Want the ultimate Britcom collectable? Don't worry, it's not in Pompeii


Are you a British comedy fan with a spare 450,000 pounds ($696,000) you don’t know what do with? Have we got a deal for you. The estate of Carry On and Up Pompeii star, Frankie Howerd, is up for grabs along with the right to acquire a share of the over 4,000 piece collection of Howerd’s memorabilia. Included in the collection are hours of private interviews conducted before the comic legends’ death which detail much of his private life along with his friendship with the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Judy Garland. Here’s the scoop according to the Daily Mail.

Howerd estateThe Somerset country home and all its’ contents have been left virtually untouched since Howerd’s death in 1992. Howerd’s partner and manager, Dennis Heymer, lived in the house until his death this past year. Looking at some of the artifacts, you’d think they came from the set of Up Pompeii, when, in reality, they’re actually real statues over 2,500 years old and a fossilized egg found in Pompeii that was a gift to Howerd by the Italian government.

For me, it’s enough to just remember Howerd’s camp ad-libbed monologues as Lurcio during Up Pompeii that were delivered directly to the audience. Think I’ll leave the checkbook at home and let someone else have a shot at the estate.

  • Celeste

    Makes me want to see Up Pompeii again, though!

    • @Celeste: Same here. Also, there were several spin-offs (if you can call them that) that are worth a look to. Whoops Baghdad and Then Churchill Said to Me that starred Frankie Howerd, post Up Pompeii. Haven’t seen either one, but may have to check them out. Also, years later, Howerd did a one-off program called Further Up Pompeii that followed the storyline that Lurcio was free and actually owned a servant. All of these are done in the same style as the original so may be worth a fond look back.

  • Celeste

    Bill – thanks for the info on the other Frankie Howerd shows, none of which I’ve seen! He may be campy but always makes me laugh. Maybe sometime there will be a spot in the lineup for his…unique style of comedy?

    • Celeste, I need to try again re: Up Pompeii. For some reason, the last time we tried to acquire, the rights weren’t available. I wonder if they were tied up in the estate or not. Question would be who did all the rights revert back to if BBC no longer has them. I’ll check and see and keep you posted. Like you, I haven’t seen the others. Check YouTube for TheHowerdCollection. I believe you can see all of his series put up by a big fan.

  • Celeste

    Bill, you are right, the other series are on YouTube – thanks for the suggestion – can’t wait to check them out! Up Pompeii isn’t on there, though. The movie is, but not the series. It will be interesting to find out what happens with the rights to the program. Also interesting to see what happens with that estate!