Page last updated at 20:38 GMT, Friday, 12 December 2008

'Lost' Dad's Army show back on TV

BBC Radio WM presenter Ed Doolan
Ed Doolan has hundreds of hours of "lost" material taped in the 1960s

A vintage Dad's Army episode, thought to have been lost by the BBC, is to be shown with improved sound and colour - partly thanks to a BBC presenter.

The BBC erased some archived material in the 1970s to save space and money.

BBC Radio WM presenter Ed Doolan made an audio recording of the programme in 1969 and the sound has been digitally re-mastered for transmission quality.

A colour version of Room at the Bottom will be broadcast with the improved audio on BBC2 at 2025 GMT on Saturday.

The colour episode was discarded in 1970 and the half-hour programme has only existed in black-and-white since then - but experts have now recoloured the film.

Private Pike

The presenter said he recorded hundreds of programmes in the 1960s which the BBC has since wiped out, but added: "I didn't know that what I had would be listenable enough to be used on BBC television."

His taped collection of Dad's Army material includes a sketch broadcast in 1968 on Christmas Night with the Stars and introduced by Morecambe and Wise.

Fans of the show have said hearing the lost words of Captain Mainwaring will be an early Christmas present for them.

Tony Pritchard, of The Dad's Army Appreciation Society said: "I think it's fantastic news for everybody and the society in particular.

"We've had lots of calls saying when are we going to be able to hear these things."

Birmingham-born Ian Lavender, who starred as Private Pike, has recorded a special introduction for the lost episode.

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The original material was thought to have been destroyed by the BBC



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