Wednesday 3 October 2018

Carry On Fan of the Week: Paul Stephen

A couple of years ago I ran a series of blogs where fans of the Carry Ons wrote in and answered some questions about their favourite films. I greatly enjoyed sharing these at the time and I'm glad to regular blog readers have started to send them in again. Today it's over to Paul Stephen:

What was the first Carry On film you ever saw?

The first Carry On film I saw was Carry On Camping back in 1978 when I was six years old.  We were at my great aunt and uncle's house and this was the last time we would see them before they emigrated to New Zealand.  I remember the Camping theme coming on the television and thought it was a cartoon, we were just on our way home and my parents said we could stay and watch it.  I think it was an excuse to stay longer as my mum was going to miss my aunt.

Who is your favourite Carry On actor and why?

My favourite Carry On actor is Kenneth Williams.  He is the most interesting of the team especially in his private life and I have read more books about Kenneth Williams than any other actor.  I love listening to his talk show interviews and was delighted when he stepped in for Wogan on numerous occasions.  Carry On films needed Kenneth and thankfully he only missed a few entries.

Who is your favourite Carry On actress and why?

My favourite Carry On actress is Joan Sims.  She was a stalwart of the series and I feel she had more versatility than the other players and could be play any part given to her.  I have read a few books about her and she seemed to have a difficult life in her later years and I would have loved an opportunity to have met her and tell her how wonderful she was.

Who is your favourite Carry On supporting actor?

I love Esma Cannon.  She is marvellous in Carry On Cruising as the dotty Bridget Madderley or the mad little pixie as Captain Crowther refers to her.  I wish she had been in more of the early Carry On films and another great role, albeit stereotypical, is her part in Nurse On Wheels playing the hard of hearing mother to Nurse Juliet Mills.  A quick mention to Renee Houston too, another character actress who I would have liked to have seen more of in the series.

Have you ever visited any Carry On film locations?

Lots and lots, probably every location bar very few.  I even trekked up Mount Snowdon to feel the wind through my pass...err, the pass.  Windsor is a great place to go location hunting and I have done many a time ahead of visits to Carry On events at Pinewood Studios.

Have you ever met any Carry On actors?

Probably about 50 actors from the series.  Not only have I been lucky to attend events at Pinewood Studios I have also helped organise events for The Whippit Inn group of fans which gives you even more access to your favourite stars.  We have had a lot of fun over the years mingling with our favourite actors.  I only wish some of the main team had lived longer as sadly most of them passed away such a long time ago and I never got the opportunity to meet them.  Jack Douglas was particularly grateful to his fans and I met him at several events, including his 80th birthday party.  Everyone I have met has been so friendly and welcoming.

Do you have any Carry On memorabilia?

I used to own many of the original film posters but sold them in recent years to fund other ventures.  I still have some lobby cards and I have a nice piece signed by the cast of Carry On Abroad, everyone member of the team signed the piece.  I also own several pairs of cufflinks which used to belong to Jack Douglas, items I will treasure and never part with.

Finally, what's your all time favourite Carry On film?

I often change my mind about my favourite film.  It usually swings back to At Your Convenience, which is funny as it was the least successful at the box office.  Toilet humour at its best and the works outing is pure Carry On.  I think Carry On Cabby comes a close second, which considering my favourite actor is Kenneth Williams, may sound a bit strange.  The Charlie / Peggy kitchen sink drama works so well in this film and the music which introduces the Glamcabs is superb.  Eric Rogers' music is a work of genius on all of the films.

Many thanks again to Paul for taking the time to answer my questions. If you fancy having a go, please do get in touch by email at or send me a message over on Twitter.

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and on Instagram

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