The Benny Hill Show Wikia
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Dave Freeman was a British comedy writer best known for his work in television and the movies as well as his collaborations with many of England's top comedians, particularly Benny Hill. Freeman was born August 22. 1922 in Marylebone, England, training as an electrician before joining the Royal Naval Fleet Air Arm at the outbreak of the Second World War. Serving in the Pacific, he visited Ceylon, India, South Africa, Kenya and Australia where he met and married his wife, Alberta. Returning to England in 1946, he joined the Metropolitan Police as a police constable in Paddington and eventually rose to the postion of detective for a Special Branch of Scotland Yard. He also worked as a journalist and took a job as a security officer for the American Officers' Club in London's Regent's Park, London, booking entertainment acts and becoming friends with a then struggling Benny Hill. The two of them worked together writing sketches and cretaing characters for the BBC version of The Benny Hill Show and Benny's short-lived situation comedy Benny Hill between 1955 and 1968. Freeman also appeared rarely on screen as an actor.
Following his success with Benny Hill, Freeman contributed to work in sketch-based programs with such comedians and on-screen talents as Tony Hancock, Ted Ray, Terry Scott, Spike Milligan, Eric Sykes, Peter Sellers, Charlie Drake, Arthur Askey, Sid James, Leslie Crowther, Roy Hudd, Jimmy Edwards, Tommy Cooper, Harry Worth and Frankie Howerd. In 1955, he joined Associated London Scripts, an agency representing the leading comedy and television writers of the 1950s and 1960s, where he teamed up with John Junkin and Terry Nation to write two series for Elsie and Doris Waters and Gert and Daisy. He then went on to contribute sketches to Spike Milligan's "The Idiot Weekly," the first successful attempt to transform the comedy of "The Goon Show" from radio to television.
Moving back and forth between BBC and ITV, Freeman wrote the sitcoms "Charlie Drake" from 1958 to 1959 and both "Arthur's Treasured Volumes" and "The Arthur Askey Show." He also created and wrote sitcoms, such as "A World of his Own" for Roy Kinnear and "The Fossett Saga" for Jimmy Edwards. He also wrote the 1968 fantasy serial "Knock Three Times," starring Hattie Jacques and based on the children's book by Marion St John Webb. Freeman also wrote over fifty advertisements in a series of television commercials for the soft-drink company Schweppes starring Benny Hill. The commercials became the first from Britain to win the Grand Prix de la Télévision at the 1961 Cannes International Festival of Publicity Films. Following the success of the Schweppes adverts, Freeman was asked to write a series of television commercials for the Egg Marketing Board starring Tony Hancock and Patricia Hayes.
In 1968, he wrote the screenplay to Jules Verne's "Rocket to the Moon" and scripted episodes for "The Avengers" and "It's Tommy Cooper." After contributing to the "Carry On" television specials, Freeman also wrote the feature film "Carry On Behind" and "Carry On Columbus."
Much of his subsequent career was spent contributing episodes to some of British television's most popular sitcoms, including "Bless This House," "Robin's Nest" and "Keep It in the Family," writing nine episodes with his scriptwriter son Greg Freeman between 1980 and 1983. He also wrote for 'Terry and June" from 1979 to 1987. His stage farce, "A Bedfull of Foreigners," opened at the Victoria Palace in 1973 starring Terry Scott and June Whitfield. It transferred to the Duke of York's Theatre starring David Jason in 1975.
With John Chapman, Freeman wrote "Key For Two" which was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy after opening at the Vaudeville Theatre. His third play, "Kindly Keep It Covered," opened in 1987 at the Churchill Theatre starring Terry Scott and Amanda Barrie.
Freeman passed away March 28, 2005 in Queen's Park, London. He was 83.