Thursday 7 December 2017

My Carry On Christmas Wishlist

Christmas is upon us once again. Oh joy! While some of us may have other things to think about as it's only just the start of December, I'm launching right in there with my festive Carry On Christmas wish list. 

I've already seen some of the television scheduling for the 2017 festive season and to be frank it's not really retro enough for me so if any schedulers, executives or otherwise influential people are reading, here is my Christmas comedy wishlist:

There's nothing like a black and white film at Christmas...

I love black and white movies. There is something so very special and charming about them. They also have a lot of style and sophistication that colour films can lack. So let's have some wonderful black and white classics on the tellybox this Christmas. And no I don't mean Citizen Kane or It's A Wonderful Life, I mean something a little closer to home. I've always thought the original Norman Hudis black and white Carry Ons deserve more prominence in the schedules these days are they really are well written, beautifully acted and filmed comedies in their own right. So come on Channel 4 or BBC 2 - why not bung on Carry On Nurse over Christmas? Or maybe even my personal favourite, Carry On Cabby. It would make this fan very happy indeed. 

The glory days of the festive TV special

The Carry On team made four Christmas specials for Thames Television between 1969 and 1973. They were always a ragbag, cheap and cheerful concoction but featured casts of wonderful actors game for a laugh. Nearly all the regulars appeared, with the exception of Kenneth Williams, so there's plenty to enjoy. My own personal favourites are the original special shown in 1969 and featuring a barnstorming guest turn from Frankie Howerd and a joyous Carry On panto sketch which should have been feature length in its own right! I also love the much naughtier 1973 special, featuring Sid as a rather unorthodox department store Santa. Various sketches are introduced by Sid starring the likes of Joan Sims, Kenneth Connor and Peter Butterworth but it's one of the earliest scenes that lives long in the memory co-starring Joan and Barbara Windsor as a rather advanced school girl. They couldn't get away with that nowadays! Channel 5 showed some of these a few years back and I think it's high time they were given another broadcast.

Seventies Sitcom Christmas specials

They just don't make them like they used to. For me the seventies were the glory days of television domestic sitcoms and I'm afraid the likes of Mrs Brown's Boys really just doesn't cut it. I have a few classic sitcom episodes I wish they would show again. One of these is an episode of Sykes from Christmas 1975 which sees Eric and Hattie join Corky Turnbull for the festive season. There is a wonderful wordless cameo from the actress Sheila Steafel and I remember it being very funny indeed.

Although not strictly Carry On related I'd also love to see one of the Please Sir Christmas specials from the early 70s. Another rarely shown series these days but anything with Joan Sanderson in it must be good! And finally, we all know Terry and June but how about showing some festive episodes of its predecessor, Happy Ever After? This series starring Terry, June and Beryl Cooke, ran from 1974 until 1978.

What about a Carry On blockbuster on Christmas Day?

ITV seem to limit their Carry On output to ITV3 and while their commitment to this over the past few years has been admirable, how about showing one of the very best, classic Carry Ons on the main network channel on Christmas Day? An afternoon showing of Carry On Up The Khyber would be a wonderful addition to the schedules and the sight of Sid, Joan, Kenneth and Peter in all their glory would make me stick around for the Queen's message.  

So that's what would make this fan happy over the festive season, what would be on your wishlist?


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