The Benny Hill Show (1955)

Season 8 Episode 4

Show 32

0
Aired Unknown Dec 26, 1968 on BBC
9.5
out of 10
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Show 32
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Highlights of this final BBC edition include Benny arriving late at the studio for the opening and hitching a ride on an old lady; Mervyn Thud announcing his plans to radically alter the tone and content of Radio Times; the worst example of an editing job for television of a cheesy monster movie; Hill as a thoroughly soused radio DJ doing his shift after attending an all-night disk jockeys' convention; musical guest Tammy Jones performs "Summertime"; Henry McGee interviews Benny as French avant-garde film director Claude Le Twit, which is followed by an art-film parody, "See Saw, Roundabout and Swing," with Hill in a dual role as two brothers of opposite fates; an actor in a theatrical play has major trouble switching costumes from character to character; the misadventures of a little old man (Jackie Wright) being served at a seedy barber shop; and for the close, Benny leading a Russian song and dance troupe.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • What A Contrast . . . !

    9.5
    . . . between this BBC swan-song and his final show for Thames TV nearly 21 years later. Not the least of which because of the lack of overemphasis on pulchritude and T&A that marred his final decade as a regular presence on British TV. At this point, Mr. Hill was still operating on all cylinders, with embryonic versions of some routines that would later turn up on various sundry Thames specials, including playing a French film director whose "artistic" touches were merely practical matters (such as switching from colour to black-and-white because they had no more color film stock), and Jackie Wright (in only his third appearance on the show) in an early version of a barber shop sketch that would later be repeated on one of the 1975 editions. Not to mention three of the four "core" players of Hill's top Thames years in early appearances - not only Hill and Wright, but also Jenny Lee-Wright who was already beginning to prove her mettle on the show at this early date. (Bob Todd, the other cog in the wheel, debuted in the previous show which remains lost to history due to BBCmoreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • NOTES (3)

    • This was one of only two Benny Hill Shows during its run on the BBC that are known to have ended the week in the Top Twenty (the first time being the Jan. 8, 1966 show which finished 20th). This final BBC edition, according to JICTAR (the Joint Industrial Committee for Television Advertising Research), finished in a three-way tie for 17th place (a position also held by the Dec. 24, 1968 edition of ITN's News at Ten and Billy Smart's Circus) and was seen in 5.6 million households (which, if multiplied by 2.2 per JICTAR's 1977 recalculations, translated into 12.3 million viewers). Greater success for Benny, ratings-wise and otherwise, would beckon at his new home.

    • Of the supporting performers who were featured on this final BBC show, only three -- Henry McGee, Jenny Lee-Wright and Ken Sedd (the latter credited on this edition as Kedd Senton) -- also appeared on a Benny Hill special (for Thames TV) which aired exactly ten years to the day after this episode; however, Sedd was not credited on the 1978 show.

    • This was Benny Hill's final show for the BBC. Unfortunately, this last edition no longer exists in the BBC archives, as the Corporation destroyed it (and Shows 30 and 31) after Mr. Hill's move to Thames Television. A telerecording has surfaced among the collectors' circuit with the complete episode, however.

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