BENNY HILL SHOW: complete and unedited!

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by AndyMcKinney, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. Jim Douglas

    Jim Douglas Second Unit

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    I decided to pickup some Benny Hill sets but saw this set on Amazon for $112.49 Benny Hill: The Complete & Unadulterated Megaset (1969-1989)
    Would this be the best set to get everything out right now??
     
    Looking forward to seeing some of the old skits.
     
    Thanks,
     
    Jim
     
     
  2. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Depends on what you want. If you want all the original Thames episodes in NTSC format, then this is what you want. If you have multi-system equipment and want the show in its original PAL format, then you want the UK "Annuals."
     
    The only real difference between the US set(s) and the UK Annuals is that the original ad-caps (the show 'title slides' that played you into and out of the commercial breaks) are complete in the UK sets and edited out of the US sets. Otherwise, the episodes are identical (including the same unfortunate edit to the 'Club Bizarre' Hill's Angels skit in an early '80s show) and they both include the 'Eddie in August' short film.
     
  3. Jim Douglas

    Jim Douglas Second Unit

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    Thank you for the information.
     
    I found a Amazon seller that had the complete set with fulfillment by Amazon (shipped from Amazon) and it was only $55.00 new and sealed with free shipping. Figured I couldn't go wrong with that and ordered it.
     
    Looking forward to seeing some of my favorites.
     
    Jim
     
     
  4. dani le marais

    dani le marais Auditioning

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    I knew the afore-mentioned radio actress Cherry Gilliam! She was originally from Guernsey,studied drama at L.A.M.D.A.,&. as far as I remember, she did mainly radio work,& some theatre.She was engaged to the writer Kit Pedlar.After his death she married the solicitor handling his estate.I was last in contact with her in 1982,by which time she had decided to discontinue her acting career.I have no idea what she is up to now. I wasn't surprised to hear of her imperious attitude though;she was a lovely schoolgirl,who sadly morphed into Lady Bracknell!
     
  5. Pat13

    Pat13 Auditioning

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    I was so pleased to come across the above post from dani le marais......everything comes to him who waits. I knew Cherry prior to her starting at LAMDA and then for a few years afterwards but lost touch and have wondered ever since what happened to her. Thank you for the update and so sorry to hear she morphed into Lady Bracknell as she was a nice little girl in the old days.
     
  6. dani le marais

    dani le marais Auditioning

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    To Pat Taylor Re. Cherry Gilliam. Hi Pat,Did you know Cherry in Guernsey?...Danielle. (le Marais)
     
  7. Pat13

    Pat13 Auditioning

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    Hi Danielle,
    Yes I knew her when she was in Guernsey. Originally I think we were penfriends and then I met her on a holiday in Guernsey. I have a vague idea we saw her in something at the theatre but could be wrong. At the time she was working in a pottery. Then she got in to LAMDA and we saw a number of productions there. After LAMDA there was a brief appearance in 'Take Three Girls' and that was that, she just vanished into the blue. I was surprised she gave it all up as she was so obsessed with it at the time.
     
  8. dani le marais

    dani le marais Auditioning

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    Hi Pat!,Yes Cherry & I were originally penfriends too.Did you find each other through "Plays & Players"? A great magazine in it's time.And I also met her in Guernsey on holiday!..That was in 1963..Prior to that we had been writing for about 2 years.I always found her intense,but at the time we were both very passionate about acting,& had lots in common. We lost touch a bit when I moved to London,to work at the B.B.C.;but kept a looser contact through her LAMDA days,& thereafter..We had something of a falling out during the 70s,unfortunately.She seemed to want to put people from the past behind her,for some reason..I heard her on the radio about' '79;& even left messages for her about work I thought she might be interested in..As I said before, I heard that she had got involved with Kit Pedlar,who subsequently died.And then she ended up with his solicitor,& had given up acting.That was the last letter I received from her.It had a note of finalty to it,so I didn't reply.Like you,I was very surprised she gave up acting,as I thought it was her whole world.But I guess people can change;& she certainly did..What about you Pat,are/were you an actress too?..Anyway,would be nice to hear from you again.
     
  9. Pat13

    Pat13 Auditioning

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    Hi Danielle,
    You are certainly testing my memory! I'm sure I didn't find Cherry through Plays and Players, although I do remember the magazine and used to get it every month. I think a friend wrote to her and for some reason I started to write to her as well, don't know why. Can't even remember when it was or where I was at the time! No I wasn't at all into acting, heaven forbid, but did frequent the RSC as much as I could, both at the Aldwych and Stratford so maybe that came into it. Other than that the friend who possibly introduced me to Cherry, and myself, were in the Richard III Society and I am wondering if Cherry was interested in that. I doubt it but just can't remember how on earth we all came together, so long ago and so many things have happened since then. From what I remember of Cherry there was nothing in her life but acting. I'm sure she applied to RADA but didn't get in and LAMDA was second best sort of thing. No idea how we lost touch but I have so often wondered what happened to her and even thought of writing to Maureen Lipman to see if she knew of her as I think she was in the year before Cherry at LAMDA. I must have still been in contact with her when she was at LAMDA otherwise why would I go to see her there. I'll have to work some dates out and see if it all makes more sense, also get in touch with friends to see if their memories are better than mine.
     
  10. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Cees Alons
    Hello guys,

    Welcome to the forum!

    A little side-track: Pat, you mentioned a Richard III Society. Is that about Ricardians who (like I do myself) believe the historical Richard III never killed his nephews in the Tower of London, but instead was a nice, formidable and fierce king unjustly smeared by the rather treacherous, sly, vile, cowardly, actually despicable, Henry VII and his servile entourage?


    Cees
     
  11. dani le marais

    dani le marais Auditioning

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    Yes, my opinion of Richard's so called "badness",was changed after reading the Josephine Tey book,"Daughter of Time"..A really good read..History,as they say, is written by the winners.And those were fearful & paranoid times.
     
  12. dani le marais

    dani le marais Auditioning

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    I'd be interested in hearing anything more....
     
  13. Pat13

    Pat13 Auditioning

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    I love it.......how to get from Benny Hill to Richard III in three easy lessons!!!! So yes, the Society is for all like minded people who think he wasn't the person Shakespeare made him out to be. It was 'The Daughter of Time' that first got me interested too and I was so shocked that what I had always been led to believe about him didn't seem to be quite true that I set out to read everything I could about him and was completely converted. I was in the Society off and on for years and only finished with them four or five years ago when the subscription went up and I decided it was too much to pay for the journal alone. If you are in or near to London there are a lot of events which would make the subscription a much better value but if you are 'out in the sticks' like me I can find better things to do with my money.
     
  14. WaveCrest

    WaveCrest Producer

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    Richard
    What are people's favourite Benny Hill sketches? One of mine has to be Passengers of Love, which when you hear it it sounds like it's set to a cracked grammophone record.
     
  15. gsom7

    gsom7 Auditioning

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    Greetings!
    Don't know is this discussion finished or not, but I have comment.
    You had here Cherry Gilliam! One of original Benny Hill crew member (from early 1970's) and you didn't ask her nothing! Why not?! Why didn't you ask her anything about Benny Hill? How was working with him, how was he in private, how he was toward her, others, what she remember from those days working with Mr. Benny and crew, Jackie, Todd, girls,... Guys, you did discuss all that but you didn't ask THE source from those days. Too bad. And she was original beauty like later Hill's Angels.
    Questions. Annual (1970 - 1979, 1980 - 1989) doesn't have 1969? US megaset have? Is there some 1968 Shows in color?
    Thanks
     
  16. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Network decided to put the 1969 shows on their 1974 Annual since he only did two shows in '69 and in '74. That way, the disc-count for each of the Annuals would be more equal. Just like A&E in Region 1, Network released all of Benny's Thames specials on their R2 Annuals (except for the "Down Under" episode, which neither they or A&E had a licence for).
    In 1968, Benny was still working for the BBC, so those episodes were produced in black-and-white. They were also junked (none of those 1968 shows are known to exist complete).
     
  17. gsom7

    gsom7 Auditioning

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    Thanks for answering.
    There's a great site called 'Benny's Place' (runstop.de) where's written that there's two Shows from '69. There I saw colour pics of show with description '68, must be mistake.
    "none of those 1968 shows are known to exist complete" watch this!!!
    It's from 26 december 1968.
    Greeting
     
  18. William B.

    William B. Stunt Coordinator

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    I have to wonder if Benny's defection to Thames played a role in the BBC's ultimate creation of Monty Python's Flying Circus. After all, three of the future Pythons - Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin - were part of Thames' Do Not Adjust Your Set - and according to Idle, Thames were interested in doing a third series, but because of the issue of studio availability (possibly aggravated by their signing of Hill plus deals with Bernard Cribbins and Dickie Henderson, plus returning shows such as Father, Dear Father) in which they couldn't guarantee a studio for them for a year to 18 months, the three (plus Terry Gilliam) ended up receptive to joining a venture that was to have been a vehicle for John Cleese who, along with Graham Chapman, were already with the BBC at that point. And the meetings that ultimately led to the creation of Python took part at about exactly the same time Hill was successfully wooed to Thames. (I should also note that Hill was also guaranteed control over the circumstances of production, something enjoyed in the U.S. by two comedians who became famous in TV's Golden Age - Milton Berle and Jackie Gleason.)

    The "political correctness" factor certainly would have made a bad situation worse in this case, but as far as Thames' John Howard Davies was concerned, it was skyhigh budgets combined with declining ratings, plus the fact that the repetition factor had slipped into the kind of lifeless, rote, been-there-done-that, phoning-it-in, autopilot mode that marred, say, the last years of Jackie Gleason's show before CBS pulled the plug in 1970 (and the last few years of Bob Hope's NBC specials), that caused him to call a halt to Hill's shows. But the reason there were no new shows in 1987 - it was after the lease on Benny's Queen's Gate flat expired and he was ensconsed in his mother's old home in Southampton, before Dennis Kirkland found him a flat near the Thames' studios.

    Actually, after 1985, Hill tried working with first Len Keyes and then Sydney Arnold, before settling on Johnny Hutch whom Benny had known since the '40's.
    That was actually from his March 14, 1979 special - which also featured the "Hot Gossamer" sketch.
     
  19. William B.

    William B. Stunt Coordinator

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    From what I recall, Cherry Gilliam was a dramatic actress (as per 'dani le marais' and 'pat13's' posts on this page) who had nothing to do with Benny Hill or his show - unlike the model and sometime actress Cherri Gilham who, because said dramatic actress had complained to British Equity upon the Dec. 27, 1972 Hill show where Ms. Gilham's name was misspelled Cherry Gillam, would be billed in her remaining Hill appearances (the last being Sept. 24, 1975) as Cheryl Gilham. As for the radio actress, I vividly remember from 1973 editions of The Spotlight onwards (up to the 1979/80 edition) her being listed as Cherry N. Gilliam. On some editions, she was on the same page, below Cheryl Gilham. Why anyone would confuse the two is anyone's guess, and another matter entirely . . . besides, Ms. Gilham did contribute some tidbits on or around Page 4 of this thread. Why doesn't anyone ask her from there?
     
  20. William B.

    William B. Stunt Coordinator

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    That was home-taped by a lucky soul with a ½" videotape recorder, then a film camera positioned near the TV. (And that film is the only way we can see this show, since the tape to which this was committed, from what I've heard, had unfortunately flaked off.) The original master tape was indeed destroyed by the BBC, only the filmed inserts exist in their archive. This home taping is therefore the only evidence of this swan-song for the BBC - which aired exactly ten years to the day before another Thames special which featured such bits as the "Grand Wheelchair Rally" and HIll as Bob Dylan singing "Go 'Round Again."

    Notice the film cameraman's credit at the end of the show - James Balfour. Who would go on to do likewise for Monty Python in its first two series.
     

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