Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This is a 2014 television film made by Left Bank Pictures. The film focuses on the life of the late Tommy Cooper, the popular British comedian, and the dilemma he faced when he fell in love with his assistant Mary Kay. At the time he was married to Gwen, whom he affectionately nicknamed Dove. Tommy was unable to choose between the two women and embarked upon a dual relationship that would last for 17 years. Cooper died during a live TV recording of Live From Her Majesty’s in front of millions of television viewers on 15 April 1984.
Helen as: Mary Kay
Release Date: April 21, 2014
Directed by: Benjamin Caron
Written by: Simon Nye, John Fisher (book)
Cast: David Threlfall, Amanda Redman, Gregor Fisher etc.
With his trade-mark fez and bumbling stage persona involving clever conjuring tricks which appear to have gone wrong Tommy Cooper is one of Britain’s most popular comedians, respected by his peers. However behind the public image is a curmudgeonly man who drinks too much. Mother of his children Tom Junior and Vicky, his wife Gwen – known as Dove – frequently travels with him to his performances but now feels that her place is at home with the children. Afraid of loneliness Tommy asks the married stage manager Mary Kay to join him on tour . Whilst Dove is concerned that his drinking and late nights are damaging to his health and a sign for him to give up, Mary is encouraging – partly as she sees Tommy as being helpful to her husband’s writing aspirations. Soon Tommy is declaring his love for Mary whilst remaining married to Dove, with whom there are violent domestic exchanges. Surprisingly Tommy is able to sustain relationships with both women until his death on stage in 1984, a fact which causes sarcastic comments from Miff, his plain-spoken agent, who is not afraid to tell Tommy exactly what he thinks of him.