Posted by celticman on Thu, 20 Jan 2011
BBC 4 seems to rely on dramatising relatively well known figures and of course there was no bigger figure than Hattie Jacques of Carry On fame. I’d read somewhere that she had shared a house with her husband John Le Mesurier and her lover and driver John Schofield. But I would never have remembered the latter’s name. I have enough trouble remembering my own. Ruth Jones as Hattie, of course, dominated the screen. Both John’s proclaimed their love for her. Le Mesurier in that understated upper class way and Schofield in ways that are best not thought about. Thankfully in the land of the fat and free some clothing was maintained; a kind of black Basque number. I tended to look away and whistle loudly. The most interesting part was the juxtaposition of a dramatised version of This is Your Life and the 1963 version with Eammon Andrews wielding the red book in black and white television land. The real Mattie just chuckled and shook hands with everybody that was wheeled on, including Max Bygraves and a monkey, both had more to say than Mattie, but I wasn’t sure which was which. Le Mesurier’s lines about the importance of home and family were taken straight from that programme and injected into the BBC 4 script and given a sardonic twist with Schofield in the audience and mocking Le Mesurier at the end of the show. In This is Your Life land they all lived happily ever after.