It Sticks Out Half A Mile was the Radio sitcom that ran for 13 episodes between 1983 and 1984. Written By Michael Knowles and Harold Snoad who had previously adapted Dads Army scripts for radio. It was intended as a sequel to the hugely popular Dads Army and as a new vehicle for Arthur Lowe.
A pilot episode was recorded in 1981 with Arthur Lowe reprising his role as as former Bank Manager and Captain of the Home Guard George Mainwaring.
Set in 1948, retired Bank Manager and Home Guard Captain George Mainwaring, decides to renovate a decrepit seaside pier the fictional town of Frambourne-on-Sea, only to find when applying for a bank loan that the manager of the local branch is his former chief cashier and Home Guard Sergeant Arthur Wilson.
Arthur Lowe was ill at the time of recording, suffering from narcolepsy (falling asleep at any time) and this could be heard in his speech. As a result the pilot was never broadcast until it featured on BBC7 in 2004.
Arthur Lowe died in April 1982 with the show never having been broadcast. However his widow liked the show and she persuaded the writers to start again with a new cast. The new version involved Bert Hodges the former ARP Warden and nemesis of Mainwaring’s Home Guard unit, approaching “stupid boy” and former Home Guard Private Frank Pike with a proposal to renovate the pier at Frambourne. In order to finance this plan Pike has to approach bank manager Wilson (Le Mesurier), who just happens to be his “uncle” (publicly a friend of his mother’s, but strongly hinted to the audience to be Pike’s father), for a loan. Wilson suspects the only reason Hodges approached Pike was to get to the bank’s money through him. Nevertheless, Pike and Wilson put aside their wartime quarrel with Hodges – more or less – and the renovation begins.
Arthur Lowe (Pilot)
John Le Mesurier
Channel: Radio 4
Written By: Michael Knowles and Harold Snoad
Broadcast: 13th November 1983 – 9th September 1984
Pilot Broadcast: BBC Radio 4 Extra: 29th May 2004