Should they Carry On Again?

by Jack Douglas & Patsy Rowlands

TV Times, 198?

Jack Douglas

The reaction I get from fans is that the Carry Ons are bigger now than when we made them. People enjoy them and love the daft comedy as much as ever.

They have literally become an institution. When I sign autographs, the number of people who come up with Carry On books is incredible and they now more about the films than I do!

I say we should make some more, without trying to replace the old team - it's impossible to replace people like Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Hattie Jacques or Charles Hawtrey.

But before the Carry On team got together, hardly anyone knew of Sid and the others.

What we could do is try to find a new Carry On team to work with the few of us oldies who are left. Let's have an open audition - with TV Times? - to find a new Carry On team with us oldies doing the background and character roles. We've still got Bernard Bresslaw, who's a very funny man; Joan Sims and Kenneth Connor. We'd also need to introduce some different names in cameo roles. People like Anthony Andrews or perhaps Sir John Gielgud, who once said he'd like to appear in a Carry On film.

Bob Monkhouse, who was in the first films, could come back and Russ Abbott would be wonderful. Rowan Atkinson would also be perfect.

It would be great if we could go back again and film at Pinewood. But we'd have to start with a completely new setting for a new film, otherwise people would compare it with what was done before.

So, there must be a brand-new Carry On storyline. I'd like to do Carry On M5 - we could go anywhere in the world, with loads of opportunity for the plot. What a nice idea! I do hope it happens.

Patsy Rowlands

Carry Ons have become a cult because of the way they were done and the people who were in them. We couldn't recapture that sort of spirit these days.

The actors, such as Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Hattie Jacques, Charles Hawtrey and Peter Butterworth, who are sadly no longer with us, made such a marvellous team that they could never be replaced. It was all down to technique and natural charisma.

If a new film was done differently, it wouldn't be a Carry On. Sid and the others were one-offs; they couldn't be recast. The Carry Ons had good, honest humour, sometimes naughty but never too rude - entertainment for all the family.

But these days we've got alternative comedy, and it's a completely different type of humour. That's fine, that's progress and I wouldn't want to stop it. But it wouldn't suit the Carry Ons.

A new team might try to copy the tradition but it wouldn't work. After all, the Carry Ons go back over 30 years to Carry On Sergeant in 1958. The first. At the time, the humour was natural to us and the people watching. It wouldn't be now.

Bringing back the Carry Ons would put their "classic" status at risk. If they did a new film and it flopped, it would ruin that reputation. The Carry Ons constantly find new generations of fans and hopefully that will continue. They've even buried a copy of Carry On Camping in a time capsule - I wonder what people will think of it when it's eventually found?

One of the reasons the films are so popular on television is that people love nostalgia.

Let's enjoy watching the old Carry On films - the new ones couldn't possibly be the same.