Tuesday 14 April 2015

Kenneth Williams' Comic Roots

One of my favourite Carry On finds on the internet is the upload of a BBC documentary originally broadcast in the early 1980s.

In Comic Roots, Kenneth Williams takes a film crew round some of the parts of London he knew well from his youth. As part of this journey back in time Kenneth shares many brilliant anecdotes and never misses an opportunity to show off!

He is also seen performing several classic old songs from his youth down the local pub which is highly entertaining to watch. According to Williams' diaries he found recording this programme to be deeply troubling although you would never know it. I really enjoyed watching it.

It also has special significance for me as much of it is shot in and around Bloomsbury in London. This is an area I know well as I worked there for several years. I passed by the shop on Marchmont Street where Kenneth's father had his barber's shop on a daily basis. There is a blue plaque there today to commemorate the fact Kenneth lived there when he was growing up. So many of the locations are familiar to me, in particular The Boot pub which is where Kenneth sings those wonderful old songs and generally larks about with the punters.

The programme is on Youtube in three parts, the first of which I've included in this blog. Enjoy! 

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