Sticks Out Half A Mile
Seaside Saga of Post War Perpetuation."
Harold Snoad and Michael Knowles had previously adapted 67 Television
episodes of Dad's Army for the radio between 1973 and 1975.
In the early 1980's when they decided to come up with a radio
sequel involving the characters of George Mainwaring and Arthur
Wilson. With Jimmy Perry And David Croft's approval a pilot
episode involving the two characters was commisioned.
plot was to see a role reversal in the Mainwaring and Wilson
character play. It was to be a few years after the war and Mainwaring
was to have retired from the bank in Walmington, finding himself
in neighbouring Frambourne-on-Sea, he decides he wants to reopen
the local pier which was closed during the Second World War.
He needs financial help, so goes to the bank for a loan, however,
he finds the manager turns out to be his former bank clerk,
Lowe and John Le Mesurier were keen to return to their roles
as Mainwaring and Wilson, and a Pilot was recorded for BBC Radio
in early 1982. Sadly a few months after the recording of the
pilot, Arthur Lowe died, hence the original pilot episode of
"It Sticks Out Half a Mile" was never broadcast. However, it
was not the end, Snoad and Knowles were still keen to use the
concept for a radio series. Joan Cooper (Arthur Lowe's widow)
had told Harold Snoad that Arthur had thought the idea was marvellous
and would still wish the series to go ahead.
Arthur's portrayal of Mainwaring was quite out of the question,
but with John Le Mesurier still keen to continue, Ian Lavender
and Bill Pertwee came on board to form a suspect partnership
between Frank Pike and Bert Hodges, and a further thirteen episodes
of "It Sticks Out Half A Mile" were recorded in early 1983.
episodes retained the basic key plot of the original concept,
except it was now Pike and Hodges who were keen to reopen the
pier and frequently badgered Wilson for a bank loan. The series
boasted a competent cast of supporting actors, notably Vivienne
Martin as Miss Perkins, Wilson's secretary. Other actors included
Glyn Edwards, Michael Knowles, Reginald Marsh and the original
Mrs Pike from the "Dad's Army" TV Series, Janet Davies.
thirteen episodes, proved to be John Le Mesurier's final work,
he died during the series initial broadcast in November 1983.
The series was rerun with the addition of the final four episodes
in mid 1984. Deemed of little interest to an international audience
the series was not withheld by the BBC transcription service
and only four episodes (including the two pilots) were retained
by the BBC archives.
has not been particularly kind to this chapter of "Dad's
Army" history. "It Sticks Out Half A Mile" bore little resemblence
to its forebearer, and remains a curio of 13 episodes which have
a sense of sadness hanging over them, due to the recent loss of
Arthur Lowe and also been the final work of John Le Mesurier.