Kenneth Williams: A Life on the Box

28 August 1998
30 mins, BBC1

The BBC's Kenneth Williams - A Life on the Box was a nice little schedule filler that, in a very short time, outshone the Channel 4 Carry On Weekend that started later that same evening. Instead of a cynical, sensationalist approach to the great man, we were presented with a truly affectionate look into the public life of Mr Williams. It made for a refreshing change.

The Carry On films and their stars have been subject to more scrutiny in 1998, the anniversary year, than ever before. Documentaries such as Reputations and Carry On Darkly have delved into the private lives of the actors and offered up some less than tasty morsels. A Life on the Box was different. We were treated to interviews with those who worked with Kenneth over the years; Terry Wogan, Dale Winton, Lance Percival and a host of others discussed the incredible versatility of the actor, with not a harsh word in sight.

Add to that some wonderful clips of Kenneth at work - highlights from the Carry Ons, International Cabaret, Hancock's Half Hour and a selection of other gems made this all-too-short programme one of the true keepers of 1998. Thanks to the BBC for presenting Kenneth Williams as we all remember him - a wonderfully talented comic actor.