From the Australasian Post, April 10, 1980

King Leer Benny rules – my girls must be naughty but nice



A GIRL has to be out of this world to join the select band of beauties they call Hill's Angels.

It's the name of the mouth-watering collection of crumpet that is helping to keep the Benny Hill Show way out in front as the sauciest thing on TV.

And each of those delectable dollies has had to pass one of the toughest tests in showbiz: the BB-test – Benny's Eye for the Birds.

Benny vets every girl personally. And any young hopeful who thinks big boobs and a come-on smile is enough to make her a Hill's Angel is doomed to disappointment.

Benny, 54, now enjoying the greatest success of his career with his shows becoming cult-viewing in America as well as Britain and Australia, says: "I like my girls to look naughty... but nice.

"And they must have a sense of fun so they can appear in sketches with me as well as dancing."

Benny's Law is that his girls must turn the fellas on... without making the wives switch off.

"We have to be very careful about the girls we select," said dark-haired Louise Walker, the costume designer responsible for the stunning outfits worn by Hill's Angels in the current series.

"Benny always has the final say and he's very fussy.

"He can't bear a girl to be blatantly erotic. She has to look sexy – but with a vulnerability and an air of innocence about her."

Louise added: "It's the same with the costumes. We can get away with see-through dresses and suspenders but Benny draws the line at going topless.

"It's the girls who really make the outfits work. Put an ordinary girl in some of our gear and she'd look like a sack of potatoes."

Age is another vital statistic when it come to choosing Hill's Angels.

At present there are eight girls in the line-up. The youngest is only 16. The oldest 24. At 25 a girl is reckoned to be over the Hill!

It's all a far cry from Benny's early shows when, he says, he deliberately avoided using sexy young things.

"I thought it might upset the mums watching. I was afraid they would be embarrassed by hubby ogling the set.

"But times changed and suddenly it was anything goes. I thought if you can't beat 'em, join 'em – and now pretty girls are always a feature of my shows."

Blonde choreographer Linda Finch, who workds out the girls' daring dance routines, said: "Hundreds of girls apply to get on the show but Benny's girls have to be extra special.

"She has to be a good dancer with a sparkling personality and a sense of humour as well. It helps if she can act and sing as well – or at least be prepared to work at it.

"It sounds a tall order but when a girl has got that special something it stands out a mile."

It's the quality that won leggy Leigh Miles her place as the baby at the age of 16.

How does she feel about performing these eye-opening routines at an age when most girls are still at school?

"What we do is more cheeky than sexy," said Leigh. "And even the briefest of costumes is no more daring than the bikinis you can see on the beach."

What does her mum think? "Oh, she doesn't mind," said Leigh. "She used to be a Tiller Girl herself."

The need for the girls to have a sense of humor is emphasised by a third Angel, sexy Sue Upton.

Sue appeared in last month's show in an explosive Wonderwoman bra and once wore satin pants that were so tight they split in the cheekiest of places.

"I know some of our clothes are very way out, but we are never forced to wear something we don't want to," said Sue.

She added: "What I like about working with Benny is that we are not just used as dancers. We get a chance to appear in the comedy sketches and in the show we're rehearsing now I even sing for the first time. It's great fun."

Comedy actor Bob Todd said: "I don't know where he gets them from. He's very particular and very professional."

"Girls who get on the show have to work hard and get it right. But it's a seal of approval for a girl once she's done a Benny Hill show."

Which adds up to a whole lot of approval for blonde Jenny Lee Wright.

She's a comedy actress who has been appearing on Benny's show for ten years.

And she's basking in some of the glory of Benny's new success in America.

"I've just done a couple of chat shows in the States where Benny is on every night of the week," said Jenny.

In one of her latest sketches for the show Jenny plays a busty barmaid... with the bust played by two bald heads.

As Jenny says: "Benny's humor is unique."