In 1969, his show moved from the BBC to Thames Television, where The Benny Hill Show remained until cancellation in 1989, with an erratic schedule of one-hour specials.
The most common running gag in Benny Hill's shows was the closing sequence, which was literally a "running gag" in that it featured various members of the cast chasing Benny Hill and usually featured scantily-clad women as part of the chase, along with other stock comedy characters such as policemen, vicars, old ladies, and so on. This was commonly filmed using stop motion and time-lapse techniques for comic effect, and included other comic devices such as characters running off one side of the screen and reappearing running on from the other. The tune used in all the chases, "Yaketty Sax", is commonly referred to as "The Benny Hill Theme". It has been used as a form of parody in many ways by television shows and a small number of films. The Wachowskis used the same style (and musical theme) in a scene in the film V for Vendetta (2006). It also appears in the cult movie The Gods Must Be Crazy.
Reflecting opinion of the time within certain quarters the 1980s alternative comedian Ben Elton denounced him as a "dirty old man, tearing the clothes off nubile girls". The Independent newspaper opined the vendetta was "like watching an elderly uncle being kicked to death by young thugs". Elton later claimed his comment was taken out of context.
In response to such claims his close friend and producer Dennis Kirkland said it was the women who chased Hill in anger for undressing them, all of which was done accidentally by some ridiculous means. An article on 27 May 2006 in The Independent quoted Hill and Dennis Kirkland as saying they believed this misrepresentation demonstrated critics could not have watched his programmes.
In a documentary on Benny Hill, the former head of entertainment at Thames TV who had cancelled the show, John Howard Davies, stated there were three reasons why he did so: "...the audiences were going down, the programme was costing a vast amount of money, and he (Benny) was looking tired." Benny was devastated by the loss of his show.
US producer Don Taffner heard of Benny's plight and in 1991 produced a new show complete with Benny and his usual team, called Benny Hill's World Tour.