"Good evening, sir.. Good evening, viewers!" - Fred Scuttle
Fred Scuttle is a recurring character created and portrayed by Benny Hill, known for his wire-rimmed granny glasses, wearing a cap with the brim turned to the side and his open-palmed British Army salute, which he often gives after making a clumsy or exaggerated entry behind the interviewer while he addresses the viewing audience in introduction. Next to Chow Mein, he is possibly the most recurring character in the series.
Scuttle fancies himself a crackerjack businessman, having worked numerous jobs in various industries at various levels including, but not limited to:
- Doctor (he tried to subconsciously train an ordinary man to become the smartest person alive)
- Airline Pilot
- Contractor (he once attempted to bore his own tunnel to France underneath the English Channel)
- Movie and/or Television executive
- Chief Police Inspector
- Nightclub Owner/Manager
- Tour manager
- Musical Impresario (he once recruited Eddie Buchanan to sing with his new vocal group)
Scuttle's personality is jovial, extroverted and somewhat childlike. During interviews, when the host asks him certain questions using complicated words that Scuttle doesn't understand, he perceives innuendo and answers accordingly. For instance, when Nicholas Parsons interviewed Scuttle about his travel tour business in 1970:
- Parsons: "Mister Scuttle, if I was to come to you and say that I had a month's holiday and only seven pounds to spend, could you tell me where to go?"
Scuttle: "Yes, sir, I could, but I would not be so rude, sir."
And in a later episode in which he is interviewed by Henry McGee:
- McGee: "Do you exercise your prerogative?"
Scuttle: "If it's slack."
Scuttle often takes pride in the fact that many of his businesses, mainly the travel and tourism attempts, were impossibly inexpensive. On several occasions, when asked how he could keep prices so cheap, his response was "By keeping the overhead down and the undercarriage up!"
- Fred Scuttle has been played by Benny Hill.
- In the Is This Your Life? sketch, Scuttle turns up as a friend of George Pudmore (played by Robertson Hare).
- He has been interviewed by Jeremy Gulliver (at the BBC), Nicholas Parsons and Henry McGee.
- Is This Your Life
- The Sound of Frankenstein
- The Underwater World Of Jacques Custard
- Opportunity's Knocking
- Top of the Tops
- News At Ten
- Benny's All-Star Finale
- Down Memory Lane
- The Common Market Square Dance
- Jackie Wright: Holiday
- Great British Dancing Finals
- Great Mysteries with Orson Buggy
- Tex Cymbal: Golden Boy
- Jack and Jill
- Murder on the Oregon Express
- Benny Hill: Down Under
- The South Blank Show
- The Police Raid in Waterloo Station
- Name That Tune
- Forever Love
- Holding Out For A Hero
- Benny Hill's World Tour: New York