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'BENNY ROLLY' is the first script written by Wilf Lunn in the 1960's, without dialogue, unusual at that time. James Mason, after reading it, introduced Wilf to an agent, Blanche Marvin . She arranged an interview with Patrick Dowling the producer of VISION ON which was the catalyst that began Wilf's career in television.
Come back again to read other scripts by Wilf Lunn
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Introduction from Wilf Lunn:
I got the idea for 'Benny Rolly' when I overheard two old chaps talking outside David Metcalfe's furniture shop in Brighouse, Yorkshire. One said to the other, "Tha suit on it's last legs Jack." (Nearly worn out.) Jack replied, "Aye, when's done, I'll atta go t'bed." ( When it's done I'll take to my bed.) I realised he was saying that he was so old that he didn't want to waste his money on a new suit. He knew he wouldn't live long enough to get the wear out of it.

Benny in the story thinks the same way. He's wearing his last pair of trousers. The prison boots mentioned in the story with the large arrow on the soles, were at one time issued to inmates. The warders could see which way they were going if they escaped. The 'Wedge and Gimlet' method of barring doors to prevent discovery was actually used by burglars. The story has a background of First World War music and songs.

Wilf Lunn



The room is small and poorly furnished. "Dolly Grey" is PLAYING on the gramophone. A young BENNY ROLLY admires his corporals uniform whilst polishing his buttons with a cloth and polishing guard.

He STAMPS his boot and turns smartly at attention. Hanging from the ceiling is a canary cage, in it a dried lobster with "A PRESENT FROM CLEETHORPES" written on it.

There is a small spot of dirt on his boot. It is polished off with a cloth.

"Take Me Back to Old Blighty"
Benny continues polishing

A much older Benny is at the side of the road, polishing the black section of a 'Stop Children Crossing' pole. He's wearing the uniform of a crossing attendant. The peak of his cap is well down like a guardsman’s. Behind him a group of children are gathering to cross.

Benny marches out to the centre of the road, halts in the centre, firmly indicates the traffic must stop.
There isn't any traffic to stop, the road is quiet.

He signals for the CHILDREN to cross.

Nobody crosses.

He turns to see what is happening.

The children running away down the road LAUGHING and CHANTING.

Benny Rolly, Rolly Polly

Benny is furious shaking his banner he turns to follow them.
He stops and listens. There is the faint MOTORCYCLE ENGINE.

In the distance a motorbike is approaching very fast. The BIKER is wearing leathers and a helmet similar to a German army helmet.

Benny quickly returns to the centre of the road and holds up his banner.

The motorbike is getting closer. The youth on bike is crouched low.

Benny, grips pole with both hands, as though it were a rifle.

"Belgium put the Kybosh on the Kaiser"
The youth is now wearing a First World War spiked German helmet. He is bearing down on Benny at great speed.

Benny now in corporal’s uniform is gripping a .303 rifle with fixed bayonet.
He assumes a defence posture.

The rider is approaching fast.

Benny gets ready to engage enemy.


The biker sees Benny blocking his path and starts frantically braking.
Motorbike SKIDS to a halt at Benny's feet halts at his feet.



He thrusts his pole at the bike. Hits the bike between the handlebars.
Benny, twists pole whilst through clenched teeth and SHOUTS.


The cyclist looks amazed.



He brings up the butt of his pole.

Biker opens his mouth about to speak.
The butt of Benny’s pole hits him on the chin, closing his mouth.

The biker lands in the gutter.

OVER SCENE MUSIC: "A bicycle built for two"
A small crowd of pedestrian gather looking in amazement at the cyclist and Benny in the centre of the road at standing ease, legs apart left arm behind back.

OVER SCENE MUSIC: "There’ll always be an England"


OVER SCENE MUSIC: "Would you rather be a Colonel with an Eagle on your shoulder or a Private with a chicken on your knee"
Benny in ‘civvies’ at ease, but now he is holding a road brush. He has been demoted.
He stands to attention, then marches forward and rests his brush against a bin on wheels.
Takes out a cloth and with great pride polishes his bin.
He crouches down behind bin to polish the bottom.

A MAN in trilby hat approaches looking at the bin. Benny cannot be seen.

Benny pops up from behind bin and nods to the man, who walks off.

Surprised, Benny removes his jacket and carefully rolls up sleeves.
Sets off down the road sweeping laboriously, CHANTING.

One, two, one, two.

OVER SCENE MUSIC: "It’s a Long way to Tipperary"
Dustbin in foreground, Benny is still sweeping in the distance.

Two BOYS appear, one of them in short trousers is holding a rugby ball.
They look at the bin and see coat.
They smile at each other.

The taller boy picks it up and SHOUTS down the road.

Benny Rolly, Rolly Polly.

Benny, who can still be seen in the distance, stops sweeping and turns around.
He looks toward the boys and sees they've got his coat.

Enraged he charges towards them holding his brush like a rifle.

There's a flash of light. A flick-knife appears.

Benny slows down and stops, straining his eyes to see what the youth is holding.

OVER SCENE MUSIC: "Hush Here Comes a Wiz Bang"

From a safe distance Benny makes a few threatening gestures with his broom. He's apprehensive of the knife.

The boys give a final SHOUT of triumph and run off with Benny’s coat.

Benny gives token chase, at a safe distance.
When the boys slow down Benny slows down.
When the boys stop Benny stops.

The boys set off again at full speed.

A DOG joins the chase, following Benny.
Benny looks behind him at dog. He is now more concerned about escaping the dog than catching the boys.
He tries to fend it off with his brush, when this fails he increases his speed.
Runs round a corner looking behind.

The boys are waiting for him.

He bumps into the tall boy knocking the knife from his hand.
The knife is on the ground between the boy and Benny.

Holding his brush like a rifle, Benny looks the tall boy in the eye and crouches towards the knife.
He picks up the knife and smiles.
Tries to get the blade out but fails.
He pretends he did not want to open it in any case and puts it in his pocket.
Now the boys are disarmed he advances confidently with his broom.

The dog BARKS.

Benny looks down. The dog has a grip of Benny’s trouser leg.

While the dog holds Benny’s trouser leg the boys dance round him bouncing the rugby ball on his head and catching it.

Using his brush Benny trips the boy holding his coat and while he is on the floor snatches it off him.
Benny smiles in triumph.

There is a TEARING sound.

Benny's smile vanishes.

The dog running off with something in it's mouth.

The boys are LAUGHING.

Benny looks down. His trousers left leg has been torn off well above the knee.

Boys start CHANTING

Benny Rolly, Rolly Polly.

Benny throws his brush at them.

They pick it up and run off.

OVER SCENE MUSIC: “There’s a Long, Long Trail a-Winding”

Benny looks round corner to see if anybody is waiting.
All is clear. He comes round the corner, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, he walks casually along.

The two boys appear and begin to CHANT, pointing at his bare leg.

Benny Rolly, Rolly Polly

People look at Benny.

Benny crosses the street so that he can continue with his bare leg to the wall.

The boys do not follow.

All goes well until he has to re-cross the road. He makes two sorties but cannot get to the edge of the pavement without being overcome with embarrassment.

Benny removes his jacket and by dangling it down his leg effectively disguised it's nudity.
He then casually saunters off.

Benny, having safely arrived at his front door opens it.
He reaches down for his bottle of milk.

Benny Rolly, Rolly Polly

Benny drops his coat, darts into the house and SLAMS the door.

Benny leaning against the door as though he is expecting it to be hit with a battering ram.

OVER SCENE: “Benny Rolly, Rolly Polly” is CHANTED in a German accent. This slowly becomes a military drum beat.

Benny is staring into space.
His face hardens, he turns to face the door.
Slowly he grips the door handle. His knuckles turning white.

OVER SCENE MUSIC: "Home sweet home"

Benny lowers himself to look through the letter box.

One boy is on the other side of the road quietly CHANTING.

Benny Rolly, Rolly Polly.

Suddenly the other boy appears right against the letterbox and SHOUTS

Rolly, Polly


Benny falls back in fright.
He quickly recovers, leaps up and opens the door.
Fumbles with the flick-knife but he can't work it so he puts it back in his pocket.

Benny is halfway through the door.
He's undecided whether to advance or retreat, so he shakes his fist at the boys.

One boy is wearing Benny’s jacket, the other has a bottle of milk, CHANTING, JEERING and pulling faces.
They advance and bounce the rugby ball on Benny’s head.

Benny takes out the flick-knife but still cannot work it.

The boys continue to JEER pointing at Benny’s bare leg .

Benny looks down.
He gets all embarrassed, backing into the house he tries to cover it with his hand.
Benny SLAMS the door.

The boys carry on dancing about and CHANTING.

The door partly opens. Benny steps partly outside. We can just see his right leg it looks like he's changed his trousers. He doesn't come out.

The boys JEER even louder.
They suddenly fall silent.

Benny is pointing a paper bag at them.

They look at him wondering what it's all about.
Thinking there's nothing to be alarmed at they carry on JEERING.

Benny pulls off the paper bag to reveal his lobster.

The boys run off.

Benny goes back into house.

OVER SCENE MUSIC: "Keep the home fires burning"
Benny has not put on another pair of trousers he's just put the old ones on back to front. His right leg is covered but his left leg is now bare.
The fly hole is now at the back and he's desperate for a pee.
He frantically tries to remove the trousers and put them back on properly.

There is a CRASH against the door.

The bedroom window opens above the door. Benny appears with a chamber pot in his hand.

The door is dripping with milk.

The boys are JEERING, etc. just out of range.

Benny is still at the window with chamber pot.


Benny is sitting at the table holding a rugby ball. He smiles, SPITS on it and polishes it with his sleeve.
Lovingly he places it on the table and PATS it.
Opens a drawer in the table and takes out a large wooden spoon. He waves it over the ball and then tap it at one end.

Benny looks puzzled. He taps it again, thinks for a moment and taps it again.
There is a TWANGING sound and the spoon is impaled by a blade which shoots from inside the ball.

Benny smiles and removes the spoon with some difficulty.
He runs his finger across the blade and starts to polish it with a cloth.
Polishes the ball, then starts polishing the table.
Carries on to polish the table legs, then the floor.

OVER SCENE MUSIC: "If I'm not on the roll call kiss mother good bye for me"
Someone wearing a plastic Mac and Wellington boots is apparently urinating against the door.
Liquid dribbles onto the step.

The figure turns. It's Benny with a wet cloth.
He wrings it out onto the step and proceeds to wipe the milk off the door when he has finished he pins up a card on the door.
It reads "GONE AWAY"

Benny starts sweeping the path to his house.
He continues sweeping pavement, sweeping street, putting rubbish into a paper carrier bag.
Polishes a post box.
Pulls up the grass in pavement cracks.

He stops to admire an immaculate street.
Benny looks angry. He returns to the house opposite his own. The house is apparently neat.
He looks up. There is grass growing along the gutter of the roof.

Benny goes to the door of the house, he writes a note on a piece of paper resting on the door and pushes the completed note through the door letterbox.

The NEIGHBOUR opens door and comes out holding Benny’s note.
He blows a RASPBERRY across the road to Benny’s house.

Benny is looking out of the open letter box

Man opposite stops blowing raspberry to take a bottle of milk from the milkman.

The milkman then crosses the road to Benny’s house.


OVER SCENE MUSIC: "Stony broke in no man's land"
Benny stands behind door waiting for milk to arrive.
He gets fed up waiting and peeps out of the door. The step is empty.
He then spots his sign "GONE AWAY" note.
He shrugs disappointed closes the door and goes to the kitchen, where he starts tying string loops to the poles of a chimney sweep’s set.

Page 1 © Wilf Lunn 2001
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