Confessions of a film and TV star at Elstree Studios
PUBLISHED: 13:41 24 November 2016 | UPDATED: 13:41 24 November 2016
credit Misty Moon Film Society photographer John Gaffen.
A star of the 1970s Confessions films, Carry On and ITV hit comedy Benidorm returned to Elstree for one night at the Studios where he became a big screen star 40 years ago.
Robin Askwith brought his one-man show to the Hertsmere Borough Council-owned Elstree Studios for a special evening earlier this month.
All four Confessions films were made at Elstree in the 1970s, and in his show Robin Askwith Bares All at Elstree Studios…and Not for the First Time!!!, the actor talked candidly and with great humour about working on the series.
Roger Morris, the managing director of Elstree Studios, said: “We were delighted to welcome Robin Askwith back to Elstree Studios after all these years.
The Confessions series filmed at Elstree
• Confessions of a Window Cleaner
• Confessions of a Pop Performer
• Confessions of a Driving Instructor
• Confessions from a Holiday Camp
“Elstree has been making film and television now for nine decades.
“It was enlightening to hear first-hand all the behind the scenes stories about Robin’s time here 40 years ago.”
Speaking about his return to studios in Borehamwood, Robin Askwith said: “Elstree Studios was my home for nearly six years.
“I offered Harrison Ford – then unknown – career advice!
“I lunched with Gregory Peck and discussed Clint Eastwood.
“I sneaked on the set of Star Wars and watched robots fall apart and wondered if Darth Vader should really have a Bristolian accent.”
About Elstree Studios
• Elstree Studios is regarded as the number one film and television studio in London and the East of England.
• Major television shows produced at the Hertsmere Borough Council owned studios include Big Brother for Channel 5 and Strictly Come Dancing for BBC.
• Feature films shot at Elstree in Borehamwood include as The Danish Girl starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander, Paddington starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Bonneville, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows starring Jude Law and Robert Downey Jnr, The World’s End featuring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, World War Z starring Brad Pitt, and the multi-award-winning The King’s Speech starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter.
• Internationally famous acts such as Robbie Williams, Kylie, Rihanna, Coldplay, Take That and One Direction have used the huge George Lucas Stage for tour rehearsals.
• For more information, visit www.elstreestudios.co.uk
In the Confessions adult comedies – often seen as rivals to the Carry On films – Robin Askwith starred alongside a host of famous British actors including John Le Mesurier, Anthony Booth, Bill Maynard, Irene Handl, Lynda Bellingham and Windsor Davies.
The first film of the series, Confessions of a Window Cleaner, became the highest grossing film in the UK in 1974.
As well as the Confessions films, Robin Askwith’s career has encompassed both writing and stage work as well as numerous film and television roles.
He made an early screen appearance in Lindsay Anderson’s’ If…. in 1968, several big sitcoms of the 70s, including Father Dear Father and Bless This House, Leslie Thomas’ wartime comedy film Stand Up Virgin Soldiers, as well as soap appearances more recently in EastEnders, Coronation Street, Hollyoaks, Emmerdale, Casualty and ITV’s biggest hit sitcom of recent years, Benidorm.
Elstree chairman Morris Bright said: “Robin Askwith is a great entertainer.
“Ninety minutes of stories from the Studios back in the 1970s just whizzed by.
“It was great to hear first-hand how the film industry was run back then and how it has changed over the decades from someone at the centre of it all.”
The evening, held in association with the Misty Moon Film Society, is one of a series of events celebrating the rich and varied past of Elstree Studios, which is currently celebrating its 90th anniversary.
• For more about Elstree Studiosm, visit www.elstreestudios.co.uk