Sunday, 11 January 2015
60 Watch With Mother : Mr Benn
First watched : 1971
Apart from some Tony Soper wildlife shorts , Mr Benn was the first new programme in the Watch With Mother slot for well over a year. It was actually the only one for which I remember my mother evincing any enthusiasm.
Mr Benn was nothing to do with the controversial politician of the time though it no doubt gave rise to many laboured political jokes among his contemporaries. David McKee's Mr Benn was seemingly modelled on Michael Palin's accountant in Monty Python who wants to be a lion tamer. The bowler-hatted commuter went into a fancy-dress shop to be served by its presumably Turkish proprietor. Once in the changing-room with his chosen costume Mr Benn would be transported to an appropriate fantasy world where he would have an adventure before the appearance of the shopkeeper in the scene heralded his return to reality and he went back home with some sort of souvenir.
Only 13 episodes of this classic ( not counting a special new episode aired on a channel called Noggin in 2005 ) were made but they were frequently repeated and are very fondly recalled, mainly you suspect by guys who have found themselves in Mr Benn's humdrum existence and long for some sort of temporary escape. I'm saying nothing.