Don't Tell Him Pike: Part 2. More Tales from the Not So Stupid Boy...

Die-hard fans of classic BBC Sitcom Dad’s Army will particularly enjoy this panel discussion, Q&A and selection of nostalgic clips from Ian Lavender, aka Private Pike, and fellow actor Stephen McNicoll. For those not familiar with the sitcom however, their selection of anecdotes is probably a bit on the niche side. There is not quite enough accessible material for the Dad’s Army novice to feel entirely comfortable, but if any do find themselves in the audience they should persevere – the stories are still pretty fascinating.

Lavender evidently has a huge amount of lasting affection for the show and tells the story of its humble beginnings to iconic heights with an open sensitivity to the inevitable sadnesses of losing cast members and wrapping up after 15 years.

Working with the iconic double act Arthur Lowe (Captain Mannering) and John le Mesurier (Sergeant Wilson) was clearly an extremely instructive and life-changing experience for the young ‘sprog’ Lavender. Ian debunks some of the myths that surround the relationship between these two – ‘they just weren’t natural playmates’ – and goes onto explain that there was great mutual respect between them built up over years of work. He also denies the long held rumour that they were originally cast in the opposite roles.

Lavender reveals how much he was inspired by Le Mesurier’s craftsmanship ‘by that time I’d said wherever you go John, I’ll go with you’. He described le Mesurier’s habit of ‘taking drop shots’ and that ‘it was an absolute delight to do a scene with him, there was just that little extra frisson’.

Don’t tell him Pike is also a comment on how a particular catchphrase can haunt an actor for the rest of his career and the original scenario spawned a hundred different pastiches and cameos. As well as showing the original clip of Pike’s face-off with a German officer, they show a clip from a cleverly modernised spin-off ‘Jihad’s Army’. They also reveal how years later Lavender was caught out by prank pulled on him by Rick Wakeman when they both appeared on Celebrity Mastermind.

Both Lavender and his interviewer McNicholl assume that the majority of their audience will have heard of the actors, characters, producers and directors involved, so they don’t take pains to make it clear who they’re talking about. Far more successful for including the layman are the clips they include, although an awkward rectangular room means that about 10 per cent of the audience can’t see the screen.

The clips allow their chat to broaden into a discussion about how to create a successful sitcom and let them extol the virtues of the signature Dad’s Army ‘non-ending’.

Lavender evidently has a huge amount of lasting affection for the show and tells the story of its humble beginnings to iconic heights with an open sensitivity to the inevitable sadnesses of losing cast members and wrapping up after 15 years.

He also reveals that he has somewhat reluctantly taken a cameo role in a new reincarnation for the big screen, with an all-star cast including Michael Gambon and Alison Steadman, which will be released in early 2016 – a chance to gain a whole new generation of stalwart fans!

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The Blurb

Returning in 2015, Ian Lavender relays tales of his time as Pike in the ever-loved Dad’s Army and its troop of Home Guard characters. Come and join Ian, together with Steven McNicoll, one of Scotland’s best loved actors, as they talk about time spent with the Walmington-on-Sea warriors and their memories. There are photographs and clips to be shared with you, and hopefully questions to be put and answers to be given. An hour of laughter and warm memories.