Wednesday 12 August 2015

Carry On Fan of the Week: Jeremy!

It's time to meet another Carry On fan of the week! This week it's over to Jeremy, who will fill us in on why Sid, Babs, Jack Douglas and Carry On Girls do it for him!

What was the first Carry On film you ever saw?

Impossible to be certain of for me as I'd catch all of these films on late night TV. I'm from Australia, so our government channel (ABC) had a rather limited film library that consisted of the old Ealing films, the 1940s Charles Dickens adaptations like Great Expectations and, of course, the Carry Ons. So as a film-obsessed teen in the 90s (I'm 38 now), I'd often tape them as they ran around or later and watch them after school the next day.

So which was the first? Well, my first ever memories are from the late 60s/early 70s period films and for some reason I do think it was Up the Jungle.

Who is your favourite Carry On actor and why?

Of course all the regulars are so charismatic and likable, but like I would assume most people would say, my favourite would have to be Sid James. I also used to watch Bless this House when I was a kid so I really loved him as an actor. That laugh! 

Who is your favourite Carry On actress and why?

Babs, naturally! Her scenes with Sid James are so hilarious. But as I'm rewatching these films after having not seen them for many years I must say I'm more and more impressed by the performances of Joan Sims. I think she was absolutely terrific.

Who is your favourite Carry On supporting actor?

The one actor who appeared in only a few of the films but makes me laugh every time he's on screen is Jack Douglas. That nervous twitching buffoonish character he did, especially in Girls (see more below) was physical comedy gold. 

Have you ever visited any Carry On film locations?

Not that I know of. I did live for a couple of years in England, though in West Yorkshire. I don't know if they shot any of the films up there.

Have you ever met any Carry On actors?

Sadly not. If I ever met Valerie Leon I'd talk her ear off about the Carry Ons, Bond and Hammer films. So she'd be the one I'd most like to meet I guess. Well, her and Barbara Windsor who I suppose is that last of the main cast still alive, isn't she?

Do you have any Carry On memorabilia?

I'd like to get some of those original posters and do look at eBay at times for them but so far I've not found anything. 

Finally, what's your all time favourite Carry On film?

Quite hard to pick just one, but that said the one I find the funniest is Girls. There are some wonderful lines for all the main characters and the supporting cast like Jack Douglas and Robin Askwith, not the mention the delightful Margaret Nolan, all have their hilarious moments too. I'm amazed at how a writer like Talbot Rothwell could manage to pen these feature length scripts with such frequency and at such quality year after year during this period and still make each film unique in its own way. It's a testament to the quality of the filmmaking that even from today's perspective there's something fresh in these films and I think that has to do with the "don't take life too seriously" philosophy that Rothwell and Rogers put into the series. I love at the end of Girls that absolutely everything goes wrong and yet Sid hops onto that go kart and Barbara follows him on the motorcycle and they just run off together laughing. I was wondering when I watched this whether or not a comedy like this could be made today. There seems to be an insistence today in assuring that the "misbehaving" characters get their comeuppance and learn their lessons, with, naturally, the good people get their happy ending. These Carry Ons subvert that usually, although I think there are some traditionally happy endings in the series, but Girls doesn't do that at all -- 
which I love.

Thanks again to Jeremy for taking part! If you would like to be a Carry On Fan of the Week on this very blog, please email your answers to the questions to 

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also Facebook

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