Frankie Howerd: The Lost Tapes

Radio Times
Review by:
Alison Graham

Comedian Frankie Howerd’s Somerset home, Wavering Down, remained largely untouched after his death in 1992. Frankie Howerd: the Lost Tapes uncovers a huge archive of his letters, files and recordings for this fond recollection of a curious career.

Howerd, with his terrible wig, his nudge-nudge act and catchphrases based on the infinite comic possibilities of the word “tittering”, was a well-loved figure, though his career suffered deep troughs and he could be tough to work with.

But he was a doughty fighter who wouldn’t give up, his huge success as leering Lurcio in the BBC sitcom Up Pompeii came after a long period in the doldrums. This is a fascinating portrait of a curious man, peppered with clips from real oddities, including an atrocious film with, of all people, the Bee Gees.

About this programme

Two decades after his death, this documentary celebrating the comedian's life and 40-year career in entertainment includes clips from his classic shows and rare footage, from pilots and home movies to material from a live stand-up gig. The programme also looks at Howerd's extensive collection of correspondence, including exchanges with Laurence Olivier and Paul McCartney, and hears from famous fans such as Bruce Forsyth, Barry Cryer and Clive Anderson.

Cast and crew


Bruce Forsyth
Barry Cryer
Clive Anderson
Ray Galton
Alan Simpson


Andy Humphries
Executive Producer
Mat Steiner
Andy Humphries