Having created a true gem with Dad’s Army writers Jimmy Perry and David Croft stuck with world war two for their next venture, It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, this time transplanting the action to the Indian subcontinent and the exploits of the Royal Artillery Concert Party.
Regimental Sergeant Major Williams (a majestic Windsor Davies) rules the boys with a rod of iron determined to drill them to perfection, the boys though would sooner be putting on their make up (literally in the case of Melvyn Hayes’s “Gloria” Beaumont) and preparing for the show they put on each week; In this first season George Layton’s Solly Solomon organises the show (Layton actually soon quit the show preferring to concentrate on writing).
It’s interesting looking at the class divisions within the platoon too, the CO’s (Donald Hewlett and Michael Knowles) are out of touch and the mostly working class boys are wilting in the heat whilst Michael Bates’s Rangi Ram is the servant who hears everything and misses nothing.
“meet the gang cos the boys are here, the boys are to entertain you”
Windsor Davies as RSM B.L. Williams
Melvyn Hayes as ‘Gloria’ Beaumont
George Layton as Bombadier Solomons (Seasons1-2)
Michael Bates as Ranji Ram (Seasons 1-5)
Don Estelle as Gunner ‘Lofty’ Sugden
Donald Hewlett as Colonel Reynolds
Michael Knowles as Capt Ashwood
Kenneth MacDonald as ‘Nobby’ Clark
Dino Shafeek as Char Wallah Muhammad
Stuart McGugan as Gunner Mackintosh
John Clegg as Gunner ‘Paderuski’ Graham
Christopher Mitchell as Gunner Parkin
Mike Kinsey as Gunner ‘Nosher’ Evans
Babar Bhatti as Punkar Wallah
Writer: Jimmy Perry, David Croft
Theme Music: Jimmy Perry, Derek Taverner
Producer: David Croft
Network and Production Companies: BBC One
Duration: 56×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 1974-81 Eight seasons