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


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


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 - 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


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 - 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 The link to the BBC7 listen again site is available here.

Enjoy the podcast.


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?!