Nominee for Best Documentary Series at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards (2016)

A three part documentary series definitively exploring the life, work and legacy of Bob Monkhouse – with exclusive access to the many volumes of illustrated joke books which the comedian wrote and compiled during his long career. Bob’s friend and fellow performer Paul O’Grady presents from a recreated replica set of Bob’s own study where he is surrounded by the hundreds of scripts, joke routines, comedic collectibles and correspondence from a career than spanned over fifty years and took in script writing, stand up comedy, film acting, television and radio compering, cartoon art…and of course, hosting game shows. 

 

In the first programme, Paul looks at Bob’s early work and his efforts to establish himself as a comedy writing – offering jokes, in the first instance, to the big comedians of the day like Max Miller. Paul looks through some examples of Bob’s early art work, never previously seen in public, and learns of his writing partnership with Denis Goodwin and the scale of their industrious output.

 

In the second programme, Bob’s career on television is examined in detail – and in particular, his role as ‘The King of the Gameshows’. Bob presented more gameshows on British television that anyone else, and Bob’s precise skills in this are analysed in detail alongside footage of some of his most popular shows like For Love or Money, The Golden Shot, Celebrity Squares, Family Fortunes and Bob’s Full House.

 

In the third programme, Paul examines Bob’s work as a stand up comedian. Monkhouse had a reputation as the hardest working comic in Britain, and Paul looks at how he managed to ride the changes of taste and style in comedy across multiple decades, and in particular his reinvention in the mid-1990s. The programme features archive material previously unseen on television.

 

Contributors to the series included Warwick Davis, Ken Bruce, Russ Abbot, Jimmy Tarbuck, Debra Stephenson, Anne Aston, Tim Vine, Barry Cryer, Les Dennis, Tony Blackburn, Gaby Roslin, Ricky Grover, Junior Simpson, Jon Culshaw, Sue Nicholls, Dominic Holland, Steve Punt, Anita Harris, David Renwick, Eamonn Holmes and Joe Pasquale.

 

Produced for UKTV Gold

Bob Monkhouse: The Million Joke Man