Jim Dale: Carry On Cast Was A Resentful ‘Clique’
‘Carry On’ legend Jim Dale, 79, has lifted the lid on the tensions between the cast of the classic British comedy series and revealed how they snubbed him when he was on ‘This Is Your life’.
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In a fascinating interview with The Telegraph, Dale, who starred in nine ‘Carry On’ films beginning with ‘Carry On Cabby’ in 1963, said that the cast was a backstabbing clique who also resented him for his theatre work.
He said: “I knew I was entering a clique. When we sat around talking that’s when you relaxed with them. We would rehearse in each other’s dressing room quite a bit, so that’s where we got intimate.
“But I wasn’t deep friends with any of them because I had to go home to see the kids rather than go out on the booze. I had no idea about the relationship that Sid [James] had with Barbara [Windsor].
“Kenneth Williams was probably one of my better friends although he was a real sod at times. He’d say, ‘Peter Butterworth hates your guts, you know that, don’t you?’ So for days I didn’t talk to Peter Butterworth and he didn’t talk to me, and then one day I said, ‘Pete, did Kenneth Williams say anything to you?’ ‘Yes, he told me you hate my guts.’ The bastard! You accept that as part of Ken.”
Dale said that he’d heard that the cast resented his departure from the series in 1970 to work with Laurence Olivier at the Old Vic and that this was why none of the ‘Carry On’ stars were present when he was on ‘This Is Your Life’ in 1973. The show’s audience had to be filled out with people he’d barely met.
“I’ve heard rumours that the ‘Carry On’ films weren’t good enough for Jim,” he said. “The truth was that you can’t work at the National Theatre and expect to have Wednesday matinees off to do the film. The theatre always has been my one love. Not a hard decision.”
We doubt Dale is too bothered. He’s still performing his hit show ‘Just Jim Dale’ on the West End, after a successful run off Broadway.
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Image credit: Rex Features