Saturday 31 October 2015

Are we ready to Carry On Again?

There are reports this morning in The Independent that plans are in place to bring a new Carry On film to cinema screens in 2017. 

I was rather flabbergasted to read this today and have very mixed feelings about this plan. Although, as the Independent reports, the film has the backing of film producer Jeremy Thomas (his uncle was Gerald), Steve James, son of Sid and John Altman who apparently will write the music, I can't help feeling we should just let the idea of a new Carry On go.

Any attempt to revive the series runs the risk of churning out a Carry On Columbus for the 21st Century. Practically all the original talents have long since left us and anything in the Carry On name would have to be pretty special to live up to their wonderful contributions all those years ago.

The one positive I read in the article was that the film would feature a cast of unknown actors. After the mixed bag of Carry On actors and new wave comedians in Columbus, the new film may have a fighting chance if it introduces us to a cast of fresh faces we haven't seen before. I just don't know though, as popular as the original series of films are and although they have new generations of fans, would a completely new Carry On film in 2017 work and attract a significant audience at the box office?

So what do you think? Should there be a new Carry On film and possibly even a new series of films? Or should we just respect the memories of Sid, Kenneth, Joan and all the rest and not attempt to reignite the classic, probably never to be repeated formula?

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan 

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What A Carry On Up The Conventions!

There are two London-based film conventions on the horizon before the end of the year that have strong Carry On connections.

FIrst of all, on Sunday, 8th November, Fantom Films and London's The Cinema Museum are having a special Carry On day entitled "Oh! What A Carry On!". This day will feature an opportunity to meet some of the stars from the films, purchase autographs and have your photo taken with your favourite actors. There will also be talks, presentations and Question and Answer sessions. 

So far, the following actors have confirmed they will be attending: Valerie Leon, Hugh Futcher, Christine Ozanne, Georgina Moon, Peter Quince and Don McCorkindale. Probably the most interesting addition to this line up is none other than Barbara Windsor, making a very rare appearance at such an event. I'm never quite sure what Barbara makes of her Carry On association these days, however fair play to her for coming along to this event to meet fans of the films. You can find out more about this event here .

Also worth mentioning, on Saturday 14 November the London Film Convention will be taking place once again at the Central Hall in Westminster. Although this Convention has a horror theme this time around, there is still a couple of Carry On actors in attendance. The legendary star of Carry On Screaming, Fenella Fielding will be there to sign autographs and meet fans. I've been lucky enough to meet Fenella before and she's such a lovely lady. 

Also present will be Angela Grant, who provided glamorous support in Carry On Up The Khyber, Follow That Camel and perhaps most memorably, in Carry On Girls. Not a Carry On connection here, but I must also mention that legendary Bond and Avengers actress Honor Blackman will also be at this convention. More guests will be announced soon so keep checking the London Film Convention website.

If you get along to either of these events, please do get in touch to let me know how you got on!

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also Facebook

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Friday 30 October 2015

June Whitfield at 90: Evelyn Blunt in Carry On Abroad

I have been profiling some of June Whitfield's most legendary roles on screen in the run up to her 90th birthday on 11 November. I have chosen eight of her most well-known performances, which you can vote for in my special poll - details on that below. As we prepare to celebrate the milestone birthday of this national treasure, let's continue to look back at her career.

After 13 years away from the Carry Ons after her cameo role as Leslie Phillips' girlfriend in Nurse, June Whitfield was back at Pinewood in the Spring of 1972 for a corker of a role. As Evelyn Blunt, June was one of the unfortunate holidaymakers to travel on the Wundatours package holiday to the Spanish island of Elsbels. Needless to say, nothing went to plan. The fellow holidaymakers were awful, the island was dreary and the hotel wasn't even finished. Chaos frequently ensues in what must be one of the last great Carry Ons to be made. 

June joined a prime cast of regular Carry On actors - nearly all of the best known performers are present, including Sid James, Joan SIms, Peter Butterworth, Kenneth Williams and Kenneth Connor. Connor plays Evelyn's cuckolded husband Stanley and all is not well between them. Evelyn is buttoned up, awkward and difficult throughout while Stanley is put upon and quite obviously sexually frustrated! 

Before too long Evelyn attracts the attentions of the hotel's barman Georgio (Ray Brooks) who seduces her with dancing and champagne. Stanley meanwhile has caught the eye of bored Cora Flange (Joan Sims). Although nothing happens between them, there is quite clearly a spark. In the end, both the Flanges and the Blunts reunite and put the oomph back in the marriages, mainly thanks to a few glugs of Santa Cecilia's Elixir purchased at Elsbels Market!

I love June's performance in Carry On Abroad. There is a real sense of middle-aged, middle class frustration in her portrayal of Evelyn Blunt and while it's definitely a comic performance, there is real substance to it too. Fortunately the character is redeemed towards the end of the film, with favourite moments including June and Kenneth crashing through the floor on their bed and dancing wildly at the farewell party in the hotel. 

June also features in one of my all-time favourite Carry On gags. Yes, you guessed it, the "Your only child I presume!" sequence. It never fails to make me laugh. The reactions from June and Kenneth Connor are just superb! 

So there you have it, a classic performance from June in one of the classic entries in the Carry On series. What more could you ask for?

If Evelyn Blunt is your favourite of June's roles over the years, you can vote for it here 

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan

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Thursday 29 October 2015

Happy Birthday Angela Douglas!

A very happy birthday to Carry On legend Angela Douglas who celebrates her birthday today. Angela has long been a fan favourite thanks to her sparkling performances in four classic mid-60s Carry On films and is now a very welcome presence on Twitter.

Angela has had a long and prolific career in film, on television and stage since the late 1950s. She was married to the late film actor Kenneth More (always one of my favourite actors thanks to his roles in the likes of Genevieve, Doctor in the House and Reach For the Sky) and more recently has become a writer, having published her wonderful autobiography Swings and Roundabouts.

Angela first appeared in the Carry Ons as Annie Oakley in Carry On Cowboy, released in 1965. She returned the following year for a cameo appearance as Doris Mann in Carry On Screaming, uttering the famous line "there is something in those bushes!" before she was got at by Oddbod! In 1967 Angela co-starred with Jim Dale, Kenneth Williams and guest star Phil Silvers in Follow That Camel. I love Angela as the frightfully posh Lady Jane Ponsonby - I think it might be my favourite of her roles in the Carry Ons. Her final performance in the series came the following year, as Princess Jelhi in Carry On Up The Khyber.

Angela normally worked alongside the brilliant Jim Dale in the Carry Ons. I think they had terrific chemistry together and I wish they had appeared together more often (I have a soft spot for the children's film Digby, The Biggest Dog in the World which saw them reunite several years after the Carry Ons). 

Angela Douglas made a welcome appearance in the Carry On Forever documentary earlier this year, looking wonderful and still proud of her association with the films. It was great to see her back on location in Wales where Khyber was filmed. 

Whatever Angela is up to today, I hope she has a very happy, memorable birthday. Here's to many more.

You can follow Angela on Twitter @CarryonAngela14

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also Facebook

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Wednesday 28 October 2015

What A Carry On with Angela at Elstree

Carry On legend Angela Douglas will be attending a special event at Elstree Studios later next month. Angela, the star of four brilliant Carry On films, will take part in a question and answer session and book signing on 24 November.

Angela made the classic children's film, Digby - The Biggest Dog in the World at Elstree, as well as episodes of The Saint and The Avengers. As well as discussing her wonderful career in film and on television, she will also talk about her late husband, famed actor Kenneth More. 

We know Angela best for her roles in Carry On Cowboy, Screaming, Follow That Camel and Up The Khyber - all absolute classics from the richest period in Carry On history. Angela has always been a real favourite of mine and she has also proven to be a very welcome and popular presence on Twitter! She even follows someone who tweets rubbish at @CarryOnJoan !

Tickets for the event are strictly limited so if you want to attend, please visit Elstree Studios website for further information. Copies of Angela's cracking autobiography "Swings and Roundabouts" will be available on the night. 

Angela will be appearing at Elstree on Tuesday, 24 November, between 7.30 and 9.30pm. What a great pre-Christmas treat!

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan

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Carry On Fan of the Week: Me!

For several months now I have been sending out the call for any of you loyal Carry On Blogging readers to submit answers to some questions explaining why you're a Carry On fan. I've suddenly realised I haven't answered these questions yet myself, so here goes!

What was the first Carry On film you ever saw?

The first Carry On film I ever saw was, I think, Carry On Matron, many years ago when I was about seven years old. While browsing the bargain bin in my local Woolworths (remember them?) I came upon some video cassettes (again, remember them?!) on the Cinema Club label. I think there were reduced as nobody wanted them - the Carry Ons were yet to come back into fashion at this point. I seem to recall buying Matron and Up The Jungle and watching Matron first. That was it as far as I was concerned. A lot of the innuendos went way over my head but I loved the pantomime performances and still do. 

Who is your favourite Carry On actor and why?

I'm torn between two actors here. My favourite personality is and always will be Kenneth Williams. I loved his appearances on Parkinson and other talk shows and I've watched his Audience With programme far too many times. He was quite simply a genius, a gifted actor and an amazing raconteur. I adore his performances in Round The Horne, Willo The Wisp and of course, the Carry Ons. His diaries are also close to my heart. In terms of comedy actors, I must also mention the fantastic Peter Butterworth. He appeared in many Carry Ons, never receiving true star status or high billing but in my view he was just one of the best. His supporting turns are sublime and he had a natural flair for comedy. He never ever missed an opportunity for a bit of comedy business. 

Who is your favourite Carry On actress and why?

It goes without saying that it has to be the glorious Joan Sims. I love the woman. She never gave a bad performance. Her roles in the series are all completely different showing her incredible versatility. Joan mastered everything the Carry On team could throw at her, from gym mistress Miss Allcock and Calpurnia in Cleo to the nagging Emily Bung in Screaming and the outrageous Lady Ruff Diamond in Khyber, Joan could do it all. Another talented actress who never really received the accolades she deserved, I do believe Joan could have been a major star at the National Theatre or the RSC. Sadly her private life never mirrored the joy she gave to so many over the years and still does to this very day. She will always be my absolute favourite.

Who is your favourite Carry On supporting actor?

Again, I don't have to think long and hard about this one. I adore Patsy Rowlands, however brief her appearances are in the Carry Ons. She always gives stunning performances, particularly Miss Withering in Convenience and Mildred Bumble in Girls. Patsy was a star of stage and screen for decades, never out of work and beloved by her peers. A Carry On was always the better for her popping up for a few scenes and again, the quality of her acting raised the bar in many a later series entry. A shame she was often restricted to such brief supporting turns, but I treasure each of her nine Carry On roles.

Have you ever visited any Carry On film locations?

About ten years ago I toured round several of the locations. I made it to the old entrance of the amazing Pinewood Studios; Pinewood Green and Pinewood Close; Black Park, Maidenhead Town Hall; the church in Denham (Carry On Matron); the parade of shops used in Carry On Behind (Farnham Common) and Windsor and Eton Railway Station (Regardless and Loving). Windsor is also full of locations used during the filming of Cabby. I would dearly love to one day make it inside Pinewood Studios. I live in hope!

Have you ever met any Carry On actors?

I have been lucky enough to meet a few! In 2008 I met Sheila Hancock during a book signing event at the National Theatre. In 2012 I was lucky enough to meet the legendary Fenella Fielding at an event to celebrate the wonderful Carry On Screaming. Although I didn't actually meet him properly, earlier this year I was lucky enough to take in Jim Dale's amazing one man show in London. Last month I also met Amanda Barrie and Anita Harris at the London Film Convention. Both ladies were fab - warm, welcoming and really friendly.

Do you have any Carry On memorabilia?

I have a few Carry On mugs at the back of my kitchen cupboards that I could never get rid of! I also have a signed photo of Joan Sims that I was lucky enough to receive back in the late 1990s. Also in my living room are lovely signed prints from Amanda Barrie, Fenella Fielding and Anita Harris. Sadly I don't have any props or costumes from the films but I imagine they are very rare these days.

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

As I counted down my top ten Carry Ons earlier this year, this will come as no surprise. My all time favourite is Carry On Cabby. Although it does not feature the likes of Sims, Butterworth or Williams, I just adore the story, the soundtrack, the wonderful Glab Cab girls and the touching, heartfelt relationship between Charlie and Peggy Hawkins. Sid and Hattie give brilliant performances and I can watch it again and again and again. Superb!

So there you have it! If you would like to be my next Carry On Fan of the Week, all you have to do is answer these questions and submit them to I look forward to hearing all about your favourites!

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also Facebook

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My Favourite Scene: Carry On Doctor

I have been running an occasional series of blogs looking at my favourite scenes in each of the original thirty Carry On films made between 1958 and 1978. Today I am going back to 1967 and a classic of the medical Carry Ons, Carry on Doctor.

Doctor featured a stunning cast of regular Carry On stars, reintroduced Hattie Jacques and Barbara Windsor to the mix after long absences and provided us with a glorious starring role for Frankie Howerd as the bogus faith healer, Francis Bigger. The film also sees the Carry On action hero Jim Dale reach his creative peak in the series. This was the last film Jim made before his final original role two years later in Again Doctor. As Dr Kilmore, he is firing on all cylinders and also benefits from great chemistry with his co-star, the lovely Anita Harris.

Dr Kilmore is involved in many scrapes throughout the film, crashing into trolleys, breaking equipment and delivering injections in a most unusual fashion! Kenneth Williams and Hattie Jacques as Dr Tinkle and Matron are keen to get rid of Kilmore and his roof top drama half way through the film provides their perfect excuse. It is also my favourite scene in the film.

Gerald Thomas directs a brilliant sequence here, full of built up tension and Dutch angles. Jim, believing Nurse May (Barbara Windsor) is going to jump off the roof of the nurses home, rushes across the road with Nurse Clark (Anita Harris) to persuade Sandra not to do away with herself. Unfortunately, all Sandra wants is a bit of afternoon sunbathing and the appearance of Dr Kilmore on the roof sends her into a frenzy of accusations that he is nothing more than a peeping tom! 

What follows is genius. Jim loses his footing on the roof and stumbles about all over the place, finally climbing up Nurse Clark's skirt! What may look relatively straightforward actually demonstrates just what a gifted actor JIm Dale was (and is). His comic physicality in these scenes is just sublime. He eventually finds his way off the roof and slap bang into a bubble bath complete with naked, and rather unsuspecting nurse! 

It is classic Carry On and showcases the talents of both Gerald Thomas and Jim Dale perfectly.

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan 

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Tuesday 27 October 2015

Are You A Carry On Fan?

Do you love Carry On films? Probably a daft question to ask if you are reading this blog! I have decided to start a new regular feature for Carry On Blogging and I need your help.

If you are a Carry On fan, love the films, the stars and the spin offs, I want to hear from you. All you have to do is get in touch with some info and you will feature in your very own blog. All I need from you is your name, where you're from and the answers to the following questions:

What was the first Carry On film you ever saw?

Who is your favourite Carry On actor and why?

Who is your favourite Carry On actress and why?

Who is your favourite Carry On supporting actor?

Have you ever visited any Carry On film locations?

Have you ever met any Carry On actors?

Do you have any Carry On memorabilia?

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

If you want to get in touch and feature in a Carry On Fan blog, please email your answers to the following address: 

I look forward to hearing from you!

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also Facebook

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Bernie's Hole In The Ground...and other classics

The other evening Bernard Cribbins' novelty record Hole in the Ground popped up in an advert for something or other. At first I knew it was familiar but it came as such a surprise to hear it again it took me a minute to work out what it was! This made me scour the internet for the record and as usual, YouTube didn't let me down!

So for no other reason that a good wallow in nostalgia, here is Bernard's classic record from the early 1960s:

As I'm feeling generous, here is another one of Bernie's classics. The wonderful Right Said Fred:

Did you know that Hole in the Ground was written by none other than Myles Rudge and Ted Dicks? These two were close friends of Joan Sims and also wrote the theme tune for the legendary Carry On Screaming in 1966.

As a slightly bizarre postscript, apparently Noel Coward chose Hole in the Ground as one of his tracks when he appeared on the BBC's Desert Island Discs. Well there you go!

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan 

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Monday 26 October 2015

What A Carry On in Brighton!

I spent a very nostalgic day in good old Brighton last Friday. I always love a trip to the seaside as I grew up by the sea and miss that special sea air in land-locked London. I've also got fond personal memories of Brighton and despite the fact it's probably no longer quite what it was, I never turn down the opportunity to go back.

Of course the Carry Ons have a long association with Brighton. Legendary scriptwriter Talbot Rothwell worked in the town for a time and I believe he met the famous stand up comedian Max Miller there. Miller was well known for his risque jokes and could be said to have laid the grown work for the many years of Carry On humour that followed.

Brighton was (and still is to some extent) a popular holiday destination for many and it is where the core Carry On audience would often be found back in the day. It was also the home to original Carry On leading lady, the late great Dora Bryan, for many years until her death last year. Dora's hotel even featured in two of the films, At Your Convenience in 1971 and Girls two years later. Patsy Rowlands was also based down in Brighton for much of her later life, sadly passing away there in early 2005.

The Carry On team did of course descend on Brighton twice during the early 1970s, marking very rare location filming for the gang. In 1971, the workers of Boggs' toilet factory travelled to Brighton for the annual works outing. This forms the basis for my favourite part of that classic film as the likes of Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey and Joan Sims camp about the pier, telling dodgy jokes, eating cockles and enjoying the hospitality of several local establishments! It feels like the team are returning to their spiritual home in that film - it all fits together so perfectly.

Two years later, Brighton doubled as the dreary seaside resort of Fircombe in Carry On Girls. This is, rather unfortunately, a less optimistic view of the British seaside. Fircombe is basically a dump, where nothing happens and nobody has any fun (if Augusta Prodworthy has her way that is). In comes Sidney Fiddler with his idea of a beauty contest and the rest is rather dodgy cinematic history. Although Girls sees a welcome return to Brighton for the team, the town is treated less than favourably this time around which is a shame. Girls as a whole is hardly a favourite of mine so probably best to leave this well alone!

As I stood on Brighton pier the other day in the cold, autumnal October air, I felt goosebumps as I thought of all those Carry On legends who had once paraded up and down the promenade. Charles Hawtrey as the rather camp Mr Coote, resplendent in a brightly patterned matching shirt and tie; Joan Sims and Sid James, their characters hoping for some time alone together away from prying eyes; Kenneth Williams marauding around the pier telling filthy limericks; Patsy Rowlands in full Miss Withering mode- surely her best Carry On performance? 

Even after all these years, their presence on Brighton front is so real and tangible, it feels like they've only just left, back to London on the coach loaded with crates of Watney's ale! The Carry Ons affinity with Brighton should always be a joy and a chance for a wallow in nostalgia. 

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also Facebook

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Sunday 25 October 2015

The joy of a Sunday afternoon Carry On

In the latest of her guest blog posts for Carry On Blogging, Coronation Street Blog editor Glenda Young writes about her love of finding a classic Carry On film on the telly on a Sunday afternoon...

You know how it is on a Sunday sometimes, especially at this time of year when the weather turns grim and it’s dark outside at 2pm. You’ve prepped the veg for Sunday dinner which will cook when you’re ready and not before, to be served up at an unspecified time called ‘later’.  The house smells of the luxury of ground coffee and you take your favourite seat to  watch the telly only to find that there’s nothing on. Nothing.  There’s no sport that takes your fancy and you just can’t take another cookery show. 

You flick around the channels. Still nothing. You keep flicking. Nope. You take the dog-eared TV Times and wipe Saturday night curry stains off its shiny cover and then you start to check out the listings.  Not the listings of the big, brash channels that everyone knows, oh no.  It’s the small print you’re after, the channels that live in the nether regions of the SKY box, the channels you only ever go to on a dark and cold Sunday afternoon when you’re feeling in this mood.  

You try not to get your hopes up, just in case there’s nothing there, although you secretly hope there will be. You don’t know whether to read the listings fast so that you can find what you’re hoping to see as quickly as possible, or eye them up slowly so that if and when the pleasure hits you in the face, you feel it’s deserved, you can savour it and lap it all up.  

And whoosh… there it is.  There IS a Carry On film on this afternoon after all!  It’s going to be one of those afternoons of feet up, biscuits dunking in coffee…  and all is well with the world. 

Glenda Young
Editor, Coronation Street Blog

You can follow Glenda on Twitter @flaming_nora 

If you would like to submit a guest blog, please email your idea and blog content to - you can write about anything you like as long as it's Carry On related! 

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also Facebook

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June Whitfield in EastEnders Return

June Whitfield is set to reprise her role as Sister Ruth in EastEnders, according to The Radio Times. June, who played a nun in a special episode back in May this year, will be seen again in the BBC soap opera early next year.

As someone who rarely watches EastEnders, I was really impressed with June's episode. She put in a wonderful dramatic performance and had great chemistry with Jessie Wallace (Kat Slater). The story was engaging and it stood alone as a one off play. I will definitely be tuning in again when Sister Ruth comes back to Walford!

June is of course a British comedy legend, with credits on stage, film and television dating back to the late 1940s. The star of four classic Carry Ons, she is also due to celebrate her 90th birthday next month. 

You can vote for your favourite of June's screen performances here

You can read more about her role as Sister Ruth here.

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also Facebook

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Saturday 24 October 2015

Whatever Happened To ... The Stars of Carry On Sergeant - Shirley Eaton

I started a new series of blogs a few weeks back which aim to look back at the careers of the stars of the original Carry On film, Carry On Sergeant. Released back in 1958, it took the cinema going public by storm and led to one of the most popular, successful and long-lasting film franchises in British cinema history. We owe a great debt to the original stars of Carry On  as without them we wouldn't have all those films that followed.

I have already written about the original romantic lead of the Carry Ons, the gentleman that was the late Terence Longdon. Today I am going to write about a lady who is familiar to us all, not just from the Carry Ons but also many other terrific films from that period: Shirley Eaton.

Shirley Eaton was the original Carry On glamour girl. She created a character which was sweet, innocent yet also rather alluring, not only to the male characters in the films but also to the cinema going public. Shirley was the first in a long line of Carry On blondes that went on to include the likes of Liz Fraser, Angela Douglas and of course, Barbara Windsor. Shirley was probably the most innocent, mainly due to the relatively coy, cosy early Carry Ons in which she appeared. Probably Angela Douglas comes closest to replicating those parts in the later films.

Shirley only appeared in three Carry On films, but she left a lasting impression. She took the lead roles of Mary Sage in Sergeant (opposite Bob Monkhouse) and later in 1958, Nurse Dorothy Denton in Nurse (opposite Terence Longdon). After these major turns in the first two Carry Ons, Shirley returned in late 1959 for her last appearance in the series, a cameo role as Sally Barry in Constable. After Constable, sadly we never saw Shirley in the Carry On films again. As with many of her early contemporaries, Shirley decided she didn't want to be pigeon-holed as a Carry On actor and pursued other projects. The actress has also said many times that she wouldn't have wanted to appear in some of the later, less innocent series entries anyway. I can't see her fitting into the likes of Carry On Dick or Behind either so probably just as well.

Shirley Eaton was born in January 1937 in Edgware, North London. She acted from an early age, having gained a place at the Aida Foster Stage School (where fellow Carry On actress Barbara Windsor also learned her craft). Shirley stayed at Aida Foster's until she was 16, although she made her first professional appearance in Benjamin Britten's Let's Make An Opera. Shirley made her West End debut in 1954 in Going To Town. 

Shirley first appeared in films as early as 1954, playing an uncredited role in You Know What Sailors Are. This led to her big break in her role as Milly in the smash hit film Doctor In The House, produced by Betty Box, directed by Ralph Thomas and starring Dirk Bogarde. This role led to many other films around the same time. They included a further Doctor film, Doctor At Large in 1957; The Love Match with Arthur Askey and Thora Hird (1955); Three Men in a Boat with Jimmy Edwards (1956); Sailor Beware with Peggy Mount (1956); The Naked Truth with Peggy Mount, Terry-Thomas and Joan Sims (1957); A Weekend With Lulu with Kenneth Connor (1961); Dentist On The Job with Bob Monkhouse (1961) and What a Carve Up! with Kenneth Connor, Sid James and Esma Cannon (1961).

After such a long run of comedy films, Shirley then moved on to more serious fare, the most legendary of these parts being the role of Jill Masterson in the James Bond epic, Goldfinger, released in 1964. Shirley was famously covered in gold paint for her part in the film, even making the cover of Life Magazine. Other parts around this time included a role in Ten Little Indians in 1965, Eight on the Lam with Bob Hope and The Million Eyes of Sumuru in 1967.

Shirley spent most of her career on the big screen, however she did occasionally appear on television. One of her earliest roles was a recurring part in the Terry Scott/Bill Maynard series, Great Scott! It's Maynard in the 1950s. Shirley also made three appearances in the classic 1960s series The Saint, opposite Roger Moore. 

By the end of the 1960s, Shirley Eaton had retired from acting, deciding life with her family was more important. She had married Colin Rowe in 1957 and together they had two sons. Colin died in 1994. Since her retirement from acting, Shirley has kept busy with regular appearances on television, talking about her life making films. She regularly attends film conventions to meet fans and has also written several books about her life and career. As one of the few remaining survivors of Carry On Sergeant and all those classic 1950s British comedy films, it's always great to hear from Shirley Eaton. 

You can visit Shirley's website here

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also Facebook

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June Whitfield at 90: Vote for your favourite performance

In just over a month, British comedy legend June Whitfield will celebrate her 90th birthday. It's quite extraordinary to contemplate. On the one hand, June has been so visible to so many generations for decades now that it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that's she's lived such a long life, yet on the other her continued work in the profession and zest for life belie the fact that she's nearly 90.

June first rose to fame as the voice of Ethel Glum in that marvellous radio show, Take It From Here in the 1950s. With a career dating back to the Second World War while she was at drama school, June has pretty much seen it all, done it all and worked with everyone. Terry Scott, Sid James, Tommy Cooper, Stanley Baxter, Frankie Howerd, Arthur Askey, Dick Emery, Morecombe and Wise...the list is endless. 

While her list of contacts in the profession is astounding, we must not forget just how talented June is in her own right. Given that she was touring with Wilfred Pickles over sixty years ago, it's fantastic to think she is still working hard in 2015 with a recent appearance in EastEnders, Cider with Rosie and the upcoming Absolutely Fabulous film to look forward to in 2016.

Over the course of the next month I will be asking you to vote for your favourite out of June's most well remembered performances. I've tried to limit them down to some of her most famous roles, however I'm bound to have missed some out, so do let me know! I've set up a poll which is now open - it will stay open until June's birthday on 11 November when the result will be revealed. In the meantime I will post blogs on each of the roles mentioned in the poll, sharing my favourite memories from June's illustrious career. I hope you enjoy them.

I have tried to feature roles that cover all the main stages of June's career so you'll find something there from the 1950s all the way up to the present day.

So all that remains to say is .... Carry On Voting!

You can also read why I think it should be Dame June Whitfield here

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also Facebook

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What A Carry On For A Good Cause!

This post rather unashamedly covers two things I'm passionate about: the Carry On films (naturally) and one of my favourite charities. On Sunday 25th October, a star-studded gala will take place in London's West End in aid of the charity The Silver Line.

The gala, called "Hey, Old Friends!" will feature the words and music of Stephen Sondheim and marks his 85th birthday. And there is a Carry On connection (or two) as both Anita Harris and Nicholas Parsons will feature. We all know Anita for her many successful years of work in musical theatre as well as two classic Carry On appearances in 1967- Carry On Follow That Camel and Carry On Doctor. 

Nicholas Parsons, famous for hosting Just A Minute and working with Kenneth Williams, also appeared in a cameo role in Carry On Regardless in 1961. The charity gala will also feature a host of other stars including Julia McKenzie, Millicent Martin, Rula Lenska and Jason Manford. 

Proceeds from the gala will go to help fund The Silver Line, the telephone befriending service set up by Dame Esther Rantzen. This is a charity very close to my heart and one I volunteer for on a regular basis. Older people living alone is a massive issue and The Silver Line is doing fantastic work to provide information, friendship and advice for thousands of older people across the country. 

"Hey, Old Friends!" will take place at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, on Sunday 25th October 2015 from 7.30pm. 

You can buy tickets from the box office by calling 0844 412 4657 or by visiting the official website .

You can find out more about The Silver Line by visiting The Silver Line Website

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also Facebook

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Friday 23 October 2015

June Whitfield at 90: Augusta Prodworthy in Carry On Girls

As you may be aware, I've launched a poll on Carry On Blogging to find out what we all think is June Whitfield's most memorable role. In a career spanning eight decades, that's no mean feat! This is all happening as we prepare to celebrate June's 90th birthday on 11 November.

As we approach the big day, I will be blogging my thoughts on each of the roles featured in my poll. Today, I'm starting off with a real favourite of mine: Augusta Prodworthy in Carry On Girls.

Even the name makes me laugh, it's just glorious. Girls is one of my least favourite films in the Carry On series, however June's performance as the town councillor and fierce feminist Augusta is one of the few highlights. It's a joyous characterisation that pits June against the mighty Sid James. While Sid Fiddler might have the last laugh as he speeds out of town on the back of Barbara Windsor's motorbike, our Augusta sure gives him a run for his money.

Augusta is up in arms about Sid's plans to liven up the dull seaside resort of Fircombe with a beauty contest featuring the likes of Hope Springs (Barbara Windsor), Dawn Brakes (Margaret Nolan) and Ida Downs (Wendy Richard). While Augusta and her partner in crime Rosemary (Patricia Franklin) attempt to derail Sid's plans at every opportunity, local Mayor Frederick Bumble (Kenneth Connor) finds himself caught in the middle. June and Kenneth Connor play wonderfully together in the film, as always.

June very much plays against type in Girls. She's very dogmatic and forceful with some wonderful lines. She's the Carry On version of Mary Whitehouse and I just love it. Ultimately, Augusta's band of ladies disrupt Sid's contest and it all ends in a rather messy, slapstick finale. While Carry On writer Talbot Rothwell is very obviously not a fan of Augusta and her world, he still manages to create a memorable character for June to play. I only wish June had made more films in the series.

My favourite scene featuring June has to be the bra burning with the glorious Patsy Rowlands. Patsy, playing Bumble's wife Mildred, goes behind his back and signs up with the  Women's Lib. The subsequent bra burning sequence is hilarious and features one of my favourite lines: "Rosemary! Get the candle!" Brilliant stuff!

So, if June's turn as Augusta Prodworthy is your favourite, why not vote for it in my poll? You can vote here

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also Facebook

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