In 1967 actor Jimmy Perry shows his friend David Croft the script of a sitcom he has written based on his time in the Home Guard, entitled 'Fighting Tigers'. Head of BBC TV comedy Michael Mills likes it, changing its title to 'Dad's Army' though, to Jimmy 's dismay, he refuses to let him act in it. He commissions Jimmy and David to write a whole series, despite TV controller Paul Fox's misgivings that the Second World War is too fresh in people's mind to be comedic. The pilot goes ahead with an ensemble cast keen to perform despite a low wage and some with problems of their own, notably star Arthur Lowe's tendency to forget his lines, and Jimmy is thrilled that wartime favourite Bud Flanagan is performing its theme song. In April 1968 the first show is recorded in front of an enthusiastic test audience. Fox is less generous in his opinion but the viewing figures ensure the show's future, running for nine series and becoming one of the best-loved of all British television sitcoms.
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Did You Know?
Due to budget cuts at the BBC, it was shot in just two weeks. See more
When Perry and Croft have to change the opening titles, the familiar map and arrows are shown where the German troop movements form a capital H. However, this is just a black & white version of the title sequence used in the later colour episodes of series 3 onwards. The original animation used in series 1 and 2 had the arrows forming a different shape. See more
[David Croft and Jimmy Perry have invited Arthur Lowe to lunch to discuss offering him the role of Captain Mainwaring
I wouldn't want to be in something silly. Something like that dreadful "Hugh and I".
I directed and produced every episode of "Hugh and I", and I'm very proud of it.
[stunned silence, during which Arthur Lowe looks uneasy and David Croft smiles
Of course, a lesser man could be embarrassed in a situation like this.
[all three of them laugh - the ice has been broken
Closing titles showed a "You have been watching" caption followed by each principal cast member marching on the spot holding an improvised "weapon", in the style of the credits sequence for Dad's Army
(1968). See more
References Dad's Army