Fans of British comedy have been paying tribute to writer David Croft, who died earlier this week.
He co-wrote a huge number of classics, such as Are You Being Served, It Ain’t Half Hot Mum and ‘Allo ‘Allo, but is probably best known for his work on Dad’s Army.
It was a firm favourite of my Grandad’s, which is how I first came to enjoy it.
The show followed the hapless adventures of Walmington-on-Sea’s home guard during the second world war, and ran for seven seasons between 1968 and 1977, spawning radio versions, a film and play.
Croft wrote Dad’s Army alongside the programme’s creator Jimmy Perry, who also penned the lyrics for its much-loved theme tune.
Together, the two produced some of the most enduring catchphrases in British comedy, which you can enjoy again in the video below.
Walmington-on-Sea’s motley band of defenders
The first episode, The Man and the Hour, aired on July 31, 1968, and we have a page of signed Jimmy Perry-handwritten script from that first episode.
It contains a dialogue between Captain Mainwaring and the irrepressible Lance Corporal Jones, who asserts, in his inimitable fashion, that those Jerries “don’t like it up ‘em”.
The page also features words of introduction from Croft at the head of the paper.
“Permission to speak Sir. Mr Jimmy Perry will write this bit of script,” Croft writes.
Dad’s Army can attribute its success to a range of factors: great writing, a great cast and a basis in reality that many Brits had themselves experienced.
Opportunities to own pieces of television nostalgia like this do not come along too often…