Carry On film revival announced (again!) | We'll believe it when we see it...

Carry On film revival announced (again!)

We'll believe it when we see it...

New claims have been made that the Carry On film franchise will be revived.

The Daily Star Sunday today reports that businessman Nigel Gordon-Stewart is making a new instalment called Carry On Beside The Sea – which will be accompanied by a West End show of the same name.

However fans of the bawdy comedy might treat the announcement with some suspicion, given how many false restarts the franchise has had.

In 2003 there was talk of a film called Carry On London – with Gordon-Stewart one of the directors of the company behind the project – which failed to materialise. Original producer Peter Rogers was on board and it was reported that Vinnie Jones  and Shane Richie were attached to star.

The idea was revived in 2009, with the possible alternative name of Carry On Bananas, with Paul O'Grady, Lenny Henry, Liza Tarbuck  and Frank Skinner mentioned as cast members. That was reportedly shelved following the death of Rogers.

In 2015 Gordon-Stewart said he was ‘100 per cent sure’ a film called Carry On Again would be released within two years. It wasn’t.

Separately, in 2016 producer  Jonathan Sothcott announced plans for a reboot, although questions were soon raised about financial impropriety, including not paying actors on previous project, which his company denied

In 2019 it was announced that three Carry On films were to be filmed back-to-back starting in 2020, using scripts from the original era that were never shot at the time. These also did not get under way, even after Covid subsided.

Speaking to the Star today, Gordon-Stewart, 63, said: ‘We want Carry On to be a family entertainment brand.’

And he addressed the old films’ reputation for objectifying women, saying:  We don’t see any need for gratuitous nudity, or what they used to call deliberate vulgarity. We struggle with talk of objectification when you see current television or even social media which is full of sexualised content of both guys and girls.

‘We don’t need to make unkind jokes out of nudity, although I’m sure we can all think of some extremely awkward situations in our own lives which, looking back, were pretty funny, so those are fair game.

‘Objectification is not on our radar – family entertainment is. We want to be a trusted brand for entertainment and a good laugh for the whole family.

‘In these stressful times, let’s just get the family together for a good laugh, from granny and grandad right down to the grandkids.’

The original franchise comprised 31 films, four Christmas specials, a television series and stage shows, starting with Carry On Sergeant in 1958.

Regular stars throughout the films included Kenneth Williams, Bernard Bresslaw, Hattie Jacques, Joan Sims, Charles Hawtrey, Barbara Windsor, Peter Butterworth and Terry Scott.

There was a 14-year gap between the penultimate film, Carry On Emmannuelle and the much-derided Carry On Columbus in 1992, which employed the new generation of alternative comedy stars such as Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer, Julian Clary and Keith Allen alongside old-school stars Jim Dale, Leslie Philips and Bernard Cribbins. 

Thanks for reading. If you find Chortle’s coverage of the comedy scene useful or interesting, please consider supporting us with a monthly or one-off ko-fi donation.
Any money you contribute will directly fund more reviews, interviews and features – the sort of in-depth coverage that is increasingly difficult to fund from ever-squeezed advertising income, but which we think the UK’s vibrant comedy scene deserves.

Published: 16 Jun 2024

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.