“I walk around Darlington and I think I know half the population now,” says Robin Askwith, who will back in the North-East town with which he has become so familiar next month.

Back by popular demand, the actor will take to the stage to perform his one-man show at Darlington’s Forum Music Centre on Monday, April 1 – but this is no April Fool.

Darlington Film Club will be screening Cool It Carol, one of Askwith’s earliest film roles – and one of his favourites – after which he will entertain the audience with tales from the making of the movie, as well as outrageous anecdotes from throughout his 50-year career.

It will the the fourth time Askwith has been a guest of the film club. He was also in Darlington over the winter playing the evil Abanazar in Aladdin, at the town’s Hippodrome theatre.

His three previous appearances at the film club were highly successful, but he had thought last year’s show would be his last.

However, he was encouraged to think again by the reaction he got from the residents of Darlington while performing in the pantomime and an idea formed during a chat to the film club’s James Watson.

“I was in that little shop, Guru, and this bloke said please do another show,” says Askwith. “And I always had people asking at the stage door to do another show.

“I had such a good time in Darlington, the pantomime was a huge success – it was very very happy.

“I was chatting to James and I said ‘I really think I could do another one’. He jumped at the idea and said yes straight away.”

Watson says he is “over the moon” to have Askwith back at Darlington Film Club, adding: “Every time he’s here he has new stories to tell.

“I’ve had people attend every event he’s been here and new people come along after they’ve been recommended to see him live.

“Robin’s a lovely guy and happy to talk to everyone after the gig.”

Askwith says the film club has been “quite clever” in their choice of his films.

His first show followed a screening of Confessions of a Window Cleaner – the first in a series of 1970s sex comedies for which he is probably still best known.

Cult classic Horror Hospital came next, followed by Queen Kong – a film so bad that Askwith insisted it should never be shown again.

“Now they’ve got a film which I’m quite proud of,” says the actor, referring to Cool It Carol, which he describes as “an interesting choice”.

“It’s ‘rather different,” he adds.

He was aged just 19 when he landed the role of Joe Sickles in the movie directed by Pete Walker, who Askwith says would these days be described as an independent filmmaker.

Walker had seen the young actor in the Lindsay Anderson film ‘If’ and, on the strength of a close-up at the end of the movie decided Askwith was the man he wanted to play Sickles.

Taken from a true story which had been published in the News of the World, the film plot follows naive couple Sickles and Carol Thatcher – played by Janet Lynn – as they search for fame and fortune in London, only for them to be drawn into a world of pornography, drugs and prostitution.

Askwith feels modern critics often unfairly fail to look beyond Cool It Carol’s reputation as a 1970s ‘sex film’.

That view was echoed by writer, journalist and broadcaster Matthew Sweet when he introduced the film at a Pete Walker season in London five years ago.

“We’ve forgotten them because we’re a bit ashamed and embarrassed by them, but people really went to see films like this –they weren’t as marginal as cultural memory would have you believe,” says Sweet, who also describes Askwith’s bottom as “one of the most iconic 1970s objects”.

Askwith himself says the film contains some “very touching scenes”, where his character shows off Carol, but he “knows nothing”.

“I was very good at that age at playing that sort of part,” he says.

“Somebody with all the bravado, but no experience. It’s quite harsh and hard and real, and quite nasty.”

He adds: “As always I’ll be giving it the full story in the show. There are very fond memories, particularly of working as a young actor on quite a serious issue.”

As well as speaking of anecdotes from Cool It Carol, Askwith with be sprinkling his show with rude and risque nuggets from many of his other 33 film roles, as well as his long TV and stage career.

One of his familiar “highly slanderous” routines features cricket legend Ian Botham, who Askwith appeared in pantomime with some 25 years ago.

And to add spice to his appearance in Darlington, Botham himself is going to be in the audience at the Forum.

So how does Askwith think Botham will react to his sharp-tongued, sarcastic and suggestive tales of their time working together?

“It’s going to be very interesting,” he says.

l Cool It Carol with Robin Askwith will be shown at Darlington Film Club, in conjunction with Misty Moon and Darlington For Culture, at the Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington, on Monday, April 1. Doors open 7pm, tickets £10. For more details visit the film club’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DarlingtonFilmClub/