Lennie Bennett

Michael Berry (26 September 1938 – 8 April 2009), known professionally as Lennie Bennett, was an English comedian and game show host.

Lennie Bennett
Lennie Bennett (fair use).jpg
Publicity shot of Bennett promoting the early-1980s TV quiz "Punchlines"
Michael Berry[1]

(1938-09-26)26 September 1938
Died8 April 2009(2009-04-08) (aged 70)
Lancaster, Lancashire, England
Resting placeCarleton Crematorium and Cemetery, Blackpool, Lancashire, England
OccupationTelevision comedian
Years active1971–1993
Spouse(s)Margaret Backhouse (divorced)[2]
Teresa Jackson (divorced)[3]

After attending the Palatine Secondary School in Blackpool, Bennett became a journalist for the West Lancashire Evening Gazette before becoming a professional hypnotist and appearing on the BBC light entertainment programme The Good Old Days in 1969.[4] He starred with Jerry Stevens in the Lennie and Jerry Show, which ran from 1978 to 1980. Bennett was also the host of Punchlines and Lucky Ladders in the 1980s.

He also performed in twelve Royal Variety Shows, and had a brief stint as a chat show host on London Weekend Television in 1982,[5] before working as a speaker on the after-dinner circuit.

Bennett suffered a serious heart attack in 1994, which necessitated a bypass operation. He died at the age of 70 in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary on 8 April 2009, following a fall at his home from which he failed to regain consciousness.[6] His funeral took place at the Carleton Crematorium.[7]

TV appearancesEdit

  • Jokers Wild – panel game, regular guest, ITV, 1972–73
  • Celebrity Squares – panel game, regular guest, ITV, 1970s
  • International Cabaret – variety show, host, BBC2, 1978
  • The Lennie and Jerry Show (originally titled Lennie and Jerry) – sketch show, BBC1, 1978–80
  • Blankety Blank – game show, regular panellist, BBC1, 1979–80
  • Punchlines – game show, host, ITV, 1981–84
  • TSW Opening Night – host, Television South West, 1 January 1982
  • Names and Games – game show specials, host, ITV, 1984–85
  • Lucky Ladders – game show, host, ITV, 1988–93
  • You Bet! – game show, regular panellist, ITV, 1990
  • Fantasy Football League – guest, BBC, 1995
  • After They Were Famous – documentary, subject, ITV, 2004


  1. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: TV star Lennie Bennett dies", The Gazette, 9 April 2009.
  2. ^ Hayward, Anthony (20 May 2009). "Lennie Bennett: Stand-up comedian who hosted the 'Punchlines' game show". The Independent. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Lennie Bennett". The Daily Telegraph. London. 13 April 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  4. ^ Gavin Gaughan, "Lennie Bennett" (obituary), The Guardian, 13 April 2009.
  5. ^ TV host "Lennie Bennett dies at 70", BBC News, 10 April 2009.
  6. ^ "Lennie Bennett dies", Chortle, 9 April 2009.
  7. ^ Michael Berry: Obituary. From Blackpool Evening Gazette, 16 April 2009.

External linksEdit