Carry on Laughing was a TV series produced in 1975 for ATV, based on the Carry On films. By this time the audience for the films themselves was beginning to decline. It was hoped that by transferring the franchise to the small screen that it might do something to lift the declining audience problem. Some of the original cast members were featured in the series.
The show ran for two seasons, the first running for six half-hour episodes and the second for seven episodes. The episode Orgy and Bess featured the final Carry On performances of both Sid James and Hattie Jaques.
The series was conceived after the departure of two long-serving Carry On contributors: writer Talbot Rothwell and actor Charles Hawtry. Furthermore, Kenneth Williams declined to appear in the series. Other Carry On regulars only appeared in a minority of episodes: Sid James in only the first four; Hattie Jacques in only one; and Bernard Bresslaw appeared only in the second series.
As regular writer Talbot Rothwell had left the franchise, other writers were brought in. These included Lew Schwarz and experienced Carry On writer Dave Freeman each wrote six episodes, while Barry Cryer and Dick Vosburgh penned Orgy and Bess.
Each episode parodied a famous TV series, film or book. Three episodes parody a character based on Lord Peter Wimsey – Lord Peter Flimsy. Another two episodes parodied Upstairs Downstairs with the character of Hudson the Butler parodied as Clodson.
The series provided an opportunity for David Lodge – little more than a bit-part player in some of the later Carry On films – to play leading characters.
Written By: Lew Schwarz , Dave Freeman, Barry Cryer and Dick Vosburgh
Executive Producer: Peter Rogers
Producer: Gerald Thomas
Original Transmission Dates: 4th January 1975 – 7th December 1975