Thursday 4 June 2015

Carry On Again, Angela!

As Carry On Blogging has now reached it's 150th blog post, I thought I would look back and publish some of my earlier blogs again. My first stop is this blog on Carry On favourite Angela Douglas. Blogger statistics tell me it's my most popular blog yet...

One of the greatest joys of life in the bizarre world of Twitter in recent months has been the delightful presence of Angela Douglas. 

Angela is of course a real fan favourite having appeared in four classic Carry On films in the 1960s. Who can forget her barnstorming performance as Annie Oakley in Carry On Cowboy? Or her frightfully posh turn as Lady Jane in Follow That Camel? Perhaps most memorable of all, the gloriously named Princess Jelhi in Carry On Up The Khyber? 

I think my own favourite performance has to be Angela's first in Cowboy. It was a great part as the gun-toting Annie, saving Jim Dale's Marshall P Knutt again and again and playing Sid's Rumpo Kid at his own game. In particular I adored the scenes where Angela, Joan Sims and Edina Ronay pitched in for a terrific cat fight in Jim Dale's bedroom. Wonderful, earthy stuff!

Angela Douglas brought a youthful, sweet innocence as the romantic lead in those four Carry Ons and I think she definitely appeared in the series at the right time. Later offerings were much more innuendo-laden, reflecting the times I suppose, but I doubt the characters Angela played would have fitted in as well. Angela typified a great line of talented young actresses who scored major successes in the Carry On films, from Shirley Eaton and Liz Fraser through to the likes of Jacki Piper and Carol Hawkins. 

Of course Angela has worked very successfully on a wide range of other film, television and stage productions for many years. It must sometimes be rather annoying to be mainly remembered for four low budget comedies in the mid-1960s however the Carry Ons endure and it has been wonderful to see Angela interact with so many fans and admirers on Twitter. Long may that continue.

Last year I also read Angela's autobiography, Swings and Roundabouts. It was a beautiful read, touching, funny and straight from the heart. I would recommend it to all fans. As a fan of her late husband, the actor Kenneth More, it was also great to learn more about his life and career. Genevieve remains one of my all-time favourite films.

So if you are not already following Angela on Twitter, her account is @CarryonAngela14 

You can buy Angela's brilliant autobiography here 

Angela will also be taking part in the new Carry On Forever documentary which will be broadcast on ITV3 this Easter weekend.

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and @GraemeN82 

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