The Benny Hill Show: Season 1, Episode 1

The European Song Contest (19 Nov. 1969)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 36 users  
Reviews: 1 user

Highlights of this first Thames show include: a 'sound-delay' interview where an answer is provided to the previous question; a tribute to the Lower Tidmarsh Hospital Service, with Jackie ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
...
Himself - Host / Various
Eira Heath ...
Herself / Various Roles
Henry McGee ...
Himself / Various Roles
David Battley ...
Russian Officer
Ken Parry ...
Russian Painter
The Ladybirds ...
Themselves / Vocal Backing
Miguel Lopez Cortezo ...
Himself - Guitarist
Jackie Wright ...
Himself / Various Roles
Michael Sharvell-Martin ...
Announcer / Various Roles
Jan Butlin ...
Various Roles
Connie Georges ...
Various Roles
Verne Morgan ...
Ambulance Driver
Barbara Lindley ...
Various Roles
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Margaret Dupre ...
School Girl
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Storyline

Highlights of this first Thames show include: a 'sound-delay' interview where an answer is provided to the previous question; a tribute to the Lower Tidmarsh Hospital Service, with Jackie Wright as a patient about to undergo an operation; an interview with Mrs. Fripp, ITV's most loyal viewer; and the "European Song Contest" with Benny as all the contestants and hostess 'Katie Boiler'. Written by W.B.

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Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Release Date:

19 November 1969 (UK)  »

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Connections

Featured in The Benny Hill Show: The Monte Carbolic Show (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Anna Marie
Lyrics by Benny Hill
Music from "Tum Balalaika" (Traditional)
Performed by Benny Hill
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User Reviews

 
Enjoyable but Dated
6 December 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Watching Benny Hill clown across the television screen is generally an enjoyable experience. Unfortunately the many decades that have passed since the show first aired and living half a globe away sometimes blunts the humor of the more topical bits. This is certainly the case with a significant portion the "The European Song Contest". The show starts out with a cute little sketch and a wink wink ballad. Then Benny's bloopers, a faux outtakes bit, has a number of good clown moments. The dated quality of the episodes starts to surface in the Sound Delay Interview, though it is still a clever concept. After a song from the Ladybirds come the two best sketches of the show. The Russian Zone spoofs the cold war and TV marriages by having a line drawn between the twin beds of Benny and his newly minted bride. Apparently they live on the border of the Communist and Free worlds and in order to get into his beloved's bed, Benny has to get a Visa from the stern looking Russian who happens to have his desk in their bedroom. The next sketch revolves around the nutty world of two volunteer ambulance drivers and then the hospital, as a poor put upon patient has an experience that could only happen in a British hospital parody. Think of it as "Carry On Nurse" distilled to ten minutes. Two long and, at least for me, difficult to follow sketches round out the show. The first is an interview with commercial TV's most loyal viewer. This bit parodies mid sixties TV commercials with the idea that the lady actually loved the commercials and not the programs. A cute enough idea, but one that falls flat if you know nothing about the commercials they are parodying. Finally comes the title sketch which mocks both song contests and European stereotypes of the sixties. Like a Britisher befuddled by parodies about the differences between Virginians, West Virginians and Hoosiers, I blinked at my TV screen and thought 'Huh' for fifteen minutes. Fans of Benny in drag may have more appreciation of this skit. Overall the episode had a couple fun sketches and is memorable for being the first ITV show, but the best for Benny and his legion of fans is yet too come.


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