Arts > Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This

24 April 2014 | by John Morrish

Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This


ITVAnyone who watched television in the 1960s and 1970s will remember Tommy Cooper. Barely adapting his old stage act for the new medium, he performed magic, and his tricks went wrong. When he wasn’t doing that, he fired off endless one-liners. He was brilliant and, by and large, people loved him. In Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This (ITV, 21 April), a biographical drama by Simon Nye, the act was given plenty of screen time. But we also learned a great deal about this difficult, troubled man, and about the harsh world of comedy itself. There were three central characters in the play, and all were wonderfully portrayed. David Threlfall contrived to look and sound amazingly like Cooper: that long, battered face, switching from a kind of wary belligerence to manic cackling; the hu


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