There is a lot of British Television that does well in its own time but little has made as much of a landmark on the scene as the BBC comedy Dad’s Army. 2016 has been an absolutely brutal year and it is with a heavy hearts that we break yet more bad news. Earlier on today, Jimmy Perry died at age 93.
Perry was an enthusiast of theatre from an early age and dreamt of becoming a stand-up comedian whilst in school. Born in September of 1923, Perry was just sixteen when war broke out. Too young to enlist in the military, Jimmy signed up for the local Home Guard instead. The experiences he undertook would later prove to be the foundations of his still famous Dad’s Army with the character of Private ‘Stupid Boy’ Pike being modelled on himself. The rest of the major characters each drew upon other Home Guards he had served with.
A Special Lgeacy
Although too young to serve at the start of the war, Perry was later called up in 1941. He was ordered to Burma where he became part of a Royal Artillery Concert Party. Following his career in the war, Perry ran the Palace Theatre at Watford. He worked as part of a company which produced a different show each week. The early 60’s saw his first drafts of ‘The Fighting Tigers’. He showed some to TV producer David Croft who took it to the BBC. Despite some hesitance, the show was renamed and accepted. Dad’s Army began airing in 1968 and is still drawing in millions of viewings each weekend on the BBC.
— BBC (@AboutTheBBC) 23 October 2016
Perry won the 1971 Ivor Novello Award for the Dads Army theme tune ‘Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Hitler’. An OBE followed in 1978. He is survived by his wife, Gilda Perry.