Clive Dunn and Arthur Lowe's rift examined in documentary
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In the new Channel 5 special, Dad’s Army: Secret Lives and Scandal, Captain George Mainwaring actor Arthur Lowe and Lance Corporal Jack Jones actor Clive Dunn’s turbulent relationship is explored as their political beliefs created a feud between them, which was made worse in the 70s when Dunn received an OBE but Lowe did not.
Viewers will be shocked to hear that a rift between stars Dunn and Lowe became a major issue while filming the series.
“The thing that is so fascinating about the Arthur Lowe and Clive Dunn relationship was that Arthur Lowe was a Tory, and Clive Dunn was an avowed socialist,” said comedy writer Emma Kennedy.
“Arthur was very political and he was very right-wing,” Arthur’s close friend explained.
“He was introduced to Ted Heath and to Margaret Thatcher and these were things he was massively proud of.”
However, rifts emerged as “other members of the cast did not share his politics” at all.
“Clive Dunn was as left-wing as Arthur was right-wing,” the friend remarked.
The show stated that the two actors avoided talking about politics on-set as a result of their differences.
Though things changed when Clive Dunn was awarded an OBE in 1975 and Lowe felt “personally snubbed”.
“I think he was absolutely furious that Clive Dunn got an OBE and he didn’t.
“I would think he was absolutely crushed by that,” his friend added.
The show also discussed how John Le Mesurier and Clive Dunn first worked together on Hancock’s Half Hour, which helped to launch the careers of several of the Dad’s Army stars.
“They emerged from the Golden Age of British comedy,” the narrator stated.
Hancock’s Half Hour was responsible for the two actors’ first partnership and the special episode credited the show for helping to create the relationship between Wilson and Mainwaring on Dad’s Army.
It was also said that the series was about a “craving to be accepted as middle class”, and it instilled the BBC’s values within.
The sitcom was described as having “sophisticated and intelligent humour”, which was quite a change as, “at the time, comedy was a bit more smutty”.
However, back when Dad’s Army was first released, British comedy was changing rapidly.
There was a new wave of “edgy” comedians starting to appear, including the Monty Python group.
After the BBC began transitioning their shows into colour, Dad’s Army followed suit in its third season.
This change “breathed new life into the show” and became an icon of Britain’s television canon as a result.
Dad’s Army remains one of the country’s most beloved sitcoms of all time.
When it first appeared on the BBC in 1968, the reaction was mixed but, over time, audiences grew to love the exploits of the British Home Guard as they fought in the Second World War.
The original series ran until 1977 and even spawned a feature film in 1971.
The series grew so popular that a radio version based on the original TV scripts was produced and the show was broadcast internationally to over 18 million people.
Dad’s Army: Secret Lives and Scandal is available on My5 now.
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