7 of 11 portraits of Eric Sykes
© estate of Bob Collins / National Portrait Gallery, London
by Bob Collins
2 1/4 inch square transparency, 1959
Given by Rudolph John Acton, 2003
Sitterback to top
- Eric Sykes (1923-2012), Actor, comedian, writer, director and producer. Sitter in 11 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Bob Collins (1924-2002), Photographer. Artist or producer of 220 portraits, Sitter in 5 portraits.
Events of 1959back to top
Current affairsHarold 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 scienceClaudia 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.
InternationalFidel 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.
Tudor and Elizabethan matching pairs
Test your memory by playing our matching pairs game. Three levels of difficulty make it fun for the whole family.
Regency familiar faces
Rearrange tiles to uncover sitters from the Gallery's Collection by playing our puzzle game.
Who do you think you were?
Answer a few lifestyle questions about the Elizabethan period and discover your inner Elizabethan!
Tell us more
Framed & unframed prints
Choose your favourite portrait from our Collection as a framed or unframed print for your home.