Dads Army – Christmas Special – 1976
The first of 3 Christmas Specials made during the show’s run. A church bazaar is organized for the “Comforts for the Troops Fund”. Hodges intends to auction three oranges, and Mainwaring is determined to get hold of one for Mrs Mainwaring.
The platoon are parading in their snow camouflage suits so they can blend in with the snow… if there was any, when they are interrupted by the Vicar and the Verger, to advise that a church Bazar will take place in the hall for the Comforts for the Troops Fund. Naturally, Mainwaring takes charge, and forms a small executive committee. After deciding who will be providing what, Chief Warden Hodges shoves his oar in by declaring he will auction three oranges, much to the committee’s surprise.
The Bazar opens with the usual chaos, Mainwaring tries to win a bottle of whiskey from the tombola stall, but loses out to the Vicar. When he notices the town clerk and some of his men drunk, he confronts Godfrey, who admits that everybody’s tasting the homemade wine, but nobody’s buying it. A dispatch rider arrives with a message but, when he leaves, his motorcycle runs over Jones’ brawn, making it unsellable.
Hodges announces the auction of the oranges, Mainwaring tells Wilson that he must get one of the oranges for Mrs Mainwaring. The Verger overhears and warns Hodges, who resolves to stop Mainwaring. The first orange is sold for 1 shilling to Mrs Yeatman, before Mainwaring had finished bidding. The second orange is withdrawn from the sale because Mainwaring was the only bidder. Wilson tells Pike to buy the orange for Mainwaring. As a result, the orange eventually sells for an enormous 10 shillings.
The episode ends with Hodges getting one up on Mainwaring by declaring they’ll find the orange rather bitter: it’s for making marmalade with!
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John Le Mesurier
Written By: Jimmy Perry and David Croft
Produced By: David Croft
Original Transmission: 26 December 1976
Dads Army – The Christmas Specials is available on BBC DVD.