ERNIE (THE FASTEST MILKMAN IN THE WEST)
by BENNY HILL
Southampton-born comedian and actor Benny Hill was no stranger to the UK Official Singles Chart when he made his debut in 1961 with the Top 12 smash Gather In The Mushrooms, although it would be a decade before he scored his biggest success with a tale of love and loss about milkman Ernie and his love rival baker Two-Ton Ted battling for the affections of widow Sue. The song was first penned in 1955 and was partly based on personal experience as a pre-fame Hill had previously worked as a milkman on a horse-drawn cart.
First released in November 1971, it raced to Number 1 on its fourth week and became the UK Official Singles Chart Christmas Number 1 spending four weeks at the top. Two-Ton Fred may have been Ernie’s nemesis, but Hill proved to be glam rock’s villain having knocked Slade’s Coz I Luv You off Number 1 and denying T.Rex their third consecutive chart-topper with Jeepster. Hill received an Ivor Novello Award for the song in 1972.