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 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,


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.