Jonathan Ross Salutes Dad’s Army, BBC1

Did we like it?
A worthy homage to the home guard sitcom, which aired for the first time 40 years ago and still fills half an hour of BBC2 primetime every week.

What was good about it?
• The recreation of the church hall where the Walmington-on-Sea home guard had their many misadventures was lovingly done.
• Jonathan Ross was at ease, rarely attention seeking, as he paraded through the show’s history with a series of cast members and fans.
• Ian Lavender, who played Private’stupid boy’ Pike, is an excellent raconteur, reliving life on the show which he joined as a 22-year-old fresh out of drama college.
• The other cast members, plus creators David Croft and Jimmy Perry, also had entertaining stories to tell, mainly about Arthur Lowe (as pompous as his Captain Mainwaring character) and John Le Mesurier (as charming as his Sergeant Wilson character). And the show’s fans – Ronnie Corbett and John Thomson – were much better than the usual rentagobs who turn up on these sorts of shows (no Vernon Kay, hooray).
• Without resorting the any stupidity, Dan Snow successfully put the show in its historical context.
• The programme achieved a good balance in satisfying Dad’s Army addicts and pleasing more casual viewers.

What was bad about it?

• Jon Culshaw, one of TV’s most tedious types, popped up in a report on the Dad’s Army locations.


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