20 Things You Never Knew About Benny

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Article by Tim Ewbank
After almost a year away from Crossroads, bumbling dimwit Benny is back in telly's soap opera about a mythical Midland motel.
Everyone knows that actor Paul Henry's telly trademark is a woolly hat.  But did you know that ...
  • Two years before he went into Crossroads, a clairvoyant told him he would become famous in a soap opera and that he would be mimicked a lot.

  • He has only worn one woolly hat in nine years of Crossroads.  He auctions off for charity the dozens viewers send in.  Once his hat raised more than former Prime Minister Ted Heath's tie.

  • Most embarrassing moment:  As he kissed and cuddled a girl at the cinema, his mother suddenly walked down the aisle and said: "Here you are, you've forgotten your mac."

  • Biggest disappointment:  He just lost out to Richard Beckinsale as Ronnie Barker's co-star Godber in the hit TV series Porridge.

  • As a 15-year old schoolboy he was a brilliant runner, doing the mile in 4min 26sec.

  • He never drinks while working - ever since, very early in his career, he appeared in a musical at Birmingham on Christmas Eve after having 20 rums.  "The cast could not understand what I was saying," he recalls.

  • Paul will not cut his fingernails on Wednesdays or Fridays because he believes it to be bad luck.

  • Although he works in the Crossroads garage, he knows nothing about cars.  He drives a Mercedes.

  • He smokes 40 cigarettes a day - more if he is socialising.

  • He wears glasses for reading and driving and is having a minor operation next year to correct a squint in one eye.

  • He never shaves during the week to maintain Benny's stubbly appearance.

  • Paul, who is 38, has been married to wife Sheila for 16 years.  They met in a Birmingham pub.  She hated him at first sight - but they wed a year later.

  • Before becoming an actor he was an apprentice at British Leyland but gave up after ten months.  But for four more weeks he went through the gates every day with his dad - because he was too scared to tell him he had quit.



20 Things You Never Knew About Benny continued