Film ID:
NEFA 21867



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Tyne Tees Television Six Five news programme interview by Phil McDonnell with British-born American actor Bob Hope, born as Leslie Townes Hope, on his British tour to promote the release of the comedy film ‘Eight on the Lam’’, directed by George Marshall. The item was originally broadcast on 1 June 1968.

Phil McDonnell asks Bob Hope a question [cuts off at the start of question]

Bob Hope says he is a fan of Shirley Eaton [who plays the character of Ellie Barton in the film] so he asked for her in the film. The actor Jonathan Winters is in the film. He jokes ‘They’re using it as a trailer for the mental health association’. There is laughter off screen.

McDonnell says that it is known that [Bob Hope] doesn’t like to talk about money. But that it has been reported that he is one of the richest men in America with close on 250 million dollars.

The comedian says that McDonnell has padded it a little, by about a million. There is more laughter off screen. He continues ‘Actually, I’m one of Paul Getty’s bell boys.’

McDonnell perseveres, asking how far Hope’s money was made through his shrewd business brain, as opposed to his sharp wit. Hope replies ‘Well, I’d like to know how it was made, ‘cos I didn’t make it.’ Laughter follows off-screen. He adds that he had it one time, but the government took it away from him. He denies ever having had that much money. It’s down to luck. He continues to say that he was born here [in Eltham, London] He went to Cleveland, Ohio, at a young age [at the age of four]. He started in vaudeville a few years later for five dollars a night. He worked his way up the hard way and was very lucky. He says that he wished he could say that he’d amassed that fortune, but he didn’t. He did do pretty well.

McDonnell asks why his sometime comedy partner, Bill Crosby, wasn’t mentioned in the rich man’s list. He asks if it’s true that he’s got a shrewder business head than Bob Hope. The comedian says, no, Crosby was born with ‘that frog in his throat’ [referring to Crosby’s singing voice]. It was on a lily pad. And he can’t knock that because the two have made a fine dollar together.

McDonnell then says that Hope’s film publicity has described Hope as a native of England, a national monument of the United States, and a citizen of the world. He asks how Hope sees himself. Hope replies that he doesn’t know. He’s just trying to get a few laughs. He proceeds to promote his new film, Eight on the Run [also known as ‘Eight on the Lam’].

McDonnell asks what is left for him to achieve. Bob Hope replies wryly that he just wants to lie down somewhere. He pauses and says on a good golf course – 18 holes. He talks about maybe getting a nurse that can drive a golf buggy and could ferry him around.

McDonnell, even more cheekily, asks about retirement.

He says he doesn’t know what he could retire to that would be this much fun.