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Mr Benn - As if By Magic

2022 saw the passing of David McKee, creator of Mr Benn, who featured in books and a TV series. Like many children's characters, Mr Been may be fondly remembered by some and totally unknown to others. Put simply, Mr Benn was a gentleman in a pin-stripe suit who lived a double life - with the help of his local fancy-dress shop.

When the opportunity arose, Mr Benn would slip into the shop and, 'as if by magic' (with the help of a costume) transform into a character such as a pirate, a knight or a spaceman and have an adventure before transformng back. At a time when parents did not have as much time as they did 'back in the day' to create home-made costumes, and before the age of the Internet, the books/programmes inspired young minds and many a costume-hir shop benefited (there were even a few outlet's calling themselves 'Mr. Benn's'

Mc Kee also created Elmer, the patchwork elephant, and those living in the Maidstone area will recall that the town was invaded by multi-coloured replicas of this popular character in aid of charity.

Mr Benn and his costumes hark back to a simpler time of costuming before Marvel or Potter franchises took over but his ethos lives on in people's enthusiasm for 'getting out of themselves'.



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