony Hancock

by Bob Collins
bromide print, 1959
9 1/2 in. x 7 5/8 in. (240 mm x 194 mm)
Given by Bob Collins, 1994
Photographs Collection
NPG x45334

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  • Bob Collins (1924-2002), Photographer. Artist of 220 portraits, Sitter in 5 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Hancock's Half Hour began on radio in 1954, transferred to television two years later and ran until 1961. It featured the lugubrious Anthony Hancock, whose elaborate schemes to improve his lot in life were doomed to failure and to cynical commentary by his room-mate Sid. This photograph was taken on the set of Hancock's Half Hour in 1959.

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Events of 1959back to top

Current affairs

Harold Macmillan wins the general election with an increased majority, returning to office as Conservative prime minister. The victory was the result of perceived economic improvement under the Conservative government, and his (misquoted) boast: 'you've never had it so good.' During his premiership he earned the nickname 'Supermac', coined by cartoonist, Victor 'Vicky' Weisz.

Art and science

Claudia Jones organises the first West Indian-style carnival in the country, starting the tradition of the annual Notting Hill carnival. The event was a response to the race riots of 1958, and an attempt to celebrate West Indian culture and help overcome racial prejudice by giving the whole community the opportunity to join in the event.


Fidel Castro becomes leader of Cuba. After defeating the American-backed Batista government, Castro's revolutionary army arrived in Havana on 8th January where Castro proclaimed himself Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Within a month, Prime Minister José Miró Cardona had resigned, and Castro took over.
In Tibet, an uprising against Chinese rule is brutally crushed, and the Dalai Lama flees to India, beginning his long exile.

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Tristan Brittain-Dissont

21 January 2017, 14:57

There are several images in your collection of Tony Hancock with cast and crew taken by Bob Collins. It states that these were taken from the show 'Hancock'. This is incorrect. The programme in question was 'Hancock's Half Hour'. 'Hancock' was a later series which featured Tony but not Sid James

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