MORTIMER, Johnnie; COOKE, Brian; RUDGE, Myles

Stop Messing About

N.P. [London]: N.p. [BBC], 1969

30 mimeographed pp., secured with pin to top left. Initialled 'J' to top right of title page, Sims' name underlined in red, a little bumping and age-toning, but a very good copy.


The BBC radio show Round The Horne, one of the medium's finest, funniest and filthiest flowerings, came to an abrupt and tragic end after four series with the death of its star, Kenneth Horne, in February 1969. Prescribed an anticoagulant for a heart condition, Horne was persuaded by a faith healer to stop taking it. He died of heart failure while presenting an awards ceremony at the Dorchester.

Without its star, Round The Horne could not continue. But the material for Series Five was already far advanced at the time of Horne's death, and it was recycled into Stop Messing About, a show featuring most of Round The Horne's surviving cast -- and Joan Sims, the Carry On stalwart who had already been cast as the replacement for the departing Betty Marsden. Stop Messing About ran for a respectable two series in 1969-70, but never really emerged from the shadow of its predecessor. Kenneth Williams, a supporting actor of genius, struggled to anchor the show. But even if Williams had been able to do a better job of leading from the front, the show was still Round The Horne without Kenneth Horne, a melancholy reminder of what radio had lost.

This script is the working copy used by Sims to record the sixth episode of Stop Messing About, and is extensively marked up with her underlinings, deletions and amendments throughout. Unique and beautiful.

Keywords: Johnnie MORTIMER Brian COOKE Myles RUDGE Joan SIMS"


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