ATTEMPTING to remake one of the most popular sitcoms in history is a perilous mission for any actor.
But the platoon of brave recruits bringing three lost episodes of Dad’s Army back to TV has now been fully assembled, it was revealed yesterday.
Plebs star Tom Rosenthal will play Ian Lavender’s role of Private Pike and Brasseye’s Kevin Eldon has been given permission to speak the immortal catchphrases of Lance Corporal Jones.
Gavin and Stacey’s Matthew Horne will be Private Walker, Taboo actor David Hayman will portray Private Frazer and Robert Bathurst from Cold Feet will be Sergeant Wilson, originally played by John Le Mesurier.
Bernard Cribbins is the mild-mannered Private Godfrey and Pirates Of The Caribbean star Kevin McNally has the commanding role of Captain Mainwaring.
The lost episodes, which vanished from the BBC archives, are being brought back to life by digital channel Gold to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their first and only broadcasts. The actors will be using Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s original scripts for The Loneliness Of The Long-Distance Walker, A Stripe For Frazer and Under Fire.
Fans of the World War II home guard sitcom — one of the most repeated shows on TV — will be able to watch the faithful recreations later this year.
McNally, Eldon and Bathurst perhaps faces the toughest challenges as they shoulder the duties of small screen legends Arthur Lowe, Clive Dunn and Le Mesurier.
But 61-year-old Bathurst — David Marsden in Cold Feet — said he was thrilled to receive the call-up and hoped to do his duty well.
‘I’ve played soldiers before but find I handle guns with all the bloodcurdling authority of Sergeant Wilson,’ he said.
‘I’m looking forward to playing him. I hope we can honour Croft and Perry’s lost episodes. It’s a celebration of their writing, with understudies.’