The Benny Hill Show Wikia


Opportunity's Knocking is a British television and talent show hosted by Hughie Cream (Benny Hill). The show presents five to six performers and acts on each show introduced by friends or family who sits with Cream at the host's table. The live audience then votes for each one with points determined by the response, but it is the viewers that (reportedly) determines the winner.
Willie Tredder (Benny Hill), the previous week's winner, opens the show for Cream who comes out announcing the previous week's winners:

  • Ted Tingle, an acrobatic olive stuffer
  • Claude Bottom, a lion tamer
  • Ivor Burles, a singer who performs Miriam Makeba's difficult click song.

Returning again, Burles (Benny Hill) reveals he and his wife have had twins (and nothing else). He once again performs the song on a African-themed set, but a set piece falls down revealing an accomplice (Nicolas Parsons) making the clicking noises on a wood tube.
Green is then joined by Frieda Causey, a housewife (Benny Hill), and he applauds how hard she works for her family after she claims housewives don't work. She describes she collects buttons of all types before introducing her son-in-law's act, Fred and the Sophisticates. The act (Benny Hill, Charmaine Seal and Kay Frazer) features Fred singing "Isn't It Romantic?" interspersed with acts of muscular and acrobatic fortitude, but he groans and winces as he lifts and hoists his female partners in weird and awkward poses.
Ivor Bunyun (Benny Hill) next joins Cream at his table to introduce Peter Long (Benny Hill), an impressionist whose assistant (Sue Bond) stands seemingly bored, handing him the items he needs to imitate Sidney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre in "Casablaca." Before the next act, Cream salutes the town of Abneress, Scotland and meets its alderwoman May Pease.
The last act is Slim Whitmore and the Hurricanes (Benny Hill and The Ladybirds), but Cream calls them Slim Whitmore and the Thunderbirds. They perform Ernie - The Fastest Milkman In The West as he tries cracking a short whip.
The episode now reaches "Make Up Your Face Time" where the studio audience votes for their favorite acts. Cream brings out the acts one by one to be voted on. Ivor Burles reaches about 70 to 75 on the applause meter but gets rated 17. Fred and the Sophisticates (incorrectly identified as Slim Whitmore and the Hurricanes in a graphic error) reach 60 to 70 on the applause meter but an overall rating of 23. (Cream calls it as 27.) Peter Long gets an applause rating of 10 to 50, but his lovely assistant hits 90 just for bowing in her low-cut dress. Their overall rating is 69. Lastly, Slim Whitmore and the Hurricanes (incorrectly identified as Fred and the Sophisticates in another graphic error) hit between 45 to 50 on the applause meter with an overall rating of 74. However, despite this weird rating system, Green either through incompetence or collusion declares Ivor Burles is the winner with a rating of 94. However, Cream insists its the viewer at home that decide the winner before flashing two separate addresses for them to mail in their votes.


  • This sketch is a spoof of the pre-"American Idol" TV talent show "Oppportunity's Knocking" which first ran on radio on BBC Light Programme from February 18 to September 29. 1949, later moving to Radio Luxembourg in the 1950s. On TV, it ran on ITV from June 20, 1956 to August 29, 1956, getting renewed on July 11, 1964 and ending on March 20, 1978. Benny had also parodied the series during his run on the BBC in 1965.
  • Benny later recreates the "click song" in a (potentially racially insensitive) sketch as Miriam Makeba on March 5, 1980.
  • Benny sings "Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)" which hit #1 on the British singles charts in 1972. The irony is that the song somehow predicted that like Ernie, Benny also passed away at the age of 68.
  • Nicolas Parsons and Trisha Noble join the contestants at the end credits of the sketch as the show's credits double for the end of the sketch.
  • Benny does another spoof of "Opportunity's Knocking" in Leprechaun TV on March 14, 1979.
  • Much of the material in this sketch was worked into the Newer Faces parody on January 8, 1975.
  • Benny had previously parodied "Opportunity Calls" in one of his 1965 BBC shows. The differences between the two:
    • His host character was named "Hughie Carleton Green," a play on Green's name as well as that of Hugh Carleton Greene, Director General of the BBC from 1960 to 1969
    • "Fred and the Sophisticates" was instead known as "Fred and the Debutantes"