Friday 1 November 2019

Frank Bellamy and the Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse

I was looking for a copy of the Bob Monkhouse 'wall' of art and realised I have never blogged about it beyond mentioning it in passing back in 2011. So let me correct that straight away.

A screenshot from "Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse" BBC4

The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse was first broadcast on 3 January 2011  and ran for 90 minutes. The blurb for the show was:
The extraordinary story of comedian Bob Monkhouse's life and career, told through the vast private archive of films, TV shows, letters and memorabilia that he left behind.
The anonymous writer who contributed to IMDB said it better:
When Bob Monkhouse's widow died and his house was being prepared for market, the amazing extent of his private collection of video and audio recordings was realized. Among them were many treasures which had previously been believed to be lost to the nation. This films delves into just some of the highlights of that trove, and reveals the multi-layered man behind the glossy TV persona.

It's not currently available on the BBC iPlayer or on YouTube (there are many Monkhouse videos on YouTube) but is repeated from time to time.

So what's the significance to Frank Bellamy? You'll know, if you follow this blog, that many Bellamy originals have now come on the market from Bob Monkhouse's extensive collection.

A quick tour of one corridor in Bob Monkhouse's art collection
 As the camera pans down the corridor we can clearly see some Bellamy - the three Garth "Sundance" strips (see below) plus what looks like "Heros the Spartan" below them and the fantasy piece you've previously seen here. 3 Garth "Sundance" story strips (E206, E212 and E223) came to auction previously from Bob Monkhouse's archive so we are yet to see these three and of course, the family may decide to keep them.

Garth: Sundance E180

Garth: Sundance E182
Garth: Sundance E191

I think Alan Burrows saved me a lot of work when he showed us some of the Heros strips that Bob Monkhouse owned. Episode #21 of the Heros story "The Slave Army" (published in Eagle Vol 16:29  17 July 1965)
Eagle Vol 16:29  17 July 1965
and also from correspondence with Bob, Alan showed us this 'fantasy illustration'.
Fantasy illustration
I know for a fact that this is not all Bob owned (especially as some have come up for auction in the last few years) but several fans remember this documentary and the fact so many Bellamy pieces were identifiable. There! I've now blogged about that too!


Kid said...

I remember seeing the programme when it was first shown and being a little jealous of Bob's collection. Nice to know that he was such a comics fan (as well as a cartoonist himself).

Mike Nicoll said...

Ah the great Bob Monkhouse - what a gentleman indeed! Alan (Burrows) probably told you this already but it's worth repeating : we were working on the Gopherville Argus back in the 90's and had been corresponding with Bob when I asked about the original pieces he had and he actually went and got a professional photographer to take these pics for us, sending the original roll of film in the post! What a guy!!!!