Melvyn Hayes has sprung to the defence of classic sitcom It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, saying that it’s ridiculous that the BBC has not re-run it, following the death of its star Windsor Davies.
Davies died last month aged 88 and 84-year-old Hayes, who played Bombardier ‘Gloria’ Beaumont in the classic sitcom, thinks he deserves a televised tribute.
“Dear Windsor,” he told The Daily Mirror. “We were a real team. Such a wonderful, generous man.
“And the outpouring of affection shows what nostalgia there is for It Ain’t Half Hot Mum. I thought surely the BBC could re-run it, even just one episode, as a tribute.
“They could bleep out the ‘bunch of poofs’ lines if they had to.
“But no. It’s deemed politically incorrect – even though it’s about a concert party in India when sergeant majors all spoke like that. It’s so ridiculous.
“I do wish the BBC would have a change of heart. Viewers would love to meet the gang again.”
Hayes also took aim at accusations that the show was racially insensitive, notably due to Michael Bates’ portrayal of the company’s porter Rangi Ram.
Bates, born to British parents in India, had his skin slightly darkened for the role, but spoke fluent Urdu.
“None of the Indian people I’ve met found the show offensive, though,” Hayes added.
“They loved the fact we used Urdu. I wish they’d show it again. And not just because of the repeat fees – nice as they might be!”
The show, penned by Jimmy Perry and David Croft, the writers behind hits like Dad’s Army and Hi-De-Hi, ran for eight series and 56 episodes.
Its theme tune, Whispering Grass, sung by Davies and actor Don Estelle, hit number one in the UK charts in 1975.