A couple of these stories have potential, even if unfulfilled potential, but the others are simply abysmal, marking the sad collapse of the greatest television comedian. Best BBC show- For perfection, read The Economy Drive, or of course The Blood Donor.Laurel and Hardy did almost revive their careers on stage, but sadly the lad from East Cheam never quite made a good comeback. Funniest moment- I love The Missing Page, as Tony goes mad when he gets to '...

Yes the missing ingredient is Galton and Simpson, those ace scriptwriters.

Twenty years earlier Laurel and Hardy, the greatest comedy duo had seen their film career collapse, when writers insisted on merely recreating their old gags.

And so here, this is sub Hancock, the same Hancock washed up again, but never in quite the right mixture as before, and never with any inventiveness.

So many wonderful comedy gems have been needlessly wiped!

Of course, to put it another way, a lot of dud material too, some of which, like Meet the Wife, have irritatingly survived the years.

But, oh, to be able to turn back the clock, and remonstrate with the short sighted executives who insisted tapes were wiped. and 3 Firecrackers - I really enjoyed this Will Hay-type comedy.

Here are just three fine series the first two of which have some survivors, but all of which I would love to see again, but probably never will: 1 Hancock's Half Hour - several gems missing- I remember one particular, The Wrong Man from 1959. 4.1 Ericson the Viking 4.3 The Set That Failed (1959) 4.4 The New Nose 4.11 The Oak Tree 4.12 The Knighthood 5.1 The Economy Drive 5.3 Lord Byron Lived Here 5.4 Twelve Angry Young Men 5.5 The Train Journey 5.6 The Cruise By common consent his BBC Half Hour was the pinnacle of early TV comedy.

The best of the scripts provided Tony Hancock with a brilliant foil for his comic genius.

Yet to assume they are all perfection would be too hopeful- quite often the shows are almost as humdrum as the very best of their contemporaries, however when at the peak of excellence, they are unsurpassable even today.