Veteran actor and Christian Frank Williams on tour, as news breaks of Dad's Army film
Veteran's Dad's Army actor Frank Williams (82) is hoping he might be asked to make a cameo appearance in a new big screen film of the classic sitcom ...
As news broke today (28 April) that a new big screen Dad's Army film is to go into production starring Toby Jones as Captain Mainwaring and Bill Nighy as Sergeant Wilson, veteran actor Frank Williams, who played Reverend Timothy Farthing in the original, is hoping for a cameo role.
"I could play a very ancient retired vicar or maybe a bishop," he told The Times.
Williams (82), Ian Lavender (68, who played Private Pike) and Pamela Cundell (93, who played Mrs Fox) are the only surviving cast members.
The veteran actor has toured consistently in recent years via Chris Gidney's Christians in Entertainment, offering anecdotes from his 50-year acting career along with clear testimony to his own Christian faith. His his latest stage presentation, More Tea Vicar? heads off for 12 UK dates through the summer, starting on 4 May in Sevenoaks.
The originators of Dad's Army, David Croft and Jimmy Perry, chose Frank Williams to create the role of the wonderfully eccentric vicar who was always slightly tetchy as he tried to come to terms with the elderly platoon’s invasion of his beloved church hall.
“It’s been simply wonderful to be part of something so special,” said Frank. “Although I have spent many years in various film and television roles, being part of Dads Army is hard to beat.”
More Tea Vicar? is produced and presented by Chris Gidney who has spent many years in the entertainment and media profession, having written more than 25 showbiz biographies.
“Everybody loves Dad’s Army,” said Chris. “Even after 40 years the series continues to pull huge viewing figures becoming one of the all-time classic greats of television, and it bridges the age gap like no other. People from all ages love More Tea Vicar? because it’s very interactive. We even invite the audience to be part of it and they can ask questions. Frank is a master at describing the most hilarious off-screen happenings.”
However, Dads Army is only a small part of Frank’s career, and as he embarks on an entertaining journey down memory lane, he re-lives some of the fascinating and hilarious highlights of a film, stage and television career spanning over 50 years.
“I’m looking forward to talking about the strange and remarkable things that the audience never see,” says Frank. “Like the time we were filming an episode of Dad’s Army and nearly got flattened by a runaway steam train, or when I watched myself on live TV being operated on in Emergency Ward 10 in the comfort of my own home.”
Frank says that his Christian faith is the bedrock of all he has achieved over the years. He even spent several years on the General Synod, and plans to mention how important his faith has been to him as part of each tour event.
Whilst still best known as the vicar from Dad’s Army, Frank has worked with many of the greats including Tommy Cooper, Harry Worth, Dick Emery and Morecambe & Wise, as well as appearing in more than 30 feature films including three with Norman Wisdom. His numerous other television series include The Army Game, All Gas & Gaiters, Monty Python's Flying Circus and more recently You Rang M'Lord.
“It’s a hilarious audience with Frank” says Chris “We even plan to show his unique personal film of all the Dads Army cast on tour, and get a glimpse of some of his other work. It’s a fascinating trip into TV nostalgia and well timed with all the war commemorations this year.”
MORE TEA VICAR? UK DATES
Sun May 4 SEVENOAKS Stag/Plaza Studio 4pm 01732 450175
Sat June 14 LICHFIELD 7.30pm 01543 412121
Sat June 28 SHERRINGHAM Little Theatre 01263 822347
Sun June 29 COLCHESTER Arts Centre 2pm 01206 500900
Sun July 6 EAST GRINSTEAD Chequer Mead 4pm 01342 302000
Sat Aug 9 STURMINSTER NEWTON Exchange Theatre 4pm 01258 475137
Sun Aug 10 CHRISTCHURCH Regent Centre 4pm TBC 01202 499199
Sun Aug 31 WORTHING Connaught Studio 4pm 01903 206206
Sun Sept 7 EASTBOURNE Hippodrome 3pm 01323 412000
Sat Sept 13 BROADSTAIRS Memorial Theatre 7.30pm TBC 0845 262626363
Fri Sep 19 GRANTHAM Guildhall 01476 406158
Sun Sept 21 TUNBRIDGE WELLS Trinity Arts 2.30pm 01892 678678