b. Alfred Hawthorne Hill, 21 January 1924, Southampton, Hampshire, England, d. April 1992, Teddington, Middlesex, England. Hill entered showbusiness at an early age and played the variety circuit, specializing in comedy and impressions. He was already a well-known comedian in Britain when he was signed to Pye as a recording artist in the early 60s. His whimsical tunes, ‘Gather In The Mushrooms’, ‘Transistor Radio’ and ‘Harvest Of Love’ were all minor hits during this period. Hill went on to star in one of the decade’s most successful comedy television series, The Benny Hill Show. Amazingly, the series later became hugely popular in the USA and many other countries, despite its peculiarly English ‘saucy seaside postcard’ humour. Hill usually had musical guests on the show and a segment was reserved for his own stories in song, which were usually filled with mild innuendo and grinning puns. One such song was ‘Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)’ which captured the public’s imagination and became the UK’s Christmas number 1 in 1971. His saucy narrative ballads are available on album. Hill died alone at his home from a coronary thrombosis during the Easter weekend in April 1992. His death resulted in considerable media coverage, praising his talent and probing his considerable fortune.
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