The time Carry On At Your Convenience nearly sparked revolution

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Prime Minister Edward Heath slumped down in his chair and poured himself a whisky.

Through the Number 10 window came the deafening chants of the mob that police estimates put at over 100,000.

“Bog off Heath, bog off Heath.”

It was a chant that the Prime Minister knew could spell the end of his premiership, and even the end of British democracy…and all because of the latest Carry On film.

Carry On At Your Convenience had debuted in British cinemas in December the previous year and it’s firebrand radicalism had struck a nerve.

“Previous Carry On films had been knockabout slapstick comedies about men’s trousers falling down,” said Mr Heath in a 1980 Wogan interview.

“In fact, I personally really rather enjoyed the episode in which the young woman’s bikini top came flying off. Tremendous larks.”

However, the controversial At Your Convenience was very a very different beast – a brutal satire of the modern British workplace that depicted the owners, management and trade union leaders as lazy and entitled and the British working class demanded change.

The first rumblings of discontent began in Birmingham where work at three separate bathroom ceramic factories was brought to a halt as workers went on strike demanding better conditions. They held aloft banners of Sid James and Joan Simms from the film,

The protests, which became known as the At Your Convenience protests, quickly spread across bathroom factories in the great industrial towns of the north of England.

“I knew there was trouble when it was announced Britain had gone a whole week without making a single toilet,” continued Mr Heath.

Britain went on to suffer its worse toilet shortage of the modern age.

“It was a disaster for both sanitation and comedy.

“We sent in the police to break up the protests but that made matters worse. When Carry on Marching happened, I thought we were finished.”

Carry on Marching was the huge Carry On At Your Convenience inspired march through London to Downing Street in the summer of 1972.

The mood threatened to turn ugly as the mob bayed for the Prime Minister.

However, a lucky coincidence saved Mr Heath’s Government and, perhaps, saved Britain as we know it.

“Well, the march had been planned on the very day that the follow up Carry On film was released.

“Word quickly spread that Carry On Matron was playing just a short walk away in Leicester Square and the protest began to dissipate as people made their way over to the West End.”

Ultimately the mood changed as more and more of the protesters came out of the cinemas cheered by the hilarious antics of Sid, Ken, Hattie and the gang.

The At Your Convenience protests fizzled out and life returned to normal, but for a brief period Britain was threatened by a Carry On film, and then saved by a Carry On film.