Casting is going to be key to the success of the new Carry On films says Jonathan Sothcott, the man tasked with the delicate job of bringing a British institution back to our screens.
And while he won’t be attempting to sign up any Hollywood megastars, he is looking to bring in some faces that will be familiar to UK audiences.
“What I want to do is get the mixture of well-loved faces from television and film that they had in the originals,” the producer tells RadioTimes.com. “Popular television actors, popular film actors – I don’t think we need big, big movie stars because the franchise is the star.”
So who might be on Sothcott’s wish list? Well he’s pleased to have signed up writing duo Susan Nickson and Tim Dawson to pen the scripts for the first two instalments, Carry On Doctors and Carry On Campus. They are best known for BBC3’s long-running bawdy comedy Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, which could provide something of a blueprint for the modern day Carry On films.
And Two Pints, which first aired in 2001, starred a then relatively unknown Sheridan Smith, now a Bafta-winning actress with a string of acclaimed dramatic roles under her belt.
Sothcott, who has worked with Smith in the past, is remaining tight-lipped about whether he’s considering her for a part, but admits he is a huge fan.
“All I can tell you is I think Sheridan’s one of the best actresses in the country,” he tells RadioTimes.com.
“Sheridan’s brilliant, I’ve done a picture with her, I adore Sheridan, I think she’s amazing.”
Whether or not she’s yet been approached about the prospect, Smith certainly fits the bill. A popular and well-known face, and a versatile actor with a knack for comedy, she’s surely just the kind of star who could help give the Carry On films a new lease of life.