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Frankie Howerd: The Lost Tapes

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Review

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.

Summary

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 & Crew

Contributor Bruce Forsyth
Contributor Barry Cryer
Contributor Clive Anderson
Contributor Ray Galton
Contributor Alan Simpson
Director Andy Humphries
Executive Producer Mat Steiner
Producer Andy Humphries
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