Don Estelle as Gunner 'Lofty' Sugden

Episodes 56

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Meet the Gang

1x1
January 3, 1974

Gunner Solomons is trying to run a Concert Party rehearsal and he's finding it difficult without Gunner Graham, the pianist, who's been put on jankers by Sergeant Major Williams. The Sergeant Major is determined that Graham will spend his time painting stones white rather than playing the piano for a 'bunch of puffs'. Solly decides to appeal to a higher authority, so he sends the Bearer off to deliver a note to the Colonel. As a result, Graham is excused jankers and allowed to join the rest of the Concert Party in rehearsal. That evening, the Concert Party performance is interrupted when a large mob of locals stage an anti-British protest outside the camp gates. The Sergeant Major finds himself 'annointed' with the dung of a sacred animal - all over his best tunic.

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My Lovely Boy

1x2
January 10, 1974

Rangi Ram notices that Gunner Parkins and the Sergeant Major both have a photograph of the same woman next to their beds. It's Parky's mother and the only woman the Sergeant Major ever loved. Rangi tells the Sergeant Major, who jumps to the conclusion that Parky is his son. Gunner Parkins is about to be posted 'up the jungle'. Williams tries to think of a way of preventing this from happening. He decides to arrange for Parky to become a member of the Concert Party, as a ventriloquist. News of the German surrender and the end of the war in Europe reaches the camp.

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January 17, 1974

It's decided that all of the Punkah Wallahs in the camp should be replaced with electric fans. When the Punkah Wallahs hear about this, they all go on strike. The local electricity workers walk out in sympathy, so the camp is suddenly without power. Then the workers at the telephone exchange go on strike. Gunner Solomons comes up with a plan to settle the dispute and reinstate the Punkah Wallahs

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A Star is Born

1x4
January 24, 1974

Gunner Parkin is "removed" from the concert party. The Sergeant Major plots to have the rest of the gang sent "up the jungle".

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January 31, 1974

Sergeant Major Williams talks the Colonel into letting him take the men from the Concert Party on a jungle survival course. The Sergeant Major thinks everyone is going without food and water, but Solly has arranged for Rangi Ram and the Char Wallah to follow behind with hot tea and food. While the Sergeant Major suffers from hunger and thirst, the men from the Concert Party keep sneaking off to eat and drink.

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February 7, 1974

Attempts are made to find out whether or not RSM Williams really IS Parky's father

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February 14, 1974

The Concert Party are on their way to put on a show for the troops at Bannu, on the Northwest Frontier. After a long, hot train journey, they set off by road on the last leg of the journey. The truck breaks down and the men are stranded. They find themselves surrounded by hostile tribesmen. Solly has to pose as Bing Crosby and put on a show for the tribesmen in order to pacify them. When Gloria appears as Dorothy Lamour, the leader of the tribesmen wants to buy 'her'.

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February 21, 1974

The Sergeant Major wants the men from the Concert Party to do guard duty and drill. The Colonel points out that they all have different uniforms, so they wouldn't look right on guard. The Sergeant Major plans to get the gang to dress up in similar uniforms by persuading them to include a 'military' number in the show. Solly manages to get hold of some uniforms and begins to rehearse 'The Road To Mandalay'. The General pays a visit to inspect the camp. He complains about the fact that the men in the camp all seem to be wearing different uniforms. Then he sees the Sergeant Major drilling the Concert Party, all dressed in similar uniforms, and insists on inspecting them.

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January 2, 1975

The Sergeant Major tries to train the concert party to lower the flag at sunset.

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January 9, 1975

The concert party's plane makes a crash landing, and the men realise they could be behind enemy lines.

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January 16, 1975

The Sergeant Major is determined to find out who replaced the camp's Union Jack with an Indian flag.

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Cabaret Time

2x4
January 23, 1975

A performance in the Kama Sutra Club gets the concert party and the Battery Sergeant Major into trouble.

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January 30, 1975

Sergeant Williams tempts the wrath of the gods by ejecting a revered holy man from the parade ground.

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February 6, 1975

When the army runs out of "that stuff they put in our tea" the men cannot stop thinking about women. Colonel Reynolds tries to see Mrs Waddilove-Evans when her husband is not home.

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February 13, 1975

A snake-charmer's cobra goes missing and is found in the Sergeant Major's quarters.

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February 20, 1975

The concert party take refuge from a rainstorm in a ruined temple and fall victim to a fanatical native sect.

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January 2, 1976

While the officers are out of the way in hospital, Williams takes the opportunity to post the concert party up the jungle but is forced to bring them back to stage a special performance.

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January 9, 1976

The concert party is sent to the palace of the Maharajah of Bharatpur to protect him.

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January 16, 1976

The concert party try to stop the attempts on the life of the Maharajah of Bharatpur.

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January 23, 1976

Sergeant Major Williams finds that bragging about his troops can get him into trouble.

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January 30, 1976

The sergeant major falls in love and gets into trouble with the Tongs.

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February 6, 1976

Sergeant Major Williams tries to break up the concert party by promoting Gunner Graham.

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Monsoon Madness

4x1
November 2, 1976

When the Sergeant-Major makes the Concert party perform fatigues to be ready for the arrival of the monsoon, Lofty goes mad and vows to kill the Sergeant-Major.

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November 9, 1976

When it becomes difficult for Colonel Reynolds to hide his affair with Mrs Waddilove-Evans, he decides it's best to accompany the concert party to a show on the North-West Frontier.

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November 16, 1976

The members of the concert party try to find the kidnapped Mrs Waddilove-Evans.

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November 23, 1976

Bombardier Beaumont tries different ways to get sent home.

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November 30, 1976

An elephant follows Lofty to the camp.

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December 7, 1976

Men from a remote RAF base get too excited when the concert party puts on a show.

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December 14, 1976

A pageant, written by Captain Ashwood, might offend the Indian assistant to the District Officer.

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December 21, 1976

Gunner Parkins turns twenty-one. Sergeant Major Williams wants to give him a present.

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October 25, 1977

When the men get sent up the jungle, they find that some Australian soldiers have not vacated their camp, as was ordered.

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November 1, 1977

While they are still having trouble adapting to the jungle, the members of the concert party get the task of building a bridge.

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The Pay-Off

5x3
November 8, 1977

The men of the Royal Artillery Concert Party put on a show for Burmese bandits.

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November 15, 1977

When the men discover a way to get food dropped illegally, they get into trouble. The food (puddings) were meant for some senior officers.

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The Superstar

5x5
November 22, 1977

The Concert Party members are made to feel redundant when a talented new arrival steals the limelight.

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November 29, 1977

Gunner Parkins has fallen in love with a pretty Burmese girl from the local village – the same girl that Captain Ashwood and Sergeant Major Williams have been visiting. Then, Gunner Sugden has something to say...

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October 23, 1978

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The Big League

6x2
October 30, 1978

After a drunken incident, the men try to make up with the local population by organising a football match.

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November 6, 1978

When the men from the concert party are guarding the Army payroll, a local bandit leader tries to lure the Sergeant Major away from the camp.

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November 13, 1978

Trapped behind enemy lines, the members of the concert party have to disguise themselves as dhobi wallahs.

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November 20, 1978

To ensure the very existence of the Concert Party the artists have to impress the area commander.

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November 20, 1978

Colonel Reynolds and Captain Ashwood are away, leaving the Sergeant Major to put the concert party on a torturous thirsty jungle-survival course, and he puts them on a charge when writing a complaining note. Later, Lofty dreams about the HMS Bounty in Amsterdam and Hague in Holland.

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Caught Short

6x7
November 27, 1978

With money missing from the petty cash, it falls on Captain Ashwood to solve the crime.

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October 17, 1980

The Sgt Major makes a decision guaranteed to cause uproar when he picks a Scottish audience to watch a special English performance.

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The Guinea Pigs

7x2
October 24, 1980

The Concert Party are roped into testing a new anti-malaria drug.

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October 31, 1980

Captain Ashwood falls victim to unwanted attention from a female officer.

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November 7, 1980

The men get a chance to perform on Forces Radio.

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Class of 1945

7x5
November 14, 1980

In an effort to free themselves from the Sergeant Major, the men suggest that he apply for a commission.

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Star Commandos

7x6
November 21, 1980

The Concert Party travels to the front.

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July 23, 1981

A head injury changes Beaumont's personality, turning him into a fighting machine.

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Money Talks

8x2
July 30, 1981

When Gunner Graham stands to inherit some money, everybody wants to give him financial advice.

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Aquastars

8x3
August 6, 1981

A show on the river does not go the way it was planned.

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August 13, 1981

Whilst playing the RMS Lollipop, The Concert Party hear that Japan has surrendred on the S.S. Mersury and the Second World War is over. One single Japanese soldier has not heard the news that Japan has surrendered.

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August 20, 1981

Now that the war is over, the natives return to their village. They want the men from the Concert Party to move out so that they can return to their homes. Sergeant Major Williams insists on dealing with them in a less than diplomatic fashion.

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August 27, 1981

It's time for the men from the Concert Party to start the return journey to Britain. Everyone is supposed to have injections before setting off. The vaccine runs out before Lofty gets his jabs, so he has to stay behind when the others begin their journey. A new batch of vaccine turns up after the others have left, so Lofty is given his injections and, accompanied by the Char Wallah, he sets off to try to catch up with the main evacuation party.

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September 3, 1981

The men reach England and prepare for demobilisation.

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Series charting the history of the best of British comedy looks at David Croft and Jimmy Perry's 1970s British Army-based sitcom It Ain't Half Hot Mum.

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