0 5 mins 10 yrs

David Threlfall pulls off a Tommy Cooper with ease


The only thing I found disappointing about ITV’s Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This – the feature-length drama biopic based on the country most loved comedian – was the last bit of the credits! I didn’t want it to end!

However, sadly this isn’t all sunshine and glory. The one-off drama starring David Threlfall, Helen McCrory and Amanda Redman, tells us the heartbreaking story of Tommy Cooper’s wife and mistress. Both who ended up falling for the fez wearing comic. And the comic’s dark side of drinking and violence.

On the 15th April 1984, live at her Majesty’s Theatre, Tommy Cooper made his last stand on stage and died instantly from a major heart attack in front of all of the audience at the age of only 63 years old. The drama tells the events that lead up to his demise.

The story begins with Tommy Cooper (David Threlfall) and his beloved wife Gwen (Amanda Redman) who share laughter and love between them. Cooper’s career went through a phase of everyone beginning to love him, his silly jokes and tricks. He loved touring and loved doing TV work (he would have picked touring any day!).

One day, out of the blue, Tommy Cooper meets a young and attractive Mary Fieldhouse (Helen McCrory) and sparks started to fly. The pair begun to fall for each other and started a strong affair which lasted for a very very long time! However, his wife was left unaware of this affair and Tommy has never been happier. During the affair, Mary kept calling it off, once straight after he violently hits her in the bar. But the love between them was too strong. And Tommy finally realised that he may love Gwen, but his heart belongs to Mary. Towards the end, Tommy’s drinking caught up to him and he ended up not enjoying his work and begun to give up areas of his life.

I’ve seen many films and TV dramas based on famous people and I’ve always sat there and said they were good. But David Threlfall as Tommy Cooper is without a doubt, one of the greatest of all time! To act and talk like Tommy Cooper and to film his death scene must have been a bit daunting for David. Threlfall is sadly underrated and isn’t known to many people. This is the same man who played a bad drunken father, Frank in Shameless. The same man who played an evil character in Afterlife, a great detective in What Remains and now he plays the legend himself, Mr Tommy Cooper!

Amanda Redman and Helen McCrory should also be praised by their wonderful acting. All three stars has given such a strong attitude towards the drama, they all deserve an award. And this goes to the entire cast and crew aswell! ITV has given us many good dramas in the past, but this must be the best one ever!

Unfortunately, people who watched the drama might now be having second thoughts and questions about the comic. Yes, he cheated on his married wife. He was a heavy drinker and he violently hit his mistress. He was also rude to his agent, but he always joked about; Always looked on the funny side of things. Was this his guilt? Did his obsession with working all the time catch up with him? Clearly the drinking didn’t help either. Who knows? Maybe it was true. But it was still a brilliant piece of work. And I have a gut feeling that this drama will always be remembered by those who watched it. David Thelfall should feel proud of himself. He took on a role which many an “overrated” actor couldn’t do….