Wednesday 27 December 2017

Wogan's Radio Fun: Hello Playmates!

Every Christmas I post a series of special blogs on the run up to the big day. This year I posted a different festive image from the Carry Ons every day up until Christmas Day. In addition to this, I've also found some wonderful old clips to share this festive season.

The wonderful, late great Terry Wogan hosted his famous chat show on the BBC for several years during the 1980s and early 1990s. Those were the days of great guests, intelligent conversation, wit and warmth. Well, most of the time. Until the BBC rather unwisely pulled the plug to make way for the soap Eldorado (remember that?) Terry was the best possible replacement for Parky. 

This Christmas marks thirty years since a very special festive show which celebrated the very best of radio comedy. Terry reunited many classic stars from a bygone era and sadly, for some, it would be the last time we would see them perform. Amongst these big names were several actors with Carry On connections, so over the next few days I'm going to share some great clips from "Wogan's Radio Fun", originally broadcast back in December 1987.

We continue today with another special treat featuring two of my favourite comic actresses. Bob Monkhouse, himself a star of Carry On Sergeant way back in 1958, revives his radio success Hello Playmates for one night only with the help of Irene Handl and Pat Coombs. Irene, a famed actress with hundreds of credits to her name, made two early appearances in the Carry Ons - as Bill Owen's dimwitted wife in Carry On Nurse and then as an irate mother looking for her little Willie in Carry On Constable.

Pat Coombs, one of the most underrated actresses of her time, had small roles in two medical Carry Ons - as a patient in Carry On Doctor in 1967 and then two years later as a rather snooty replacement Matron in Carry On Again Doctor. I wish she'd had bigger parts in the films! It's lovely to see them reunite and their sketch is definitely a highlight, although Irene's failing health is clear to see. Sadly she passed away before this show was broadcast.

And you can read more about the life and career of Pat Coombs in my blog here: Carry On Blogging: Whatever Happened to Pat Coombs?

Stay tuned for more in this series coming up soon!

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