The iconic comedian Tommy Cooper did not always receive a good press so on the anniversary of his death a new show has been released to redress the balance.

John Hewer takes on the role of the famous comic, and was delighted when Tommy's daughter Vicky, told him that she loved the script and the first recording. My dad would have been proud, she told John.

Just Like That: The Tommy Cooper Story celebrates the comic in his prime, in front of a live audience rather than the later TV shows.

"I have not met Vicky she lives in Spain but she said she loved it,'' said John, who got his own father to help with his set and props.

"My dad's a carpenter so he remodelled some of them for me and I have some of Tommy's own props, two of them are recognisable from the television,'' said John.

It was his dad that introduced John to the comic capers of Tommy Cooper.

"As a child you don't always see his comedy, he is a huge man, unkempt and his magic tricks keep going wrong. I can see it when families come to the show, the young ones sit with arms crossed and then five minutes later they let their guard down and get on board, loving the silliness, and child-like comedy that he always kept clean,'' said John.

"Initially the show was only mean't for a tour up north to mark the 30 years since he died. "I did it out of respect, but the right people came along and the Tommy Cooper estate and Vicky wanted me to carry on,'' said John.

The show encapsulates the branding of Tommy's Fez, the rapport with his audience and the man himself who, after his shows, would sit in the bar until 4am and then go home to his digs and cook a steak.

This is John's first one-man show and he says that he had a wonderful piece of advice from the producer who told him that the first 30 seconds are when people make up their minds - so he needed to burlesque it.

"I had to go over the top, he said. Do it on a grand scale, hair bristling, and hard-hitting Tommy right from the start, and once they had got it, I could moderate it.''

John had to learn the tricks before the show although he says he was always interested in magic.

"I knew a guy from the Magic Circle who I met in panto and he put me in touch with the magician's props. Tommy was actually an accomplished magician. He was clumsy and bumbling but a good props magician.''

John also appeared on television as Tommy, in the Alan Titchmarsh Show. He and his sister, Rachel, run Hambledon Productions.

"We found a niche in classic comedy reimaginings, doing Tony Hancock, Steptoe and Son for Christmas and Spike Milligan. Again we got Jane Milligan's daughter on board, and we will do Frankie Howerd next. We are passing on their legacies.'' said John.

Just Like That comes to Swindon's Arts Centre, Devizes Road, Old Town on Sunday, April 28 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £17 from 01793 524481 or visit - Flicky Harrison