Hancock's Half Hour
was a British radio and TV show of the late 50s and early 60s (the last few series were shortened to 25 minutes to fit American TV slots and retitled Hancock
The show concerned Anthony Hancock, a character played by the comedian Tony Hancock, and his flatmate Sid (Sid James), and was written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, later writers of Steptoe And Son.
Hancock played a rather melancholy man who believed the world was in large part conspiring against him, and was concerned with nothing more than respectability. Sid on the other hand was a shameless chancer and con man who would try any scam going.
The original radio show had two extra characters, Bill, played by an Australian comedian, Bill Kerr, whose main characteristic was utter stupidity, and a housemaid played by Hattie Jacques, whose main characteristic was that she was fat. These characters were dropped from the TV show because even though both the radio and TV shows were made by the BBC, there was tremendous infighting between departments and they had to pretend the two series were entirely different when clearly they are the same.
The radio series also regularly featured Kenneth Williams (who appeared in many of the Carry On films with James and Jacques), but he was almost entirely absent from the TV show because while he played several different parts on the radio, this was not feasible on TV.
The series ended when Hancock got upset at the direction the show was taking (he felt his character was being degraded too much), and moved to ITV to work with new writers. He later moved to Australia, where he killed himself in 1968.