Bank Holiday slap and tickle: What a Carry On!

"Hi doctor. I came to you a while back to say I was getting married but that my partner was unable to produce children," says the rather large-chested woman."Oh yes, he was very old wasn't he?

"HI doctor. I came to you a while back to say I was getting married but that my partner was unable to produce children," says the rather large-chested woman.

"Oh yes, he was very old wasn't he?"

"Yes, 88. Anyway, you suggested I get in another lodger to help out. You know, someone closer to my age."

"Off the record of course," replied the doctor.

"Well it worked, and now I'm pregnant."

"How are you feeling?"

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"I'm delighted."

"And, uh, how is the lodger."

"Well that's the thing...she's pregnant too."

For once, my Bank Holiday weekend was spent away from the hustle and bustle of the motorways and overcrowded beaches and in front of the good old TV.

In particular, it was spent in the company of Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Joan Sims, Charles Hawtrey, Barbara Windsor, Bernard Bresslaw (who looks like my dad), Hattie Jacques and the stunning Valerie Leon - and what a Carry On it was!

There's nothing quite as British as seaside humour, a bit of flesh and a cackling laugh from a dirty old man.

The Carry On films divide opinion, as most film franchises do, and they did scrape the barrel towards the end of their run, but boy were there some seriously funny jokes and some great set pieces in their heyday.

Windsor's busted bra, the "infamy" gag, Sid James' "follow that taxi" joke, the bikini fight in Carry On Girls, "frying tonight"...the list is endless.

Many aren't original, of course, but that matters little when they are delivered with such precision.

For a young lad growing up, the Carry On films were a perfect blend of innuendo and humour to while away a boring and rainy Saturday or Sunday afternoon after a good dose of Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Brown in the mornings.

Scantily clad and big busted women were the subject of most of the jokes, of course, and there was plenty of cleavages and thigh on show, but despite critics castigating the series for its chauvinistic tendencies, the reality is that in most of the films the women were every bit as promiscuous as the males and the men only ever got their way if the women wanted them to.

For example, Hattie Jacques rarely had the wool pulled over her eyes, Sid James' characters barely got the better of Joan Sims and as for the curvaceous Barbara Windsor, well she was able to pick whichever suitor she had her eyes on.

As actors aged and died off - legend has it Charles Hatrey's last action was to throw a vase at one of his nurses when she had the cheek to ask for an autograph - and the jokes began to repeat themselves, the films lost their edge.

There was of course the ill-fated Julian Clary/Jim Dale horrible film Carry On Columbus in 1992, and there were rumours earlier in the noughties that a Carry On London was in production until series producer Peter Rogers died earlier this year.

However, nothing will beat the riotous slapstick of the 60s and 70s were established stars put their careers on the line for a bit of slap and tickle comedy.

Behind the James Bond collection, the films are the second most successful film franchise this country has ever produced and for this fan have been for far too long overlooked.

So here's to raising a pint glass in celebration, after all it's matron's round...