Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Stupid Boy on Mastermind!

Ian Lavender to star on Celebrity Mastermind


Ian Lavender will be appearing on Celebrity Mastermind at 8pm on New Years Day on BBC1. Good to see that Ian is maintaining his high profile! See the official BBC what's on listings here.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Dad's Army at the British Film Institute

Oddities and Rarities event: 22 December 2008

What a fantastic evening! Somewhat of a surprise for me, Frank Williams was present and as always, was in fine form.

There were several sketches screened that I hadn’t seen before. The Buckingham Palace piece was a long two-scene piece that was really quite excellent. I also really enjoyed the stage performance of the Cornish Floral Dance sketch, particularly Wilson walking off in a huff!

The newly discovered audio of the 1968 Christmas Night with the Stars sketch was also a joy to listen to, although some, if not most, of the humour is clearly visual. The two small Christmas Night sketches were included on as well, and it was great to see them on the big screen. However, the most prominent piece of footage was an edited version of a new documentary about Frank Williams. The piece was presented in person by Oliver Crocker (the producer) and Frank Williams and looks to be a really interesting piece about Frank’s career. Keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for more about this project with both Oliver and Frank over the coming weeks about the new venture.


A complete listing (I think!) of snippets shown is below:

Dad’s Army and Beyond: The Frank Williams Story
Resisting the Aggressor through the Ages
Extract from ‘Goodnight Sweetheart’ that parodied Dad’s Army
The Coward Revue
The Harry Secombe Show
The two Green Cross Code adverts
The Royal Variety Performance
Royal Television Gala
The Black and White Minstrel Show
1968 Christmas Night with the Stars sketch (audio only)
Extract of the newly rediscovered off-air recording of A Stripe for Frazer (audio only)
Two Barclays Bank adverts
Broadcast to the Empire

You can see Andrew Ruff's (the official DAAS photographer) photos of the event by clicking on the slideshow to your right. Thanks to Andrew for his permission to re-produce the photographs. The above photos were taken by me at the event and show Frank working his public!

Friday, 19 December 2008

Bressingham 2009

Perry and Croft Day 2009 announced


The date for the now annual Perry and Croft Day has been announced for 2009. The event, to be held once again at Bressingham Steam Museum, will take place on Sunday 10 May. Past years have seen stars aplenty attend - Jimmy Perry, David Croft, Bill Pertwee, Ian Lavender, Clive Dunn, Frank Williams, Harold Snoad, Michael Knowles and Pamela Cundell have all made appearances, some attending practically every year since the event began in 2000. Make sure you check out the photographs from previous Dad's Army Days and Perry and Croft Days by clicking on the slide show to your right.

There is no need to buy tickets in advance for the event, but if you intend to travel some distance to Bressingham, then it may well be worth your while to arrange accommodation as soon as possible - guest houses and B&Bs are almost always fully booked long before the annual event.

Entrance is usually exceptional value for money and will be around the £10 mark - but members of the Dad's Army Appreciation Society get in cheaper and may have access to some members only areas inside the museum. You can join the DAAS for a ludicrously cheap annual fee at
www.dadsarmy.co.uk.

In addition to the Dad's Army cast and crew, actors and production teams from other Perry and Croft programmes will be invited too. Keep an eye on the DAAS website for the latest information.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Room on Newsnight

Restoration Reported on current affairs programme


A feature concerning the restored colour version of Room at the Bottom appeared on Newsnight last week. A video of the piece has now been uploaded onto the Newsnight website – watch it by clicking here.

The BBC also have reported on the new the recently re-discovered Dad's Army audios tracks here.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Room at the Bottom in colour - on BBC2 this weekend!

Re-colourised season 3 episode being shown this Saturday!


The highly regarded season three episode Room at the Bottom is being shown on BBC2 this weekend in colour - for the first time in nearly 40 years. Despite originally being made in colour, the episode only existed in the BBC archives in black and white only. Due to some hi-tech wizardry, the episode has been restored to colour and will be broadcast in the UK on Saturday 13 December 2008 on BBC2 at 8:25pm. Ian Lavender has recorded an introductory piece that will be transmitted before the episode. What away to end the 40th Anniversary year!!

This week's Radio Times has a double spread covering the story and features an interview with Ian Lavender. Lavender chats about the new version of the episode and talks about his eternal association with Pte Frank Pike.

You can read the BBC press release concerning this story here.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Father Christmas exists! (Updated 5 December 2008)

'Lost' audios found

The podcast has received early reports that an audio version of the 1968 Dad's Army 'A Christmas Night with the Stars' sketch has been found and returned to the BBC. This special sketch is one of two previously 'lost' sketches recorded for festive celebratory programme - the other being the Cornish Floral Dance sketch. The re-discovered audio of the 1968 special has no official title, but features members of the platoon arriving at the Church Hall dressed as Father Christmas giving various different reasons for their attire. **UPDATE 5 DECEMBER 2008** This story has now been confirmed by the BBC!! Great news!


Rumour also has it that a new, high quality audio version of the television version of a Stripe for Frazer has also made its way back to the BBC. dadsarmy.tv reports the story.

The podcast will bring you further details when the these two stories have been confirmed. **UPDATE 4 December 2008** The Dad's Army Appreciation Society have now confirmed that a recording of A Stripe for Frazer has been found and returned to the BBC.



'Mini' Dad's Army night in December


The BBC have announced that they are screening the newly colourised version of the season three episode Room at the Bottom as part of another evening dedicated to Dad's Army. The broadcast date is currently Saturday 13 December and the scheduled to begin at 7:10pm on BBC2. The new version of the episode is also being shown as part of the BFI's Dad's Army 'Oddities and Rarities' night later in December (see blog posting Sunday 16 November)






Sunday, 16 November 2008

Latest news

Dad’s Army: Oddities and Rarities


The British Film Institute in London is joining in the 40th Anniversary Celebrations on Monday 22 December 2008 by screening a number of rarely seen pieces of footage including home movies, interviews and rumour has it, a brand new colourised version of season three’s Room at the Bottom. The evening promises to be one to remember. Tickets are under a tenner each but are selling like hot cakes – be quick to nab one at http://www.bfi.org.uk/whatson/dads_army_oddities_and_rarities_0


Podcast 29

The latest Dad’s Army podcast is now on line and available to download or listen to at www.dadsarmy.podomatic.com This episode is another live commentary, this time of season five’s The King was in his Counting House. This alternate format is developing and this time around we go through the vast amount of feedback we’ve received over the last few weeks. The commentary version of the podcast is not a permanent format – episode 30 will return to the tried and tested format and will cover all the latest Dad’s Army news and events of last few months. As always, feel free to contact me at james@dadsarmypodcast.com, comments are always welcome and are usually read out on a future podcast.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Pte. Godfrey in the papers!

Ridley's war


Chris Hastings of The Telegraph has written a comprehensive article about Arnold Ridley's wartime experiences. Many aspects of Ridley's life were seemingly mirrored through Godfrey's adventures on screen in Dad's Army. Ridley was a fascinating man and lived and fought through both world wars. Take a read of Hasting's article - amongst those whom he discusses Arnold's life with is Nicholas Ridley - Arnold's son, who is planning to visit the battlefield where his father sustained a crippling bayonet wound that troubled him for the remainder of his life. It's a great article and not a little touching. Read it here.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Dad's Marches on!!

New Dad's Army Stage Play tour in 2009


Following the success of the 2008/09 tour, Calibre productions have announced that four more episodes will be adapted for a new tour in 2009. Very little additional information is available at the moment - but as soon as we have it, it'll be on the blog!! Click here to see the announcement on Calibre's site, and for a short video of this year's tour.

The new episodes have yet to be chosen by Calibre - why not have your say?! Which episodes would you like to see on stage? Just click on 'comments' below this post and make your suggestion!








Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Eric Longworth's obituary

Telegraph publish obituary for Eric Longworth


An obituary for Eric Longworth appeared in the Daily Telegraph on the 22nd September 2008 and is available to read here.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

New podcast imminent (updated 18 September 2008)

Episode 27


The first new episode of the Dad's Army podcast for over a month will be on-line this evening. In a last minute change to the content, Paul Carpenter and Tony Tarran take over the featured episode segment and provide inside information on Is There Honey Still For Tea?

In addition, there is my review of the recent Jonathan Ross and Comedy Connections programmes that formed part of the 40th anniversary celebrations.

You will be able to listen to the new podcast at http://www.dadsarmy.podomatic.com/, through iTunes or on our myspace page.


**UPDATED 18 SEPTEMBER 2008**
Episode 27 is now on-line. Have you not listened to it yet?!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Dad's Army Podcast round-up

New podcast coming soon

Despite my earlier message about my taking a break from producing podcasts (Podcast on Hiatus on Friday 8 August), I am planning to record a new episode at some point over the next week or two. Work on our bathroom has finally finished (barring torpedoes) and my wife has just over a month to go if she delivers according to schedule - so I should have plenty of time to record a short podcast over the next few days. Once again, it is likely that James will join me (yes I know it's confusing having two James' on the show) and we'll be discussing one of the first episodes of Dad's Army I ever saw - series four's Don't Forget the Diver. Please feel free to send in your thoughts about this episode to james@dadsarmypodcast.com

Podcast tops the chart!!

Yes, thanks to all our listeners out there, the Dad's Army Podcast was number one in podOmatic's Television and Film category for twenty four hours after podcast 26 was uploaded a few weeks ago. This really is a milestone for the podcast and I would like to thank everyone who has supported the podcast by listening to the show, and especially to those who get involved in sending in feedback and MP3s to us. The increase in listeners is probably due in part to the coverage Dad's Army attracted over it's 40th anniversary - but whatever the reason, it's great to see the numbers increase significantly. Thank you!

Series one poll results

The podcast's poll for your favourite episode from series has now closed - and the very first episode, The Man and The Hour has come top of your list with 31% of the vote. The Showing up of Corporal Jones was second, attracting 23% of your vote. Watch out for the next poll coming soon - which will ask you to vote for your favourite episode from series two.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Comedy Connections

New Dad's Army documentary to be screened this evening


The BBC series, 'Comedy Connections' finally concentrates on Dad's Army, and will be screened on BBC1 tonight (Friday 29 August 2008) at 10.30pm. The programme is being repeated tomorrow evening (Saturday 30 August 2008) at 11:10pm on BBC2 and last for forty minues. The following information has been published on BBC's website;

The gentle war time comedy Dad's Army has charmed millions of viewers since its first transmission forty years ago, becoming one of the most popular and best-loved series of all time. Set in wartime Britain, its cast featured many veterans of stage and screen including Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Arnold Ridley and John Laurie. The series created a template for future ensemble sitcoms, and established one of British TV's most successful writing partnerships - Jimmy Perry and David Croft. Neither of the writers gave the show its name: originally called Fighting Tigers, the title Dad's Army was imposed on the show by the BBC's Head of Comedy, Michael Mills. With contributions from writers David Croft and Jimmy Perry, and actors Clive Dunn, Ian Lavender, Frank Williams, Bill Pertwee, Wendy Richard and Pamela Cundell.

Make sure you set your video!! Feel free to send in your comments to us about the programme to james@dadsarmypodcast.com and they'll be read out on a future podcast.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Anchor not sunk yet

Dad's Army hotel could be saved

The Anchor Hotel used by many of the cast during location filming has been derelict and due for renovation for some time now. Several fires have been attended by the fire brigade and the boarded up hotel has been a trouble spot for over the last few years.

Well, now it appears that the seemingly inevitable fate of demolition might yet be averted. The Eastern Daily Press published the following article on their website on the 8th August 2008. The report alleges that Breckland Councillors have now decided to enter negotiations to acquire the town centre site.

Nothing further has emerged since the publication of the article, but it would be fantastic to think that this site could still be owned by a Council who has a vested interest in keeping the legacy of Dad's Army a prominent part of Thetford's future.

We'll keep you posted!

With thanks to Ian Sherwood.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Eric Longworth 1918 to 2008

Eric Longworth, who played Walmington-on-Sea's Town Clerk, passed away peacefully on Monday 18 August 2008. Eric recently celebrated his 90th birthday in July.

Eric was a stoic ambassador of Dad's Army, and his line in The Godiva Affair has become legendary throughout fandom - I wonder if another actor could make his character synonymous with the word 'fleshings' quite as fantastically as Eric did.

The actor frequently attended Dad's Army events, and I, along with many other members of the Dad's Army Appreciation Society, were lucky enough to see and speak to him at the programme's 40th Anniversary event held at the Imperial War Museum in London this year. Little did we know that we wouldn't see him again.

The Dad's Army Appreciation Society published the following about Eric's life and and career on their website;

Eric had decided from an early age to become an actor, but had his hopes dashed when his father died and Eric had to help support the family. He was 17 at the time. Up to his call up in 1939, which included a spell in Bombay, he had joined the Crompton Stage Society, a local amateur company, playing character parts to stall his ambitions. After demob, he decided to go professional, joining the Oldham Rep, staying with them for 11 years. A break in acting occurred when he decided to work as a theatre manager between 1951 & 1957. His first TV appearance was in 1963, and was usually cast as civil servants or retired colonels. Eric appeared in a 1972 episode of 'Lollipop' written by Jimmy Perry, which could have lead to him being chosen for the part of the Town Clerk. During the Dad's Army Stage Show, Eric understudied (but, as he states, was thankfully never used for) Arthur Lowe. he has made a few films, and latterly did the occasional voice over.

Eric will be sadly missed, and all of us at the podcast send Eric's family and friends our condonances. Rest in peace Eric and in the knowledge that your portrayal of Claude Gordon will continue to make countless viewers laugh for many years to come.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Podcast on hiatus!

We'll be back......

This note is to let you know that I will be taking a break from the Dad's Army podcast for the next couple of months. There are two reasons for this; 1) and of course, most importantly, I am about to become father for the first time at some point during the next six weeks and 2) we have builders from hell in refurbishing our bathroom. I sincerely hope that point number 2 is fully delivered before point no 1!!

Never fear though, the podcast will be back - I am just not sure when at this stage. Keep subscribed to the feed though - we may have the odd one two pre-recorded files ready during the hiatus.

Thanks again to you all for your support - keep the feedback coming in and we will catch up on it all when the podcast returns.

In the meantime, the following is a video I found on YouTube that made me smile....and I will update thw blog every now and again.

Warmest regards,

James




Sunday, 3 August 2008

Jonathan Ross Special airs

Dad's Army tribute airs on BBC1

Tonight saw the broadcast of the celebratory programme recorded to mark the 40th anniversary of Dad's Army. Jonathan Ross was joined by Ian Lavender, Bill Pertwee, Frank Williams, Pamela Cundell, Jimmy Perry and David Croft in a one-off special looking back on the programme, its origins and examined the careers of the actors involved. Ross was also joined by 'celebrity' fans Ronnie Corbett, Jon Culshaw and John Thompson.

Ross presented in his usual, laid back demeanor, but the most notable thing for me was how this programme was edited. At complete odds with the original audience of Dad's Army, this programme was made in the era of disposable television. This was clearly demonstrated by Ross spending longer talking to the celebrity guests than the cast and writers themselves. Now to a degree I understand that it is important to have current stars feature to maintain the interest of the casual viewer, but it was criminal the way Jimmy and David were limited to just five minutes between them. Both Frank Williams and Bill Pertwee were hardly given any airtime at all.

Lastly there was the tribute to those cast members no longer with us - which was poignant, if fleeting. However the way John Le Mesurier was hardly mentioned was generous given that you could be forgiven for not realising that James Beck actually starred in the programme. I am not sure that Beck's name was actually mentioned by Ross even once.

Disappointing for me, but at least they didn't carry out the threat to include the audience singing the theme tune.

Despite my gripes, it was fantastic to see the cast as they are today on prime time (ish) telly once again - and it was fantastic to see Ian, Pam and Jimmy clearly loving being in the limelight once again. The set used was fantastic - it's a shame to think that we may never see it again. If only they could sell that one to Bressingham.....

Here's to the next 40 years.

Thursday, 31 July 2008

BBC Celebrates Dad's Army 40th Anniversary (Updated 2nd August 2008)

Never Too Old...unseen documents and pictures from the BBC's archives

The Press Office at the BBC have issued a release concerning a wealth of Dad's Army archive material to mark Dad's Army's 40th Anniversary. You can read the statement by clicking here, but the text of the release is below.


The BBC Archive remembers Dad's Army by releasing many never-before-seen documents and pictures which tell the story behind one of the UK's most-loved comedy series.

On 31 July 1968, TV viewers met a group of elderly soldiers and a "stupid boy" for the very first time.

Dad's Army became an instant classic with its gentle humour, nostalgia and pride in the men who gave their all for Britain, despite their limited means.

This new collection contains many items not available to the public until now, including candid post-war letters from the actors as they began their careers and internal BBC memos that show just how popular the series was right from the start.

A photo gallery also looks at the stars of the show from the first episode to the last, as well as taking a peek behind the scenes.

Discover why the famous title sequence generated heated debate
Read the press release which announced the very first episode
Find out what top BBC managers really thought of the series

The Dad's Army collection is part of the archive content the BBC will be making available to UK audiences this year.


With thanks to Katie Ball.


Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd August 2008

Dad's Army is being celebrated in style this weekend on the BBC giving fans absolutely no reason to go out! Never mind the hot weather, Dad's is back on the telly! All the following times are British Summertime (BST) and are based on the listings published in the Radio Times.


The running order is:

Saturday 2nd August

BBC2

17:00 to 18:30 Dad's Army (the movie)
20:00 to 20:35 Jimmy Perry's favourite episode (the episode title is not listed but I guess will probably be Branded)
20:35 to 21:30 Don't Panic! The Dad's Army Story (An old documentary presented by Victoria Wood gets another airing.)
21:30 to 20:10 David Croft's favourite episode (again, the title is not listed - however David Croft told me in a recent interview that his favourite was Mum's Army)
20:10 to 11:00 Reputations: Arthur Lowe (A documentary about Arthur Lowe - again, another repeat)

Sunday 3rd August

BBC1

19:00 to 20:00 Jonathan Ross Salutes Dad's Army (the only new BBC material to celebrate the anniversary.

We will be discussing the Jonathan Ross programme on a future podcast, so if you would like us to discuss your views, then please e-mail them to us at james@dadsarmypodcast.com - MP3 recordings preferred but text e-mails are of course also very welcome.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Dad's Army 40th Special recorded at the BBC (updated 23 July 2008)

Cast and crew re-united for special celebratory programme


The BBC recorded a special programme to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Dad's Army on Thursday 17 July at their studios in White City, London. The programme was hosted by Jonathan Ross. The stars and crew were re-united and many fans were present at the recording. Unfortunately I could not attend, but this report from blog-reader Esther Layton reviews the recording. Feel free to comment on Esther's article by clicking on 'comments' at the foot of this post, or head on over to the Perry and Croft forum (registration is required) where you can discuss the recording with Esther and many other fans who attended last Thursday. A broadcast date has yet to be confirmed by the BBC despite many different dates being quoted on various on-line news sites.

Wow! What can I say? We had a marvellous time - it was really great to see all the surviving cast members under one roof. They all had plenty of stories to tell about the programme, the actors and the relationships between them as friends and colleagues. Of course, the brilliant writers took centre stage! There were several special guests as well, celebrity fans of the show. The audience sang the theme tune and it will be shown during the evening, so all of our ugly mugs will be on screen! Plenty of archive clips, interspersed with details about the war and the history of the Home Guard. Jonathan Ross was a wonderful host (as he always is). His keen interest and natural exuberance shone through and everyone involved made it a fantastic, fun (and FREE!) evening. I went with my Mum and two friends. We all agreed - a lovely experience.The BBC hasn't set a broadcast date yet - so we'll have to watch this space! (see update below - ed).

I hate to say it, but I do have one criticism of the evening. James Beck was included in a montage of clips dedicated to the actors who have died, but, unlike the other deceased performers, nothing was mentioned of him during the programme itself. I thought that was not good.

Many thanks to Esther for the review.
The Sun reported the story here, once again in extra big font.
Feel free to send in your own thoughts about the event to james@dadsarmypodcast.com

**UPDATE**

This programme, entitled Jonathan Ross Salutes Dad's Army will be broadcast on Sunday 3 August 2008 on BBC1. Transmission time will be either at 18:00 hours or 20:30 hours, BST. That's six o clock or half past eight for those Captain Mainwarings of you out there!

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Dad's in the News

Dad Ringers

Jon Culshaw has been seen in Thetford recording some links for the BBC' s special programme, Jonathan Ross Salutes Dad's Army. The Bury Free Press reported the story along with a picture of Culshaw last week. The article claims the broadcast date is 1st August 2008. Read the full story here.





40th Anniversary press coverage round-up

As previously reported (see the Dad's 40th post on 10th July), Dad's Army celebrated it's 40th anniversary in London last week. The event attracted massive press interest, and many news companies and papers were quick to pick on the story. Virgin Media have a video of Ian Lavender and Clive Dunn being interviewed at the Imperial War Museum here.

Links to other articles are available below. Most centre on Ian Lavender's comments about today's television, but others contain quotes from other cast members.

The Mirror's coverage is available here, the Telegraph's, here. The Sunday Express reports the story here. Even OK Magazine and Hello! have picked up on the story and have photos of the event on their pages. ITN also briefly mentions the reunion.

Many other on-line news sites report the story, but are more or less just repetitions of each other.

It's great to see Dad's Army feature so prominently in the news again!

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Dad's 40th (updated 11th July 2008)

40th Anniversary of Dad's Army celebrated

Yesterday (9th July 2008) saw a number of Dad's Army stars and fans celebrate the anniversary of programme at the Imperial War Museum in London. The first episode, The Man and the Hour was originally transmitted on 31st July 1968, and the Dad's Army Appreciation Society, together with the Imperial War Museum organised an celebration to remember. The event attracted significant interest from the press, and the story appeared in many of today's national dailies. The Sun's story is available on line here and focusses on some of Ian Lavender's comments - the sentiments of which he echoed when I interviewed him for the podcast. The BBC were also there, filming interviews with the cast and production crew.

In attendance were Jimmy Perry, David Croft, Clive Dunn, Ian Lavender, Bill Pertwee, Frank Williams, Pamela Cundell, Eric Longworth, Harold Snoad, Mary Husband, Jefferey Holland, Ronnie Grange and Joan Le Mesurier. We were also joined by the former forces sweetheart, Dame Vera Lynn.

Tony and I from the podcast were there too with our trusty MP3 recorders, and we managed to speak to many of the stars. Look out for podcast 25 where you will get to hear the speeches made by the stars, and my interviews with them - including one with none-other than Dame Vera Lynn! I never thought I would be chatting to the person who sung the immortal words we'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when about Dad's Army!!

Pictures of the event will be on the blog over the next few days. If you attended then event then please feel free to send in your photos and stories about the day to me at james@dadsarmypodcast.com - it would be great to hear from you. I'm off now to find Dame Vera's back-catalogue on iTunes....

**updated 11 July 2008**

The BBC also reported the story on-line here.

Monday, 7 July 2008

New Dad's Army Podcast on-line

Episode 24

Episode 24 of the Dad’s Army Podcast is now on-line and available to listen to or download over at the main podcast page.

This week we catch up on the latest Dad’s Army news, talk about It Sticks Our Half a Mile - the 1980’s Dad’s Army spin-off currently airing on BBC7, and have a rummage through the mailbag and read some e-mails that you have sent us. We also welcome Clare back to the podcast – she joins me to discuss the series four episode, The Two and Half Feathers.

As always, we’d love to hear from you – send your e-mails to james@dadsarmypodcast.com. The link to the BBC7 listen again site is available here.

Enjoy the podcast.

James

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

The Victorious Vicar!

Timothy Farthing tops the poll


The Reverend Timothy Farthing (played by Frank Williams) has topped June’s poll which asked readers of the blog to vote for their favourite non-regular character. Fifty three of you cast your vote, and the Vicar topped the table with 28%. Second was Maurice Yateman – better known as the Verger with 18% whilst Claude Gordon, the Town Clerk, brings up the rear with just one vote. In all fairness, some non-regular characters featured considerably more than others, and the only real surprise to me is Hodges coming third with roughly half the votes that were polled for the Vicar. The full results will remain on-line for a few weeks over in the poll section.

July’s poll is now on-line (just to the right of your screen) and asks readers for their favourite episode from series one. The episodes in this series are rarely discussed by Dad’s Army fans, and some claim that series 1 and 2 are the weakest of the entire nine seasons. It will be interesting to see whether or not this poll attracts as many votes as the more general polls.

Remember you can still vote for your favourite regular character – can anyone overtake Walker?!

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

It Sticks Out....on BBC7

Dad's Army sequal broadcasting on BBC7


It Sticks Out Half a Mile, the early 80s Dad’s Army radio-only sequel, is being broacast on the BBC digital radio station, BBC7. All 13 episodes are being aired, seemingly on Tuesdays at 17:30 BST, although this timeslot is not confirmed as being the same every week.

The first episode was broadcast on Tuesday 24th June 2008 - but don't panic, the episodes are available on BBC7's 'Listen Again' service for six days after broadcast. You can hear the latest show by clicking here at any point during the show's run.

It Sticks Out stars Bill Pertwee, John le Mesurier and Ian Lavender reprising their roles of Wilson, Pike and Hodges, intent on restoring the dilapidated Frambourne Pier. More information about the individual episodes are available on the Dad's Army Appreciation Society's website by clicking here.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

New Dad's Army Podcast now on-line

Episode 23

Episode 23 of the podcast is now on-line and available to listen to or download from our main site.

This week James and Tony discuss Croft and Perry Day 2008, interview the delightful Pamela Cundell who played Mrs Fox in the series and talk about the BBC’s plans to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the show. Our featured episode this week is series four’s The Test.

The sound quality is not so good in this podcast I'm afraid - mainly because I am in the middle of decorating my office at home - it's floor-boarded and therefore very echoey. I also forgot to covert our conversation about the 40th anniversary show into stereo. Hope this doesn't spoil your enjoyment too much.

I am still experiencing problems with the upgrade of the podcast player - when listening to the show the sound occassionally drops a few seconds or sometimes just stops playing altogether. In addition, the last 30 seconds or so do not play. The best way to get around this is to listen to the show on iTunes (or another podcatcher) where these problems do not occur. Hopefully podomatic will sort this rather irritating problem soon.

We’ll be back with podcast 24 in three weeks or so when we’ll be discussing The Two and Half Feathers – feel free to let us have your comments on this episode and we’ll include them in the show. Enjoy the podcast.

TTFN,

James

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Green light for Dad's Army adverts!

Dad's Army Green Cross Code adverts on YouTube

No, not new ones, but two adverts filmed when Dad's Army was being broadcast in the '70s are now on YouTube. Both films were included as extras on the Christmas Special BBC DVD released last year, but are now available to everyone on-line.





With thanks to Ian Sherwood

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Croft and Perry Day 2008 - pictures

Bressingham Steam Museum - Sunday 11th May 2008


I have added some photographs taken by Tony at this year's Bressingham event. You can see the mini-slideshow on the right hand side of this blog - click on the slideshow to be taken to the public album hosted on the Picasa site. Captions are there too but only viewable on the Picasa site. I have also uploded some additional shots to the locations tour album.

Feel free to duplicate any of the photos or use them on your own website or download if you wish - but if you reproduce them on-line or in a publication, I would be grateful if you credit the podcast.

All Bressingham 2008 and Locations Tour photos taken by the Dad's Army podcast. Ian Lavender (Pte. Frank Pike) is pictured above.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Dad's Army Podcast round-up

Favourite Character Poll re-opened

Due to popular demand, I have re-opened the Favourite Character poll last week. As regular blog-readers will know, the original six-week survey attracted 85 votes and put Walker fairly and squarely in first place. I was then inundated with e-mails (well, I received five) from readers expressing their disappointment that they did not get an opportunity to vote. So, the poll will now stay open for the foreseeable future - it will be interesting to see how the results develop over the next few months.

Podcast 23

Episode 23 of the Dad's Army podcast is scheduled for release on the 21st June 2008. The break between 22 and 23 has been longer than usual - mainly due to boring tasks that I just haven't been able to put off any longer - the main one was to redecorate my office. You will be pleased to know that unlike Mainwaring, I do not have a paper door. Anyway, Episode 23 sees the return of Tony to the podcast when we will be discussing The Test. If you have any comments on this episode you would like us to discuss then please e-mail them to me at james@dadsarmypodcast.com by Friday 13th June 2008 - MP3 recordings would be even better. We also discuss Bressingham 2008 and Tony interviews Mrs Fox - yes, Mrs Fox is coming to the podcast! I am actually quite scared.... You can hear a brief preview of Pamela's interview right now by heading over to the main podcast page.


Comments on individual podcast episodes

There have been problems for listeners when leaving comments over on the main podcast page (see the 'Special Announcement' blog posting of 28th May 2008) which have now, I am reliably informed, been rectified. All previous comments that mysteriously disappeared have now returned! So please get scribbling and leave your comments by clicking 'Leave a comment' or 'comments' under the play button for each episode.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Broadcast to the Empire - with Jonathan Ross...

40th Anniversary Special green-lighted


The BBC have annouced that there will be a one-hour special programme broadcast later this year to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Dad's Army. The programme will be called Jonathan Ross Salutes Dad's Army and it is therefore no surprise to learn that the show will be fronted by Jonathan Ross. Ross is said to be a big fan of the show and often references Dads Army in his Radio 2 show. You can read the BBC's official annoucement here.

The show is being recorded in London on 17th July and you have the opportunity to apply for tickets by clicking here and then selecting 'Current Shows'.

With thanks to the Dad's Army Appreciation Society

Sunday, 1 June 2008

New Dad's Army podcast on-line

Episode 22

Episode 22 of the Dad's Army podcast is now on-line and available to download from http://www.dadsarmy.podomatic.com/

This week sees the second and final of the Croft and Perry Weekend Specials and features speeches made by Pamela Cundell, Harold Snoad, Michael Knowles, Jimmy Perry and David Croft at the Dad’s Army Appreciation Society’s annual members meal.

The cover-art this week is of David and Ann Croft at the event – with me at the same table! If you like the sound of the event and would like to attend in future years, then you will need to join the Appreciation Society to be in with a chance of getting a ticket. Joining is ludicrously cheap – take a look at www.dadsarmy.co.uk for details.

We’ll be back in two or three weeks time with a ‘regular’ episode of the podcast and Tony and I will be discussing ‘The Test’. Feel free to send us your comments on this episode and we’ll read out your e-mails, or play your MP3s during the show. Contact us at james@dadsarmypodcast.com

Friday, 30 May 2008

This is Your Life

Arnold Ridley

A superb short video of Arnold Ridley on This is Your Life has been posted on YouTube. The clip is approximately eight minutes long and features all the regular Dad's Army cast. You can view the video by clicking on the video below.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Special Announcement

Dad's Army Podcast site 'upgrades'


Hello everyone.

Just a quick message for those of you who are wondering what's happened to the main podcast site ! Well, I'll try to explain.

PodOmatic, the company who hosts this podcast in cyber world, ‘upgraded’ their site last weekend. Now there may be very few noticeable differences to listeners, but there are a whole host of changes been made in the way podcast hosts maintain their pages. ‘Glitches’ podOmatic all them – I call them something altogether more rude!!

Anyway, the two main differences you’ll notice are;

1) All your past comments have disappeared. I have however, been informed that this is purely temporary. In fact, I can still see them when I log into the site to update it. I just can’t publish them – neither can listeners leave new comments for the time being.

2) The podcast player that opens when you hit ‘Play’ has changed. It looks flashier, but unfortunately misses the first few seconds off from each episode. Similarly, some episodes drop off half way through. These problems I am also assured are temporary. In the meantime, the best way to listen to the podcasts maybe through iTunes or
Myspace.

Now I have already uploaded Episode 22 to the podOmatic server and it is still due to be made available to listen to this weekend however - I have described just two of the changes you’ll see – there are hundreds of changes for me in the way I publish episodes! So if I have difficulty, please bear with me. Episode 22 is a cracker so I hope any problems you experience will be worth it.

If these problems do not rectify themselves, then I will look for an alternative host – so thank you for you patience. Hopefully things will be back to the ‘smooth, well-oiled machine’ you are used to very soon.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Special Edition of the Dad's Army Podcast now online

Frank Williams and Harold Snoad join DAAS members on locations tour


As mentioned in my last posting (Location, Location, Location...) we at the podcast were lucky enough to attend a guided tour of locations used whilst filming Dad's Army all those years ago.

Accompanied by my trusty MP3 recorder, I managed to speak to Frank and Harold as they recounted their memories of filming. The Dad's Army Appreciation Society were also on hand and jammed-packed full of Dad's Army trivia which the attendees lapped up.

Click on the cover-art above to be redirected to Episode 21 of the Dad's Army podcast. Please feel free to let me know what you think of this podcast, especially as it's the first massive departure from our regular format - my e-mail address is james@dadsarmypodcast.com Feedback is always welcome, be it positive or negative. Alternatively, you can leave your comments on this blog by clicking on the 'comments' tag at the foot of each posting.

In a fortnight's time, Episode 22 will be on-line and will feature the speeches and interviews made at the DAAS members meal. It will be the most star-laden podcast yet and will include discussions with David Croft, Jimmy Perry, Michael Knowles, Pamela Cundell, Harold Snoad - and a University Professor who lectures in Dad's Army!!

Friday, 16 May 2008

Location, Location, Location....

Tour of Dad's Army film locations


On Saturday 10th May 2008, the Dad's Army Appreciation Society (DAAS) organised a tour of locations in and around Thetford that were used in the series . A old red routemaster collected a group of DAAS members and their guests at around 11:00am. We were accompanied by Frank Williams (the Vicar) who was able to entertain us with stories about the cast and crew whilst filming was taking place, and by Harold Snoad who was responsible for suggesting Thetford be used for external shooting all those years ago. Harold was also responsible for finding suitable locations for non-studio bound scenes in series 1 to 4 - unfortunately we only visited one location used during Harold's time on the programme and that was Brandon station, used in The Big Parade.

Other locations visited included;

Elvedon Hall (the tower is pictured above and in the final scenes of Battle of the Giants)
The field where Mainwaring is chased by a dog with a grenade in his mouth in Fallen Idol
The bridge where the fire engine used in Brain vs Brawn was stopped by the Army
The green where the pageant was held in Knights of Madness
The church used for the external Church scenes in Ring Dem Bells and The Captain's Car
The Anchor Hotel which featured in The Man and the Hour and was used as cast and crew accommodation

Both Tony and I from the Dad's Army podcast were invited to come along and we managed to secure a number of recordings with the event organisers and Frank and Harold. You will be able to hear those interviews on episode 21 of the podcast due for release over the next few days.

Pictures taken on the tour were few in number as I was so busy making recordings, but click on the slideshow to your right to see the photos we did manage to take. If you were with us on the tour and took some pictures and would like to see them on this page, then please e-mail them to me at james@dadsarmypodcast.com - we will credit all photographs we recieve.

All slideshow photos taken by James at the Dad's Army Podcast

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Writing duo receive BAFTA

Croft and Perry receive special award


Prolific sit-com writers David Croft and Jimmy Perry have received a special award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). The award was made on Sunday 11th May - the same day as the Croft and Perry Day at Bressingham Steam museum. Dad's Army received a BAFTA in 1971 for best comedy and this new award will be seen by some as very overdue. You can read the official BAFTA statement on their website - there is also a video of about 8 minutes showcasing pieces of their work intercut with interviews of Ian Lavender, Su Pollard and Ruth Madoc.

I was lucky enough to be sitting at the same table as David Croft at the annual Dad's Army Appreciation Society dinner the night before the award was announced, and I recorded a brief interview with him.* Unfortunately I was unaware that the award was being made the following day so did not speak to him about it at all!

Congratulations to both Jimmy and David - I am sure their work will be enjoyed by many for generations to come.

* This interview will feature on a future Dad's Army podcast due for release very soon

Monday, 5 May 2008

Bressingham is coming.......

Croft and Perry Day, Sunday 11th May 2008


The year's highest-profile Dad's Army event is taking place at Bressingham Steam Museum next Sunday.

This year will be particularly special as it's the programme's 40th anniversary. Guests invited include Jimmy Perry, David Croft, Harold Snoad, Ian Lavender, Bill Pertwee, Pamela Cundell, Eric Longworth, Michael Knowles and John Clegg. There will a whole host of other stars there too from many other Perry and Croft programmes.



I have included few pictures of previous Bressingham events in this posting - my usual podcast co-presenter Tony is pictured with Jones' van. There is also a picture of a house in Nether Row - the road was used in many episodes taken in Thetford town centre.


If you are planning on coming to Bressingham then please come up and say hello - if we're not roaming the museum looking for interviews then we'll be in or aound the DAAS tent.

There is special mini-podcast previewing the event with Tony Pritchard, one of the day's organisers available on the main podcast page. This brief podcast gives you a little bit of history about the event and offers an insight into how much planning goes into putting on a really spectacular day.




For more information about the event, hop over to either the Dad's Army Appreciation Society's page, or the Bressingham Steam Museum site.

Look forward to seeing you there!