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Carry on Christmas (or Carry On Stuffing) (ITV 1972, Hattie Jacques, Joan Sims)

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The third of the four Carry On Christmas TV specials, this suffers from the absence of Sid James (as does any Carry On that doesn’t feature him and writer Talbot Rothwell became ill whilst working on the script, and was unable to finish it. Dave Freeman had to be brought in to complete the script, but the two men did not work together. As a result, the script does not flow as easily as the earlier offerings.

Secondly, Charles Hawtrey pulled out of the special at short notice. Having taken third billing to Sid James and Terry Scott in the previous two shows, and knowing they would both be absent, Hawtrey demanded top billing. But Carry On producer Peter Rogers refused, giving top billing to Hattie Jacques instead. Hawtrey’s role had hastily to be recast, and was split between Norman Rossington and Brian Oulton, both of whom had played cameo roles in several Carry On films. The special featured a collection of historical sketches, loosely linked around an 18th-century banquet.

production details
UK | ITV – Thames | 1×50 minutes | Broadcast 20 December 1972

Writers: Talbot Rothwell, Dave Freeman
Executive Producer: Peter Rogers
Producer: Gerald Thomas
Director: Ronald Fouracre

cast
Hattie Jacques
Joan Sims
Barbara Windsor
Peter Butterworth
Kenneth Connor
Norman Rossington
Jack Douglas
Brian Oulton
Valerie Leon
Billy Cornelius
Valerie Stanton

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