Nick Hancock

Nick Hancock

Nick Hancock started his comedy career at Cambridge, where he was president of the Footlights alongside Hugh Dennis and Steve Punt. After several years on the circuit, he got his break with by hosting Room 101, which he co-created and fronted from 1992 to 1999. And in 1995 he began presenting They Think It’s All Over alongside regular team captains Gary Lineker and David Gower. Lee Mack replaced him as host in 2005, and Hancock stepped down from showbusiness: First to work for a mortgage company and then to stay at home as a househusband..

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They think this comeback's all over...

Nick Hancock gig pulled over poor ticket sales

He was once a regular face on prime-time BBC One, seen by up to 12 million viewers a week as host of  They Think It’s All Over.

But Nick Hancock’s attempts at a showbusiness comeback have stalled after struggling to sell tickets for a live show.

The Miners’ Theatre in Ammanford,  Carmarthenshire, holds just 210 people – but  Hancock has pulled his planned performance there on Thursday in the face of poor sales.

He had been hoping to use the gig to try out a new comedy sports quiz show, called Squeaky Bum Time and had booked a panel of guests: Rugby referee Nigel Owens, retired Welsh international rugby union player Lee Byrne, ex-Swansea City player Lee Trundle and sprint athlete Jamie Baulch. 

However, venue operators Theatrau Sir Gar posted on Twitter last night: ‘Unfortunately due to low ticket sales Squeaky Bum Time has been cancelled, thank u all 4 sharing & 4 those who booked.’

Another gig at the Chipping Norton Theatre scheduled for May 4 has been cancelled too. That venue said: ‘Due to forces beyond our control, the producers of Squeaky Bum Time have taken the decision to cancel this performance. There are no plans at this time to reschedule.’

Hancock stood down from showbusiness after he was replaced as the host of They Think It’s All Over by Lee Mack in 2005. He said: felt I’d outstayed my welcome. I felt like the child in the playground who was told he was out of the game.’

He went to work for a mortgage-broking company, but left after a year admitting: ‘I did enjoy it, but it made me realise that perhaps there’s a reason why I do the job I do – I’m not particularly good at anything else. I missed working in television. I missed the collaborative process of working with people and creating something.’

Since then he has been a househusband in Stoke to wife Shari and children Dolores, 15, and Harvey, 13 – although he has done occasional guest work on BBC Radio Stoke and briefly hosted the BBC Two show Breakaway,

He announced his intention to make a comeback back in November, saying of Squeaky Bum Time: ‘The format is a bit like They Think It’s All Over. It’s basically a sporting evening. It’s a quiz, but there will also be interviews with sports stars taking part and also a bit of stand-up comedy.’

He developed the show with Cloud9 Management, which said that other planned try-out gigs were cancelled following a disagreement with a live promoter it had been working with.

However, they decided to go ahead with the Ammanford gig, which had already been rescheduled once, ‘to be fair to the venue, talent and ticket holders’.

In a statement, Cloud9 said: ‘In retrospect this was a mistake. The managers of the Miners’ Theatre, who have been excellent and thoroughly understanding throughout, questioned the suitability of the venue for a show such as this and with only a few days to pull the show together it indeed proved too much, particularly for a company like Cloud9 which isn’t a theatre promoter.

‘All talent booked, crew and the venue will be paid what is due to them due to this cancellation. ‘The potential popularity of Nick Hancock or the format should not be judged by this decision. Chipping Norton, for instance, had sold a great number of tickets despite no names announced and were confident of a sell-out, even at short notice. ‘Cloud9 Management Ltd. still believes Squeaky Bum Time is an excellent format that will prove a very popular show with audiences and we are currently in discussions with alternative promoters.’

Hancock started his comedy career at Cambridge, where he was president of the Footlights alongside  Hugh Dennis and Steve Punt. After several years on the circuit, he got his break by hosting Room 101, which he co-created and fronted from 1992 to 1999. And in 1995 he began presenting They Think It’s All Over alongside regular team captains Gary Lineker and David Gower.
 

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Published: 26 Apr 2016

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