Carole Allen: ‘A Shepherd’s Bush Girl on Her Way Up’

The following article appeared in the West London Observer on 7th June 1957:

‘A piece of good luck set 18-year-old Carole Allen, of Askew Road, Shepherd’s Bush, on the road to stardom and since then she hasn’t looked back. Three years ago, an open radio audition was being held for youngsters at Portland Place.

Carole applied to enter but was too late. It was a big disappointment to her, but luck was on her side. At the last moment one of the original applicants withdrew and she entered and passed the audition.

Then Carole began her broadcasting career, interviewing other under-20’s for the BBC ‘Younger Generation’ programmes.

During these broadcasts she reviewed the film, “The Belles of St. Trinians”, which starred Joyce Grenfell, and Michael Barsley’s, “A Book on Wit and Humour”.

Afterwards Carole remarked to producer, Bob Gunnel that it would be wonderful to meet Joyce Grenfell. A few weeks later she was seated in Miss Grenfell’s dressing room at the St. Martin’s Theatre, asking for her advice to young impressionists.

“Practice like mad”, was the advice which Miss Grenfell gave, and it is advice which Carole herself has taken well to heart.

Her aim now is to become a female impressionist. “But I don’t want to be a second Joyce Grenfell,” she told me. “I want to be a first Carole Allen.”

Her first broadcast impression came during a recent BBC programme in which she interviewed dress designer Hardy Amies. It was called, “To Sew a Fine Seam”. Introducing the programme, Carole said, in a ‘Goon Show’ type voice, “Can you sew a fine seam?”

Until July, Carole is studying advanced French and German at the Goldolphin and Latymer School, Hammersmith. And is she glad that her school-mistresses made her study German instead of Latin! For since March she has been broadcasting in German on the BBC’s European section.

Early in July she will have her first chance at script writing and production. She has been asked to help write the script, produce and appear in a programme about Jazz – and the whole lot will be in German.

“But I know nothing about Jazz,” admitted Carole, “and I’m swotting up on it like mad.”

And what does this talented, self-assured and attractive girl do by way of relaxation? She plays the guitar and sings.’

I read somewhere that a Carole Allen appeared in ‘Dixon of Dock Green’ and ‘Crossroads’ but could it have been the same person?

Steve Russell


(Thanks to Colin Woodley for unearthing the article)

3 thoughts on “Carole Allen: ‘A Shepherd’s Bush Girl on Her Way Up’

  1. Charlotte Presland posted on Facebook that Carole’s Mum had the sweet shop in Askew Road for a while.

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