- Film by King Rollo Films
- Words by Mr Jeremy Langmead, Editor-in-Chief, MR PORTER
For those of you who haven't met Mr Benn before, you're in the presence of a genuine icon. The dashing character, who first appeared on television on BBC One in February 1971, became a star. His animated, bowler-hatted adventures - which always began through a magic door in the changing room of his local costume hire shop - have entranced children and adults for decades: one reason it was voted the sixth most popular children's TV programme in a Channel 4 poll.
Originally a book published in 1967, Mr Benn was created by Mr David McKee, the writer and illustrator behind bestselling series including Elmer the Patchwork Elephant and King Rollo. For the BBC series of Mr Benn, Mr McKee teamed up with an extraordinary team - all of whom have reunited to work on this special episode for MR PORTER.
The narrator is the actor Mr Ray Brooks, whose other work includes classic films such as The Knack... and How to Get it (1965) as well as the television drama Cathy Come Home (1966). The original Mr Benn theme tune, as used here, is by Mr Duncan Lamont (AKA Mr Don Warren), who has written and worked for everyone from Ms Natalie Cole to Messrs Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby. This episode was directed by Mr Leo Nielsen, a founding partner in King Rollo Films, who won a BAFTA in 2000 for Maisy Mouse and a nomination a year earlier for Humf. It was produced by Mr Clive Juster, also a founder of King Rollo Films and a multiple Emmy nominee.
They all collaborated on this episode, giving a modern twist to a typical Mr Benn adventure, utilising some of the original 40-year-old artwork.
Why Mr Benn? Because Mr Benn represents many of the qualities we admire at MR PORTER: he has a smart signature style, immense charm, good manners and an extraordinary sense of adventure. And, like us, his name is always preceded by the title "Mr".