Dad's Army was created and written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft, the duo who were also responsible for 'Allo 'Allo, Hi-De-Hi! and It Ain't Half Hot, Mum . Perry came up with the idea when it struck him that people had forgotten the role that the Home Guard played in the Second World War.
The sitcom followed the farcical exploits of the Walmington-on-Sea platoon, led by Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) and it ran on TV from 1968 to 1977. The story begins in May 1940 with Sir Anthony Eden's plea to men to come forward as Local Defence Volunteers. In the fictional town of Walmington, the pompous bank manager George Mainwaring declares himself commanding officer ("Times of peril always bring great men to the fore,") and gathers together a loyal but incompetent platoon of local men to defend the town against invasion.
Although reviewers initially criticised the series for mocking the Home Guard, the plotline was surprisingly realistic. The real Home Guard lacked uniforms and weapons at first, and the huge influx of volunteers meant that the organisation was quite shambolic. The age limit for recruits was supposed to be 65, but this was not enforced to begin with, allowing First World War veterans in their seventies and eighties to creep in.
Dad's Army had its own elderly, incontinent Private Godfrey, played by Arnold Ridley, who had fought in WW1 himself. The actor was seriously injured at the Somme, rendering his left arm almost useless, and leaving him susceptible to blackouts.
Among the rest of the cast were Clive Dunn (who simultaneously drew in a different audience as the chart-topping pop star 'Grandad'), Hattie Jacques' former husband, John le Mesurier and a baby-faced Ian Lavender, who has since resurfaced as Derek in EastEnders.
This box set features the entire collection of surviving episodes of the programme. Includes all nine surviving episodes from Series 1 and 2 and the complete series 3-9.
Nothing really gay about this at all, but it just one of the finest British comedies ever to appear on the small screen.
John Whaite, winner of the 2012 Great British Bake Off, bakes everywhere he goes - at food festivals, as a guest on the nation's top cookery shows, at Le Cordon Bleu school where he is perfecting his craft and as teacher at his new cookery school. Yet his favourite place to bake is still at home, creating delicious treats and feasts for his family and friends.
In John Whaite Bakes At Home, John shares with us those recipes he saves for his nearest and dearest. The lunches, brunches and afternoon teas he whips up when his parents come to visit, the indulgent sweet bakes and savoury pizzas he has waiting when his friends come to stay, and the picnics, confectionery and special occasion cakes he prepares for, and with, his nieces and nephews. So whether you want a birthday cake to impress or a comfort food feast to welcome the whole family, if you're after straightforward homemade recipes with a modern twist, this is the book for you.
Before Elvis, before Elton John, Madonna and Lady Gaga, there was Liberace--infamous pianist, outrageous entertainer and flamboyant star of stage and television. A name synonymous with showmanship and extravagance, he lit up every stage he performed on, as bright as his candelabras and with a unique flair that gained him millions of devoted fans across the globe.
In the summer of 1977, handsome young stranger Scott Thorson walked into Liberace’s dressing room and, despite their age difference and seemingly different worlds, the two embarked on a secretive five-year love affair. To the outside world Scott was an employee, at most a friend, but behind closed doors his life with Liberace was an intense rollercoaster of hedonistic fun, flamboyance and excess.
Starring Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as Scott Thorson, Behind The Candelabra tells the fascinating true story of their glamorous life together and their tempestuous relationship--from the glitz and glamour of the early days in Las Vegas to their very bitter and public break-up.
Boys on Film crosses
the Atlantic to bring you a bevy of intriguing and genre-busting shorts from
the land of the free. Starring Michael Cassidy (Smallville, The OC), Aaron Michael
Davies (Another Gay Sequel), Donald Cumming (The Virgins) and porn star Brent
Corrigan, these award-winning shorts from East coast to West side reveal that
there is more to these American boys than meets the eye.
Dir. Adam Salky (16mins) Starring
Adam West, Michael Cassidy
After play practice one night for the senior production of A Streetcar
Named Desire, backstage boy Ben gives Johnny, the play's Stanley, a ride
home to help him with his lines. When a bottle of champagne gets opened, the
boys end up in Johnny's swimming pool, where everyday boundary lines quickly
In The Closet
Dir. Jody Wheeler (14mins)
Starring Brent Corrigan, JT Tepnapa
An anonymous bedroom inside a typical apartment somewhere in Los Angeles. A
pair of young men enter, one having scored a one-night stand, the other giving
away little as to his true intentions. Little does one of them know that a homo-hungry
closet-case lies in wait, and it hasnt been fed in quite some time...
Porn star Brent Corrigan whips out his acting chops and pulls it off in an entertaining
B-movie knees-up with considerable bite.
Dir. Dennis Shinners (USA) 15mins
Starring Matt Schuneman, Antony Raymond
Paul's dad unexpectedly picks him up from work. And then a hooker. After dropping
them off at a seedy roadside motel, Paul's father hands him two hundred dollars
and that he mustn't come out until he's a man. These are just a few of the bizarre
events that Paul recounts to Marco, a seductive hustler he meets in a dicey
bar on a hidden street underneath New York City's infamous Port Authority Bus
Terminal, also known as Area X.
The Young and
Evil Dir. Julian Breece (15mins)
Starring Vaughn Lowery, Mark Berry
This visceral short film follows the zero-to-60 path of Karel, a young African-American
who is determined to seduce an older man, an HIV prevention advocate, into giving
him the virus. The oft-taboo issues of having gay sex but not using protection
are amplified by taking place in the African-American community, a daring approach
to a controversial topic that landed the film a Sundance nomination.
Dir. Brian Krinsky (15mins)
Starring Matthew Monge, Jeff Martin, Octavio Altamirano
Emo kids Israel and Louie walk around their East Los Angeles neighborhood dishing
and sexting about their high school classmates. After listening
to Louie boast about his sexual escapades, Israel decides he has some catching
up to do.
Dir. Carter Smith (36mins)
Starring Josh Caras, Donald Cumming
Bugcrush is the story of Ben, a small-town high school loner, whose fascination
with Grant, a dangerously seductive new kid, leads him into something much more
sinister than he could ever have imagined.
Dir. Kyle Coker (22mins)
Starring Aaron Michael Davies, James Heffron, Sangeeta Parekh, Hayley Thompson-King
Inspired by The Wizard of Oz, four Kansas City twentysomething misfits
navigate their new lives in the Emerald City of New York. Newly single Thom,
our Dorothy, discovers NYC in a second "coming out party". Jimboy,
the brainless Scarecrow, wants to become the first gay white rap superstar.
Anisha, the workaholic Tinman, searches for a heart and Callie, a whiskey drinking
Cowardly Lion, lacks the courage to make it as an actress.
John Hurt stars as Quentin Crisp (a role he originally played in 1975's 'The Naked Civil Servant') in this biographical drama based on the last 20 years of Crisp's life. The literary figure and gay iconoclast emigrated to New York in 1981 and lived there until his death in 1999. The film observes Crisp in both his public and private lives, from his seemingly cavalier response to the outbreak of AIDS to his tender relationship with his dying friend Patrick Angus (Jonathan Tucker) and his own response to growing old. Denis O'Hare, Swoosie Kurtz and Cynthia Nixon co-star.
Starring: John Hurt, Denis O'Hare, Jonathan Tucker, Cynthia Nixon, Swoosie Kurtz
It is 1984. Frank (Layke Anderson) is a determined teenager who runs away from high school to find an alternative lifestyle in Amsterdam. He finds a home and a job at the House of Boys, a bar-cum-brothel run by a strict Madame (Udo Kier) who has an eye for what his punters crave. Frank works his way up from barman to on-stage dancer and falls in love with some of his housemates. The first intimations of what is described as 'the gay cancer', casts a long shadow over Frank s tight-knit group of friends. Yet despite the troubles that cloud the hopes and dreams of young Frank, his perseverance, along with support from a willing doctor (Stephen Fry), will carry him through. House of Boys is a glamorous, colourful coming-of-age story that lifts the lid on an exciting world of sex and music, where deep passions suddenly turn into a struggle for courage.
Starring: Layke Anderson, Stephen Fry, Udo Kier, Steven Webb, Joanna Scanlan
John Whaite Bakes. He always has. Whether he is happy or sad, in love or heartbroken, on his own or with friends, he believes that whipping up his favourite dishes provides nourishment for both the body and the soul.
Now, fresh from winning the 2012 Great British Bake Off, he wants to share his mouthwatering creations with us so we can find the perfect recipe to fit our mood too.
There are comforting dishes here like Self-Saucing Chocolate Mud Pud and Pork, Apple and Thyme Sausage Rolls that will warm up the coldest of winter evenings, inspiring flavour combinations such as Fig and Rose Savarin and Salted Caramel Rum Babas, romantic dishes to share such as Pizza Puttanesca and Passionfruit Tart and some new showstoppers too, including the brand new Hellfire and Brimstone Cake.
So, whether you need a pick-me-up for dinner or a lazy Sunday breakfast treat, John Whaite Bakes is full of indulgent, delicious recipes to suit your every day and every mood.