Thursday 30 November 2017

Adam Faith: What A Whopper!

Thanks to the wonderful world of Twitter the other day I was informed that Talking Pictures TV were showing one of Sid James' early 60s comedy films I was yet to see. I had read about What A Whopper a while back in the excellent Sid James Companion, written by Robert Ross but this is the first time I've seen it on the telly.

The basic premise of the film focusses on a writer who attempts to raise some cash by writing a book about the Loch Ness Monster. No publisher will take it because they all think there isn't really a monster. The writer and some of his friends make a fake monster and take photographs and then travel to Scotland to see if they can convince the locals.

To be honest it's a fairly slim story for a film but it's light, frothy and a lovely burst of black and white innocent nostalgia for a dull November afternoon. As with many films of this type and era, what really makes this watchable in 2017 is the prime cast of brilliant British comedy actors who appear. Although a vehicle for the sparkling young pop star Adam Faith, the real stars are in the supporting cast. And there are several noteworthy Carry On stars present.

Leading the way is the wonderful Sidney James of course, putting in a classic Hancockian performance as the cheeky Cockney chappie on the make and behind the bar. Sid's effortless charm and boundless appeal are used to the full and it's an absolute joy from start to finish. Carry On original Terence Longdon has a sizable supporting role as Faith's mate Vernon and it's a world away from the posh army types he played in the likes of Carry On Sergeant, Nurse and Regardless.

There is also a lovely, over the top guest starring role for the legendary Charles Hawtrey as painter Arnold, one of a motley crew who shares the living space in Faith's block of flats in Chelsea. It's a classic little role for Hawtrey who used his Carry On fame to great effect at this time, popping up in all manner of productions, pretty much always doing the same kind of thing. Also look out for a supporting role from Terry Scott as a Scottish police sergeant and the lovely Molly Weir as a teacher.

What A Whopper also features interesting little cameos from Clive Dunn doing his old man act years before Corporal Jones in Dad's Army; Wilfrid Brambell as a slightly less than convincing Scottish postman and a typically outlandish cough and spit from the goonish Spike Milligan. As a side note, the glamorous blonde bombshell leading lady is Carole Lesley, who also starred in Doctor in Love at around the same time. Sadly, her career faltered by the 1970s and she was found dead in her house in Barnet, North London at the age of just 38. 

The film had a strong pedigree behind the camera too. The music was composed by the brilliant Laurie Johnson, best known for television themes such as The Avengers and The Professionals. The script was written by Terry Nation, who started out writing for Spike Milligan and aspiring writers Jeremy Lloyd and Trevor Peacock (best known for his role in The Vicar Of Dibley) both contributed to the story. 

The same year Adam Faith starred in What A Whopper he also played himself in a small role at the end of that other classic of the genre, What A Carve Up! Starring Sid James, Kenneth Connor, Esma Cannon and Shirley Eaton, I've got a blog on that little gem coming up soon. 

And finally, according to the internet future Carry On and Coronation Street actress Amanda Barrie makes an uncredited appearance in What A Whopper as a "Chelsea Girl" - let me know if you spot her! Hopefully this little gem will make another appearance in the Talking Pictures TV schedule again soon.

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Exclusive Art & Hue Offer for Carry On Blogging Readers!

It is with great pleasure that I bring all my Carry On Blogging readers a unique discount code for some cracking Art & Hue pop art prints. With thanks to Odysseas for the very generous offer, the special Carry On Blogging discount code will give you 15% off not just the wonderful Carry On inspired pop art but the entire pop art range.

The longest-running British film series, Art & Hue has created a pop art collection inspired by the classic Carry On films.  

The Carry On films have their own distinct style that is totally unique, beloved by many, and an important part of Britain's comedy, film, and cultural heritage. 

British film company Anglo Amalgamated distributed the first 12 Carry On films starting with "Carry On Sergeant" in 1958 and ending with "Carry On Screaming" in 1966.

Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Hattie Jacques, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, and Barbara Windsor (Dame Babs) have been given the Art & Hue treatment to create a collection of pop art portraits, all available in three sizes & 16 colours to choose from to fit into any design scheme.

The first twelve Carry On films have also been transformed into pop art featuring Art & Hue's signature halftone style (halftone is an age-old technique that uses dots to make up the printed image, similar to newspapers or comic books).

Unlike traditional posters, which are printed on thin paper with inks that fade, Art & Hue creates giclée art prints, printed on 310gsm archival card, made from 100% cotton, with fine-art museum-grade pigment inks to last hundreds of years.

See the full collection at

This offer will be available from 12.01am on Thursday 30th November until 11.59pm on Sunday 3rd December offering 15% off all pop art in the Carry On collection. 

The discount code is: cob15 

And you can read more about the inspiration behind this fabulous art work in this recent blog post here: Carry On Blogging: Favourites in Five - Odysseas from Art and Hue 

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

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Carrying On in Panto in 2017!


It's almost that time of year again, oh yes it is! I'm sorry to be blogging about panto in October as it brings all things Christmas that little bit closer but now's the time to book your tickets if you want to see one of your Carry On favourites treading the boards this festive season.

First up is Coronation Street and Carry On actress Sherrie Hewson who will be starring in the Theatre Royal Nottingham's production of Beauty and the Beast. The show will run from Saturday 9 December until Sunday 14 January 2018. Nottingham’s own Sherrie Hewson will lead the cast as Mrs Potty having previous presented Loose Women and appeared on Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Crossroads and the Carry On films.  She also released her first novel The Tannery and her best-selling autobiography Behind the Laughter before leaving Loose Women in 2016.

Beauty and the Beast’s executive producer Jonathan Kiley said: “We’re very much looking forward to bringing the magic of Beauty and the Beast to the Theatre Royal Nottingham this year. To have the wonderful Sherrie, and the hilarious Andrew and Ben, leading our cast; we know this year’s production is a must see show.”

You can book tickets here 


Next up is the ever popular Robin Askwith who will be starring in Jack and The Beanstalk at the Cliffs Pavilion, Southend-On-Sea. With a spectacular 3D sequence transporting audiences to the Giant's magical kingdom, larger-than-life special effects, huge laughs, magnificent musical numbers and lashings of audience participation, Essex's own Lee Mead and Stacey Solomon, together with comedian Bobby Davro and actor Robin Askwith will deliver another spectacular Southend pantomime of giant proportions.

Get your tickets now to be sure of joining in the fun. With only a three-week season, to delay could be a giant mistake! The show will run from Saturday 16 December until Sunday 7 January 2018. You can buy tickets here


And finally, the evergreen Anita Harris will be starring in a production of Snow White at the Kings Theatre, Portsmouth. Magic Mirror in my hand which is the fairest pantomime in the land? Why, Snow White at the Kings Theatre of course!  

Join us for traditional family pantomime fun with Snow White, her charming Prince, the Wicked Queen and 7 dependable dwarfs with lavish sets, wonderful costumes, a surprise or two and all the cheers, jokes and jeers you would expect.
Following our record-breaking production of Jack & The Beanstalk 2016/17 tickets are selling fast.
Discounted rates for Groups of 20+ and special rates for schools are also available. You will not want to miss this Christmas treat for all the family! The show will run from Tuesday 5 December until 1 January 2018. You can book tickets here

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

Monday 27 November 2017

Carry On Faces in Different Places: Sailor Beware!

Here we go with a brand new series of blogs looking at some of the cream of British comedy film making from the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Although this blog is all about the Carry Ons, believe it or not, there were some other joyous comedy films made away from Peter Rogers Productions. However, given the quality of the actors Peter employed to make his series, it's no wonder that most of them popped up elsewhere.

So far I've looked at the wonderful 1959 crime caper Too Many Crooks , the 1954 domestic comedy starring Dirk Bogarde, For Better For Worse , the big screen spin off Please Sir! and the wonderful Up Pompeii and the brilliant John Gregson and Diana Dors vehicle, Value for Money.
Today we're going to cover another classic British comedy film, Sailor Beware! a 1956 British romantic comedy film directed by Gordon Parry. It was released as Panic in the Parlor in the United States.

The film is an adaptation of the successful stage play of the same name. It follows the story of a sailor betrothed to be married, but wary that home-life may echo that of her parents: a hen-pecked husband and battle-axe mother.

Carry On Faces?

The star of the film is the wonderful, larger than life Peggy Mount. Peggy had played the role of Emma Hornett on the stage and it became the role which made her name. Peggy would of course go on to star with Sid James in the ITV sitcom George and the Dragon. Playing Peggy's daughter is Carry On original Shirley Eaton. We all know Shirley from her roles in Carry On Sergeant, Nurse and Constable. Playing Aunt Edie Hornett (more on her later) is the gorgeous Esma Cannon, who added energy and laughter to four Carry Ons - Constable, Regardless, Cruising and Cabby.

Also, look out for Ronald Lewis as Albert Tufnell. Although Ronald never appeared in a Carry On, he did work for Gerald Thomas and Peter Rogers in two films - Twice Round The Daffodils and Nurse On Wheels, both opposite Juliet Mills. You can read more about why I think Ronald should have made a Carry On here: Carry On Blogging: When Leslie and Terence Didn't Carry On

And I can't finish without mentioning the wonderful Gordon Jackson, seen here playing Albert's friend Carnoustie Bligh. Gordon, a long-time friend of Kenneth Williams, has always been a favourite of mine, for his roles in films like The Great Escape and Whisky Galore to television in The Professionals and Upstairs, Downstairs.

What's it about?

Royal Navy sailor Albert Tufnell is to marry Shirley Hornett the next day. He and his best man, fellow sailor Carnoustie Bligh, travel to the Hornett household.

However, Albert begins to have second thoughts when he spends the day with her family. He has no problem with her father Henry or with meek spinster aunt Edie, but her domineering mother Emma is another matter entirely. (Meanwhile, Carnoustie and Shirley's beautiful cousin Daphne Pink are attracted to each other.) When Albert announces that he and Carnoustie are going to see their pals that night, Emma objects strenuously, as does Shirley, but they go anyway. Later, Emma sends Henry to fetch them, but it is they who have to bring back a thoroughly drunk Henry.

Edie lets slip plans for the couple to live in a house three doors away, plans made without consulting the bridegroom. Albert gives Shirley a chance to inform him, but she does not do so, which concerns him.

Best Bit?

Without a doubt the best bit of this film is the character of Edie Hornett, played by the glorious Esma Cannon. Esma appeared in many, many films during her career but often was restricted to cameo roles or small supporting parts. In Sailor Beware, Esma has a brilliant starring role and works so well with Peggy Mount. The very visual different in their stature and shape provides instant comedy but of course, the way the characters look is also reflected in the way they behave. I love Esma's dithery, twittery performance - it's an absolute joy.

Did you know?

The film features an uncredited performance from a young Michael Caine. Very new to the profession and in one of his earliest appearances on film, Michael plays a Sailor who can be seen very briefly, so keep your eyes peeled!

There are also uncredited roles for future stars Henry McGee, playing a milkman and future Good Life and Yes Minister star Paul Eddington, playing a Bearded Sailor. 

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

Sunday 26 November 2017

Carry On Blogging Interview: Ty Jeffries

I'm thrilled to bring this wonderful interview to Carry On Blogging. Ty Jeffries is the son of the late actor, writer and director Lionel Jeffries. I grew up loving Lionel's performances in films like Two Way Stretch and The Wrong Arm of the Law. He also directed one of my all-time favourite films, The Railway Children. 

Ty is an accomplished entertainer in his own right, with a long career as a musician and more recently as his fabulous alter-ego, Miss Hope Springs. It was delight to find out more about Ty's life and career.

First of all, I'd love to know what it was like to grow up with Lionel Jeffries as your dad?

It was certainly not your average childhood. I was often plucked out of school and whisked off to live for a year in Hollywood, or 3 months in the South of France or 2 in Spain when dad was shooting. He liked to take us all with him. I went from my prep school in Buckinghamshire with cricket bats and earthworms to school in LA with fruit bats and earthquakes! Dad really lit the passion I have for film and photography and movie musicals. And he taught me all about the great stars back in the day when there was a double bill every Saturday and Sunday on TV. We were spoilt for choice back in the day. We would watch Garbo and Bette Davis movies and he would explain all about camera angles and why certain actors and actresses were stars, their technique, the difference between stagecraft and movie acting…I learned a great deal at his knee. 

Can you tell a little about how your dad became an actor in the first place. I know he also wrote and directed - do you know which aspect of his career he preferred?

He was in the Coldstream Guards in his late teens, lying about his age to get in and fought in Burma in the Second World War. I believe, like a lot of actors of that era, he found his calling entertaining the other soldiers in plays and concert parties. He came back from the Far East and went to The RADA, where he met my mother Eileen who was also an aspiring actress with the comic timing of Lucille Ball and the looks of Hedy Lamar (her great pal Diana Dors offered to be her agent but she chose to give up acting to be a mum and wife). He went on to Rep and started making movies in his 20s. Acting in 144 one way or another.

I've read that the family home played host to many well known actors and celebrities. What kind of people did you get to know during that period?

I would sit doing my homework at the kitchen table (my mother had a bright orange Hygena kitchen…all the rage at the time) and I would see Shelly Winters or Shirley MacLaine or Lee Remick or Anouk Aimee pass by in the hallway…they would always pop their head in to say hi. Nanette Newman and Bryan Forbes, John Mills and his wife Mary Hayley Bell the playwright were great family friends. Fred Astaire would often stay the weekend. His wonderful daughter Ava is my Godmother. I remember Morecambe and Wise, Dick Emery and Bernard Cribbins as well as Patricia Neal and Roald Dahl coming to my parents summer evening garden parties. And Sid James! He came over to the house for dinner and I was awe at meeting him…I was an still am often very star struck.It was idyllic in many ways. 

I know that one family friend when you were younger was the legendary Diana Dors, someone who has always fascinated me. What was she like?

She was always in my life as a child. She was my Aunty Di. She was warm and funny and kind and of course super glam - a lot of people see Diana in Hope- she and my mother were great pals. When Diana and Alan Lake decided to convert to Catholicism they asked my parents to be their Godparents…So Diana would my Godsister, if there was such a thing. She is still very much missed.

I think my favourite film role your dad ever played was in Two Way Stretch. Do you know if your dad had a favourite film or performance from his long career? And do you have your own favourite?

I loved those British comedies of the 40s 50s and 60s. Dad did so many. Two Way Stretch, Wrong Arm of the Law, You Must Be Joking even Rocket to the Moon with Terry-Thomas and First Men in the Moon with Edward Judd. All great Sunday afternoon TV fare these days on channels like Talking Pictures TV which I love to watch. The Trials of Oscar Wilde probably was one of my favourites and his performance and also King Pelinore in Camelot. He was extremely versatile. He could play high comedy and high drama, and of course he wrote screenplays and directed with great success too, The Railway Children, The Amazing Mr Blunden...Quite a career.

What was it that made you want to become a performer yourself?

Well, I started writing songs at the age of about 5 years old. American friends left their Steinway grand in our enormous shed for a year or two when they went back to The States. It really was a gift from the gods…I sat at it and found I could play. I was writing melodies and songs almost immediately. Although I have always felt that I don’t actually write my work…that I channel it. But that’s another story. I am a composer and lyricist. I studied piano, violin, voice and composition from the age of 16 at The Purcell School of Music. That was a pretty good foundation. Although being a bit of a maverick I didn’t go through the normal channels. I had something different I wanted to express - so I started doing small theatre projects and found that one man pieces worked best for me. It wasn’t until 2010 that I really ‘came out’ as a drag artist. Not that what I do is traditional drag because I play Hope as a real person. She IS a real person to many. But it certainly draws on the work of the great Danny La Rue and America’s late Jim Bailey.  I write all Miss Hope Springs songs and dialogue and make her costumes…She’s very demanding and keeps me very busy!

From reading about you, I know that you moved to New York in the late 1970s. What are your memories of starting a new life in that great city back in those days? 

In the 70s I was still in school…it was the 80s I went to USA and caught the tail end of the Studio 54 Andy Warhol scene. Andy became a friend. I have one of the screen prints he did of Hope! its worth millions obviously!

Where did the idea for Miss Hope Springs come from and can you describe what your show is like for those unlucky not to have seen you live?

It’s very simple. I was inspired by Victor Borge and Blossom Dearie. Hope sits at the piano and tells stories about her life and plays the piano and sings songs to illustrate those stories. Talking about her life…from the Ritz to the pits her disastrous love life (falling for Liberace was a big mistake) and all those career wrong turnings and dead ends. I love Jacques Tati and Buster Keaton…So there is an element of physical comedy…also Lucille Ball and Martha Raye. Broad comedians or comedians who were broads. But there is an element of Dietrich and Piaf in Hope too and a lot of Peggy Lee. She has a fully formed back story populated by her gay husband Irving his hairdresser boyfriend Carlos and her mother Rusty (Rusty Springs) a one time strip…I mean exotic dancer. They all live together in a camper van in Dungeness…a long way from her heyday headlining at the Pink Pelican Casino in Vegas in the 60s.

What do you think your dad would have made of the path your career has taken?

Although I’ve been writing songs since I was 5 and had my first publishing deal at the age of 16 my path to the stage has been a tortuous one…there was the modelling and playing the piano at Langan’s to earn a crust but I also tried property development and landscape gardening. However, in the end, sequins and show tunes won out! I’ve been very lucky. Since starting Hope in 2010 I have not stopped working. I moved back to London from Brighton and Jeremy King of Corbin and King the hugely successful restaurateurs kindly asked me to open his new cabaret room Crazy Coqs in Brasserie Zedel in the West End and I’ve been resident there one way or another ever since. 

Last year I toured the USA and this year the UK. Some telly would be nice…but it seems a very closed shop these days and no matter one’s success as a live entertainer you have to be flogging a big new record or a movie to get on a sofa - let alone do a number. I do a lot of radio ‘appearances’ which I do in character as Hope. It’s hysterical really being a 7 ft glamazon ex showgirl blonde on the airwaves. Much of the effect is obviously lost. Like being a radio contortionist. Hope has been referred to as a blonde bombshell but also as a blonde bombsite which I think is a hoot. My mother and father were both great friends of Danny La Rue’s and dad played Horace Vandergelder at The Comedy Theatre to Danny's Dolly in Hello Dolly back in the 80s.
Do you have a favourite venue you like to perform in and where would you love to take your show next? 

Well Crazy Coqs or Live as Zedel is it is known currently in Piccadilly has been my home from home for 5 years now it’s London’s best kept secret. Magical Wilton’s Music Hall in Whitechapel I do a couple of shows there every year. The magnificent Wigmore Hall was a joy to play. I was amazed to sell out there in June during what was a very challenging week for everyone in London, the London Bridge terrorist attack and awful Grenfell tower tragedy had just happened. But people need entertaining at dark times. Someone very cleverly wrote that I was continuing the war-time spirit and in fact the great Joyce Grenfell (by a strange twist of moniker synchronicity) had played Wigmore Hall during the blitz…I like to think I was doing my bit too.

Do you have more shows as your alter ego Miss Hope Springs coming up and if so where can we see you?

I have several Christmas A Gogo shows coming up. That’s my all original festive musical evening with songs and stories from Hope’s lost 1971 Granada TV special. She reminisces about Harry Belafonte and Mama Cass…oh and Shari Lewis and Lambchop were in it too of course. I have a run of shows at the charming theatre in The Museum of Comedy in Bloomsbury. It’s nestled beyond the little Victorian bar and quaint museum where there are vitrines of original vintage comedy paraphernalia such as Little Titch’s shoes and Charlie Drakes toupee…it’s hysterical. There’s a lovely photo of my father and Danny La Rue there too in Hello Dolly…so I hope they will both be smiling down on me when I’m on.

Finally, what would you like to do next in your career? 

In March next year I am presenting a musical version based on the making of Joan Crawford’s last movie Trog. It’s all about a 45,000 year old stone age man encased in ice who Joan falls in love with. After she’s thawed him out of course, otherwise it would just be silly! The songs are all earworms I am told. Be warned once you’ve heard the song Trog you’ll never get it out of your mind…’He’s short and fat and hairy and he’s very very scary…He’s a Trog!’ Don’t say I didn’t warn you...

Miss Hope Springs is appearing at The 2 Brewers in Clapham on Dec 8th, The Chapel Arts Centre in Bath on the Dec 16th and at The Museum of Comedy theatre in Bloomsbury from Dec 19th 23rd and she is appearing with her special guest Rula Lenska at Live at Zedel in Piccadilly from the 28th to the 30th Dec.

All tickets available from

Finally, I'd just like to thank Ty very much for taking the time out of his busy schedule to do this interview. I found it fascinating and thoroughly entertaining and I hope you do too!

You can follow Ty on Twitter @TyJeffriesMusic 

And Miss Hope Springs is on Twitter @followmisshope

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

Friday 24 November 2017

Connor Carries On ... As Sam Twist

Next June will mark Kenneth Connor's centenary. This feels like the right time to celebrate the man's legacy and what better a legacy that his seventeen glorious performances in the Carry On films. As I've already done with the three main leading ladies of the series, I plan to embark on a series of blogs profiling each of Kenneth's roles in the Carry Ons, giving my own take on his contributions.

Kenneth is another one of those actors who worked steadily, prolifically and across all mediums throughout his career. From his very early days in film before the outbreak of World War Two, through the 1950s which saw him become an integral part of British radio comedy to the Carry Ons and his unforgettable roles in several 1980s sitcoms, Connor was an incredibly gifted actor. He worked right up until his death at the age of 75 in November 1993. However unlike Sid, Kenneth Williams or Barbara Windsor, I feel that Connor never really got the credit he deserved. He didn't have an outrageous private life, no scandals to be told. He shunned the limelight and his many performances as the ordinary man in the street mirrored his own life away from the cameras. 

Kenneth was also one of the precious few actors who's career spanned pretty much the entire run of the Carry Ons. He was there at the very beginning in Carry On Sergeant and, a five year gap in the mind 1960s aside, remained loyal to the films until the very end of the original run in 1978. Connor, along with Williams and Eric Barker were the only actors to appear in the very first and the very last of the series. Kenneth was still around when Columbus was made in 1992 but declined to take part, probably very wisely. This new series of blogs will be a celebration of all those wonderful comedy performances in the Carry Ons - from bumbling romantic lead through to crumbling character parts, Kenneth could play them all.

So let's continue with Kenneth's fifth role in the series, as bumbling new Helping Hands recruit, Sam Twist, in the hit film of 1961, Carry On Regardless.


The basic premise of Regardless is the Helping Hands Agency with Sid James and Esma Cannon at the helm. They employed the regular gang of goons to undertake all kinds off odd jobs and the film that results is really just a collection of loose sketches. It works really well but at some points, because the cast is so big, you forget they are all in it!  Kenneth Connor gets the majority of the film and is superb throughout although this means actors like Bill Owen, Charles Hawtrey and Terence Longdon are criminally underused.

In many ways I think Regardless is probably Kenneth Connor's finest hour. Yes Sid James had got his feet under the Carry On table but at this stage of the game Sid was still the Norman Hudis authority figure that all the maniacs caused chaos around. Norman obviously enjoyed writing for Connor and most of the very best sequences star Kenneth. Whether it be misunderstandings with the voluptuous, bored housewife Penny Panting (seductively played by Fenella Fielding), getting confused amongst a bunch of animated Chinese people expecting a translator, attempting to stay silent in a reading room full of elderly gents or demonstrating the "Bed of the Century" at the Ideal Home Exhibition, Kenneth is on sparkling form and gets to display is full set of joyous comic gifts. 


My favourite scene featuring Kenneth is the fairly long sketch that sees Esma Cannon get the wrong end of the stick following a rather confusing phone call with the imposing Eric Pohlmann (who would return as The Fat Man in Carry On Spying of course). Eric is after a forth at bridge however in a very clever Hudis bit of business, this is misunderstood by Cannon and Connor as a meeting at the Forth Bridge in what becomes Gerald Thomas' tribute to The 39 Steps. Don't forget there had been a version of this famous story produced at Pinewood and starring Kenneth More only the year before Regardless went into production, so it was fairly fresh in the minds of the audience. As an aside, that film was directed by Gerald's brother Ralph, produced by Peter's wife Betty Box and featured such familiar Pinewood faces as Joan Hickson, Sid James and Brian Oulton. 

The Carry On version sees Kenneth Connor don a trenchcoat and hat and pretend to be a subtle super spy, complete with Connor's American-accented voice over and lots of Thomas attention to detail. Once aboard the train bound for Scotland, Kenneth encounters a pair of dodgy looking types played by Victor Maddern and Denis Shaw. It's a brief little vignette but in true Hudis style this underworld meet up turns out to be a simple game of cards in a train compartment. Moving to the buffet car, Connor meets the seductive Russian Betty Marsden, a mistress of accents and voices if ever there was one, thanks to her starring role in both Beyond Our Ken and Round The Horne on radio. More misunderstandings take place leading Kenneth to receive a good sound slap around the chops from Betty before crashing into a bowl full of Brown Windsor soup. This leads Connor to break deliciously from his spy persona to once again become the bumbling little man we know and love.


Of course there is no rendez-vous and when Kenneth jumps from the train on the bridge he ends up completely drenched in a muddy puddle full of goodness knows what. It's typical Carry On fare from the Hudis era but Connor plays it all beautifully and it's honestly one of his best ever sequences on film. The fact that Kenneth is billed above the likes of Sims, Williams and Hawtrey shows just what power and sway he held in the Carry Ons during the early 1960s. He's clearly a pivotal member of the team and an absolute joy to watch.

There is no doubting that Regardless is very much an ensemble piece featuring a stunning cast packed full of the very best of British comedy talent at the time, however it is Connor who rises above the rest and is, for me, the true star of Carry On Regardless.  

Stay tuned for my next blog in this series as we take a look at Kenneth Connor's performance as Dr Arthur Binn in Carry On Cruising. Coming up soon!

And if you want to read more about Carry On Regardless check out Why I love Carry On Regardless and My Favourite Scene: Carry On Regardless  

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