On Up The Jungle Trivia
- The working title for the film was Carry On Tarzan, but
copyright problems put a stop to that.
- Professor Tinkle, eventually played my Frankie Howerd
was offered to Kenneth Williams, but due to the writing schedule for The
Kenneth Williams Show, he declined. Peter Rogers keen to have Kenneth
in the film offered him the part of King Tonka, played eventually by Charles
Hawtrey. Kenneth was disgusted that the part wasn't on screen until
almost the end and refused.
- Jim Dale was the original person in mind for the
character of Jungle Boy, but Jim had become a respected comedian and actor
and thought the grunting and groaning was beneath him, so he refused.
Terry Scott filled the part.
- Terry Scott was rehearsing for the part where Jane
lifts him up. When she did this the crew and technicians were laughing
loudly, which puzzled him as the lines weren't that funny. Only when
he finished the scene did he realise that the loin cloth wasn't covering all
- Although it was plainly obvious to everybody
involved, producer Peter Rogers was keen to avoid any connection with his
jungle-based film and the classic literal creation of Edgar Rice Burroughs,
Tarzan. Originally he had investigated the legal rights to the name in the
hope of calling his film Carry On Tarzan, however, this proved impossible.
The alternative, Carry On Jungle Boy, was settled upon, with Talbot Rothwell
being commissioned to write a script under that title in March 1969. Even
so, the Jungle Boy connection, with the character swinging from tree to tree
and sporting a knife in his belt, was pretty close to the Tarzan image. In
the end, although the film went before the cameras as Carry On Jungle Boy,
the decision was made to change the title to Carry On Up The Jungle during
- The casting of the role of Jungle Boy had also caused
several problems. Jim Dale who, by this stage in the series, had notched up
ten appearances over just seven years, had been offered the role. For the
actor, who had enjoyed romantic leads in Carry On Cowboy and the medical
films, the very physical, monosyllabic role of the Jungle Boy proved
risible. In the end Jim informed director Gerald Thomas and producer Peter
Rogers that he didn’t feel the role was quite good enough and declined the
part. Terry Scott stepped into the vacant loin-cloth and Jim Dale didn’t
make another Carry On until 1992.
- Casting decisions also hovered over the central role
of flamboyant ornithologist Professor Inigo Tinkle. Having sought Frankie
Howerd for roles in Carry On…Up The Khyber and Carry On Again Doctor, his
availability for the jungle film hung in the balance. Bizarrely, Peter
Rogers was suddenly struck with nerves over Frankie’s individual comic style
and the threat that he would play outside of the established team format.
Frankie’s agent, Beryl Vertue, passed on a hand-written note from Frankie to
Peter dated 30th September 1969: “this is to reassure you that no such thing
will happen. Believe me, I know well your attitudes to work, time schedules
and shooting – thus, once I am agreed to be an employee of yours I would
naturally expect to abide by all the rules. So now, stop worrying and put a
bottle of champagne on ice!”
- The champagne was duly chilled and Frankie’s
performance was a triumph. On 21st November 1969, the day after his last day
on call, Frankie wrote to Peter Rogers again: “to thank you for a very happy
film, in fact, the happiest I have ever done.” Frankie went on to note that
“since the last time I worked for you was in October 1967, exactly two years
ago, perhaps I may look forward to a similar please in October 1971.
Unfortunately, a victim of his own television success, Frankie was tied up
with star film vehicles when Carry On Matron went into production at
- However, Frankie did work for the Peter Rogers
franchise one final time not two years on but less than two weeks later when
he grabbed the ‘guest star’ roles of poet Robert Browning and Cinderella’s
Fairy Godmother in the television special Carry On Christmas. Frankie joined
jungle stars Sid James, Charles Hawtrey, Terry Scott, Kenneth Connor and
Bernard Bresslaw for rehearsals at Teddington Yacht Club on 1st December
1969. Hattie Jacques and Peter Butterworth were also recruited for the small
screen classic, alongside Barbara Windsor who, with Carry On Up The Jungle
publicity in action, had just previously donned a natty safari suit and
posed for photos with Sid James and Bernard Bresslaw in character on the
- Lady Bagley rips the pants off the jungle boy in her tent. If you watch
closely, you will see that it has been fastened with a fairly new looking
safety pin, not one that should be old and rusty after twenty years of use.