Sunday 30 September 2018

Anita Harris in Concert at The Pheasantry

The evergreen Anita Harris will be performing in London on 29 October. The singer, well known for two Carry On appearances in the 1960s and decades of stage hits, will be appearing at The Pheasantry in Chelsea.

Anita's website describes "Anita Harris in Concert" as a wonderful cocktail of song, glitz, chat, nostalgia and humour. With musical accompaniment from her pianist and musical director, Peter Gill, Anita reveals wonderful anecdotes from her life in showbusiness, the people she has met and the places she has been. 

Anita will perform the songs that have made her into one of the country's best loved stars including Memory, Just Loving You, The Anniversary Waltz, Fly Me to the Moon, Trains and Boats and Planes, After The Ball, Burlington Bertie and many more. 

Most recently, Anita has been seen on television in reality series such as Celebrity Masterchef and Last Laugh in Vegas. She will also be appearing in the upcoming series of Midsomer Murders for ITV. 

Anita's show at The Pheasantry is on 29 October, doors at 7pm with the show beginning at 8.30pm. Tickets are £25 and you can purchase them via Anita's website:

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and on Instagram

Friday 28 September 2018

Nurse v Girls: How Times Changed

This weekend Film4 and ITV3 are showing two very different Carry Ons. While 4 are putting on the second film in the series, Carry On Nurse, written by Norman Hudis, ITV3 are showing Talbot Rothwell's penultimate effort, Girls. The two films, although part of the same comedy series, couldn't be more different. Yes, there are fifteen years between them and times had clearly changed, but the Carry On series had almost altered beyond recognition.

The 1959 release Carry On Nurse was a relatively coy, black and white film mixing social comment and real life medical scenarios with gentle comedy put across by a cast of seasoned pros. There is even a spot of tender romance for Kenneth Williams and Jill Ireland and a few tear jerking scenes featuring the likes of Kenneth Connor as down to earth boxer Bernie Bishop. Hudis was a master of blending all manner of thematic threads together and presenting a film of surprising depth. 

Carry On Girls was very much of a contrast. Made in 1973, all vestiges of sentimentality or gentle comedy were lost. It was panto humour all the way and while that's still very funny, Girls lacked a great deal of the old fashioned charm. It's clear, in retrospect, that Rogers and Thomas had instructed Rothwell to join the trend of more near the knuckle humour which matched changes in box office demands from a more liberal British audience. It's still relatively tame by today's standards but there's been a noticeable shift in content and tone.

The two films do have some things in common. Both are proudly British - I can't imagine another country producing films like these! They also feature a certain degree of social commentary with Nurse looking at the goings on in the National Health Service and Girls examining the tradition of the beauty contest. Girls touches on the politics of these contests as well as the rise of feminism and even features an albeit very broad, basic portrayal of a lesbian character. Despite this Sid is still very much Sid and Barbara still very much Babs. The two films also feature several actors who appeared in both the 1959 and 1973 films and I think the true picture of how the series had changed can be seen by the characters they played.

Joan Sims
(Carry On Nurse - Nurse Stella Dawson / Carry On Girls - Connie Philpotts) 

Joan, a stalwart of 24 Carry Ons, made her debut in Nurse in 1959. Stella Dawson was a young, accident prone junior nurse and pretty much a picture of innocence. She was keen but slightly gobby and learning the tricks of the trade as she went along. The bottom rung of the ladder, she was still a cheerful character full of hope. By 1973, Joan was on full on middle-aged harridan mode as frustrated hotelier Connie Philpotts. Forever being given the runaround by Sid's Councillor Fiddler, she's quickly passed over in favour of nubile Hope Springs (Barbara Windsor). Connie was a one dimensional character and one of Joan's weakest in the series.

Kenneth Connor
(Carry On Nurse - Bernie Bishop / Carry On Girls - Mayor Frederick Bumble)

An original cast member, Connor was the main star of the early Norman Hudis era films. He usually played bumbling working class men with big hearts and big dreams. In Nurse he was the everyman of the piece, brought in with a broken hand after a boxing match and separated from his wife and child (Susan Shaw and Jeremy Connor). He views all around him with gentle humour and bonds with upper class, well-educated Kenneth Williams. By Girls in 1973, Connor's characters were frustrated little men of middle years and middle management. Girls is possibly the finest example of this - head of a crumbling local council and stuck in a dreary loveless marriage, it's a portrayal full of quiet desperation that life hasn't turned out as he'd hoped.

Joan Hickson
(Carry On Nurse - Sister / Carry On Girls - Mrs Dukes)

The Carry Ons were lucky to have Hickson in five eye catching supporting roles. A scene stealing actress who like many was above the material she was working with, Joan made her first appearance as the rather severe, yet fair Sister in Haven Hospital. Feared by the nurses beneath her, Sister in turn looked up to and was frightened of Hattie Jacques' bombastic, humourless Matron. Hickson's Sister did have a human side though when she encouraged Shirley Eaton's Nurse Denton to follow her heart with one of the male patients, recently discharged of course. Fast forward 15 years and Joan was back one final time to play a rather batty old dear staying in the hotel who ends up with her unmentionables flying from a flag pole…

June Whitfield
(Carry On Nurse - Meg / Carry On Girls - Augusta Prodworthy)

June was already a well-known voice by the time she made Carry On Nurse thanks to her radio work in Take It From Here. June's small role as Leslie Phillips' straight-laced girlfriend Meg was very 1950s post-war values. June really came into her own with her return to the Carry Ons in the early 1970s. And militant feminist Augusta Prodworthy was a pretty extreme version of her earlier character. And that sums up the change in the Carry Ons - all the characters were bigger, more extreme and more outlandish. 

So there you have it. A lot had changed during the making of the Carry Ons, that we know. Both in the country at large as well as in what film producers churned out and audiences demanded. Looking back nearly sixty years after Carry On Nurse and 45 years on from Carry On Girls, I know which I prefer. 

What about you?

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and on Instagram

Thursday 27 September 2018

Two Classic Carry Ons on Television this weekend!

This weekend, once again there are two classic Carry On films being broadcast on the small screen. As always these days, Film4 seems to opt for the early black and white films from the Norman Hudis era while ITV3 plump for some of the later Rothwell efforts from the late 1960s and 1970s. 

Whatever you prefer, you can find out what's on and when below:

Saturday 29 September, 16.35, Film4 - Carry On Nurse (1959)

Following hot on the heals of the surprise film hit of 1958, Carry On Sergeant, Rogers and Thomas launched into the production of Carry On Nurse, a medical-themed sequel. The overwhelming success of Nurse, particularly in America, undoubtedly laid the groundwork for a series to take shape, so us fans must always be grateful to this film. Added to that, it's also a classic! Norman Hudis again pitches the everyman against authority and this time its the first outing for Hattie Jacques' severe Matron. The male patients in the hospital ward are brought to life by a collection of wonderful actors including Kenneths Williams and Connor, Charles Hawtrey, Terence Longdon, Bill Owen, Cyril Chamberlain and Leslie Phillips. The film licks along at a cracking pace and blends social comment with slapstick, brilliant set pieces and moments of real pathos. The large supporting cast includes a debuting Joan Sims, Joan Hickson, Irene Handl, June Whitfield and Michael Medwin. And of course there's that infamous daffodil...

Further reading - Carry On Blogging: Hattie Carries On As Matron 
Carry On Blogging Interview: Christine Ozanne

Sunday 30 September, 12.55, ITV3 - Carry On Girls (1973) 

So bad it's almost brilliant, this has beauty contest comedy has never been one of my favourites and is the first Carry On not to feature either Kenneth Williams or Charles Hawtrey. Sid James plays a rather dubious local councillor who attempts to cheer up his dreary seaside town with a controversial beauty contest. High spots for me are Kenneth Connor's deliciously pitiful little man Mayor and his gloriously awful, put upon wife played by the always good value Patsy Rowlands. Joan Hickson also puts in a gem of a supporting role as Mrs Dukes, despite limited screen time and I can't go any further without mentioning June Whitfield as the superbly named feminist Augusta Prodworthy! However Joan Sims is given a woefully underwritten role and turns up for a middle aged nag-a-thon while there is far too much Barbara Windsor and Jack Douglas for my liking.

Further reading: Carry On Blogging: Whatever Happened to the Carry On Girls?
Carry On Blogging: Barbara Carries On as Hope Springs
Carry On Blogging Interview: Robin Askwith Part 1 and Part 2

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and on Instagram

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Five Reasons Why I Love … Carry On Abroad

Carry On Abroad has long been one of my favourite films in the entire series. Indeed, for many it is the last great Carry On of them all. Abroad is jam packed with team favourites and boasts a cracking script from an on form Talbot Rothwell. All the stars aligned, as it were and it's probably fair to say nothing would ever be the same again as the screen went black on that boozy lock in at Sid and Joan's pub.

Abroad sees the Carry Ons, the most British of film traditions, take a swipe at the modern 1970s trend of cheap package holidays in foreign parts. What better than sending our favourite gang of British eccentrics to foreign climbs, care of the Pinewood Studios car park and back lot? Every cliche is there and most of the cast are on fire. While Abroad does have its downsides, it's uniformly superb. What would I change? Well the portrayal of Charles Hawtrey's character as an alcoholic loner and mummy's boy was a little too close for comfort and very sadly proved to be the last outing for that most gifted and unique of cinema actors. 

So why do I love Abroad so much? Well here are five reasons…

The gang's all here

Abroad was the last time the main team was all together. Ok, Jim Dale had left three years earlier after Again Doctor but all the main 70s regulars climbed aboard for a jolly holiday in Els Bells. Well almost. Sid James, Joan Sims, Charles Hawtrey, Kenneth Connor, Bernard Bresslaw, Barbara Windsor, Kenneth Williams, Hattie Jacques and Peter Butterworth are all present and correct and it's a beautiful sight to behold.

A gaggle of great guest stars

While one of the joys of the Carry Ons was seeing the same recognisable faces turn up again and again in different costumes, sometimes it was also good to freshen things up. Abroad does this brilliantly and nobody did it better than Scottish actor and entertainer Jimmy Logan as cheeky chappie Bert Conway. Jimmy is full of energy and charm and really adds something new to the mix. Also along for the fun is national treasure June Whitfield, returning to the series for the first time since Carry On Nurse nearly fifteen years earlier. June is sublime as the uptight, middle class wife of Kenneth Connor who transforms into a bit of a goer after an afternoon on the fizz with Spanish lothario Ray Brooks! Abroad also features some lovely supporting turns from the likes of Sally Geeson and Carol Hawkins as bright young holidaymakers Lily and Marge while Gail Grainger adds class to the cast as Kenneth Williams' glamorous assistant Miss Moira Plunkett. 

A spot of satire

Sometimes the Carry Ons, and the later Carry Ons in particular, were one dimensional knockabout farces. Earlier efforts could be a touch more clever, with the likes of Spying, Screaming and Khyber spoofing well known film franchises. With Abroad, the Carry On team  poked fun at a real life trend which threatened an aspect of British life the Carry Ons had played to for over a decade. With the rise of the sometimes dubious package holiday overseas, the traditional British seaside resort had seen better days. So what better than packing a bunch of end of the pier British eccentrics off to a fictitious and rather grotty Spanish island full of stereotypes and half-finished hotels. As usual though the English eccentrics are painted as even more ridiculous than the foreigners. And it works a treat.

The brilliant Butterworth

If there is one thing the Carry Ons had lacked in the early 1970s it was the presence of the excellent Peter Butterworth. A scene stealer during several of the later 1960s series entries, Butterworth was always a supporting player but stole scenes from the likes of Harry H Corbett, Kenneth Williams and Sid James. Unusually for an actor who was very much a part of the top team, Peter all but disappeared from several films from 1970 onwards, relegated to brief, often uncredited cameos. Blink and you'll miss him in Carry On Loving, Carry On Henry and Carry On Again Doctor. Carry On Abroad saw a brilliant return to form for Butterworth with a starring role as Spanish hotelier cum waiter cum concierge Pepe…or is it Mario? Peter works so hard throughout Abroad and is rarely off screen. It's an energetic tour de force full of one liners, great reaction shots and endless physical comedy.

Vic and Cora Flange

At the heart of Carry On Abroad is a fine comedy double act in Sid James and Joan Sims as Vic and Cora Flange. Sid and Joan were my ultimate Carry On pairing and the two actors go way beyond performance many times, clearly having a whale of a time together and often their laughter feels very real. James and Sims worked together many times in the Carry Ons, often as boyfriend and girlfriend or husband and wife and Abroad is the pinnacle of this. Yes they would make two further films together, but this is the best, for me. There is the usual nagging and carping between the pair but there is also real heart. While Vic fancies a bit with Barbara's Sadie Tompkins and Cora is tempted by Kenneth Connor's bored husband Stanley Blunt, the Flanges are brought back together again by the end of the film thanks to the blooding windows! Sid is firing on all cylinders here but Joan steals the film with her rather charming, very real portrayal as a frustrated, middle aged lady craving a little happiness. They are magnificent together.

So those are some of many reasons why Carry On Abroad is one of my all time favourite Carry Ons. Do you agree?

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and on Instagram

Guest Blog: Craig Deeley on Round The Horne: Resuscitated


I’m currently in rehearsals to reprise the role of Kenneth Williams, in a performance of Round The Horne: Resuscitated, which I’m also directing, and which is going to take place at Birmingham Comedy Festival on 7th October. I first became aware of Round The Horne when I heard clips of the camp, jobbing actors Julian and Sandy on a radio comedy show, and I realised then, as a boy of 14 or 15, that this was the man from the Carry Ons. At that age, I was unaware of any of Kenny’s work outside the Carry Ons and when I received a compilation cassette of the Best of Julian and Sandy, I realised I needed to hear more of the show.

I fell in love with Round the Horne the first time I heard a complete show. It had so much going on: catchphrases, strong comic characters, funny songs, spoofs, and most of all, the thing that held it all together: a very funny script.

10 years ago I was lucky enough to play Kenny in Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick, a play by Terry Johnson, exploring the semi-true relationship between Williams, Barbara Windsor and Sid James, during the filming of the for films in the title, with all the action taking place in Sid’s Merry Traveller caravan / dressing room. The director of the play, Nick Owen, and co-star Katie Merriman, who played Babs, Carry On fanatics themselves will also be in our RTH revival as Douglas Smith and Betty Marsden. Hugh Paddick will be played by Andrew Smith, with whom I worked on our original revival around 6 years ago, and completing the line-up, as the man himself, Marcus Hendry as Kenneth Horne.

Our show is basically a longer, ‘best-of’ episode, where we try to cram in as many of the popular characters, sections, and catchphrases from across all 4 series. Once we secured the rights to performs, it’s been a real labour of love trawling through so many episodes to scan scripts, transcribe recordings, and create sound effects and music links. Not to mention the fun we’ve had doing read-throughs and rehearsals. We want the audience to feel like they’re present at one of the recordings of the show, and get a sense of the fun the performers had, on and off-script! Although this will be only the second time performed by the troupe in its current incarnation, we’re very proud of the show, and would like to do more, because we know it’s definitely got allies.

Round The Horne: Resuscitated.
The Victoria, 7th October, 5pm – 6pm.
Admission Free.
Part of Birmingham Comedy Festival

Photo (L-R) Andrew Smith – Hugh Paddick, Craig Deeley – Kenneth Williams, Marcus Hendry – Kenneth Horne, Katie Merriman – Betty Marsden, Nick Owen – Douglas Smith.

I interviewed Craig for the blog back in 2016 and you can read that again here

And you can find out more about the Birmingham Comedy Festival here:

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and on Instagram

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Angela Douglas in Conversation at The Kenneth More Theatre

The actress Angela Douglas will be in conversation at The Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford on Sunday 4 November.
During this intimate and exclusive event celebrating Kenneth More CBE, Angela will be interviewed on stage by her publicist, Nick Pourgourides, who also looks after More's Estate. Angela will talk about her career, with special focus on her life with Kenneth More. This will be accompanied by a look back at his work with clips. There will also be a post event book signing by Angela.
Angela Douglas is best remembered for her roles in 4 classic Carry On Films, including Carry On Cowboy as an all-singing and trigger-happy version of Annie Oakley. She then appeared in Carry On Screaming, Follow That Camel and Carry On Up the Khyber. She has, by virtue of this association, appeared in many retrospective and spin-off programmes as well as classic TV series' such as The AvengersThe SaintDixon of Dock Green and Doctor Who.
After her husband More was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, she put her career on hold to nurse him, but after his death she returned in various roles.  In recent years she has concentrated on a career in journalism and writing, having completed two books, including the highly acclaimed autobiography Swings and Roundabouts, which detailed her affair and subsequent marriage to More Her debut novel; Josephine is published on 11th October, 2018. A powerful and compelling story of a young woman’s journey to stardom and the trials and tribulations of show-business and celebrity. Set against the backdrop of London’s 1960s, her path crosses with the likes of Kirk Douglas, Steve McQueen and Neil Armstrong. Though a work of fiction, the novel draws extensively on Angela’s own experiences. You can follow Angela Douglas on Twitter. The official website for the Kenneth More Estate can be found here. 
And you can book tickets to see Angela on 4 November here

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and on Instagram

Monday 24 September 2018

Watch: Phil Silvers Rare Interview from 1974

I have been trawling the BBC South Today archives of late and they have turned up quite a number of classic, little seen interviews with some of our favourite Carry On favourites. So far I have brought you clips of Kenneth Williams, Terry Scott, Harry H Corbett, Jack Douglas and Warren Mitchell. And today it's the turn of that most American of Carry On guest stars, Phil Silvers.

The clip comes from an interview Phil gave back in 1974, several years after his one and only Carry On appearance. The actor and comedian, best known for his 1950s success in American television as Sergeant Bilko, spent six weeks in the Spring of 1967 working with the Carry On team at Pinewood Studios. His role as Sergeant Knocker in Follow That Camel saw Phil appear alongside series favourites such as Peter Butterworth, Joan Sims, Charles Hawtrey and Bernard Bresslaw. 

Phil also, along with Elke Sommer, remains the highest paid actor ever to appear in a Carry On. While I love his Sergeant Bilko and think he gives a fun performance in Camel, I'm not quite sure the addition of Silvers really did set the Carry On team on fire on the other side of the Atlantic, as the Rank Organisation had hoped.

Anyway the clip, which hasn't been seen since it was recorded back in 1974, can be viewed right here 

I hope you enjoy it! 

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and on Instagram

Sunday 23 September 2018

Jacki Piper: Still Carrying On

Comedy historian Robert Ross will be back at the Museum of Comedy in London later this year, hosting yet another special Carry On event, in this the 60th anniversary year of our beloved Carry On films.

Celebrate sixty glorious years of the Carry On films with the only actor producer Peter Rogers ever put under a three-year contract. In that time Jacki Piper starred in four Carry On films: cavorting with Terry Scott in Carry On Up the Jungle, enjoying the matrimonial mix-ups of Carry On Loving, playing the savvy daughter of Sid James in Carry On At Your Convenience, and, finally, giggling her way through the maternity ward madness of Carry On Matron.
Having made her film debut opposite Roger Moore in The Man Who Haunted Himself, Jacki has chalked up appearances opposite some of the best loved names in comedy including Eric Sykes, Leonard Rossiter, Leslie Phillips, and Ronnie Barker. 
Jacki will be at the Museum of Comedy in conversation with comedy historian Robert Ross on Sunday 25 November. The event kicks off at 4pm and you can buy tickets via Robert's website
And you can read my Carry On Blogging interview with Jacki here

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and on Instagram

Madeline Smith on Modern Bond

The lovely Madeline Smith has been talking to The Times about the James Bond franchise in the 21st Century. Amidst all manner of calls for the films and their depiction of women to be updated in light of recent news stories and campaigns, Madeline took a different view.

Madeline of course appeared opposite the late Sir Roger Moore in the 1973 Bond picture, Live and Let Die, playing Italian agent Miss Caruso. In a long career on stage and screen, Madeline appeared in several Hammer Horror productions, worked many times with the legendary Frankie Howerd and even popped up in Carry On Matron in a cameo as a new mother at Finisham Maternity Hospital.

Madeline spoke to the paper about some aspects of her own career and clearly yearns for more innocent, fun times in the best of British cinema. "The romance and the fun seems to have gone out of everything, generally" she said and I can't help agree with that statement to begin with.

So what do you think? Do you agree with Maddie? You can read the article in full here.

Friday 21 September 2018

Great British Smut at the BFI!

The British Film Institute has announced a blockbuster "Comedy Genius" season for the Autumn of 2018, billed as the UK's greatest ever celebration of film and television comedy. From October to December the comedy geniuses of the big and small screen will be making us laugh at the BFI Southbank and cinemas across the UK, online on the BFI Player and with a wide range of UK partner cinemas.

And yes there's a Carry On link. On 10 November the BFI will celebrate "Great British Smut", a day of saucy and risqué humour. The day will include a screening of the classic 1964 comedy Carry On Cleo starring Sid James, Amanda Barrie and Kenneth Williams, to mark 60 years of the Carry On franchise.

The day will also include "The Joy of Smut", a clip-based event celebrating the Kings and Queens of British smut including the likes of Benny Hill, Beryl Reid and Frankie Howerd. There will also be a panel discussion entitled "Should We Still Be At It?" which will address the place this kind of so-called smutty comedy has in the modern world.

I'm not sure how I feel about Carry Ons being labelled as smut but I do like the sound of the day itself. And seeing Carry On Cleo back up on the big screen where it belongs can only be a good thing! 

Find out more on the BFI website here:

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and on Instagram

Thursday 20 September 2018

Carry On Blogging Interview: David Kernan

I'm delighted to bring another interview to Carry On Blogging. The actor and singer David Kernan was born in London in 1938. David has enjoyed a long, diverse and really successful career on television, film and particularly on stage and made his one and only Carry On appearance in probably the last classic film in the series, Carry On Abroad in 1972.  Co-starring alongside Carol Hawkins, Sally Geeson and John Clive, David played Nicholas. The film led to David developing firm friendships with the actresses Joan Sims and Hattie Jacques.

David's other films include Make Me A Person, Zulu, Otley and Up The Chastity Belt, while on television he became well known thanks to his association with That Was The Week That Was as well as parts in series like The Avengers and Upstairs, Downstairs. On stage, David has become most closely associated with the work of Stephen Sondheim, playing the role of Count Malcolm in the original London production of A Little Night Music. In 1977 David was nominated for a Tony Award for his part in the Broadway production of Side by Side by Sondheim.

I’d love to know what brought you into the business in the first place and how you got started?

After doing Huddersfield Rep at the age of 19, I auditioned for a part in "Where´s Charlie". I was in the chorus for two years and on the road to the start of my career.

I think you were part of the cast of the theatrical revue On The Brighter Side in 1961? That show featured some of my favourite actors – Stanley Baxter, Betty Marsden and Amanda Barrie. What were they like to work with?

Absolutely superb and extremely delightful. Especially Stanley Baxter who I still see from time to time.  

You were part of the extraordinary team of talent to work on That Was The Week That Was for David Frost in the early 1960s. What are your memories of that experience?

It was exhausting as we had to learn the songs within two days but at the same time hugely rewarding and great fun.

You played Private Frederick Hitch in the 1964 film Zulu, now revered as a classic. Was there any suggestion at the time that this might be the case?

No, I never thought it was ever going to be the classic that it has become.

In the theatre, you are probably most associated with the work of Stephen Sondheim. What is it that most attracts you to his work?

I loved the film West Side Story and auditioned for "A Little Night Music" for which I got the part. I then approached Mr Sondheim and asked his permission to compile his songs for Side By Side By Sondheim.

Two of the actors you worked most closely with in the revue you devised, Side by Side by Sondheim, were Millicent Martin and Julia McKenzie. Do you have fond memories of working with them on that project?

I suggested to Mr Sondheim that these two brilliant vocalists should be put together with us on the show. I have great fond memories of working with them and still stay in touch with Millie to this day.

You were cast as Nicholas in Carry On Abroad in 1972. What were Gerald Thomas and Peter Rogers like to work for?

Huge humour and great fun.

I’ve listened to the DVD commentary for Carry On Abroad and you seemed to get on really well your co-stars John Clive, Carol Hawkins and Sally Geeson. What were they like to work with?

Everybody on that film were such a pleasure to work with and John Clive (who played Robin) was great fun.

I think I’ve read that work on the Carry On film led to great friendships with Joan Sims and Hattie Jacques. What are your memories of these brilliant actresses?

I was so very fond of the pair of them. Over four years, Joan and I would spend Christmas Day at Hattie's house drinking and eating too much and of course lots of giggling. One year we decided to all dress up as the Andrews Sisters and have a sing song. Years later Julia, Millie and myself did the very same thing but this time it was recorded for a John Curry TV Special. It can be found on YouTube.

Finally, if you had to choose one highlight from your long career, what would it be and why?

I have so many highlights but being on stage on a Sunday night celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Side by Side and performing and singing along side Dame Judi Dench is certainly one of them. Stephen Sondheim even flew in from New York especially to see the show.

I'd like to thank David for taking the time to answer my questions. Thanks also to Rich Coghill for helping to set up the interview. 

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and on Instagram