'Carry On' films to make a comeback after 27 years

Ben Arnold
Contributor
British actor Sid James (1913 - 1976) during the filming of 'Carry On Up the Khyber', 1968. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The bawdy Carry On movies could be about to stage a comeback, 27 years after the last movie hit cinemas in the UK.

Film producer Brian Baker has been in a legal battle with ITV, who own the rights to the franchise, for nine years, spending a reported £500,000 on fighting for the rights to sell Carry On branded products.

But in a ruling by the Intellectual Property Office last week, he's now been given permission to do so, after it was deemed that ITV was not using the brand, making its trademark rights invalid.

Baker, 72, is now planning to fund a new movie with the proceeds from launching a range of Carry On merchandise.

He told The Daily Mail: “This ruling means we can carry out [Carry On creator] Peter Rogers’s legacy and get everything into gear.

Sid James and Barbara Windsor as they complete the last day of shooting of the film "Carry On Girls", 1973. (AP Photo/Robert Dear)

“We’ll be bringing together a new team of actors with their own idiosyncrasies and personalities for the films.

“They will be adapted to bring it up to modern times. We’ll have to be a bit more politically correct today.”

Read more: Barbara Windsor becoming ‘more scared’ in Alzheimer’s battle

The Carry On movies began in the late 1950s, and turned its ensemble of stars like Sid James, Joan Sims, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtree, Barbara Windsor, Hattie Jacques, Kenneth Connor and Jim Dale into household names.

Producer Peter Rogers made 31 movies in all, beginning with Carry On Sergeant in 1958, and concluding with Carry On Columbus in 1992.

The filming of the sequence was at Pinewood Studio's. Actress Elizabeth Knight wearing wellington boots laughs as Barbara loses her bra. (Photo by Crawshaw/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)

Columbus, though a critical disaster, brought in new stars like Julian Clary and Keith Allen, alongside the old guard like Dale, Leslie Phillips and Bernard Cribbins, and was the first Carry On movie since 1978.

A final movie, Carry On London, was set to go into production in 2008, at one time with Charlie Higson set to direct and the likes of Paul O'Grady and Frank Skinner to star.

But after Rogers death in 2009, the project was eventually shelved.

ITV said in a statement: “We know the British public love Carry On and we welcome working with anyone interested in keeping this much loved brand alive.”

This isn’t the first time someone has threatened to resurrect the Carry On brand. In 2016 Hereford Films’ Jonathan Sothcott announced he would be producing a new series of film bearing the Carry On title, starting with Carry On Doctors, followed by Carry On Campus.

Tim Dawson and Susan Nickson, the writers of BBC sitcom Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, were lined up to pen the scripts.