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5 items from 2013


Bill Pertwee obituary

27 May 2013 4:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Actor best known for playing the officious Arp warden William Hodges in Dad's Army

In his early days as a cabaret artist, the actor Bill Pertwee, who has died aged 86, did a manic cricket revue sketch at a fashionable club in central London. A haughty and inebriated diner kicked over his stumps and shouted: "How's that?" Pertwee punched him in the stomach and was escorted out by the head waiter, who informed him that the customer was always right. "As far as I'm concerned, he isn't!" retorted Pertwee.

This bubbling belligerence was successfully incorporated into the bossy character that made Pertwee famous: Arp Warden William Hodges in the celebrated BBC television series Dad's Army (1968-77), written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft. As Hodges, he perpetually clashed with Captain George Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) of the Home Guard.

The inspiration for the way Pertwee played the warden came from his boyhood during the second world war, »

- Dennis Barker

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Bill Pertwee obituary

27 May 2013 4:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Actor best known for playing the officious Arp warden William Hodges in Dad's Army

In his early days as a cabaret artist, the actor Bill Pertwee, who has died aged 86, did a manic cricket revue sketch at a fashionable club in central London. A haughty and inebriated diner kicked over his stumps and shouted: "How's that?" Pertwee punched him in the stomach and was escorted out by the head waiter, who informed him that the customer was always right. "As far as I'm concerned, he isn't!" retorted Pertwee.

This bubbling belligerence was successfully incorporated into the bossy character that made Pertwee famous: Arp Warden William Hodges in the celebrated BBC television series Dad's Army (1968-77), written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft. As Hodges, he perpetually clashed with Captain George Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) of the Home Guard.

The inspiration for the way Pertwee played the warden came from his boyhood during the second world war, »

- Dennis Barker

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Mrs Brown's Boys: how the 'worst comedy ever made' became a smash hit

30 January 2013 9:03 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

The critics loathe it, calling it 'crass', and 'lazy trash'. But Brendan O'Carroll's sitcom has attracted an enormous, loyal following. Where did it come from and why is it so loved?

Where do TV comedy hits come from? Nobody knows, of course. If telly's top brass knew the answer to that, we'd have been spared David Jason in The Royal Bodyguard, or Amanda Holden under her Big Top. But, until recently, some things were taken for granted: the networks' next big hit was unlikely to be discovered playing to an audience of elderly women at the Glasgow Pavilion. It was unlikely to feature a 57-year-old man in a frock making jokes about rectal thermometers, and – in the event that it did – the cast surely wouldn't solely comprise that man's extended family and close friends. Oh, and its star wouldn't cite as his main influence the 70s double-act Cannon and Ball. »

- Brian Logan

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Fawlty Towers isn't racist. Major Gowen is

23 January 2013 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

The BBC's cutting of racial insults from a repeat of The Germans has brought the integrity of the hit comedy show into question. But the words are clearly used to satirise English upper-class bigotry

Rivalled only by Dad's Army as Britain's most-loved sitcom, Fawlty Towers seems an unlikely candidate to merit comparison with the movies of Quentin Tarantino. But the BBC has cut from a repeat of the episode The Germans (screened many times since it was first seen in 1975) a speech in which the blimpish hotel resident Major Gowen uses two outlawed racial insults while reporting on a trip to see an England v India cricket match at the Oval.

It is impossible to discuss properly the censored dialogue without quoting the line. Very sensitive readers should stop now and it should not be assumed that I, the Guardian – or, indeed, John Cleese and Connie Booth, the show's writers »

- Mark Lawson

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Fawlty Towers isn't racist. Major Gowen is

23 January 2013 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The BBC's cutting of racial insults from a repeat of The Germans has brought the integrity of the hit comedy show into question. But the words are clearly used to satirise English upper-class bigotry

Rivalled only by Dad's Army as Britain's most-loved sitcom, Fawlty Towers seems an unlikely candidate to merit comparison with the movies of Quentin Tarantino. But the BBC has cut from a repeat of the episode The Germans (screened many times since it was first seen in 1975) a speech in which the blimpish hotel resident Major Gowen uses two outlawed racial insults while reporting on a trip to see an England v India cricket match at the Oval.

It is impossible to discuss properly the censored dialogue without quoting the line. Very sensitive readers should stop now and it should not be assumed that I, the Guardian – or, indeed, John Cleese and Connie Booth, the show's writers »

- Mark Lawson

Permalink | Report a problem


2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

5 items from 2013


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