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Dad's Army at 40 | How Captain Mainwaring and Sergeant Wilson got called up

About this collection

On 31 July 1968, viewers of BBC One met a group of elderly soldiers and a 'stupid boy' for the first time. 'Dad's Army' became an instant classic with its gentle humour, nostalgia and pride in the men who gave their all for their country, whatever that all happened to be.

In this collection, you can read letters from the actors at different stages in their careers and internal BBC memos that show just how popular the series was right from the start. Photographs from the archives follow the stars of the show from the first episode to the last, as well as taking a peek behind the scenes.

Dad's Army at 40 Collection

A letter from Arthur Lowe.

Letter from Arthur Lowe

WRITTEN 1948
1 PAGE

Arthur Lowe begins his acting career.

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A letter from actor Bill Pertwee.

Letter from Bill Pertwee

WRITTEN 1957
2 PAGES

Bill Pertwee arranges a BBC audition.

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A letter from Michael Grade about Clive Dunn.

Letter from Clive Dunn's agent

WRITTEN 1968
1 PAGE

Clive Dunn's agent confirms billing order.

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A memo from Michael Mills to Paul Fox about Dad's Army.

Argument about Opening Titles of 'Dad's Army'

WRITTEN 1968
1 PAGE

Head of BBC Comedy defends 'Dad's Army'.

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A memo from Paul Fox to Michael Mills about Dad's Army.

Memo from Controller of BBC1 to Head of Comedy

WRITTEN 1968
1 PAGE

Paul Fox justifies his instructions to re-edit the 'Dad's Army' title sequence.

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The 'Dad's Army' Press Release

'Dad's Army' Press Release

WRITTEN c. 1968
3 PAGES

BBC Publicity prepares the way for a new BBC comedy.

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Programme Review Board Minutes for 'Dad's Army'

Programme Review Board Minutes for 'Dad's Army'

WRITTEN 1968
1 PAGE

BBC executives review the first episode of 'Dad's Army'.

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'Dad's Army' Audience Response Report

'Dad's Army' Audience Response Report

WRITTEN 1968
2 PAGES

The BBC finds out what the viewers thought of 'Dad's Army'.

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BBC Publicity Memo on 'Dad's Army'

BBC Publicity Memo on 'Dad's Army'

WRITTEN 1968
1 PAGE

The producer of 'Dad's Army' receives good news from BBC Publicity.

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Memo from Controller of BBC1 to David Croft

Memo from Controller of BBC1 to David Croft

WRITTEN 1970
1 PAGE

Controller of BBC1 Paul Fox sends a letter of congratulations to the producer of 'Dad's Army', David Croft.

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Letter from John Laurie

Letter from John Laurie

WRITTEN 1977
1 PAGE

John Laurie declares he's not finished.

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Programme Review Board Minutes.

Programme Review: Final episode of 'Dad's Army'

WRITTEN 1977
1 PAGE

BBC executives pay tribute to producer of 'Dad's Army' after show's final episode airs.

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Audience Response for the final episode of 'Dad's Army'.

Audience Response: 'Dad's Army' Final Episode

WRITTEN 1977
1 PAGE

Viewers are surveyed on their feelings about the last ever episode of 'Dad's Army'.

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