Documentary series following 30 bad lads over a four-week period as they go through army basic training 1950s style.




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Series cast summary:
Joe Murray Joe Murray ...  Corporal Murray 32 episodes, 2002-2006
Richard Nauyokas Richard Nauyokas ...  Corporal Nauyokas 26 episodes, 2002-2006
Dennis Waterman ...  Narrator 22 episodes, 2004-2006
Allistair Rae Allistair Rae ...  Platoon Sergeant Rae 22 episodes, 2004-2006
Timothy Weston Timothy Weston ...  Provost Sergeant Weston 13 episodes, 2005-2006


In this reality show, a military training facility 1950s style has been reconstructed and several professional soldiers were extensively trained in the period's style as Montgomery platoon's commanding officer, CSM Glen Thomas, drill sergeant, provost sergeant, PE instructor and section corporals, and on Sunday an Anglican padre. There thirty volunteering 'bad lads' aged 18 to 24, mostly with criminal records, are to pass the period's standard four weeks training course which recruits were routinely given in the Fifties. It's a grim life from another age, when 'boys' were generally expected to 'take like a man' constant discomfort, verbal abuse and even utter humiliation without cringing or protesting. Today's bad lads have the option to leave without being hunted down as deserters, and a few do even in the first days... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

July 2002 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Bad Lads Army See more »

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Did You Know?


Sergeant Major Watley in Lads Army was an ex bad lad himself. His high school teachers believed that their were only 2 places available to him: the army or the prison. Sergeant Major Watley served in the Royal Hampshire Regiment for the best part of 30 years reaching the rank Sergeant Major. See more »


Referenced in Screenwipe: Episode #2.3 (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Bad Lads Army
7 August 2007 | by uroskinSee all my reviews

UKTV here in New Zealand started broadcasting a rather enjoyable reality TV series, called "Bad Lads Army", in which a group of English yobbos (or do we call them Asbos or Scallies now?) volunteer to go through a few weeks' of 1950s-style national service in the army, to see whether they could be made real men out of. Never mind that it never worked in the 1950s and the army then had better things to do (and thought it could better spend its time and resources elsewhere) than to babysit ne'er-do-wells. But I guess the idea was irresistible to programme producers who may have detected an eagerness among the general public to get back at those surplus males.

And what an enjoyable sight that meted-out humiliation is. The first episode focused on the natural exhibitionist streaks and one-upmanship one encounters whenever groups of males are out of sight of females. They tested their manhood against the alpha males - the rather unassuming looking but hard-as-nails corporals and other officers in charge - when settling in their new surroundings. The first half hour was an almost constant stream of bleeped out swear words, and it got so bad in the second half they didn't even bother bleeping anymore, which actually made for much more natural coverage of events without drawing too much attention to the vocabulary used. I was a little disappointed in the physical condition of a large part of the recruits, but perhaps I was expecting the extraordinary - not all of current 18 to 24 year olds are rugby players or porn stars, although a lot of them looked they were spending at least some time thinking about grooming, physical fitness and general personal hygiene.

The medical was a hoot, especially when the doctor asked one of the recruits, who had excellent eye sight: "Don't you masturbate?" The embarrassed silence on the boy's face was priceless.

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