British Comedy Guide

Benny Hill: The Untold Story. Benny Hill. Copyright: Made In Manchester Productions.

Benny Hill: The Untold Story

Benny Hill: The Untold Story

Ben Miller examines Benny Hill's enduring popularity in the UK and successful export to the US and beyond

BBC Radio 2
Ben Miller, Benny Hill, Joanna Kirkland, Donald Taffner Jr., Michael Grade, Tom O'Connor, Nicholas Parsons, Bella Emberg and others
Phil Collinge

Ben Miller, best known as one half of a comedy writing partnership with Alexander Armstrong, explores the life and talent of Benny Hill, the iconic English comedian.

Benny shot to fame following the launch of The Benny Hill Show on BBC Television in 1955. Hill also played the straight man admirably by starring in legendary films such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Italian Job, as well as scoring the Christmas No. 1 in 1971 with Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West).

Benny moved his show to ITV in 1969, enjoying huge success on the network until 1989. Hill's unique style of humour was publicly admired by Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg and Charlie Chaplin.

Contributors include former Benny Hill Show child star Joanna Kirkland, US TV executive Don Taffner (the man who launched Benny in America), Michael Grade, Tom O'Connor, Nicholas Parsons, Bella Emberg, Coronation Street star Betty Driver, Radio 2's Stuart Maconie and Tony Blackburn.

Ben Miller comments: "Benny Hill got a bad rap towards the end of his career, but his early work was groundbreaking character comedy which had more in common with The League Of Gentlemen than Bernard Manning. If your knowledge of Benny Hill is limited to scantily-clad women chasing him in stop-motion across a chilly-looking football field, this is the show for you."

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