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Last Updated: Friday, 1 April, 2005, 10:10 GMT 11:10 UK
Benny Hill show comic writer dies
Benny Hill
Benny Hill's show was broadcast on the BBC until 1969
Comedy writer Dave Freeman, who was instrumental in the success of Benny Hill, has died at the age of 82.

Freeman co-wrote and appeared in The Benny Hill Show in its early days and also worked with Tommy Cooper, Frankie Howerd and Tony Hancock.

He also wrote for sitcoms including Bless This House and Terry and June as well as scripting two Carry On films.

Freeman worked with Benny Hill from 1955 until the mid-1960s, when the comedian's show moved to ITV.

My father and Benny Hill were trailblazers and their sketches paved the way for the comedy we have today
Greg Freeman
When it moved to Thames TV in 1969, it began to feature bikini-clad women in sketches that became synonymous with the comic.

Mr Freeman's son Greg said: "When The Benny Hill Show began, it was a new style of TV comedy. In those days, there were variety shows and not much else.

"My father and Benny Hill were trailblazers and their sketches paved the way for the comedy we have today. It was a forerunner of programmes like The Fast Show."

West End hit

Mr Freeman was also an accomplished playwright, with his farce A Bedful of Foreigners running in the West End for 18 months and becoming a theatre staple around the world.

The London-born writer moved into comedy after a career in the Royal Navy and Special Branch.

His first jobs included work on The Avengers and Great Scott - It's Maynard! with Terry Scott and Billy Maynard.

After his time with Hill, he worked on The Sid James Show and Illustrated Weekly Hudd with Roy Hudd. He wrote Carry On Behind in 1975 and the much-maligned revival Carry on Columbus in 1992.

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