Entertainment & Arts

Dad's Army creator Jimmy Perry dies

Jimmy Perry Image copyright Getty Images

Jimmy Perry, creator of one of TV's most popular comedy series, Dad's Army, has died aged 93.

Working with producer David Croft, he was also responsible for It Ain't Half Hot Mum, Hi-de-Hi and You Rang M'Lord?

He drew on his life experiences for his writing, as a young member of the Home Guard during World War Two and as a Butlin's holiday camp Redcoat.

Dad's Army ran from 1968 for 80 episodes over nine years while Hi-de-Hi ran for eight years.

Perry was born on 20 September 1923 in Barnes, south-west London.

He was too young to join the army when World War Two broke out in 1939, so instead joined his local home guard.

He later based many of the characters for the sitcom on the soldiers he met at that time.

Image caption The BBC was initially reluctant to produce Dad's Army as it ribbed the Home Guard

Comedians and colleagues paid tribute on Twitter.

Jack Dee wrote: "RIP Jimmy Perry. Amazing contribution to British telly. Watched Dad's Army only yesterday. Still as funny as when I watched it as a kid."

Richard Osman, from the gameshow Pointless, said: When St. Peter asks for Jimmy Perry's name he's got a great gag lined up #ripjimmyperry

And Allo Allo actress Vicki Michelle tweeted: "So sad we have lost #JimmyPerry a brilliant comedy writer & true gentleman. He leaves us such a legacy."

After the war, he trained as an actor at Rada, and spent time entertaining holiday-makers at Butlin's camps.

He ran the Palace Theatre at Watford, putting on a different show each week and played bit parts in TV sitcoms before he began to write them himself.

He showed his ideas for Dad's Army - initially called The Fighting Tigers - to David Croft, who took it to the BBC.

The character Private Pike was based on Perry himself.

Croft and Perry went on to collaborate on shows including It Ain't Half Hot Mum, which began in 1974 and was based around their wartime experiences in the Far East, and Hi-de-Hi, about a 1950s holiday camp.

Perry also wrote some of his theme tunes.

He won an Ivor Novello Award in 1971 for the Dad's Army theme Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Hitler and penned Holiday Rock for Hi-de-Hi.

He was awarded an OBE in 1978 and he leaves a wife, Gilda Perry.


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