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Bill Pertwee

Blue Collar Rat


Rat?s register number: 710. Initiated: 7 November 1976.

Born in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, Bill worked as a window cleaner before being able to realise his ambition to enter professional showbusiness, in 1954, when he joined Beryl Reid in a London revue.

He went on to perform comedy at the Windmill Theatre, then in general Variety.

However, he really found his mark in BBC Radio, especially when he joined the cast of the second series of Kenneth Horne's 'Beyond Our Ken' (1959 - 64). His skill and growing reputation for playing many characters in sketches led to further work, carrying on to a residency in Kenneth?s re-launched radio hit 'Round the Horne'.

Although already a well known face and voice, Bill found lasting fame when he was cast as the cantankerous ARP Warden Hodges in the hit BBC television sit com 'Dad's Army', a show he remained in for the whole run from 1968 - 77. He also appeared in the film version (1971), the radio adaptation (1974 - 76), the stage show (Shaftesbury Theatre and the national tour : 1975 - 76), as well as two 'Carry On' films, 'Loving' and 'Girls'. He also played P.C. Wilson in the BBC's TV comedy series 'You Rang M' Lord' (1990 - 93).

In addition there was numerous other television, radio and stage work, plus he was the author of several books, including: 'Dad's Army; The Making of a TV Legend' (1989), 'Stars in Battledress' (1992) and his auto-biography 'A Funny Way To Make A Living' (1996).

Retiring to Cornwall, he died the week after attending a 'Dad?s Army' reunion event, leaving a son, Jonathan.

Scribe Rat Mike Martin
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