Ben Hollis’ doc tells of the rise and fall of a legendary Brit entertainer

When Ben Hollis was in London two years ago, he stayed at a bed and breakfast owned by the author of a book about a legendary English cabaret and variety star.

After learning about the black man from Grenada who became England’s highest paid variety singer and recording artist, Hollis teamed with the author Charlotte Breese and Evanston’s Mark Wagner to produce the documentary, “Let’s Do It: The Story of Hutch.”

In the late 1920s Leslie Hutchinson was the darling of London’s high society, who entertained the rich and famous with his fabulous singing and piano playing through the 1950s. During World War II his songs brought great comfort and escape to thousands who longed for gentler, more peaceful times.

“This is by no means a dry biopic,” said Hollis, who has made two visits to London with DV and DVcam shooters Brian Kallies and Kevin Leeser to collect more than 40 interviews. The remaining interviews will be captured on HD.

Irresistibly sexy and exotic, Hutch reportedly had sex with more than 1,000 women, including the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret. As Lady Edwina Mountbatten’s illicit lover for decades, he created a Royal scandal, Hollis related.

“Not one to limit his opportunities, he was also lovers with Cole Porter, actor Ivor Novello and many other men. He was married and lived with his American-born wife and daughter in a quiet north London neighborhood,” said Hollis.

“Having squandered nearly all of his riches on horse racing, womanizing and drink, died broke in 1969. He left eight illegitimate children wondering ?who the heck is Hutch?'”

Hutch’s legitimate and illegitimate children and grandchildren were interviewed, along with fans, critics and show biz types who knew him, including Sir David Frost, Sir Charles Spencer Churchill, Lady Elizabeth Anson, the Queen’s cousin, and Ned Sherrin, the creator of “That Was the Week That Was.”

Hollis is pitching the doc to the BBC and is also seeking sponsors. The doc will be finished next year.

Hollis can be reached at 773/944-9656, Email