New Belfast-made drama will tell the story behind Dad's Army
A special one-off drama on how the classic British comedy Dad's Army was made is set to be filmed in Northern Ireland, it has been announced.
Making Dad's Army, the dramatised story of how comic writers Jimmy Perry and David Croft came up with the show, will start from Perry's first idea in 1967 until the transmission of the first episode in 1968.
The 60-minute production will show the beginnings of Perry and Croft's writing partnership and the casting problems, personal clashes and production difficulties that put the show's existence in jeopardy. It will also reveal to fans and newcomers what went on behind the scenes in the making the show. A star-studded cast has already been confirmed, including Quantum of Solace star Paul Ritter to play Perry, and Belfast actor Richard Dormer, of Fortitude fame, to play David Croft.
John Sessions, who starred in Gangs of New York, will play Arthur Lowe, Julian Sands will be John Le Mesurier and EastEnders star Shane Ritchie will play Bill Pertwee. Kevin Bishop plays James Beck, Michael Cochrane will be Arnold Ridley, Ralph Riach portrays John Laurie and Sally Phillips is to play Ann Croft.
The film is being produced by DSP, part of Endemol Shine Group. It was commissioned by Shane Allen, controller BBC comedy commissioning and Gregor Sharp, commissioning editor BBC comedy. It was written by Stephen Russell and will be directed by Steve Bendelack.