Carry On Christmas Specials
The Carry On Christmas Specials were four one-off specials produced for Thames Television made in 1969, 1970, 1972 and 1973. They brought the cast and formula of the Carry On films to a television production.
Carry on Christmas (1969)
The first special, Carry On Christmas, was broadcast in 1969. It was filmed shortly after the completion of Carry on Up the Jungle and featured the same main cast from that film. It was scripted by long-term Carry On author Talbot Rothwell. The story was an irreverent take on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, featuring Sid James as Scrooge. The 'Christmas Past' sequence reveals that Scrooge failed to invest in the schemes of Dr. Frank N. Stein, who (assisted by his servant, Count Dracula) sought to create a mate for Barbara Windsor's Monster. The 'Christmas Present' sequence described Robert Browning's difficulties in attempting to elope with Elizabeth Barrett without funds, thanks to Scrooge's unwillingness to lend. The 'Christmas Future' sequence retold the story of Cinderella.
|Sid James||Ebenezer Scrooge|
|Terry Scott||Dr Frank N Stein, Convent Girl, Mr Barrett, Baggie|
|Charles Hawtrey||Spirit of Christmas Past, Angel, Convent Girl, Buttons|
|Hattie Jacques||Elizabeth Barrett, Nun, Passer-by|
|Barbara Windsor||Cinderella, Fanny, Spirit of Christmas Present|
|Peter Butterworth||Dracula, Beggar, Convent Girl, Haggie|
|Bernard Bresslaw||Bob Cratchit, Frankenstein's Monster, Spirit of Christmas Future, Convent Girl, Town Crier, Policeman|
|Frankie Howerd||Robert Browning, Fairy Godmother|
Carry on Again Christmas (1970)
The second special, Carry On Again Christmas, was shown the following year. Rothwell did not script this episode, but Sid Colin, who had co-written Carry On Spying with Rothwell, wrote the episode with Dave Freeman, who would go on to script Carry On Behind, several episodes of the Carry On Laughing television series, and was the co-writer of the 1992 film, Carry On Columbus. Based on the Robert Louis Stevenson story Treasure Island, this episode saw the Carry on debut of Wendy Richard, who would go on to have small roles in Carry On Matron and Carry On Girls.
Although the 1969 special was broadcast in colour, the 1970 special was shown in black and white due to a technicians' strikes that caused Thames Television to broadcast all their Christmas shows that year in black and white.
Carry on Christmas (or Carry On Stuffing) (1972)
In 1972 a new Christmas special was produced, entitled Carry On Christmas (or Carry On Stuffing). Talbot Rothwell became ill whilst writing the script, and was unable to finish it. Dave Freeman had to be brought in to complete the script, but the two men did not work together. Charles Hawtrey pulled out of the special at short notice. Having taken third billing to Sid James and Terry Scott in the previous two shows, and knowing they would both be absent, Hawtrey demanded top billing. But Carry On producer Peter Rogers refused, giving top billing to Hattie Jacques instead. Hawtrey's role had hastily to be recast, and was split between Norman Rossington and Brian Oulton, both of whom had played cameo roles in several Carry On films. The special featured a collection of historical sketches, loosely linked around an 18th-century banquet.
|Hattie Jacques||Miss Molly Coddle, Lady Vera, Harriet, The Good Fairy|
|Joan Sims||Lady Rhoda Cockhorse, Mother, Esmeralda, Princess YoYo|
|Barbara Windsor||Eve, Virginia, Maid, Aladdin|
|Kenneth Connor||Sir Henry, Lieutenant Banghem, Hanky Poo|
|Peter Butterworth||Sir Francis Fiddler, Captain Dripping, Lieutenant Trembler, Hole in One|
|Jack Douglas||Mr Perkin, Adam, Tomkins, Ringworm, King of the Underworld|
|Norman Rossington||General Sir Ffingham Clodhopper, Genie|
|Brian Oulton||Oriental Orator|
|Valerie Leon||Serving Wench|
|Valerie Stanton||Demon King's Vision|
Carry on Christmas (1973)
1973 saw the final original Christmas special, Carry On Christmas. Talbot Rothwell made a return as the writer, as did Sid James. This was the only special to have a modern-day setting, featuring Sid James as a department store Father Christmas, although it did feature historical sketches.
|Sid James||Sid Belcher (Santa), Seedpod, Sir Henry, Sergeant Ball, Robin Hood|
|Joan Sims||Mother, Sennapod, Bishop's Wife, Adelle, Salvation Army Woman, Maid Marion, Traffic Warden|
|Barbara Windsor||Virginia, Crompet, Lady Frances, Fifi|
|Kenneth Connor||Shop Manager, Anthro Pod, The Bishop, Private Parkin, Will Scarlet|
|Peter Butterworth||Carol Singer (2001 BC), Old Man, Darts Player, 2nd German Soldier, Friar Tuck|
|Bernard Bresslaw||Peapod, Camp Aristocrat, Darts Player, Captain Ffingburgh, Much, Policeman|
|Jack Douglas||Carol Singer (2001 BC), Crapper, 1st German Soldier, Ballad Singer|
|Julian Holloway||Captain Rose|
|Laraine Humphrys||Bed Customer|
Carry on Laughing's Christmas Classics (1983)
It would be ten years before the next Christmas special. Carry On Laughing's Christmas Classics saw Kenneth Williams and Barbara Windsor introduce some of the funniest moments from the later Carry On films, in a format very similar to the film That's Carry On!.
In 2005, the first four specials were released on DVD, featuring interviews with film producer Peter Rogers and stars Jack Douglas and Wendy Richard. "Carry On Laughing's Christmas Classics" has not been release on home video.
- Ross, Robert. The Carry On Companion, B. T. Batsford: London, 1996. ISBN 0-7134-7967-1 pp 93-94