In the photograph above you can see my four Doulton character jugs that Peter Rogers has just signed. He loves dogs, and there are several photos of his favourite alsatians around his office, as you can see in the photograph below. His gorgeous alsatian, Heidi, was with him when I visited, and I took this photograph of her.
In 1973, Carry On London ran for 18 months on stage at the Victoria Palace, London, and a Carry On London film is now in the pre-production stage.
Peter Rogers was born in Rochester, Kent, in 1914. After he left the Kings School in Rochester, he went into journalism with the Kentish Express and, later, as a Fleet Street journalist on Picture Post. During the war, he became a scriptwriter, not only for BBC radio, but also for films with the J Arthur Rank Organisation.
During the war, he became a scriptwriter, not only for BBC radio, but also for films.with the J Arthur Rank Organisation. In 1949, Rogers married Betty E Box, a very prolific British producer of the post-war years, with 45 films to her name including the 'Doctor...' films. Rogers and Box were both based at Pinewood in the late 1940s, and co-produced films like Marry Me (1949) and Apointment With Venus (1951).
Peter Rogers then went on to produce films for children - The Dog and the Diamonds (1953) winning a Venice Film Festival award. He also wrote, and produced, a highly successful thriller Time Lock (1957), but it was the following year that his career took him down a path that he has remained on ever since.
Rogers was looking to produce a comedy about army life when Norman Hudis came up with just the script, and Carry On Sergeant (1958) was created. This film was the first in the long line of over 30 Carry On films for which Peter Rogers and director Gerald Thomas were responsible. With Gerald Thomas's death in 1993 after the unsuccessful Carry On Columbus (1992), there have been no more.
As a producer, Peter Rogers had a formidable reputation, and could be quite ruthless. He famously dropped Charles Hawtrey from Carry On Cruising after the actor demanded more money and to have a star on his dressing room door. "There was no question that Hawtrey was going to hold me to ransom," said Rogers.
On another occasion, Rogers was outraged when Bernard Bresslaw admitted that he couldn't ride a motorbike for a sequence in Carry On at Your Convenience. He also had liitle hesitation in turning his back on actors who complained. After Liz Fraser suggested that the 'Carry On' films could be marketed better, Rogers never used her again.
Rogers also had the reputation of being very 'tight fisted'. He is quoted as saying, "I'll do anything for my actors, except pay them." When Rogers met Frankie Howerd for the first time he had hurt his leg. Howerd asked him if he had tripped over his wallet!
After Betty Box's death in 1999, Peter Rogers
This information comes from Mr Carry On: The Life and Work of Peter Rogers by Morris Bright and Robert Ross - a fascinating book which gives a real insight into the making of a Carry On film, and Peter Rogers' relationship with those involved.
It was a great privilege to meet this important man, who made me feel very welcome. Thank you, Mr Rogers.
In recent years, much of Peter Rogers' time was spent writing, and in 2001 his novel Forbidden (concerning the theme of incestual relationships) was published.
In September 2005, I dressed very smartly to travel to Pinewood Studios to meet the legendary 'Mr Carry On', Peter Rogers. I took four Royal Doulton jugs, each one of a 'Carry On' character, for him to sign. He also signed my 'Carry On' book and my 'Carry On' poster.
Bernard Cribbins once screamed and made a fuss when he was hit by a stray plastic bullet in Carry On Spying but Rogers' reaction was that "we couldn't tolerate that sort of behaviour on set - it shows lack of control." Cribbins was in no more 'Carry On' films after that..
Gerald Thomas & Peter Rogers
Gerald Thomas, Norman Hudis & Peter Rogers
Betty E Box
Bernard Cribbins in
Carry On Jack
Pinewood Studios) of Carry On England
Peter Rogers visits the set (in the gardens at
Peter Rogers signed my 'Carry On' book
Peter Rogers' signature on my Hattie Jacques character jug
Peter Rogers (1914-2009)
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continued to go
to his office each day at Pinewood, accompanied by his faithful alsatian dog, Heidi. Sadly, Heidi has recently died.
Peter Rogers died on 14th April 2009.
Peter Roger's Biography