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Friday, 1 June, 2001, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Lost Dad's Army shows found
Dad's Army
Eighty episodes were made of the enduring comedy
Two long-lost episodes of the BBC TV comedy Dad's Army have been unearthed following an appeal by BBC archivists for missing TV programmes.

The series was one of the BBC's best-loved and most enduring comedies and the BBC has been anxious to trace five missing episodes out of the 80 that were made.

Clive Dunn in Dad's Army
Operation Kilt required the help of a pantomime cow
The two episodes, from 1969, turned up in a pile of rusting film cans handed into the BBC by a man who wishes to remain anonymous.

While the containers were in a poor state, the film inside was in good condition and has now been transferred to digital format for permanent storage.

Manoeuvres

One, called The Battle for Godfrey's Cottage, shows the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard reacting to an imagined German invasion.

The other, Operation Kilt, has the platoon taking on a crack Highland regiment in night manoeuvres - with the help of a pantomime cow.

The episodes were among 19 film cans pulled out of a skip at Elstree film studios in Herfordshire in the 1970s.

The man who found them kept them for years, until his daughter insisted he get rid of the old cans.

Arnold Ridley
Pte Godfrey, played by Arnold Ridley
He passed them on to a friend who, now in his 80s, saw the BBC's recent appeal for the return of old material and contacted the corporation.

David Croft, who produced and co-wrote the show, said he had been seeking the missing episodes for many years.

New fans

"It's been a long time, but I always knew they would turn up some day.

"Dad's Army is still finding new fans among younger viewers, and I think the public will be as happy as I am if they get a chance to see these two episodes."

Head of BBC Information and Archives, Paul Fiander, said: "This is a smashing discovery - it's all we hoped for and more.

"They can now be conserved and preserved for future generations."

The BBC has said that both episodes will be transmitted, but that it is not yet possible to say when.

See also:

23 Jun 99 | Entertainment
Dad's Army tops comedy poll
31 Jul 98 | Entertainment
Dad's Army hits 30
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