Towards the last few years of Benny's show, I actually really ceased to become a Hill's Angel: I wasn't involved in the dancing. I think because I was older than the other girls, he thought that he would give me a rest so I didn't have to go through the scrutinizing dance routines. So I was actually left to actually do the comedy bits, which were the insets in the dance routines, so I didn't actually have to go through all the rehearsals for the dance routines. And also bearing in mind that all the years I was on the show, I was pregnant twice, so obviously from a, like, health point of view, they wouldn't allow me to do any dancing at all while I was pregnant. And I had both my son and my daughter during the making of some of the shows, hence the reason why I wasn't involved in some of the dance routines.
All the girls that were on the show as the Hill's Angels have always been asked the same question: did you enjoy doing what you were doing, or did you worry about wearing about skimpy costumes? And the answer is no: we always enjoyed doing the dance routines, and were very happy to be seen wearing very nice, sexy costumes. Which girl wouldn't want to be seen looking nice and sexy? So the girls were very happy with what they were asked to do, and if a girl wasn't very happy, then she would wear a different costume. Benny never, ever wanted any of the girls to feel, sort of, under scrutiny, or that she wasn't happy, you know, with a particular costume or whatever, so everyone was very happy at the end of the day. I don't have a personal favorite Angels dance routine: there were so many of them that were all so very different, they were all good in their own individual way.
Thinking back over past experience about various situations while we were filming some of the Benny Hill shows, there's a couple funny episodes that come to mind. One of the various pieces that I actually was asked to do, was to stand at a bar in a comedy sketch and smoke a cigarette. And unfortunately, I do - luckily, I do not smoke, and when I was asked to actually puff away on this cigarette and blow smoke into Benny's face, I was the one that ended up coughing and spluttering. Hence we had to stop the shoot, and actually do the shoot about four or five times before it became, you know, right in the end. Another situation was where we were doing a comedy sketch called "Saturday Night Fever," and I played Olivia Newton-John and Benny played [the] John Travolta character, and I had these very tight satin trousies. And we were doing part of the dance routine, and the whole seam up the back side split while we were in the middle of filming. So I had to rush off, and they had to quickly fix together a new pair of trousers for me.
It was great working with the girls on the show. We actually all got on really very well. As the years went by, Benny knew that I...what I actually looked.... As the years went by, Benny was very much aware to have some help with helping to choose the girls for the show. And he wanted, actually, girls to have a sparkle, and I used to help him find girls for the show. And I would actually go to other model agencies, dance theatrical agents, and ask them to send him photographs of girls who would be interested to work on the show, who had some ability, and then we would whittle it down. But obviously, we went by the look of the girl first of all, and then the talent came later on.
Often girls didn't stay on the show for very long, because they didn't match up to Benny's expectations. Benny had a very high quality of what to expect in a girl that appeared on his show. And it wasn't just down to good looks at the end of the day, it was an awful lot more. It's very hard to put one's finger on, but basically you never know talent until it sometimes hits you in the face, and you look for that certain something in a girl. And you don't know what it is, but either she's got it or she hasn't, and I think Benny was very much that way inclined. This didn't have anything to do with a girl's dancing ability or even her singing or acting ability, but he was always striving and looking for something that little bit extra. And either... to him, you either had it, or you didn't.
We were all really very hurt when people began to criticize Benny's show, because we all took it very personally. We didn't feel we were doing anything wrong; as far as we're concerned, we were part of a world-explosive show that appealed to millions of people. You always get the criticism somewhere along the line, and people tell you about the bad things, but they don't print about all the millions of people that find a lot of joy and happiness and humor in watching the shows. So we did take it personally, and it did bother Benny tremendously if people did criticize his show, because that's not what he wanted to hear. He wanted people to praise it - which, many times, they did.
I do still watch The Benny Hill Show, purely because it brings back so many wonderful memories, and it takes me back, sort of like twenty-odd years ago now. And I look at them with great affection, and just wish that I could turn the clock back and do it all over again! So, I always love to watch the repeats, and my children enjoy watching them as well now, to think how young, and how sort of explosive I used to be on the show.
When a show was actually finished, we used to sit in a big room at Thames Television and watch the whole show all the way through, and we were all tremendously proud of all what we did. And of course, maybe six months later when the show was actually seen for the first time on TV, I would sit, as I would still do now, with all my family and enjoy watching the show. But the unfortunate thing is, one is always very critical when you watch yourself on TV, and you see, you know, maybe the downside of things and "That should have been done properly," or whatever, and obviously the public that are seeing it for the first time, do see it from a different point of view to yourself.
I'm a great TV...I'm a great follower of TV, and you know, watch lots of it. In many ways. I do think the comedy side has actually gone down quite a bit: there aren't really shows that do compare with the likes of The Benny Hill Show, and I think there should be something now that's more, in a very similar line. He has never been replaced by anyone: is that because no one out there is good enough to replace him?
Over the past few years, I've actually contributed to making about half a dozen various documentaries, all on the life and times of Benny Hill. The last recent program that actually went out, was a program that was actually titled Who Got Benny's Millions? and I was actually very upset to be part of this. I suppose at the end of the day, one has to appear in one program that you're not very happy with, and this happens to be one of them. I never had any inclination that the title was going to be about Benny's millions, or that the material in the program was all going to be money-orientated. So it just goes to show, you can ask various questions, and still get caught out.
When the lady came to interview me, actually at my home, she was at my home for about five hours - and that whole interview took place on my early childhood, and growing up, and how I got started on Benny's show, etc. It never, ever led to Benny's millions and what happened to his money. And a couple of times, these questions came about, and the interviewer kept referring back to the same questions. And I never realized at the time that all the questions were to do with his money - so, obviously, I was completely unaware of what this program was going to be about. If I had have known, I would never have taken part. Because I never, ever wanted it to be known that I was ever after Benny for his money, which is not true. He was there as a working colleague: he employed me and I worked for him on the show. And that is how our friendship actually got started: he was my employer, at the end of the day - the friendship came much later on.
And when the program was actually filmed on air, I was totally disgusted by the content of some of the questions that were asked of the girls on the show, and I'm very sad to have been part of such a horrible program about Benny. But unfortunately, once a program is actually filmed and edited together, you never have any say in these things, so once the damage is done, that's it. You just hope that what's on the news one day is forgotten the next day, and I hope this program is one that will be forgotten.