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Monday, November 28, 2011

Don't carry on, Margot... Why Penelope was axed from the Carry On Films

Two decades after the last Carry On film was made, the uniquely British series of low-budget films continues to amuse viewers who weren’t even born when Kenneth Williams’s Caesar declared ‘Infamy. Infamy.

They’ve all got it in for me’ — later voted the best Carry On one-liner of all time. 

Now the cast has been immortalised in a Who’s Who by aficionado Andrew Ross. Here, from his diligent research, are 30 things you didn’t know about Carry On .?.?.

This won't hurt a bit: Stars Barbara Windsor and Jim Dale

1 German actress Elke Sommer was paid six times the ?5,000 salary of Carry On stars Sid James, Kenneth Williams and Barbara Windsor when she played Russian Anna Vrooshka in Carry On Behind.

2 Penelope KEITH was a nurse in Carry On Doctor long before finding fame in The Good Life and To The Manor Born. Her scenes were cut in the editing process.

3 Shakira BAKSH, a former Miss World contestant, played Scrubba, one of Sid James’s wives, in Carry On Again Doctor. The Guyana-born actress is best known as Lady (Michael) Caine.

4 Kenneth WILLIAMS, who appeared in 25 Carry Ons, loathed Sid James, whom he said was ‘just too coarse’. 

5 THEATRE impresario and Everton FC owner Bill Kenwright played a reporter in Carry On Matron.

Coarse: Kenneth Williams (pictured), who appeared in 25 Carry Ons films loathed Sid James

6 POP star David Essex was 22  when he played a heckler in Carry On Henry, but ended up on the cutting-room floor.

7 Charles HAWTREY, who appeared in 23 Carry Ons, never recovered professionally after walking out in 1972 when his demand for star billing in the TV Christmas special Carry On Stuffing was rejected. He died in straitened circumstances in 1988.

8 Joan Sims, who starred in 24 Carry Ons, played a medium in Morrissey’s Ouija Board video in 1988.

9 Sid JAMES deemed the best moment of his 19 Carry Ons to be his performance in Carry On Cowboy, which gave him the chance to display his fine American accent.

10 Kenneth CONNOR, star of 17 Carry Ons, was the son of the petty officer on the Royal Yacht Victoria & Albert, and knew the Queen’s grandparents, George V and Queen Mary.

11 Peter BUTTERWORTH got billing in 16 Carry Ons, but also did uncredited, bit-part roles in several others.

12 Hattie JACQUES, the Carry On battleaxe, once declared: ‘All they see is a funny fat lady; no one dreams of casting you as a normal person.’

Peter Butterworth, right, with his wide, actress Janet Brown

13 Bernard Bresslaw, at 6ft 7in, towered over his co-stars in 14 Carry On films, including Up the Khyber.

14 Jim DALE, star of 11 Carry On films, offended his fellow actors when he declined to play Ug Ug in Carry On Up The Jungle because he wanted to broaden his horizons. Some of them later boycotted his This Is Your Life tribute in protest.

15 Barbara WINDSOR, star of ten Carry Ons, had elocution lessons as a teenager, but failed to lose her Cockney accent.

16 Edina RONAY, the fashion designer, played a saloon girl in Carry On Cowboy.

17 Amanda BARRIE, who played Alma Baldwin in Coronation Street, was Cleopatra in the spoof of the Burton/Taylor movie Carry On Cleo.

18 Johnny BRIGGS, Barrie’s Street husband Mike Baldwin, appeared in three Carry Ons.

19 Sara Crowe, famous for her role in the Philadelphia TV adverts, married Jim Dale’s son Toby a month after meeting him on the set of Carry On Columbus. They later divorced.

Sparring star: Boxing champion Freddie Mills appeared in Carry On Constable and Carry On Regardless

20 Shirley Eaton, sprayed gold in Bond movie Goldfinger, was in Carry On Sergeant as Bob Monkhouse’s wife. She also appeared in Carry On Nurse and Carry On Constable.

21 Sheila HANCOCK played Kenneth Connor’s nagging wife Senna Pod in Carry On Cleo.

22 Before fame as Miss Marple, Joan Hickson made her screen debut as the efficient ward sister in Carry On Nurse.

23 BURT KWOUK — crazy manservant Cato in the Pink Panther films — had a cameo role in Carry On Columbus.

24 Ian LAVENDER — ‘silly boy’ Pike in Dad’s Army — played Joe Baxter in Carry  On Behind.

25 Young Ones star Rik Mayall was cast as the Sultan in Carry On Columbus.

26 Irish character actor T. P. McKenna, who appeared in Straw Dogs and The Charge Of The Light Brigade played an Archbishop in Carry On Columbus. His scenes were edited from the final film release.

27 Terry And June star Terry Scott, who appeared in seven Carry On films, was forced by his parents to train as an accountant.

28 FORMER world light heavyweight boxing champ Freddie Mills was in Carry On Constable and Carry On Regardless.

29 Musical actress Dora Bryan played a love-struck  Army cook in Carry On Sergeant.

30 SERGEANT Bilko star Phil Silvers played the lead role in Carry On Follow That Camel. He was unpopular with the rest of the cast, who thought he considered himself superior. 

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