'Private Pike', actor Ian Lavender, remembers the day the late Dad's Army writer Jimmy Perry arrived on set after spending his first big pay cheque on a flash new car
Ian Lavender has paid tribute to the late Jimmy Perry, after the Dad’s Army creator died on Sunday aged 93.
Ian played Private Pike in the iconic BBC sitcom during the ’60s and ’70s with Jimmy admitting the character, an anxious mummy’s boy whose mother made him wear a scarf while on patrol, was partially based on himself during his time in the Watford home guard.
“It’s the end of an era,” Lavender told TV Times. “We knew each other for 50 years and it’s very sad to see him go. Now the whole writing partnership has gone, both he and David Croft, and it was a real writing partnership. They came up with some very special stuff together.”
Following the death of Clive Dunn in 2012, Ian is the last surviving member of Captain Mainwaring’s much-loved Walmington-on-Sea home guard platoon.
Ian recalled how popular Perry was with the Dad’s Army cast.
“He had a love for very loud suits and we all thought he was very brave for wearing them,” explained Ian. “Loud suits with large checks, he was flamboyant to say the least!
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone as pleased as Jimmy was when he arrived on set with his new Mercedes in the early 70s. He said ‘This is the only car that has a single wiper you know, every other car has two!’
“This was around series three or four after the show had really taken off. People started earning more money and Jim could afford a Mercedes so he went out and bought one, as loud as the suits that he wore!”
Ian Lavender presents Home Guard Heroes on Channel 4 at the start of November.