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Jimmy Perry dies: ‘Amazing’ Dad’s Army creator remembered

Jimmy PerryImage copyright
PA

Comedians and friends have paid tribute to the “amazing” contribution to British TV of Dad’s Army creator Jimmy Perry, who has died at the age of 93.

Perry’s agent Tim Hancock said the writer, who was also behind Hi-de-Hi! and You Rang M’Lord?, had died at his home on Sunday after a short illness.

He said he had “never met anyone… with as big a heart as Jimmy”.

Ian Lavender, who played Private Pike in Dad’s Army, said Perry’s death was “the end of an era”.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, Hi-de-Hi! actress Ruth Madoc said Perry was “really was a lovely man… a joy and so dapper… he loved his clothes”.

Shane Allen, BBC controller of comedy commissioning, said Perry’s shows would be remembered for many years to come.

He said: “Jimmy Perry is a Goliath of British comedy writing. He was behind some of the longest running and most loved sitcoms on British television spanning the 60s, 70s and 80s.”

In a tweet, comic Jack Dee said: “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.”

Simply Red singer Mick Hucknall and comedian Miranda Hart were among the other stars to take to Twitter to pay their respects to Perry.

In his writing, Perry drew upon his own experiences of being in the Home Guard during World War Two and as a Redcoat at Butlin’s holiday camp.

Perry devised Dad’s Army alongside producer David Croft and the pair also went on to create It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, about an Army entertainment troupe during the war.

Dad’s Army ran from 1968 for 80 episodes over nine years and the character Private Pike was based on Perry himself.

“He has been a part of my life for such a long time, half of an amazing partnership,” Ian Lavender added.

Media captionHis greatest hits: David Sillito looks back at the life of Jimmy Perry

Roy Gould, who worked as a production manager on Hi-de-Hi and You Rang M’Lord? said Perry was meticulous in his attention to detail.

“Jim always researched the material very, very, very well. In rehearsal and on location, Jim would have the script in his hand and make sure that everything was going absolutely right. He never left anything to chance,” he told the BBC.

‘Allo ‘Allo! actress Vicki Michelle tweeted a photograph of herself with Perry, and wrote: “So sad we have lost #JimmyPerry a brilliant comedy writer true gentleman. He leaves us such a legacy.”

Perry also wrote some of his theme tunes, penning Holiday Rock for Hi-de-Hi! and winning an Ivor Novello Award in 1971 for the Dad’s Army theme Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Hitler?

Image caption

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