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Saturday, April 25, 1998 Published at 04:23 GMT 05:23 UK


Oooh what a carry on!

Jacques and Williams in Carry On Camping

The stars of one the Carry On films are gathering to celebrate the 40th anniversary of one of Britain's best-loved film series

The last surviving four of the main team - Barbara Windsor, June Whitfield, Leslie Phillips and Jack Douglas - are due to attend a gala lunch in Pinewood Studios, Hertfordshire on Sunday.

[ image: Four of the series' most popular stars are to be honoured]
Four of the series' most popular stars are to be honoured
Other Carry On actors such as Fenella Fielding, Lance Percival, Suzanne Danielle and Liz Fraser and their production team will be there to see plaques unveiled in memory of the stars who turned double entendres into an art form.

The tributes will be unveiled at the British Comedy Society's hall of fame and dedicated to Kenneth Williams, Hattie Jacques, Charles Hawtrey and Sid James.

The four were big scorers in the Carry On appearances league. Williams chalked up 25, followed by Hawtrey with 23, Sid James 19 and Hattie Jacques 14.

[ image: Barbara Windsor exhibits the subtleties of Carry On humour]
Barbara Windsor exhibits the subtleties of Carry On humour
The saucy film series began in 1958 with Carry On Sergeant which had Kenneth Connor, who died in 1993, in the lead role.

But the core of the team of familiar faces soon came on board to appear in the other 30 Carry On classics.

The series was so popular it was even expanded into stage shows. Carry On London was produced in 1973 and Carry On Laughing in 1976.

However, the films were never as big a success abroad as in Britain. Perhaps because many of them were renamed for the overseas market.

[ image: Douglas: films were naughty but nice]
Douglas: films were naughty but nice
Carry On Spying was known as Agent Oooh! in some countries, Carry On Cowboy was renamed The Rumpo Kid in Germany and Carry On Abroad was known as A Mad Holiday in Germany.

Jack Douglas, one of the former Carry On stars due to attend the anniversary lunch, says that even in the politically correct 1990s the films have a lingering appeal for British audiences.

"They were good fun," he says. "They made us laugh and by the grace of god they still make us laugh. They were clean, a little naughty, but not dirty."

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