Refused entry to RADA, Essex girl Joan made a career out of character parts which celebrated the unvarnished, free-of-airs-and-graces side of life. Her characters were called things like Ethel, Edna, Beryl and Vi, and were often instrumental in dragging the more high-faluting cast members solidly down to Earth. Hence she was possibly the most sympathetic of the Carry On regulars.
FINEST HOUR: As if to perfectly demonstrate the ‘thwarted airs’ theory, Lady Ruff-Diamond in Carry On Up the Khyber. ‘I say! He didn’t ‘alf crack that one orf, didn’t he?’