Tuesday 28 June 2016

Legends of British Film Comedy on the BBC iPlayer


Some random malingering on the interweb has turned up some gems thanks to the BBC. The British Broadcasting Corporation has a mammoth back catalogue of some of our favourite stars both past and present in a wide range of different interviews, sketches and variety series. Some thoughtful person has collated some of the best into one place for fans like you and I to enjoy.

First up is the legendary This Is Your Life tribute to Hattie Jacques, originally broadcast in 1963. It is rare interview for Hattie and came at a rather delicate time for the actress. Her marriage to Dad's Army star John Le Mesurier was in trouble although this was not widely known at the time. 


Another gem is the 1970 Film Night Special - the original Carry On Forever. This twenty minute special went behind the scenes of Carry On Up The Jungle and features precious off-camera moments from the likes of Sid James, Terry Scott, Joan Sims and newcomer Jacki Piper. Director Gerald Thomas is also interviewed, confirming the team would Carry On as long as the British public wanted them to! 


One of my favourite BBC documentaries is also featured on this site - Kenneth Williams' Comic Roots from 1983. This show follows Kenneth's journey through his humble upbringing in the St Pancras area of London and tells the story of how he became an actor. It features lots of on location footage of Kenneth in and around Bloomsbury - an area I know well! One of the highlights for me is some delightful pub singing sequences in The Boot not far from where Kenneth grew up at Marchmont Street. The pub is still there today if anyone wants to recreate those scenes!

Finally, and a new one on me, is an interview with legendary film producer Betty Box and her director Ralph Thomas. Betty was of course married to Peter Rogers and Ralph was Gerald's brother. Together they created the massively successful Doctor series of comedy films in the 50s and 60s. Betty was one of the most powerful women in the film industry and this is the first time I've seen her interviewed. The episode of Film Profile is from 1961.

You can view the videos on the iPlayer page here

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also Facebook

No comments:

Post a Comment