Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
Dickie Henderson Half-Hour, The (1958-59)

Courtesy of Julian Hilton

Main image of Dickie Henderson Half-Hour, The (1958-59)
For Jack Hylton Presents, Jack Hylton TV Productions for Rediffusion/ITV, 4/7/1958-22/6/1959
19 x 30 minutes episodes in two series, black & white
DirectorBill Hitchcock
ScriptJack Hylton TV Scripts

Cast: Dickie Henderson, Anthea Askey, Eve Lister, Bernard Hunter, Freddie Mills

Show full cast and credits

Sketches and song from Dickie Henderson and friends.

Show full synopsis

Created as a vehicle for entertainer Dickie Henderson, this show ran for two very successful series under the Jack Hylton Presents banner. It followed the same format every week, with a song from a guest singer and two or three comedy sketches.

Most of the sketches followed a similar format, with Henderson and co-star Anthea Askey (daughter of Arthur) playing husband and wife, usually with a maximum of bickering and misunderstanding. Eve Lister and Bernard Hunter gave fairly regular support, as, in the first series, did ex-boxer Freddie Mills. The domestic set-up is very much of its time, with Henderson being the working husband and Askey the rather scatty housewife at home; most of the comedy stems from their inability to communicate with one another without confusion and misconstruction: with Anthea continually correcting and undermining Dickie as he tries to tell a story, or the two squabbling about the washing-up.

As well as the comedy to be had from married life, a recurring theme was that of Dickie as a man with all the world seemingly conspiring against him - whether struggling vainly to be served at the lunch counter or stuck in the wrong queue in the post office. There were also numerous silent movie spoofs, giving Henderson plenty of scope for over-acting

The series was a relatively new type of comedy for British television: fast-paced and wordy, packing a lot into each 25-minute episode. It proved an excellent showcase for Henderson's talents, and provided him with the perfect foil in Askey. But what was new to Britain was not as original as it appeared. The viewing public were initially in the dark about the source of the scripts - American comedian Sid Caesar's highly successful series Your Show of Shows, with contributions from the likes of Neil Simon and Woody Allen. Jack Hylton and Associated-Rediffusion had done a deal to share the cost of buying in the scripts, and for the first series the cast themselves took responsibility for Anglicising any particularly obvious American references (for the second series, the scripts were properly edited).

So successful was the pairing of Henderson and Askey that they toured with a stage show, and their adventures were even turned into a comic strip.

Pam Rostron

Click titles to see or read more

Video Clips
1. A funny joke (4:13)
2. Charming neighbour (3:34)
3. The Love Bandit intro (1:32)
4. In search of the stolen jewels (2:47)
Complete episode (20:06)
Hylton, Jack (1892-1965)