Tuesday, 27 September 2011

David Croft OBE 1922-2011

David Croft
David Croft's name for me will be eternally linked with that of  Jimmy Perry's.

Following up Perry's idea for a situation comedy based on a Home Guard unit formed on the South Coast of England during the early years of the second world war was not a decision to be taken lightly by any TV producer back in 1968.  The war itself had only been over 24 years and to a degree still had painful memories for many that had lived through it.

Yet on reading Jimmy's script for The Fighting Tigers, David, a TV producer for the BBC thought there was something there and he was right. The Fighting Tigers was renamed Dad's Army and it became a British institution, making those who'd cried 24 years earlier laugh again and the younger generations laughing with them.

We still laugh at Dad's Army over 40 years later, I was only watching Come In Your Time Is Up on BBC2 tonight shortly before I learned of David's death.

David Croft with Pamela Cundell (Mrs Fox in Dad's Army)
and his wife Ann at a Dad's Army luncheon in Bressingham

- Photo: Andy Howells
I had the good fortune of meeting David myself on a few occasions including a showing of the recovered lost episodes in 2001 at the NFT and a Dad's Army luncheon a few years later where I sat opposite him and his wife Ann. A lovely chap who was always pleased to talk about his time working on Dad's Army, Are You Being Served, It Ain't Half Hot Mum, You Rang M'Lord  and Oh Doctor Beeching!

I remember discussing the recovered Dad's Army missing episodes with him in 2001. Although he was pleased at the return of Operation Kilt and The Battle of Godfrey's Cottage, he revealed to me he would have really liked to have seen the return of The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Walker because that was the episode that revealed the real reason why Walker (James Beck) wasn't let into the regular army. Let's hope that episode will still one day turn up!

You have been watching and will continue to watch... Thank you David Croft!

For more on Dad's Army visit my Dad's Army website and more on David Croft's work visit The David Croft Website

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing contribution David made as writer and director to British comedy. RIP.

    ReplyDelete

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