Robert A Monkhouse, better known as Bob, sold his first comic work while still at school, writing for the Beano and Dandy, and drawing strips for Adventure, Hotspur and Wizard. Later in the 1940s he worked on less well known titles such as Smasher Comics, Corker, Streamline Comics and Oh Boy!, working for Mick Anglo in the latter case. In the early 1950s he briefly set up his own publishing comapany, Streamline, with school friend and future British comics historian Denis Gifford.
However, successes in other areas soon saw his comics work dwindle and cease - a successful comedian and scriptwriter, he made the transition to radio and television, acting in a handful of movies and becoming an iconic TV personality, presenting a chat show and over 30 different game shows during his lengthy career. He even became the subject of comic strips early in his career, appearing in Star Comic. He remained a life-long collector, not just of comics but also of jokes, radio recordings, old films (a collection started in the late 1950s) and television shows, having purchased one of the earliest commercially available video recorders in 1966. After he lent a film to a friend to watch, his collection became the subject of a U.K. legal test case in the 1970s which helped establish an individual's right to own copies of films and television shows for personal use, thought sadly not before the authorities seized and destroyed part of his collection, including apparently the only surviving copies of some older films. This resulted in his becoming more guarded about letting others have access to his collection, but after his death his daughter permitted the British Film Institute access to it; it proved to include over 36,000 video tapes, and several items - films, TV shows and radio programmes - previously believed lost forever.