The Interviews, TV review: Delving into the darker side of Carry On king Kenneth Williams

Each episode of the Gold show is a biography of a British comedy great told through chat show clips and TV appearances

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The Independent Culture

Gold might be known for showing reruns of Only Fools and Horses, but it does occasionally commission its own stuff. The Interviews proved to be a gentle, old-fashioned show, enjoyable thanks to its subject, but one that may not attract much of an audience beyond the channel's devotees.

Each episode is a biography of a British comedy great told through chat show clips and TV appearances, narrated by Gold favourite, Dawn French. This first instalment, charting Carry On king Kenneth Williams' life, served as both a reminder of his genius and a delve into the darker side of the man known for the perfectly delivered double-entendre. Like Gold's schedule and Williams' 'ooh matron' catchphrase, the style was from another era, made up of clips featuring the big names: Wogan, Aspel and Parky.

The cosy chatshow format of yesteryear allowed for extreme frankness. "I'm protecting a deep-rooted inferiority complex," Williams once said of his exaggerated plummy tones that both belied his working-class upbringing and revealed the coping mechanisms of a boy and man who was always an outsider.

Despite his comedic "shield", he told interviewers about periods of suicidal depression and struggling with his sexuality. The programme ended, fittingly, with Williams in full flow in the guise of folk singer character Rambling Syd Rumpo, warbling The Ballad of The Woggler's Mooly, eyes and face ludicrously expressive – how he'd prefer to be remembered, I'm sure.

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