BBC Two has commissioned a dramatisation about the struggles of bringing classic comedy Dad’s Army to the screen.
With a working title of The Making of Dad’s Army, the hour-long story will show how creators Jimmy Perry and David Croft overcame BBC management scepticism, focus groups and cast constipation to get the much loved legend onto air.
Running from Perry’s initial idea in 1967 until the transmission of the first episode in 1968, this affectionate and witty film shows the beginnings of Perry and Croft’s writing partnership and the casting woes, personal clashes and production difficulties that put the show’s very existence in jeopardy. It reveals to fans and newcomers alike what went on behind the scenes in the making of Dad’s Army and is a true love letter to British creativity.
Cast confirmed so far includes: Paul Ritter to play Jimmy Perry (Friday Night Dinner, Quantum of Solace), Richard Dormer as David Croft (Fortitude, Game of Thrones), John Sessions to play Arthur Lowe (Filth, Gangs Of New York), Julian Sands as John Le Mesurier (The Killing Fields, The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo), Mark Heap as Clive Dunn (Friday Night Dinner, Green Wing), Shane Richie to play Bill Pertwee (EastEnders), Kevin Bishop as James Beck (The Kevin Bishop Show), Keith Allen to play Paul Fox (Bodies, Robin Hood), Michael Cochrane as Arnold Ridley (The Archers), Ralph Riach (Braveheart, Hamish Macbeth) to play John Laurie and Sally Phillips as Ann Croft (Smack The Pony, Bridget Jones’ Diary).
The Making of Dad’s Army is being produced by DSP, part of Endemol Shine Group and written by Stephen Russell (Garrow’s Law). Directing is Steve Bendelack (Royle Family).
The drama will be filmed in Northern Ireland.