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    The Benny Hill Show

    The Benny Hill Show

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    ITV (ended 1989)
    This guide strives to be as complete a resource as possible for the third TV series to bear Benny Hill's name in the title, which ran on Thames Television (ITV) from 1969-1989, and has appeared around the world in countless formats and re-edits ever since.

    This is a guide to the original hour-long version.

    In America, the show was usually presented in a specially-edited half-hour format, which ran for a total of 111 editions (although Comedy Central did screen the hour-long format in the early-to-mid '90's, albeit with sections edited out, typically the musical guest or dance numbers). 30-minute repeats (not the same as were made for the American market) often aired in Britain when the show was "between seasons."

    Comedy Central aired the original hour-long format for Shows 32 - 58 (except for Show 40). Also, USA Network aired the shows in the original hour-long format in the late '80s/early '90s. At least Shows 54 - 58, possibly others, along with the independently-produced Benny Hill's World Tour: New York special (both channels had a few minutes cut for extra commercial time).

    In the U.S., the original hour-long shows have been issued on DVD (Region 1) under the umbrella title Benny Hill - Complete & Unadulterated. The first three sets were released with the subheading The Naughty Early Years, covering the years 1969-1971 (Shows 1-11, including three B&W episodes previously unseen in America), 1972-1974 (Shows 12-21) and 1975-1977 (Shows 22-31, plus his 1970 half-hour silent film Eddie in August). The final three sets bore the subheading The Hill's Angels Years, and covered the years 1978-1981 (Shows 32-41), 1982-1985 (Shows 42-50) and 1986-1989 (Shows 51-58). Also, the Golden Greats set that came out in 2001 (now out-of-print) included 6 episodes, Shows 46, 47, 50, 55, 56 and 58.

    In England, the original hour-long shows (complete with production slates and adcaps) have been released on DVD (Region 2) on a year-by-year basis, under the umbrella of The Benny Hill Annual, each set representing a different year. The 1970 set (Shows 3-6) contains the aforementioned Eddie in August, and the 1974 set (which only saw two new editions air, Shows 20 and 21) features his first two Thames specials from 1969. As of October 2006, the total releases go up to 1979 (Shows 34 and 35). The Benny Hill Annual sets from 1976 and 1977 onwards have adcaps but not VT slates.moreless
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    The New Statesman

    The New Statesman

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    ITV (ended 1994)
    Welcome to The New Statesman guide at TV Tome. A British comedy that might be described as a combination ofYes, Minister and Blackadder, this is the story of A. B'Stard, a statesman in the tradition of Genghis Khan, who will stop at nothing to make himself richer and more comfortable. Arguably the most conservative member of the British Parliament, he is aided by a witless colleague, MP Piers Fletcher-Dervish.moreless
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    Danger Mouse

    Danger Mouse

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    ITV (ended 1992)
    Danger Mouse is about a cartoon mouse being a secret agent and living in a mailbox in London, England. This show originally broadcast in England/UK only until the fledgling network, Nickelodeon, picked it up and ran with it.moreless
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    Robin's Nest

    Robin's Nest

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    ITV (ended 1981)
    Robin Tripp from Man about the House has left Chrssy and Jo behind and set up his own bistro along with his fiancee Victoria (Tessa Wyatt), with her father as a not-so-silent "silent partner". The spin-off series was once again created and written by Johnny Mortimer and Brian Cooke and aired on Thames Television from January 1977 to March 1981. Following the trend to Americanize the Man About the House/George & Mildred franchise, an American version of Robin's Nest was made, called Three's a Crowd.moreless
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    Poor Little Rich Girls

    Poor Little Rich Girls

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    ITV (ended 1984)
    British sitcom
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    A Bit of a Do

    A Bit of a Do

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    ITV (ended 1989)
    British comedy drama series about two feuding families in a fictional town in Yorkshire, who bump into each other regularly at various social functions.
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    Bless Me, Father

    Bless Me, Father

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    ITV (ended 1981)
    Produced by London Weekend Television, this series was written by Peter de Rosa and is based upon his autobiographical novels written as "Neil Boyd". The series is an engagingly idiosyncratic situation comedy based on the post-war experiences of a young priest sent to the parish of St. Jude's in the London suburb of Fairwater in 1950. Although it is not necessary to understand the sociological underpinnings to enjoy the comedy, the series gains extra bite from the relatively embattled situation of the parishioners as (mainly Irish) Catholics in a firmly Protestant Britain just recovering from the war and still smarting under Government rationing and other restrictions. (It should also be noted that St. Jude is the Catholic patron saint of lost causes...) Period detail is understated but convincing, particularly the hideous clothes worn by the pious women.

    The core of the series is naive and rather shy, Father Boyd's education at the hands of Father Duddleswell, an experienced parish priest whose staunch faith occasionally seems dangerously old-fashioned to Father Boyd but is usually revealed to be tempered by shrewd common sense and genuine goodness. Veteran character actor Arthur Lowe is quite magnificent in the role, conveying Father Duddleswell's limitations as well as his strengths, and making the growing affectionate bond between the two priests convincing and subtly moving. It is Father Duddleswell's nemesis Mother Stephen (head of the local convent) and Bishop Reilly who embody the hidebound and sometimes cruel aspects of the Church hierarchy. (It should be noted that novelist de Rosa is a formerpriest himself.) Daniel Abineri is convincingly earnest and gauche as the newly ordained curate embarrassed by his own good looks and appeal for the female members of the congregation. (So far as I know this is the only series Abineri appeared in.)

    Sharp-tongued housekeeper Mrs. Pring has a love-hate 40-year relationship with Father Duddleswell which produces some delightful insult matches, as does his conflict with next-door neighbour Billy Buzzle, a Cockney bookie and black-marketeer. Most of the Irish ethnic comedy is embodied in Doctor Daley, usually seen downing a whiskey with a fag end still in his mouth while reminiscing about the Connemarra childhood he shared with his oldest friend.moreless
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    That's My Boy

    That's My Boy

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    ITV (ended 1986)
    This long-running British sitcom features Mollie Sugden as Ida Willis, an interfering housekeeper who finds out her employer is actually the son she gave up for adoption when he was a baby.moreless
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    It'll Be Alright on the Night

    It'll Be Alright on the Night

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    ITV
    Denis Norden and his clipboard present a range of outtakes from television shows from the past five decades in front of a studio audience (some specials were presented from the most bizarre of locations including an empty Drury Lane theatre!). Following a farewell show in 2007, comedian Griff Rhys-Jones took over from 2008, this time without a clipboard.moreless
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    Keep It in the Family

    Keep It in the Family

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    ITV (ended 1983)
    This sitcom related the domestic trials of a cartoonist and his family. The series was remade in the U.S. asToo Close for Comfort. Keep It In the Family was a Thames Television production for the ITV network.moreless
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    The Return of Shelley

    The Return of Shelley

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    ITV (ended 1992)
    Welcome to The Return of Shelley guide at TV.com; British sitcom The sequel to Shelley, Hywel Bennett returns as the legendary James Shelley. Shelley is now middle-aged. The Return of Shelley was a Thames Television production. Perhaps fittingly, the last episode was broadcast in Thames's last autumn as holder of the London weekday ITV broadcasting franchise.moreless
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    Union Castle

    Union Castle

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    ITV (ended 1982)
    British sitcom
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    The Bounder

    The Bounder

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    ITV (ended 1983)
    Howard (Peter Bowles) is a sophisticated man about town. He's also an embezzler who has just completed a two-year prison sentence. After he's released, he goes to live with his brother-in-law, Trevor (George Cole). The time he's spent in prison has done nothing to reform Howard's criminal tendencies. He sets his sights on wealthy widow Laura (Isla Blair), who lives next door.moreless
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    Bruce Forsyth's Big Night

    Bruce Forsyth's Big Night

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    ITV (ended 1978)
    Having been poached from the BBC and the hugely successful The Generation Game, LWT created this series for Bruce Forsyth to show off his many talents. Including sketches, performances, games for the studio audience and audience at home, it was designed to take up the whole of the Saturday night schedule. However the series performed badly (especially up against Bruce's old show) and was axed after one series, returning for a one off special in 1980.moreless
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    Slinger's Day

    Slinger's Day

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    ITV (ended 1987)
    British sitcom
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    Sob Sisters

    Sob Sisters

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    ITV (ended 1989)
    British sitcom
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    You're Only Young Twice

    You're Only Young Twice

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    ITV (ended 1981)
    Welcome to the You're Only Young Twice (1977) guide at TV.com. British sitcom.
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    Erasmus Microman

    Erasmus Microman

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    ITV (ended 1989)
    British sitcom
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    Fancy Wanders

    Fancy Wanders

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    ITV (ended 1980)
    British sitcom
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    Up the Elephant and Round the Castle

    Up the Elephant and Round the Castle

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    ITV (ended 1985)
    Up the Elephant and Round the Castle is a sitcom starring Jim Davidson as Jim London who is out of work, a bachelor and quite a partier. However he has just learnt that he has inherited a Victorian terraced house "17 Railway Terrace" in the Elephant and Castle district of South London. However he finds that owning his own home is not all that easy.moreless
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