Antiques Roadshow guest is left in shock after a ‘rare’ Dad’s Army script he picked up during work experience is valued at an eye-watering amount
Expert Clive Farrahar was amazed at the hand-written script for the sitcom brought to Roundhay Park in Leeds for Sunday’s episode.
Those in earshot were left speechless when Clive gave his estimated price for the ‘rare’ work of former screenwriter David Croft.
Clive said: ‘These pieces of paper are terribly rare. I can’t imagine that there are any more around.’
The papers were personally delivered to the lucky recipient after he had helped Croft at the BBC decades on from the relevant episode being aired.
An Antiques Roadshow guest (left)was left in shock when he was told the valuation of a Dad’s Army script he picked up while on work experience at the BBC
David Croft sent the original, hand-written script of series four episode four (Sgt – Save My Boy, 1970) to the lucky recipient after he had done a work experience stint helping him at the BBC
‘Well I suppose I have got to value it now,’ Clive said after a final glance at the pile of papers, ‘which is the most difficult thing because I don’t think I’ve got anything to compare it with.
‘I would say you have something between five and ten thousand pounds.’
The potential five-figure valuation drew gasps from the surrounding audience, along with hands on mouth and a shocked laugh.
The former BBC intern and had no words besides ‘wow’ in reaction to the news as his eyes barely remained in their sockets.
Clive continued: ‘Which sounds like a lot of money but when you think of how rare these scripts can possibly be, this – which I think is just the most golden piece of Dad’s Army – is where the heart of Dad’s Army is, so congratulations.’
The episode in question was the fourth episode of the fourth series: Sgt – Save My Boy (1970).
Its synopsis reads: ‘Pike gets caught up in barbed wire – just as his mum is paying the platoon a visit.’
The guest explained that he had been doing work experience with the episode’s writer in the mid-1990s, and in reply to a letter thanking the comedy mastermind, he received the script alongside a letter from the man himself.
Running over nine series from 1968 to 1977, Dad’s Army was one of the BBC’s best-loved series
Expert Clive Farrahar was astonished and estimated the script to be worth as much as £10,000
‘I can’t believe that I’m actually handling the original script from one of Dad’s Army’s programmes,’ Clive exclaimed to begin with, adding in disbelief: ‘He sent you this?’
Going through part of the letter, they read: ‘Thank you for your letter, I’m enclosing a manuscript of a Dad’s Army programme. Unfortunately, the first page is missing.
‘The original is in my own bad handwriting. I can write better than this but in trying to keep up with my thoughts, legibility goes out of the window.’
The resident expert observed that he, at least, could not read it for one.
However, legible or not, the gift and letter inspired the guest to go on to have his own career in TV, albeit not as a screenwriter like his correspondent.
Croft also created ‘Allo ‘Allo, Hi-de-Hi and Are You Being Served in his time at the BBC, before he died aged 89 in 2011.
The writing was barely legible, but inspired the former intern to pursue his own TV career, although not one in writing