Sunday 18 October 2015

Cracking Cribbins!

I've just listened to the audio commentary for Carry On Jack. I often neglect this film as it's not really a true Carry On as we know them today. It lacks the majority of the regular team members and the innuendos are fairly few and far between.

However I've come to quite enjoy it. For a start it's a wonderfully made film with some great sequences and terrific acting performances from the likes of Juliet Mills, Donald Houston and Percy Herbert. Kenneth Williams and Charles Hawtrey are both in top form and actually playing characters, rather than the cliches they became in later pictures.

I also love Bernard Cribbins as the bumbling leading man. Although Bernard only appeared in two of the original run of films (Jack and Spying) I think he was an excellent addition to the series. He takes over from where Kenneth Connor left off and does well with his material. He's also quite physical in the same way as Jim Dale would be in later films. Bernard is also incredibly entertaining in both his Carry On audio commentaries, forming a truly delicious double act with the late, great Dilys Laye on the commentary for Spying. 

This made me realise just how fab Bernard is and how many classic projects he's been involved with over the years. There's his association with Doctor Who - both in classic 1960s film and much more recently in the revamped BBC series. He's been in Coronation Street as Wally Bannister (paired with the wonderful Maggie Jones as Blanche). He's worked with Peter Sellers in the classic comedy film Too Way Stretch and Barbara Windsor in Crooks in Cloisters. Bernard has made comedy records with the legendary producer George Martin. He's starred opposite Ursula Andress in the Hammer film She and Dinah Sheridan and Jenny Agutter in The Railway Children. He also famously played the deeply irritating Mr Hutchinson in Fawlty Towers. He has even worked with Alfred Hitchcock in the film Frenzy in 1972.

And who can forget his long association with two classic children's television series: The Wombles between 1973-75 and over one hundred appearances on Jackanory between 1966 and 1991, making him the record holder for most appearances. 

Bernard is just one of those famous faces who has been a constant in so many of our lives and means so many things to different generations. Thankfully he's still going strong at the grand old age of 86. Isn't it time it was Sir Bernard Cribbins though?

What do you think?

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