The Benny Hill Show Wikia

The European Song Contest was the first episode of "The Benny Hill Show" for Thames Television. It aired for the first time on November 19, 1969.



  • Ye Olde Wishing Well
  • The Russian Zone
  • The Lower Tidmarsh Hospital Service


Esc 13


  • Rudy Doppleganger - "Greta, I'm a pig farmer from Minsk! The soles of my shoes are so thin that if a stood on a ruple I could tell you if it was heads or tails!"


  • Airing originally on November 19, 1969, this episode marks the start of Benny's tenure on Thames Television (ITV) leading up to his popularity in international syndication. Four years later, he would air in the United States for the first time on March 29, 1973, a few months after his contemporary, Dave Allen of Dave Allen At Large. American promotions actually used the slogan, "If you like Dave Allen, you are going to LOVE Benny Hill."
    For topical reference, when Benny premiered in the United States, a few of the most popular shows on American TV while Benny was airing in England were "The Brady Bunch," "Hogan's Heroes," "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Get Smart," "Dark Shadows," "Star Trek" and "Columbo" and the top American performers were Glen Campbell, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Elton John, Olivia Newton John (sister of Rona Newton-John), Diana Ross and Paul McCartney.
  • The opening quickie features Benny Hill as an old man who uses a wishing well to replace his wife (Connie Georges) with a beautiful younger brunette (Margaret Dupre) only to be nearly carted off by a huge muscleman (David Prowse).
  • Benny's fake bloopers feature:
    • The female sponsor (Benny Hill) of Spuddo mashed potatoes is waylaid during a taste test (Eira Heath)
    • The singer in a musical (Benny Hill) watches his co-star struggle with a prop window (Eira Heath)
    • An actor in a desert scene (Benny Hill) is upstaged by a man in the background (Michael Sharvell-Martin)
    • The singer in the musical is hit by the window
    • An actor in a tense scene (Benny Hill) with an actress (Eira Heath) forgets his lines
    • A soap commercial shuts down when the actor (Benny Hill) loses his clothes before several ladies (Connie Georges and unidentified)
    • The singer in the musical is clocked by a flower pot by a higher window
  • Cast member Michael Sharvell-Martin is better known as one of the sketch performers on "Dave Allen at Large." He would star in five episodes of the series before leaving the series to star in Dave's series on the BBC.
  • BLOOPER - In the "Ben Voy" commercial parody, Benny is supposed to be emerging from the phone booth naked, but part of his flesh-colored shorts appear in the shot.
  • David Battley, the terse Russian Commander in "The Russian Zone" sketch, also played Charlie Bucket's school teacher in "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Julie Dawn-Cole, who played Veruca Salt in the movie, was once part of an urban legend that she was once a cast member on "The Benny Hill Show."
  • This episode has a rare appearance with Benny smoking a cigarette.
  • The ending tag features a woman (Barbara Lindley) prancing through the woods as a man (Benny Hill) trying to catch her with a net catches another woman (Connie Georges).
  • David Prowse went on to play Darth Vader in the "Star Wars" franchise.
  • Several clips from this episode made it into the The Best of Benny Hill.