|Based on||Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick|
by Terry Johnson
|Written by||Terry Johnson|
|Directed by||Terry Johnson|
|Theme music composer||Barrington Pheloung|
|Original release||24 April 2000|
Cor, Blimey! starts with the arrival of Sid James's new wardrobe assistant at the set of Carry On Cleo at Pinewood Studios. The audience is introduced to Sid James, portrayed as a gambling womaniser, and Kenneth Williams (played by Adam Godley). The two men are depicted as bitter rivals with a genuine antipathy for each other.
Barbara Windsor is at Pinewood Studios to dub one of her scenes in Carry On Spying. Sid James meets her and immediately falls for her, although it is seen by everyone else, including Barbara, as just infatuation, not real love.
Sid continues to pursue Barbara, and keep an eye on her during the infamous flying bikini top scene in Carry On Camping. Sid becomes obsessed with her while on location for Carry On Girls. During the shoot Barbara decides to let Sid have one night of passion with her, which Sid accepts. Barbara suggested it believing that once he had slept with her Sid would lose interest in her. However, the two end up having a long term affair.
By 1976 the affair is over and a few months later, Sid dies at the age of 62, following a heart attack on stage on the opening night of The Mating Season at the Sunderland Empire Theatre.
The drama ends with Kenneth Williams reassuring Barbara Windsor that Sid's death was not her fault and Barbara attempting to encourage Kenneth to enjoy life more. For the final scene only Windsor replaces Spiro to play herself.
Geoffrey Hutchings found it difficult to play Sid James because there was little archive material of James as himself. The actor used James' distinctive "guttural laugh" as a "way in" to the character.Samantha Spiro "felt a sense of responsibility" playing Barbara Windsor, who appears as herself in the final scene.
The drama is a fictionalised account of the affair which happened between Windsor and James. Fellow Carry On actors Bernard Bresslaw, Kenneth Connor, Charles Hawtrey and Joan Sims are seen as minor characters.
The action covers the period from 1964 until Sid James' death on stage in 1976. However, events are not necessarily depicted in chronological order and a few liberties are taken with continuity. For example:
Mark Lawson, writing for The Guardian, complimented Johnson's adaptation. He writes, "bringing the Carry On movies to television via the stage is his most complicated mixed-media installation yet, but it succeeds triumphantly ... Johnson understands how differently material needs to be shaped for theatre's rectangle of open air and television's oblong of glass." He praises the "depth and intelligence of Johnson's script." Lawson also praises Hutchings, Spiro and Godley's portrayals of James, Windsor and Williams respectively.