Why Nicholas Parsons was only asked to appear in one Carry On film

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Chatting to Richard Herring’s podcast, Nicholas Parsons talks about the time he wasn’t asked back to the Carry On series of movies.

Chums, here’s a bit of niche digital content for you. One of the finest podcasts I’ve been listening to over the years is Richard Herring’s excellent Leicester Square Theatre Podcast. It’s a simple, winning format. Herring invites a guest, does proper research so he doesn’t end up asking people the same stuff they’re always asked, and then has a conversation with them. It’ll never catch on.

I’ve just caught up with one such episode, where he chats to actor/quiz show host/comedian/assorted other things Nicholas Parsons. And Parsons talks about his acting career in the excellent interview, including the time when he was cast in a Carry On film.

The Carry On movies, of course, were fuelled by a regular returning group of people, in front of and behind the camera. So why did Parsons only appear in one of the films? How come, after his role in Carry On Regardless, was he not invited back?

Well, there’s a story to that.

“When I did the Carry On film, they worked to a very tight schedule, which was how they could get those wonderful people for modest prices”.

“I did a scene there, a very long scene. The director, a lovely man, said how was that for you? And I said that I thought the run through went much better. He said do you want to do it again? I said I’d be delighted to do it again if you want”.

Thus, they did the scene again. “Then he phones up my agent and says he’s difficult, we’re not going to have him again!”

Parsons contrasts that with working on an American film, where the emphasis was on doing scenes until they were right.

It’s a terrific interview, and you can find the full podcast right here: https://www.comedy.co.uk/podcasts/richard_herring_lst_podcast/rhlstp_218_nicholas_parsons/


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