Happy 88th birthday Jim Dale! Here’s what he said about working on the Carry Ons and who he befriended from the series

Richard Bevan
Richard Bevan
4 Min Read

Jim Dale – the legend of British cinema, stage, and song – has blown out 88 candles on his birthday cake! And, in true British tabloid style, let’s spill the tea on his years with the ‘Carry On’ films.

Jim Dale has recalled the glory days when he was a mainstay in eleven of the 31 films of the iconic ‘Carry On’ series. In a recent interview with The Oldie magazine, Dale reminisced about the joy of sharing the screen with legends like Sid James and Dame Barbara Windsor. He fondly remembers how the series wasn’t just about one-upmanship. “You knew that at some point during a ‘Carry On’ film, the camera would be on you alone,” he said, emphasising the team spirit of the cast.

Jim Dale is celebrating his 88th birthday today

While many might assume that working on so many films together would make the entire cast bosom buddies, Dale revealed a juicy titbit. The only Carry On colleague he got chummy with was the fabulous Kenneth Williams. Kenneth would occasionally drop by at Jim’s house, much to the delight of his family. “The only person I really became friendly with was Kenneth, who came round my house occasionally,” says Jim.

But it wasn’t all a bed of roses. Dale divulged a fiery exchange between Kenneth Williams and a producer. Kenneth, ever the diva, had proclaimed, “You can treat us like royalty and pay us nothing, we don’t mind. But you can’t pay us no money and treat us like s***!” Oh, the drama!

For the younger readers scratching their heads, Jim Dale isn’t just the Carry On guy. Before his stint in the series, Dale was a heartthrob of the 1950s, sending the hearts of girls aflutter as a pop sensation. “I’d go on stage and there would be all these screaming girls in the audience, and I’d think, ‘Where were you a year ago when I was a comic?’,” he recalled.

Jim Dale in Carry On Screaming

Jim’s career is nothing short of illustrious. From working with George Martin, the maestro behind The Beatles, to shining in the Disney film ‘Pete’s Dragon’, Dale has seen and done it all. He even earned a BAFTA nomination for his portrayal of a young Spike Milligan in the film ‘Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall’. And who can forget the catchy “Georgy Girl”, a song he co-wrote, which earned him Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations?

Jim’s ‘Carry On’ saga includes roles in the following films:

  1. Carry On Cabby (1963)
  2. Carry On Jack (1964)
  3. Carry On Spying (1964)
  4. Carry On Cleo (1964)
  5. Carry On Cowboy (1965)
  6. Carry On Screaming! (1966)
  7. Don’t Lose Your Head (1966)
  8. Follow That Camel (1967)
  9. Carry On Doctor (1967)
  10. Carry On Again Doctor (1969)
  11. Carry On Columbus (1992).

As Dale celebrates his 88th year on this Earth, it’s evident that his impact on British cinema, theatre, and music is immeasurable. His legacy, filled with laughter, song, and a sprinkle of Carry On mischief, will carry on for generations. Happy 88th, Jim!

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