Comedy Legends. Sid James. Copyright: 3DD
Sid James: Comedy Icon

Sid James: Comedy Icon

  • TV documentary
  • Channel 5
  • 2022
  • 1 episode

A feature-length documentary looking at stage, screen and radio star Sidney James. Features James King, Robert Ross, Trix Worrell, Reina James, Valerie Leon and more.

Carry On Dick. Richard 'Big Dick' Turpin / Reverend Flasher (Sid James). Copyright: Peter Rogers Productions

Key details

Channel 5
James King, Robert Ross, Trix Worrell, Reina James, Valerie Leon, Anita Harris, Barbara Thomas, Matthew Sweet and more
Simon Harries, Steve McConville, Caroline Short, James Baudouy, Andrew Fenner and Aimee Silverman

Sid James had one of the most recognisable faces in Britain, with a laugh that was legendary. Nearly 50 years on from his death, his family, friends, co-stars and fans gather to celebrate the career of Britain's most loveable rogue. Sid is best known for his role as the champion of the Carry On films, but he appeared in more than 100 films and dozens of TV shows, across a professional career spanning three decades. His life was as colourful off screen as it was on.

Sid was born in South Africa in 1913 as Solomon Joel Cohen. He toured the world as a child with his parents, who performed in vaudeville, joining them on stage from a very young age. After an amateur dramatics career in Johannesburg and a spell in the South African army entertainment unit, Sid assumed his new name and flew to the UK in search of an acting career.

From his early days as a heavy in 1940s and 1950s crime thrillers, Sid became one of the hardest working actors in British movies. He was soon cast as a cheeky cockney spiv opposite Tony Hancock on radio and TV, and by the 1960s he was probably most famous as a the weather-beaten lothario of the Carry On series. Sid's work ethic contributed to two heart attacks, with the second claiming his life in 1976, while he was performing on stage at the Sunderland Empire.

This programme includes archive film unseen in Britain for 50 years, and emotional interviews with those who knew Sid best.


Additional details

Also known as
  • The Unforgettable Sid James (Working title)

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Saturday 3rd September 2022 at 8pm on Channel 5
Episode length
90 minutes
All previous repeats
  • Sunday 14th January 2024 at 11:55pm on C5
  • Saturday 24th June 2023 at 7:30pm on C5

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