35 Facts About Benny Hill


Alfred Hawthorne Hill, better known as Benny Hill, was an English comedian, actor, singer and writer.

FactSnippet No. 939,057

Benny Hill is remembered for his television programme The Benny Hill Show, an amalgam of slapstick, burlesque and double entendre in a format that included live comedy and filmed segments, with Hill at the focus of almost every segment.

FactSnippet No. 939,058

Benny Hill was a prominent figure in British television for several decades.

FactSnippet No. 939,059

Benny Hill's show was among the most-watched programmes in the UK, with the audience peaking at more than 21 million in 1971.

FactSnippet No. 939,060

The Benny Hill Show was exported to many countries around the world.

FactSnippet No. 939,061

Benny Hill received a BAFTA Television Award for Best Writer and a Rose d'Or, and was nominated for the BAFTA for Best Entertainment Performance and two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Variety.

FactSnippet No. 939,062

In 2006, Benny Hill was voted by the British public number 17 in ITV's poll of TV's 50 Greatest Stars.

FactSnippet No. 939,063

Alfred Hawthorne Benny Hill was born on 21 January 1924 in Southampton, Hampshire.

FactSnippet No. 939,064

Benny Hill was called up in 1942 and trained as a mechanic in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, British Army.

FactSnippet No. 939,065

Benny Hill served as a mechanic, truck driver and searchlight operator in Normandy after September 1944 and later transferred to the Combined Services Entertainment division before the end of the war.

FactSnippet No. 939,066

Benny Hill took on the nickname of "Benny" in homage to his favourite comedian, Jack Benny.

FactSnippet No. 939,067

Benny Hill had a radio programme lasting for three series called Benny Hill Time on BBC Radio's Light Programme, from 1964 to 1966.

FactSnippet No. 939,068

Benny Hill played a number of characters in the series, such as Harry Hill and Fred Scuttle.

FactSnippet No. 939,069

Finally, a clip-show film spin-off of his early Thames Television shows, called The Best of Benny Hill, was a theatrically released compilation of Benny Hill Show episodes.

FactSnippet No. 939,070

Benny Hill received an Ivor Novello Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors in 1972.

FactSnippet No. 939,071

Benny Hill had struggled on stage and had uneven success in radio, but in television he found a medium that played to his strengths.

FactSnippet No. 939,072

The Benny Hill Show had a music hall-derived format combining live on-stage comedy and filmed segments, and its humour relied on slapstick, innuendo and parody.

FactSnippet No. 939,073

Benny Hill remained mostly with the BBC through to 1968, except for a few sojourns with ITV and ATV stations between 1957 and 1960 and again in 1967.

FactSnippet No. 939,074

In late May 1989, Benny Hill announced that after 21 years with Thames Television he was quitting and taking a year off.

FactSnippet No. 939,075

Benny Hill's shows had earned Thames £26 million, with a large percentage due to the success of his shows in the United States.

FactSnippet No. 939,076

However, Benny Hill only managed to record one special called Greetings from New York, with the show becoming billed as "his final TV appearance" when released onto DVD.

FactSnippet No. 939,077

In February 1992, Thames Television, which received a steady stream of requests from viewers for The Benny Hill Show repeats, finally gave in and put together a number of re-edited shows.

FactSnippet No. 939,078

Benny Hill died on the same day that a new contract arrived in the post from Central Independent Television, for which he was to have made a series of specials.

FactSnippet No. 939,079

Benny Hill had turned down competing offers from Carlton and Thames.

FactSnippet No. 939,080

Johnny Carson and sidekick Ed McMahon were both fans of Benny Hill and tried several times to get him to come to Los Angeles and be a guest on Carson's The Tonight Show.

FactSnippet No. 939,081

Eugene told Benny Hill that his father was a great fan and used to watch the tapes with great enjoyment in his final years.

FactSnippet No. 939,082

Benny Hill never owned his own home in London and instead preferred to rent a flat rather than buy one.

FactSnippet No. 939,083

Benny Hill rented a double-room apartment on London's Queen's Gate for 26 years until around 1986 when he moved to Fairwater House in Teddington.

FactSnippet No. 939,084

Benny Hill was a Francophile and enjoyed visits to France, including to Marseille, where until the 1980s, he could go to outdoor cafes anonymously, travelling on public transport and socialising with local women.

FactSnippet No. 939,085

Benny Hill spoke French fluently and knew basic German, Spanish, Dutch and Italian.

FactSnippet No. 939,086

Benny Hill's health declined in the late 1980s and after working for Thames Television.

FactSnippet No. 939,087

Benny Hill declined, and a week later was found to have kidney failure.

FactSnippet No. 939,088

Benny Hill died at his flat in Teddington on 20 April 1992, at the age of 68.

FactSnippet No. 939,089

Benny Hill was buried at Hollybrook Cemetery, near his birthplace in Southampton, on 26 April 1992.

FactSnippet No. 939,090

In November 2021, That's TV announced that The Benny Hill Show would feature in its Christmas schedule alongside other ITV programmes like Beadle's About and Kenny Everett's New Year Specials.

FactSnippet No. 939,091