1. ITV Report

Comedy master filmed his greatest successes in the East

Writer and producer David Croft (centre-left) Photo: ITV Anglia

Well-loved all over the world, the characters and situations he and his co-writers created have become British comedy classics.

David Croft lived with his wife Ann near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, and his greatest hits were filmed close by. Dad’s Army was filmed around Thetford and various other locations in Norfolk were used for ‘Allo ‘Allo! and You Rang, M’Lord?. Hi-de-hi! was filmed at the former Warner’s holiday camp in Dovercourt in Essex.

In September last year David died at his second home in Portugal. Five hundred people have today packed into St Martin-in-the-Fields in London for a memorial service to celebrate his life.

David Webb, who lives on the Essex/Suffolk border and who played one of the twin yellowcoats in Hi-de-hi! spoke of his memories.

“He was a very kind man and loved by everyone who was lucky enough to work for him. It’s such a privilege to have been part of one of his comedy classics in what was a golden age for British television."

– Actor David Webb

David Croft often drew on life experiences for his work. He rose to the rank of Major in the army and he also produced a number of shows at Butlin's holiday camp. His biggest success began when he teamed up with his writing partner Jimmy Perry. Their first creation Dad’s Army in the late 1960s remains popular today. The Duo went on to co-write It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, Hi-de-hi! and You Rang, M’Lord?

Other partnerships included Jeremy Lloyd for Are you being Served? and ‘Allo ‘Allo!. Oh Dr Beeching! he wrote with Richard Spendlove.

One of David’s protégés Su Pollard who played Peggy in Hi-de-hi! is singing at the service. Most of the surviving stars from his different series have turned out to remember a man who gave them and their television audiences so much.