Funny, Peculiar

Funny, Peculiar : The True Story of Benny Hill

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Benny Hill's saucy smirks and lascivious glances at underdressed women are relished across all continents by all creeds. Yet he cut an unlikely figure of global admiration: he was a deeply private individual, a loner, uninterested in money and the trappings of success. With the circus and sex in his background (his father sold condoms worldwide from a Southampton backstreet shop), Benny combined the two in a career that, after many struggles, took off in the earliest days of television. Acclaimed in the 1950s as the first British TV comedy superstar, loved for his pioneering ideas and mild 'seaside-postcard' humour, Hill's popularity remained undimmed for decades. But in the 1980s, just as he became a hit in more than 100 countries, he was reviled in Britain. His innuendo-strewn humour was branded sexist, a charge he could not comprehend. Unmarried and emotionally enfeebled in his few meaningful relationships, Benny's primary aim was to be seen in the company of scantily clad women. His TV show enabled this, but its sudden end in 1989 was followed by a self-inflicted decline in his health. Benny died in 1992, his body lay undiscovered for two days and the destiny of his GBP7m estate was controversial.

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  • Hardback | 544 pages
  • 146 x 236 x 46mm | 938.95g
  • Pan MacMillan
  • Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd
  • LondonUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • 40 black & white halftones
  • 0283063696
  • 9780283063695

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About Mark Lewisohn

Critically acclaimed for works such as his encyclopaedic 'Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy', Mark Lewisohn has an enviable reputation as a meticulous and balanced researcher of popular culture: the Telegraph said of Lewisohn's 'The Complete Beatles Chronicle' that it 'borders on a work of genius'. With unprecedented access to archives, intensive research and interviews with friends, family and colleagues, this is the last word on the 'world's most popular comedian'.

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