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Born 1937 in Spondon, Derbyshire. England (UK).


TV Appearances

(2016)Walliams & Friend-Jack Whitehall (Dad)
(2011)Dad's Army & Beyond (documentary)(In Production)
(2010)The Story of 'Are You Being Served?'
(2007)"Comedy Connections" - It Ain't Half Hot, Mum
(1999)"This Is Your Life" - George Layton
(June 1, 1995)DJ Kat Show (Norrington Byng)
(1995)Perry & Croft: The Sitcoms
(1989)The BFG (Voice of Head Of The Air Force)
(1989) Vampire's Kiss (Andrew)

(1988-1993)"You Rang, M'Lord?" (The Honourable Teddy Meldrum)
©British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

(1988)"Brush Strokes" Eps 3.1+3.2 (Vicar)
(1985)The End of the World Man (Sir George)
(1984)3-2-1-Escape from Stalag (Rupert Fawcett-Gently)
(1979)Rings on Their Fingers (Leslie)
---Moving Moments
---Home Market
(1977-1978) "Come Back Mrs. Noah"(Fanshaw/'Garfield Hawk')

(1976-1979)The Dick Emery Show

(1976) "Two's Company"- Robert's Record Player (Forbes)
(1976)Yes, Honestly-It Nearly Happened One Night (Assistant Manager)
(1976)Spy Story (Milkman)
(1975)Against the Crowd-We Are All Guilty
(1975)The Rough with the Smooth Eps 1.2+1.5 (Vicar)

(1974-1981)"It Ain't Half Hot Mum" (Captain Jonathan Ashwood)
Both images ©BBC

(1973)Casanova '73 Ep 1.4
(1973)That's Your Funeral (Man with Car at Petrol Station)
(1972)His Lordship Entertains-The Health Inspector (The Food Inspector)
(1972)Scott On...-The Sex War

(1972)The Flesh and Blood Show (Curran)
©Shriek Show

(1970)"Up Pompeii" - The Ides of March (Plotter/Caushus)
Both images ©BBC

(1969-1972)Dad's Army (Staff Captain/Captain Cutts/Captain Stewart/Bomb Disposal Officer)

All 7 images ©BBC

Images in this section used with permission from:

Anonymous Contributors





AYBS Stats

AYBS Timeframe: 1973+1975

"Up Captain Peacock"



Interview with Actor, Michael Knowles

The RADA graduate who worked with writer, David Croft, on a variety of projects talks to Suite 101 about the man and gives his views on the comedy of today.

Captain Ashwood in It Ain't Half Hot Mum and The Honourable Teddy Meldrum in You Rang M'Lord? - these are two of the characters portrayed by the seventy-something actor for which he will always be remembered. After early stints on Dad's Army and Are You Being Served?, David Croft entrusted Michael Knowles to step into the breach and take on key roles in two of his greatest sitcoms.

Michael Knowles: Working with David Croft

David Croft, born in Dorset in September 1922, has enjoyed unprecedented success as a comedy writer and producer, with three extremely prolific partnerships bearing fruit over a 30-year period. The first was with Jimmy Perry, co-creator of Dad's Army, It Ain't Half Hot Mum, Hi-De-Hi! and You Rang M'Lord?.

The second was with Jeremy Lloyd, who co-wrote Are You Being Served?, 'Allo! 'Allo!Come Back Mrs. Noah and the Are You Being Served? spin-off, Grace & Favour, while the fourth, with ex-railwayman, Richard Spendlove, produced the mid-'90s effort, Oh Doctor Beeching!. An early partnership with the late Cyril Ornadel was productive, but focused more on musical theatre.

Many of David Croft's sitcoms also featured the same actors. Talented thespians such as Su Pollard, Paul Shane and Jeffrey Holland contributed to three or more, but Michael Knowles has the proud distinction of appearing in no less than five, making him one of David Croft's most-trusted talents.

Suite 101: What was special about David Croft as a writer? How did he manage to churn out hit after hit and why do you think the BBC no longer seems interested in that more innocent, family-friendly style of comedy?

"When you say, 'What was special about David?' for me you have to say, 'What was special about David and Jimmy?' It is as a team they had these great successes that I was mainly involved with. Comedy keeps changing, as it always will, and not always for the better.

"The producers now, often straight down from Oxbridge, have so very little knowledge of, or interest in, the past, so you are not going to get the wonderful shows that we had. Also, I think the cost now of producing a show like It Ain't Half Hot Mum would be prohibitive."

Michael Knowles Today

Comedy in 2011 is certainly a very different animal from the one Michael Knowles rode so majestically all those years ago. An apparent desire to shock, or to create bizarre, over-the-top scenarios, has replaced the simpler, gentler - yet still funny - style of writing. What does Michael make of comedy today and are there any sitcoms or sketch shows he enjoys?

"I've always been a fan of the best American comedies - going back to BilkoI Love Lucy etc. Of the current British sitcoms, the only one I find really funny is Not Going Out."

Suite 101: What have you been working on of late?

"Not a great deal. As you get older, the work inevitably thins out. Also one tends to get a little more choosy."

Suite 101: Do you still see David, Jimmy and any of your ex-co-stars?

"Yes, I see David and Jimmy quite often. The last time, rather sadly, was the funeral of my friend and acting partner, Donald Hewlett. Melvyn.Stuart, John Clegg and, of course, Su Pollard and Jeffery Holland I see from time to time."

Audio/Video/Books/Official Websites





-Appeared in a salad cream sponsorship commercial for "Emmerdale Farm" in 2004.

-Along with writing for AYBS, he appeared in a few episodes as well ("Up Captain Peacock" in 1975 & the very first pilot episode).


(2004)Salad Cream Sponsership for "Emmerdale Farm".


(1987)"High and Dry" (TV Series)

(1974-1975)"Are You Being Served?" (TV Series)
(1975)New Look
(1975) Shoulder to Shoulder
(1974)Big Brother
(1974)Cold Comfort

(1968)Radio Adaptation of "Dad's Army"-It Sticks Out Half a Mile






(December 12, 2003-January 4, 2004)"Cinderella" at The Anvil, Basingstoke Tickets: £11-£16.50


(1964)"Sleeping Beauty" at the Palace Theatre.

(1965)Hello Watford Goodbye" at the Palace Theatre.

(1982)It Ain't Half Hot Mum at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth

(1980)"Robinson Crusoe" at the Lewisham Concert Hall with Donald Hewlett.

TV Play

(1973)"Comedy Playhouse" - Elementary My Dear Watson (Rupert)





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