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Dad’s Army: Arthur Lowe refused to take script home ‘Not having that rubbish in my house!’

Dad's Army:Ian Lavender speaks his lip bleeding during scene

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Captain Mainwaring (played by Arthur Lowe) is one of the most iconic characters in British comedy and Arthur’s perfectly-timed mannerisms mean fans would find it impossible to imagine anyone else in that role. However, in the Channel 5 documentary We Love Dad’s Army, it’s revealed Arthur had a cheeky approach to perfecting the character. 

In the documentary, Arthur’s son Stephen Lowe reflected on his dad’s iconic role. 

He revealed: “The thing about Arthur is he did a great deal of other work as well and he would really focus on Dad’s Army on the day he was in the studio for Dad’s Army.

“He did become quite well known for not knowing his lines.”

In footage obtained from Terry Wogan’s chat show in 1988, Dad’s Army stars Bill Pertwee, Ian Lavender and Clive Dunn discussed their co-star. 

Read more: Dad’s Army: Unexpected flashback secret of BBC series exposed

Chief Warden Hodges star Bill began: “One day he came in and he didn’t know the words terribly well for one episode.”

Interrupting, Clive exclaimed: “Only one episode!

“[Producer] David Croft said, ‘Now take the script home and learn it and don’t put it in the desk take it home and learn it. 

“He said, ‘Certainly not I’m not having that rubbish like that in my house!’”

Arthur’s son agreed with Clive’s recollection of production.

He said: “That’s what it was like, he went home and he was at home.

“I have ridden in taxis with Arthur where I’ve been asked not to speak because he’s looking at the script possibly for the first time. 

“He was actually a very quick study I mean the reason he didn’t know his lines would be because he hadn’t looked at them.”

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Stephen went on to explain how his father and his on-screen persona were similar. 

He said: “I think to a certain extent he became the character.

“You could see Mainwaring in him even at home sometimes.

“He said, ‘Whoever held Wilmington-on-Sea held England and that would be Arthur to a tee.”

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Elsewhere, writer Jimmy Perry told the Daily Mirror about one comical incident where Arthur refused to film a scene.

In series six, episode one the script originally included a scene where a grenade ends up down Mainwaring’s trousers. 

He recalled: “‘I’m not having this, James. Tell your partner I don’t have bombs down my trousers and I’m certainly not having John Laurie’s arm down my trousers.’”

“There was no persuading him. We had to rewrite the scene and stick the bomb down Corporal Jones’s trousers.”

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