Monday, 3 October 2016
Take Two at Elstree Studios
A few weeks ago I finally got to view some of the interviews which formed part of the wonderful Take Two series filmed at Elstree Studios for Talking Pictures TV. The series sees Elstree's Chairman and well-known film and television historian and broadcaster Morris Bright bring some famous faces from Elstree's past back to the studios to chat about their lives and career.
It's a joy to hear more from these actors, many of whom have Carry On connections. So far I've seen five of the interviews and they are all superb and wonderfully entertaining. So here's a quick review of some of my favourites.
The first episode I watched featured Carry On favourite Angela Douglas. Angela is a beloved star of four Carry Ons and a real fan favourite with a long and successful career in film, television and stage. She was also married to the great actor Kenneth More until his death in 1982. Angela reminisced about her time working at Elstree on the likes of The Avengers and Jason King as well the brilliant children's comedy film Digby, The Biggest Dog in the World with Carry On co-star Jim Dale. She also talks about her friendships with the likes of Kenneth Williams and Peter Butterworth. Angela speaks very fondly about her marriage to Kenneth More and the story of how her autobiography, Swings and Roundabouts, came to be.
You can read my blog interview with Angela Douglas here
Next up was the gorgeous Valerie Leon, star of six Carry Ons as well as two Bond films and the lead in the classic Hammer Horror film, Blood From The Mummy's Tomb. It's always great to hear from Valerie and it was great to hear both how she started in the business and what she would like to do next. It was also fascinating to hear more about her marriage to the late BBC producer Michael Mills.
You can read my blog interview with Valerie Leon here
Another episode which is well worth a watch features Morris chatting with Love Thy Neighbour star Jack Smethurst. I had forgotten that Jack actually features in a small role in the very first Carry On, Carry On Sergeant in 1958. I remember seeing Jack pop up several times in Coronation Street over the years but this interview highlighted what a diverse career he has had with a bit of everything from Arthur Miller plays and For The Love of Ada with Irene Handl to A Kind of Loving and Casualty!
Two others to quickly mention - the gorgeous Madeline Smith chats with great relish about how she became an actress back in the 1960s and with great fondness about working with Frankie Howerd on the film version of Up Pompeii. It was great to hear Madeline say how thrilled she was to be in Carry On Matron and how she wished she had done more of the films. I would have liked that too! You can read my blog interview with Madeline here.
And finally, Goldfinger and Carry On Nurse actress Shirley Eaton goes back over her long career in film and television which takes in so many classic British titles. It was really interesting to hear why Shirley decided to retire from films at such a young age in 1969 but I'm glad she is still a presence in the business today.
So if you haven't yet checked out this great series of interviews, please do. Let's hope another series is in the offing.
You can read Part 1 of my recent interview with Morris Bright here and Part 2 here
You can follow Talking Picture TV on Twitter: here
Morris Bright is on Twitter here
Elstree Studios is on Twitter here
You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also on Facebook