Monday 22 February 2016

My Favourite Kenneth Williams' moments

As we celebrate the 90th anniversary of Kenneth Williams' birth, I wanted to share a few of my own favourite Kenneth Williams moments with you. Kenneth was a legendary performer across every medium, from the Carry On films and his many appearances on television chat shows to his radio characters in the likes of Round the Horne and Hancock's Half Hour, there are so many brilliant moments to choose from.

Let's start with a superb appearance on the Russell Harty show from the early 1970s. This decade saw Kenneth come into his own on the chat show circuit. In the days before celebrities only appeared to promote something or other, the likes of Kenneth would come on to provide reliable entertaining support, telling familiar anecdotes and giving the audience a good time:

In 1983 Kenneth fronted a documentary which traced his Comic Roots. This BBC programme sees Kenneth retrace the story of his youth in the King's Cross area of London. It features many classic stories and anecdotes about his upbringing, his parents and his education. There are some cherished moments of Kenneth performing some old pub songs in The Boot in Bloomsbury, clearly in his element. His diary records that he found filming this programme arduous, but you'd never know. It's a real treat.

Of the many radio characters Kenneth created, his double act with Hugh Paddick, as the outrageously camp duo Julian and Sandy is my absolute favourite. Here are some of their highlights:

During the latter half of Kenneth's long career, he became a popular star of children's television at the BBC. As well as being one of the most prolific storytellers on the classic series Jackanory, Kenneth also provided the voices for one of my favourite series, Willo The Wisp. Here is the very first episode from the early 1980s:

 Finally, one of my favourite ever Kenneth Williams performances. His Audience With show, filmed in December 1982 and broadcast the following year, was an absolute triumph. Many of the stories are familiar but the actor is on tip top form here surrounded by an audience of friends and colleagues. It is a joy to watch and culminates in this wonderful version of Ma Crepes Suzette. Kenneth at his finest!

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also on Facebook

No comments:

Post a Comment