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

Benny Hill: The Untold Story

BBC Radio 2 documentary. 1 episode in 2009. Features Ben Miller, Joanna Kirkland, Donald Taffner Jr., Michael Grade, Tom O'Connor, Nicholas Parsons, Bella Emberg and others.

Press Clippings

Radio 2 Comedy Greats tackled Benny Hill. Comedian Ben Miller talked up Hill's claims to be a "comedy innovator and TV pioneer" and promised, "if you think you know the Benny Hill story, it's time to think again". This sounded intriguing but the show did little to back up these assertions. There were plenty of clips of Hill, sounding very dated and unfunny ("There's the wife, feeding the pigs. She's the one with the hat on") with people like Tony Blackburn insisting, "it's just seaside-postcard fun, really . . . nothing wrong with that". As comedy tastes changed and his ratings fell, Hill's TV show was cancelled. "Benny never really became the comedy pariah that some have painted him as," Miller said. It felt like faint praise.

Camilla Redmond, The Guardian, 9th October 2009

"Innovative" and "ground-breaking" may not be adjectives you'd usually attribute to Benny Hill, the risqué comedian. In this documentary, however, Ben Miller, an actor, makes the case for Hill's legacy to be reassessed. Following the success of The Benny Hill Show in 1965, he became the first British comedian to establish his reputation on television, rather than radio. It's no surprise to hear that Hill was obsessed with the craft of visual comedy. More unexpected is that he also played "straight" roles in a number of popular films, including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 6th October 2009