Once, twice, thrice, four times a Matron of course, but to write off La Jacques as a comically predatory medical chubbster is to miss a whole lot of good stuff outside the realm of the over-starched tabard. The glamorous Hat was in evidence in The Pickwick Papers. The down-at-heel Hat is evinced as Dolly the fortune teller in Hancock’s The Punch and Judy Man. The Latin Hat gesticulates wildly at Peter Butterworth throughout Carry on Abroad. And best of all, there’s the sweetly innocent Hat Eric Sykes would take as his sister on telly, trotted out in the cinema a few times too. A Hat for every occasion, in fact.
FINEST HOUR: Giving the most complex performance ever seen in a Carry On (more of an achievement than it sounds, honest) as the conscience-wracked wife of Sid James’ taxi boss in Carry On Cabby, having pangs of remorse over her secret life as Miss Glam (Sexy Hat – there’s another one!)