Thursday, 23 June 2016

Carry On Blogging Interview: Jacki Piper


In the latest of my interviews here on Carry On Blogging, I caught up with the lovely Jacki Piper to find out more about her career, how she got involved with the Carry On series and what working with the likes of Bernard Bresslaw, Julian Holloway and Imogen Hassall was really like...

From reading about your career, I know you started off working in rep. How important a training ground do you think that was for you and do you wish it was still around today?

Yes I spent 4 years working in Rep which gave me a terrific training in theatre 
You were playing different parts each week and had to learn scripts very quickly 
This was great when it came to the Carry On Films as every shot was done in one take. Also with TV series today it's very quick with just one rehearsal and then the take. I certainly wish it was around for the young actors today

How did you come to be cast in your first Carry On, Carry On Up The Jungle, in 1969?

Peter Rogers and Gerry Thomas needed some one to replace Angela Douglas as she wanted to take a break from the Carry on Films. I was just opening in the play The Secretary Bird at The Savoy Theatre in the West End with John Gregson who had just taken over from Kenneth More who was married to Angela Douglas! I think Peter saw me in the play and I went to audition for the part of June in Carry on up the Jungle.


Of the four Carry On films you appeared in, which did you enjoy making the most?

I think I did enjoy that film the most.

I started my blog as a tribute to my favourite actress, the late great Joan Sims. What are you memories of working with Joan?

I loved Joan. So talented and so funny. She made me laugh so much my makeup melted!!

You were part of a group of younger actors brought into the Carry Ons in the late 1960s and early 1970s which included the likes of Julian Holloway and Imogen Hassall. Do you have fond memories of working with these actors?

I certainly have great memories of Julian Holloway. He was very amusing and great fun to work with. Imogen was very sweet but seemed very vulnerable. I liked her very much.


One of the most underrated Carry On actors for me was Bernard Bresslaw. You starred opposite Bernard in all four of your Carry Ons. What was he like to be around on set?

Bernie was quietly spoken and thoughtful and seemed quite studious. I know he learned an African language for the part he played in Up the Jungle.

I love the Brighton sequences in Carry On At Your Convenience. What are your memories of filming those?

It was hilarious. We all behaved like children. Shrieking with laughter and going on the Helter Skelter and the Dodgems. It must have been dreadful trying to keep us all in order!!

I really enjoyed your partnership with Richard O'Callaghan in both Carry On Loving and At Your Convenience. What are your memories of working with Richard?

Richard was a joy to work with. We just clicked and we were both doing plays in the West End at the same time as doing the films. I used to get a lift with Richard after filming back into the West End to do our plays.

You have enjoyed a very diverse, varied career on stage over the years. Of all the roles you have played in the theatre which has been your favourite?

I think I most enjoyed playing the part of Maggie in Hobsons Choice. We did a national tour with this play for months. Bill Maynard played my father. It's a beautifully written play and the part of Maggie is wonderful to play.

One of my favourite comedy actors is Leonard Rossiter. You worked with him in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. What was he like to work with?

Leonard Rossiter was a perfectionist. He worked incredibly hard on perfecting his performance. I was in awe of him really.

It was great to meet you at the London Film Convention a few weeks ago. Do you have plans to attend any more events like this?

Yes I'm sure I will attend another one sometime. I don't do that many which is good as people will get fed up of seeing me there if I go too often!!

Do you have any plans for an autobiography in the future?

Yes I have been asked to write my autobiography. I have had so many funny things happen to me I should write it down!! It's being disciplined enough to sit down and do it !!!


Many thanks once again to Jacki for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciated. Thanks also to Simon for helping to make this happen!

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also on Facebook


  1. How can Jacki be contacted for a autograph, I have tried so much but no luck

    1. Hi Trevor, you could try her agent at - I was in email contact with Simon Hayes who was extremely helpful.