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Friday, 8 September, 2000, 14:41 GMT 15:41 UK
Quiz June Whitfield: Her replies
BBC News Online Entertainment invited users to send in their questions to British comedy queen June Whitfield. Many queries covered the same topics so June has replied to a selection to avoid repetition.
Qu: You looked so good playing your trombone in your latest role in The Last of the Blonde Bombshells. Is there any music in your background?
June says: My only claim to music is a good sense of rhythm and I have been in musicals and done some singing. We were all coached by members of the Humphrey Lyttleton Band - Pete Strange - the trombonist was most helpful and taught me how to hold the instrument and to remember my 'embouchure' (keep it clamped to my mouth!)
Qu:You started in radio, with the greatest stage and screen actors to grace our ears, what was your favourite show and who did you admire the most?
June says: I have worked with so many well-known comics including Benny Hill and Tony Hancock and admired them all. I loved Absolutely Fabulous. Jennifer Saunders is high on the list as she was not only very funny but also wrote it.
Qu:You'll be in reruns for eternity as the nurse in Hancock's The Blood Donor. To what extent does an actor in an oft repeated classic look at her performance with a critical eye.
June says: I always think I could have done it better - or I can think of half-a-dozen others who would have been better - it's the luck of the draw.
Qu: In your youth, how challenging was it to work alongside Tony Hancock? Thanks for being a major part in English comedy throughout the years.
June says: I always enjoyed working with Tony but after his car accident he worked off an autocue so he was never looking directly at me in The Blood Donor which was a bit tricky.
Qu: The British TV sitcom has changed drastically over the years. Do you ever look back at those older shows and cringe at the plotlines and dialogue?
June says: I certainly don't cringe - Happy Ever After and Terry and June with Terry Scott kept me going for years! Terry was a very funny man and those plots well "of their time". There is still an audience for these gentle shows. Look at the success of Dad's Army and Porridge after all these years.
Qu: I still enjoy the re-runs of Terry And June. Sadly, Terry is no longer with us. How do you remember him?
June says: I remember Terry with great affection - we got on very well. We worked together over a period of twenty years
Qu: I grew up with my dad taking me to all the Carry On films and watching you on Bless This House .
Do you still maintain a relationship with Barbara Windsor and Joan Simms?
June says: I do see Barbara from time to time and saw Joan when working on The Last of the Blonde Bombshells which I believe was shown on HBO TV in America.
Qu:Terry and June were fab. The rapport between them was incredible and so convincing.
How much fun was it to make and had you worked with Terry before?
June says: I first worked with Terry in his Scott On series - a different subject every week. There was always a "domestic" sketch which was the fore-runner of Happy Ever After
Qu: My favourite Carry On film is Carry On Abroad, and it is because of your great performance as Evelyn Blunt. What were the team like to work with, and who was your favourite co-star in the Carry Ons?
June says: Carry On Abroad was my favourite also. I was usually paired with Ken Connor who was a joy to work with.
Qu: Is it true you were born in Australia?
June says: No, I was born in England. I think the story started when I took over from Joy Nichols in Take It From Here - she was Australian. I have never been there. Maybe one of these days.
Qu: You have been involved with camp comedy for many years, including some wonderful radio work as well as Carry On films and, more recently, Absolutely Fabulous. Do you enjoy the huge gay following you have and does it surprise you?
June says: I am grateful for any following and am always surprised by it!
Qu: Will you be appearing in Jennifer Saunders' new series Mirrorball? If so, can you explain a little what it is about? And what is it like to work for Saunders, who both writes and performs in the material?
June says: We have already recorded a pilot episode of Mirrorball and I'm looking forward to completing the series of six in the Spring 2001. All the cast of Ab Fab will be there but we're all playing totally different roles in a different setting.
Qu: Do you miss the sitcom days? What style of comedy do you prefer?
June says: I have been lucky enough to work in all kinds of comedy, I prefer working with other people. I could never do stand-up.
Qu: Didn't you appear with Jimmy Edwards and Dick Bentley in the radio show called The Glums? I remember this as a Sunday afternoon listening staple back in the late 50s or early 60s.
June says: The Glums was part of Take It From Here from 1953 - 1960.
Qu: Your role in Terry and June was wonderful but how did you manage to keep your screen identity separate from your real life person?
June says: It was difficult at times - people did think we were married but Maggie, Terry's wife and Tim, my husband, weathered it all with a smile!
Qu: I remember when I was very young listening to the News Huddlines on Radio 2. I probably didn't understand most of the jokes but I always remember your "funny" voices. Do you prefer radio or TV, comedy or serious drama?
June says: I'm just happy to be working!
Qu: Would you prefer to be remembered in the future as "June" or as "Edina's Mum" or some other of your many characters?
June says: I'd like to be remembered with a smile.
Qu: Your autobiography ... And June Whitfield is published in November, will you be doing any book signings in the Midlands?
June says: I don't think there are any plans for signings in the midlands, they are all arranged by the publishers, but you never know.
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