Sunday 31 July 2016

Carry On For Me by James Briggs


In the latest guest blog for Carry On Blogging, James Briggs writes about how he discovered the Carry Ons and his favourite Carry On actor, the late great Kenneth Williams...
The Carry On films have always been an extremely important part of my life and there is not a time when I don’t remember them being around. Being seventeen years old the carry on films had finished long before I was born and so I never had the experience of watching the films as they were released or seeing many of the cast members alive. My mother is a very big fan of the carry on franchise and so would show me the films as I was growing up and very quickly they became a ‘go to’ film series for when we wanted to sit down and watch a film together. There was one film in the series that I was not able to watch until much later on of course and that was ‘Emmannuelle’ due to its risqué nature. 


With over thirty films in the franchise there was something for all to enjoy and two personal favourites of mine have always been ‘Carry On Teacher’ and ‘Carry On At Your Convenience’. I may only be seventeen but mentally I think like a seventy year old and so the story and setting for ‘Carry On Teacher’ is exactly what I believe schools should be like today. The authority the teachers have over the children is strict but behind the closed doors of the staff room they are relaxed and also rather playful. I also feel there is something very fitting about the teachers wearing a cap and gown showing they are not to be trifled with. Some pupils in today’s society feel they can simply mess around and know they will not receive a strict punishment but in the times of ‘Carry On Teacher’ they had the ‘Kane’ to contend with.  There can be no forgetting the iconic moment during ‘Ten Green Bottles’ when Charles Hawtrey’s piano collapses in front of the inspectors. 

A polar opposite to this film is my other favourite Carry On film ‘Carry On At Your Convenience’. In my opinion the roles within this film are cast to perfection. Kenneth Williams as the manager of bathroom ceramics factory ‘W.C. Boggs & Son’ is very well cast and shows off his love for tradition and his longing to ‘let himself go’ and go on a works outing for the first time. Of course however, this would not be a classic Carry On film without Sid James. In this film he plays Sid Plummer a site foreman who finds out he has an exceptionally clever Parrot who helps him with the horse racing bets he places. It is a feel good film that shows a powerful message in a way that allows the audience to understand it yet have a great time while watching. 


Being a great lover of music too, the Carry On franchise does not disappoint on that front with some of the most famous film themes to be composed. The various composers Bruce Montgomery, Eric Rogers and Max Harris composed music that suited the films extremely well and gave the audience a real feel for the story. It also shows the playful nature of the films. Many of the films soundtracks used the bases of famous tunes everyone knew and rewrote them to fit in with the film. A clear example of this is in ‘Carry On Camping’ with the inclusion of ‘One Man Went To Mo’. 

Of all the Carry On cast there is one actor who influenced me the most and that is Kenneth Williams. Kenneth Williams was often regarded as being an overly camp actor but this was not just the case. There was so much more to Kenneth Williams and I felt I was able to relate largely to him as a person. After reading his published diaries I could see the ‘true’ Kenneth Williams and allowed me to relate to a whole new side of his.  His love of years gone by and writing in his diary rang true for me. Kenneth Williams is that one person I would have loved to meet but he sadly passed away ten years before I was born and so I never got to see him when he was alive but the wealth of interviews of Kenneth Williams available on the internet of him talking help to keep him alive and allow a whole new generation to find out about this true legend.  


So there we have it that is how I discovered the Carry On films and how Kenneth Williams has and still plays a big part in influencing me as a person. I only hope that when the Carry On films make a return later this year under the leadership of Jonathan Sothcott they will be done very well and encapsulate the camaraderie and spirit included in the traditional films without the use of bad language or vulgar behaviour. 

Many thanks once again to James for submitting such a great guest blog. You can follow James on Twitter here 

And if you fancy writing a guest blog about your favourite Carry On actor or any aspect of the series and its stars, please email me at 

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also Facebook

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