Dads Army 1st Broadcast
The 31st of July 1968 AD
Arguably the greatest British sitcom, though fans of Fawlty Towers , The Good Life and The Office may beg to differ, Dad’s Army was first broadcast in glorious black and white on July 31 1968. Although the producers had put together a fine cast – Arthur Lowe , John Le Mesurier , John Laurie , Bill Pertwee et al – expectations for the series were not high even from the actors themselves. But it went on to run for nine years, produced a film, and has rarely been off our screens since.
The sitcom has become such an important (corner) piece in the jigsaw of our cultural self-image that this site includes it elsewhere as a British Institution. Some of that significance of course comes from the clever comedic writing, not least David Croft and Jimmy Perry’s brilliant use of catch-phrases: “You stupid boy,” “They don’t like it up ‘em!” “Are you sure that’s wise,” etc. But it is also derived from the kindly and even affectionate nature in which the British class-system and our many foibles are gently exposed and ridiculed, while what that system creates in spite of itself is admired: love of freedom and home; generosity; and courage.
Dad’s Army’s place in our national hearts is reflected in the fact that it now has its own museum in Thetford where much of the outdoor filming took place; and a replica Walmington-on-Sea has been built at nearby Bressingham.
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