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It Ain't Half Hot Mum. Image shows from L to R: Gunner 'Lofty' Sugen (Don Estelle), BSM 'Shut Up' Williams (Windsor Davies), Bombardier 'Gloria' Beaumont (Melvyn Hayes). Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.

It Ain't Half Hot Mum

India, 1944 - a Royal Artillery Concert Party try to avoid going in to action by performing for the troops with their brand of camp entertainment!

AKA:
Iahhm
Genre:
Sitcom
Broadcast:
1974 - 1981  (BBC One)
Episodes:
56 (8 series)
Starring:
Michael Bates, George Layton, Windsor Davies, Melvyn Hayes, Don Estelle, Donald Hewlett, Michael Knowles, Christopher Mitchell, John Clegg, Stuart McGugan, Mike Kinsey
Writers:
David Croft, Jimmy Perry
Production:
British Broadcasting Corporation

As World War II is coming to a close, the Royal Artillery Concert Party in India are doing their utmost to keep themselves away from the front line. Battery Sergeant Major Williams sees his men as an embarrassment and is determined to knock them in to shape. However, he has little support from his senior officers who enjoy the theatrical aspect of their job. Nevertheless, they are thrust in to situations which call for more than just the ability to apply greasepaint and lipstick!

Our Review: A second military offering from the writers who brought us the phenomenally successful Dad's Army. It proved very popular despite losing key members of the cast at its peak and even spawned a No.1 hit in the pop charts for Windsor Davies and Don Estelle. Their rendition of an old Ink Spots number, Whispering Grass, was performed on Top of the Pops in the guise of their characters from the series.

The untimely death of Michael Bates in 1978 seemed to leave a void that proved impossible to fill and the three remaining series suffered because of his absence. Despite being born in India, his casting as Rangi Ram has caused much controversy over the years but, at the time, there were no other Indian comedy actors living in Britain experienced enough to carry a lead role. Nevertheless, it has been unfairly pigeon-holed as a politically incorrect comedy in recent years.