So we've reached the end of yet another year! I'm no fan of New Year's Eve (or Hogmanay as it's known where I come from) but this time of the year is a time for taking stock so I thought I would do a little blog post looking back at the first year in the life of Carry On Blogging.
As I said when I first started this blog at the end of March, "I've been tweeting about the Carry On films for nearly a year now and while I've loved sharing photos, clips and opinions with all my lovely followers, I felt it was time to expand on 140 characters with some proper blogs. So here we go." And 500 blogs later here we are! I had no idea where this would go but I've loved every minute and I still do.
This month brought us the much heralded Carry On Forever documentary on ITV3. Each of the three parts were an absolute joy as we strolled down memory lane, revisited old clips, old stories and locations where the magic happened. It was also fantastic to see so many familiar Carry On actors involved. From Julian Holloway and Rosalind Knight to Juliet Mills, Margaret Nolan and Amanda Barrie, it really was one treat after another. I blogged reviews of each part of Carry On Forever and it really helped to kick start Carry On Blogging.
In April I also did a countdown of my top ten favourite Carry On films of all time, with the content and indeed the winner slightly controversial!
I also started a regular blog post looking at some of the lesser known but instantly familiar supporting actors who graced so many Carry Ons - Whatever Happened To ... So far I have written about the likes of Esma Cannon, Carol Hawkins, Gail Grainger, Peter Gilmore and Michael Nightingale. Watch out for a blog on Betty Marsden early in the new year...
This month was all about Jim Dale. The male juvenile lead of eleven Carry On films was in town with his one man show, Just Jim Dale. I went along to the Vaudeville Theatre in London to see for myself. It was a privilege to review the show for Carry On Blogging and absolutely wonderful to see the multi-talented Mr Dale take us through his long and distinguished career. Happy memories.
I also started one of my most popular blog strands in June when I began posting blogs featuring some Carry On fans who are regular readers of my blog. The Carry On Fan of The Week feature will hopefully continue to run into 2016.
In July I published the first ever guest blog post on Carry On Blogging, thanks to The History Usherette. It was a glorious trip down memory lane focussing on the Carry On films that dealt with holidays and trips abroad. Since then I have featured several more lovely guest blogs and I hope you will all write some more for me in 2016!
In August I had a bit of a blog exclusive! I got a sneak preview of a new short film starring the wonderful John Challis and Cleo herself, Amanda Barrie. The film, Tea For Two, has been written and directed by Mark Brennan and is a joint venture between Pork Chop Pictures and Mini Productions. I was intrigued at the prospect of the film, which tells the tale of a retired couple who run a tea shop in an idyllic English village. As the film progresses, their behaviour becomes increasingly ... interesting!
After I blogged about Tea For Two, Mark Brennan very kindly tweeted me and offered me the chance to view the film, which as yet, is not available to the general public. It was an honour to watch Tea for Two and I'm extremely grateful to Mark for sharing his fine work with me.
The highlight of September was undoubtedly a trip to my first ever film convention. I wasn't disappointed either as I got to meet two Carry On legends - the gorgeous Amanda Barrie and Anita Harris. Both ladies were extremely kind and warm and helped make the day a memorable one. I can't wait to attend more conventions in the new year!
November brought a celebration of all things June Whitfield as we marked the milestone of her 90th birthday. I launched a poll to find out what your favourite June Whitfield role was and blogged about the good lady herself. I also asked why on earth she was yet to be made Dame June Whitfield.
I also entered the blog for the UK Blog Awards which is very exciting! Although Carry On Blogging is very young and quite small, I thought it was worth a go. You can vote for me in the Arts and Culture section from next month. More details to follow!
This month has been suitably festive. As well as featuring a daily countdown to Christmas with photos from some of the classic Carry On Christmas television specials, I have written reviews on some of the Thames shows, blogged about Carry On stars past and present in panto and kept you all up to date with the Carry On films being shown on the telly over the festive season.
It has been a great few months for me. I have loved writing in more detail about the Carry On films and engaging with so many fellow fans on social media. Since March this blog has received over 70,000 page views and my Twitter page now has over 3,000 followers. So a big thank you to everyone who has been so supportive.
You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan