This has just flashed up on my television screen and it was too good not to share. Next Saturday, as part of a series looking at British cinema, Jonathan Ross is going behind the scenes as Pinewood Studios celebrates 80 years of film making. The BBC Media Centre Website has released the following information on what to expect:
In 1935 the original British movie maverick, flour magnate J. Arthur Rank, began work on his greatest dream: a British film studio that would be the best in the world. Eighty years on, Pinewood Studios has become one of the most famous in cinema, the beating heart of the UK’s film industry and an artery that runs through the story of British film heritage.
At the heart of the programme is Jonathan Ross’s exploration of this iconic studio. He tells the story behind some of Britain’s greatest film moments and reveals the magic behind the movies in some special sequences: he even gets behind the wheel himself to attempt an audacious car stunt, learns how to choreograph a musical sequence from The Muppets Most Wanted, before staging an ambitious underwater action sequence in the fabled underwater stage complete with burning wreckage and a damsel in distress! Jonathan will also encounter the ‘Pinewood people’, who have worked there past and present and the stars who helped make Pinewood great.
Barbara Windsor will take Jonathan on a golf buggy tour of the back lots to discover what it was like making classic comedy at Pinewood. Together they explore the exact sites where Barbara did some vigorous exercises for Carry On Camping and see how Heatherden Hall was transformed to a British Raj villa for Carry On Up The Khyber.
Inside the grand Hall itself Dame Joan Collins will reveal the secrets of J Arthur Rank’s determination to discover and nurture young stars as she returns to the very room where legendary publicity photographer Cornel Lucas spent weeks creating her iconic brand.
Jonathan will watch a special screening of Sir John Mills in Great Expectations with none other than his daughter Hayley Mills, who followed in her father’s footstep and began her own acting career as a child at Pinewood in films such as Whistle Down The Wind.
Sounds great, doesn't it? Any excuse to wallow in a bit of British film nostalgia is alright by me. I have always loved Pinewood and hope that some day someone will let me inside for a nosey! Thank goodness the Carry Ons are getting a mention, I'd be shocked and horrified if they had been left out.
One think strikes me as odd though. How come Barbara was willing to be involved in this programme, going back to the site where she famously lost her bikini in Carry On Camping, but decided not to take part in the recent (and wonderful) Carry On Forever documentary over on ITV3?
Anyway, never mind that. It sounds like an excellent programme and one definitely not to be missed.
Pinewood: 80 Years of Movie Magic will be broadcast next Saturday 6 June at 9pm on BBC2.