the thirty Carry Ons filmed to date, which started in 1958, Peter has
appeared in eleven. He
joined the team in 1963 in the seventh, Carry On Cabby, and then was
seen in at least one a year until 1970’s Carry On Henry before
re-appearing over twenty years later in the most recent, Carry On
His first Carry
On role was as the robber, Dancy, in Cabby when he kidnapped Hattie
Jacques and Liz Fraser and was chased by a team of taxis.
Carry On Cabby
was followed later the same year by Carry On Jack in which he played
the pirate Patch.
These were by no
means Peter’s only appearances in the Carry Ons as a baddie.
In Carry On Cowboy he played sidekick (Curly) to Sid James’
Carry On Cowboy
while in Follow
That Camel he was briefly seen as the lying Captain Humphrey Bagshaw
who accuses Jim Dale of cheating in order to gain the hand of the fair
Lady Jane Ponsonby.
Follow that Camel
Carry On appearance was even briefer than Camel - a blink and you’ll
miss it role as the Galley Master in Cleo.
Carry On Cleo
But Don’t Lose
Your Head brought him a juicier part as the feared Citizen Robespierre,
who wants all the French aristocracy beheaded.
Don't Lose Your Head
In both his
medical Carry Ons Peter played the part of Henry, appearing in Carry
On Doctor as a rather too enthusiastic ambulance driver and admirer of
Carry On Doctor
who then gained
rapid promotion to doctor in Carry On Again Doctor in which he played
“spot the diagnosis” with Jim Dale.
Carry On Again Doctor
1968 saw him
dying as Ginger, a member of the army serving in India, in Carry On Up
Carry On Up The Khyber
This is regarded
by many as the best of the Carry On films and it certainly contains
one of the funniest scenes when the British governor (Sid James) holds
a dinner party and the guests “carry on” dining, all (bar one)
completely ignoring the shelling of the compound outside and the room
disintegrating around them.
penultimate appearance was as the flirtatious but dangerous King
Francis in Carry On Henry which was his biggest and best role in a
One wonders if he
would have been given even better parts in the next films if a certain
James Onedin hadn’t come along at this point in his career, however
Peter probably got out at the right time as the Carry Ons began to run
out of steam soon after.
His final Carry
On role was in 1992’s Carry On Columbus when he played the Governor
of the Canaries, with Maureen Lipman playing his wife.
Carry On Columbus
diversity of Peter’s roles in the Carry Ons demonstrate his
versatility and talent as an actor.
It’s just a shame that he wasn’t given more meatier roles
in some of these films.
My favourite of
Peter’s Carry On characters has to be the handsome King Francis in
Henry while I find the funniest is his other French role, Citizen
Robespierre - the spitting scenes with Kenneth Williams are
hysterical; I also have a soft spot for Curly the cowboy.
Overall, however, Carry On Cabby probably just edges it as my
favourite of the Carry On films featuring Peter.
It is very funny, doesn’t have the smuttiness of many of the
later films, and the story of Sid James’ character and his wife’s
(played by Hattie Jacques) rival taxi firms is told very
question is whether Peter will have a role in the forthcoming Carry On
London; somehow I doubt it.