It Ain't Half Hot Mum
|It Ain't Half Hot Mum|
|Created by||Jimmy Perry|
|Written by||Jimmy Perry|
|Opening theme||"Meet the Gang"|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||8|
|No. of episodes||56 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original release||3 January 1974 –|
3 September 1981
It Ain't Half Hot, Mum is a BBC television sitcom about a Royal Artillery concert party based in Deolali in India and the fictional village of Tin Min in Burma, during the last months of the Second World War. It was written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft, who had both served in similar roles in India during that war. It was first broadcast on BBC 1 in eight series between 1974 and 1981, totalling 56 episodes in all. Each episode ran for 30 minutes. The title comes from the first episode, in which young Gunner Parkin (Christopher Mitchell) writes home to his mother in England. The series has been accused of racism, homophobia and pandering to imperialism.
In 1975, a recording of "Whispering Grass" performed by Don Estelle and Windsor Davies in character as Gunner "Lofty" Sugden and Sergeant Major Williams, reached number 1 on the UK Singles Chart and remained there for three weeks.
It Ain't Half Hot, Mum is set during the Second World War (in the period just after the German surrender when the Allies were trying to finish the war by defeating Japan in Asia). The scripts make clear that the performers are members of a Royal Artillery concert party and are thus enlisted soldiers, rather than being members of ENSA. Initially, the British soldiers are stationed at the Royal Artillery Depot in Deolali, India, where soldiers were kept before being sent to fight at the front lines. The series used the experiences of its creators during the Second World War; Jimmy Perry had been a member of a similar performing troupe in India, while David Croft had been an entertainments officer in Poona (now in the Indian state of Maharashtra).
The main characters are performers in the base's concert party, which involved performing comic acts and musical numbers (similar to those seen in a music hall) for the other soldiers prior to their departure for the front lines. The soldiers in the concert party all love this particular job, as it keeps them out of combat duty, but some do daydream of becoming world-famous actors when they leave the army.
The main characters include Gunner "Lofty" Sugden, a short, fat soldier who wears a pith helmet and possesses an incredible singing voice; Gunner "Parky" Parkin, a young recruit who, though eager, is slightly bumbling and has very little aptitude for the theatre; Gunner "La-de-dah"/"Paderewski" Graham, a bald-headed Oxbridge graduate is the pianist; Gunner "Atlas" Mackintosh, a short-tempered Scotsman who specialises in feats of strength; Gunner "Nobby" Clark, an unintelligent soldier who does bird calls and whistling acts; and Gunner "Nosher" Evans, a soldier who does a paper-tearing act and tends to eat a lot, spraying food whenever he speaks. Rounding out the enlisted crew are Bombardier "Solly" Solomons, a soldier from London, who is Jewish and a former theatrical agent; and Gunner "Gloria" Beaumont, an effeminate, cowardly soldier who specialises in performing female roles in drag (as there are no women assigned to the concert party). Beaumont is later promoted to Bombardier after Solly is demobbed and sent back to Britain.
The soldiers are under the orders of Battery Sergeant Major Williams, a belligerent Welshman who has spent almost all of his career as a professional soldier. In turn, Williams reports to the two officers in charge of the concert party: Captain Ashwood and Lieutenant-Colonel Reynolds. Both Ashwood and Reynolds are characterised as coming from upper-class backgrounds. Ashwood, the younger officer, is rather stupid and slightly excitable, while Reynolds is older and more worldly-wise and sensible. While often bemoaning the rough conditions of Army life, both Ashwood and Reynolds realise that keeping their concert party administrative duties (and thus remaining behind friendly lines) is infinitely preferable to combat duty at the front line.
A small contingent of Indian workers are also usually found alongside the Britons: Bearer Rangi Ram, who acts as their butler and porter, displaying an outwardly obsequious nature that hides a very savvy intelligence; he is a friend of the concert party and helps them out when they are in trouble; Muhammad, the idealistic chai wallah who, in the traditional role, carries an urn of hot tea and a box of pastries for everyone to purchase, and Rumzam, the lazy punkah wallah whose job it is to fan the officers, who is often kicked and told off by everyone.
While both the enlisted men and the officers are extremely reluctant to give up their relatively cushy assignment behind the lines, Sergeant Major Williams hates being assigned to the concert party. Williams resents not only the lack of an active combat role, but also having to be in charge of men who perform what he considers to be effeminate duties (often deriding them as "poofs"), instead of being able to command men he considers to be "real soldiers". As a result, Williams is routinely found shouting orders at the men (both soldiers and native workers) in the manner of a drill sergeant, delighting in putting the enlisted men through endless drills, parades and PT sessions. His ultimate goal, and the focus of many of his schemes, is to have the concert party disbanded, and the men sent off to join other troops fighting at the front. However, the soldiers usually find a way to get out of these schemes (often with the unwitting help of the two officers), and so are able to continue with their concert party duties. However, the concert party eventually finds themselves transferred to the village of Tin Min, Burma, which is located very near the front line.
The Sergeant Major is also depicted as being extremely proud of the British Empire (and being blind to the fact that it is in its last days), and disgusted by the idea of Home Rule that India and Burma will gain after the war, and by Asian nationalists who dream of India and Burma being independent from British control. As such, the Sergeant Major is often abusive to the Asian workers and people, and tries his best to treat them roughly, which often gets him into trouble. Rangi, the bearer, is also presented comically as being extremely supportive of British imperialism, and considers himself British, despite his very Asian appearance, and frequently refers to his fellow Asians as "damn natives".
While Williams heaps scorn and derision upon all the enlisted men, he reserves particular contempt for Gloria (who he considers to be the most effeminate of all), Graham (who he mocks for having a "posh" accent and university education, although he sometimes needs and appreciates his intelligence), and Lofty (because of his height, weight and general lack of military bearing, despite admiring his voice). The sole exception to Williams' usual callous treatment of the troops is Gunner Parkin, who Williams believes is his illegitimate son as he had an affair with Parkin's mother, many years before. When the rest of the concert party discover what the Sgt Major believes, Parkin is welcomed into the party, as the Sgt Major would want to stop it being sent into battle as long as Parkin is a member. They change Parkin's blood group on his medical file to that of Williams, so that the Sergeant Major will have 'proof' that Parkin is his son. As a result, Williams routinely compliments Parkin and praises him for even the most minor of successes and often goes to great lengths to defend Parkin to the officers whenever he bungles a task. Williams also routinely excuses Parkin from participating in any event that might be even the least bit dangerous, even when Parkin himself has eagerly volunteered to participate. At times, that means that Williams must intervene to foil a scheme that he himself came up with to disband the concert party when it becomes evident that Parkin will get into the same trouble as the rest of the men. For his part, Parkin does not take advantage of his special relationship with Williams, preferring instead to be treated as just another member of the concert party. For their part, the concert party happily keeps Parkin around because they not only consider him to be a "nice bloke" but also know that Williams will be reluctant to send the concert party into danger if his (alleged) son is likely to have to go with them.
Many songs of the era were performed by the cast in their re-enactment of wartime variety shows. Two singles were released featuring songs performed in-character by Don Estelle and Windsor Davies. The first, "Whispering Grass" reached No. 1 in the British singles chart for three weeks from 7 June 1975. The second, "Paper Doll", reached No. 41 later that year. They also recorded a top 10 LP titled Sing Lofty.
Lieutenant-Colonel Reynolds is the most senior officer in charge of the concert party and enjoys their shows immensely. He thinks army life in Asia is very hard, while all he does is sit around sipping pink gin and dine with the elite. He is having an affair with Daphne Waddilove-Evans, whose husband, Major Waddilove-Evans, has left for the Punjab. He is a stereotypical British Army Officer, very stiff upper lip and prim and proper. Captain Ashwood's utter stupidity does occasionally infuriate him, but he is effectively good-natured and tries at all costs to avoid losing the easy life he has. Reynolds is revealed to be a solicitor in civilian life.
Captain Ashwood is an even bigger fan of the concert party than Colonel Reynolds, especially when they dress up as girls. He is not very bright, and often unknowingly ruins other people's plans, especially the Sergeant Major's. His catchphrase is "It's a tricky one, sir", which he says in reply to Colonel Reynolds asking for his opinion when the concert party runs into a particular problem. He occasionally writes skits for the concert party, which they reluctantly accept, although they are, on the whole, of very low quality. He has absolutely no military bearing, which makes it very easy for the Sergeant Major and the others to manipulate him into using his authority to achieve their own ends. He is known for his stupidity, high-pitched voice, and love of gardening. He is exceptionally devoted to his wife, Fiona.
The Sergeant Major is the only real, professional soldier among the concert party and its officers. He is extremely bigoted in his views, making every effort to bully the Indian camp staff and remind everyone of British supremacy in Asia. He has only one goal in life: to get his soldiers posted up the jungle (and into action) as fast as he can. Williams has a cunning and fierce pirate-like look. He is disgusted that his soldiers prance about on the stage wearing dresses and make-up all the time, and frequently calls them a "bunch of poofs". He is sometimes portrayed as a stereotypical "devious" Welshman, using cunning schemes to turn events in his favour. He dislikes all members of the concert party, apart from Parkin, whom he believes to be his son. He has a particular loathing for "Lah-Di-Dah" Gunner Graham, owing to Graham's university education, although Williams will praise him for it if it serves his purposes. Williams often mispronounces long words, turning "hysterical" into "hystorical" or "historectical", "misapprehension" into "mishappropriation", "education" into "heducation" and "ignorant" into "higorant". Williams also has a tendency to roar "Shut up!" when he hears something that meets his disapproval (hence his nickname) and is also remembered for his sarcastic remark, "Oh dear, how sad, never mind!" He plans, when at some future time he should leave the army, to marry a widow who owns a pub.
There is some inconsistency over Williams' full name. In the series 3 episode "Don't Take the Micky" we hear his thoughts and he uses the name Tudor Bryn Williams to refer to himself, but in the final episode he reads out the name on his newly-issued ration book as "B.L. Williams". It is possible that "Tudor" is a play on the actor's own name, but this is unconfirmed.
'Solly' is a showbiz man who always plays the male leads in the concert party's shows and is also the party's producer. He is very intelligent, and often has some sort of devious plot to avoid being posted or to get one over on the Sergeant Major. His father was a pawnbroker in Bond Street, and he is Jewish. He leaves at the end of Series 2 when he is demobbed back to England.
'Gloria' Beaumont is a very effeminate person who cannot handle the violence, heat and mosquitoes of army life in India very well. He considers himself an artiste, and doesn't believe he should be in the Army, often trying to emphasize his show-business angle and ignore the "soldier" parts of his job. He has a passion for show business and always dresses up as famous film stars during the concert party shows, especially as Ginger Rogers. He was later promoted Bombardier when Bombardier Solomon (George Layton) left the series. Despite Beaumont's effeminacy, he meets a nurse in the episode "Ticket to Blighty" and they announce they are to be wed. However, no more is heard of this plot line.
- Gunner 'Lofty' Harold Horace Herbert Willy Sugden (Don Estelle)
'Lofty' is a soldier whose appearance can be summarized by quoting the Sergeant Major: "Is it a mushroom? No. Is it a soldier? No. It's Gunner Sugden." Lofty is the diminutive, rotund lead singer of the concert party usually seen in an old-fashioned pith helmet. He has an amazing tenor voice, which even the Sergeant Major cannot resist when he sings. Unfortunately, he is always picked out by the Sergeant Major as a "volunteer" when there is a particularly nasty or dangerous task to be carried out. He has been married three times; his two previous wives were called Agatha and Betty, and according to a letter,[clarification needed] Sugden's third and present wife shares a house with Betty.
- Gunner 'Parky' Nigel Parkin (Christopher Mitchell)
'Parky' is the youngest member of the concert party and has tried everything to become part of them, including being a ventriloquist, comedian, and singer, although he is very clumsy and never does anything right. The Sergeant Major falsely believes that Parkin is his son. (Williams had a relationship with Parkin's mother Edith in Colchester, which is why he treats him much better than he treats the others, and keeps telling him he has "a fine pair of shoulders".) He is not Williams' son, but when the rest of the concert party discover what the Sgt Major believes, Parkin is welcomed into the party, for the Sgt Major would want to stop it being sent into battle as long as Parkin is a member. (In an early episode, the party get hold of Williams' and Parkin's medical records; they discover that Parkin's blood group O and Williams' is AB, so Parkin cannot be his son, but they alter the record of Parkin's blood group so that Williams will still believe he is his son.) Consequently, Williams becomes very selective about Parkin's achievement – praising him when he does something right and ignoring the failure when he makes huge blunders. Lacking any talent as a putative entertainer in the concert party Parkin is appointed as the Battery Clerk, but misunderstands orders. Sergeant-Major Williams instructs him to "remove the mess by the Officers' lines", referring to a pile of old beds that were to be discarded. Instead, Parkin proceeds to have the Officer's Mess demolished. Later, Colonel Reynolds tells him to order 200 tent pegs, and he instead orders 200 tents.
Parkin's references the show's title in its first episode, when he signs off a letter to his mother with the words "I've been in India now two days, and it ain't half hot, Mum." He was born on 2 October 1924, making him 21 years old, a birthday which he celebrates at the end of Series 4 in the episode "Twenty-One".
Gunner Graham is the concert party's pianist. His appearance – bald and bespectacled – marks him out as a stereotypical boffin. He has a university degree in English literature (in early episodes, he claims to have attended Oxford, but in later episodes, he claims to have attended Cambridge). He is very clever, speaking with a very upper-class accent. This is why the Sergeant Major always mockingly repeats what he says, as well as mockingly addressing him as Mister La-De-Dah Gunner Graham. Graham often produces difficult and ingenious plans to solve the concert party's problems, but these plans never seem to work and often result in him saying "Oh well, bang goes that theory." The others (even the Sergeant Major and the officers) often rely on his intelligence to get them out of awkward situations.
- Gunner 'Atlas' Mackintosh (Stuart McGugan)
'Atlas' Mackintosh does the strong man act in the show, which involves tearing telephone directories in half. He is rather short-tempered, especially when Beaumont calls him a "great, big, butch, hairy haggis". He is very masculine, and is a bit of a contradiction to what Beaumont thinks is right for the concert party. Nevertheless, Mackintosh always tries his best and copes with what is given to him.
- Gunner 'Nobby' Clark (Kenneth MacDonald)
'Nobby' Clark does a whistling act in the show, and can do excellent bird impersonations. He is not particularly clever and often makes nonsense comments or observations about situations in which they find themselves.
- Gunner 'Nosher' Evans (Mike Kinsey)
'Nosher' Evans does a paper-tearing act. He is always eating something (and once stayed on punishment in the canteen four hours after he was relieved as he was enjoying himself); this results in him spraying the contents of his mouth all around him when he speaks.
Rangi Ram is the concert party's Indian bearer and very proud to be of service to the army. The Sergeant Major shouts at him more than at anyone else, but Rangi is also the one he confides in when he wants to talk about problems. Rangi often provides the audience with an "old Hindu proverb" at the end of the episode, such as "There is an old Hindu proverb which say that if you see two eyes looking at you in the dark, it is not always a Tiger. It might be two one-eyed Tigers!" He is devious, and can often manipulate the situation for his own ends (usually money). Though he often speaks of himself as British, he will show divided loyalty when his Indian aspect is under threat – when asked to burn the Indian flag by the Sergeant Major, he refuses. He disappears without mention after series 5 (Michael Bates had died) and is never mentioned again.
Muhammed the char wallah walks around the camp all day, selling tea from his urn. We can also hear him sing the musical interruptions between the scenes, which are mostly popular American hits, accompanied by a sitar. At the end of the credits he starts to sing "Land of Hope and Glory" only to be interrupted by the Sergeant-major shouting "SHUT UP!!!". After Rangi leaves, he takes on the role of Bearer to the concert party, as well as still being the Char Wallah.
Rumzan the punkah wallah always sits outside the officers' quarters, pulling a string that is attached to a large fan indoors. He comments on everything in Urdu, and always adds a few words in English at the end. Rangi often tells him to "sit up straight while you are punkah-ing" and not to "be such Clever Dickie". He is far more intelligent than the others give him credit, and much of what he observes early on is often borne out in the end, but no one notices. He disappears after Series 7 without mention.
- Mrs Daphne Waddilove-Evans (Margaret Courtenay/Frances Bennett)
Mrs Waddilove-Evans is the wife of a local colonel, who lives in a large house near the camp in Deolali. In the earlier episodes, she is the lover of Colonel Reynolds; the two have a strong relationship, to the point when she accompanies the patrol on a journey to a nearby town. However, the group's vehicle breaks down and Rangi recommends that they spend the night in a nearby fort. The Colonel and Mrs Waddilove-Evans agree to meet at midnight and they do so. As Colonel Reynolds is distracted, Mrs Waddilove-Evans is kidnapped by a group of Pathan tribesmen and the concert party, Rangi, Muhammed and Rumzan attempt to save her. They are surprised when they meet her on a horse further on, having gained her freedom. It is implied that she escaped by granting sexual favours to the smugglers.
- Ling Soo (Yasuko Nagazumi)
Ling Soo is a local girl who works as a maid for Colonel and Mrs Waddilove-Evans. She and Sergeant Major Williams have a continuing relationship. Her father, the owner of the Deolali Chinese restaurant, arranges for Williams and Ling Soo to elope to the mountains and marry secretly. This horrifies Williams (for he would be classed as a deserter) and creates a dilemma for him; should he stay on at the camp, or should he marry Ling Soo? Eventually he reluctantly chooses his profession, and his relationship is not mentioned again.
- Inspector Singh (Nik Zaran)
The Inspector is the head of police in Deolali, who warns Colonel Reynolds and Captain Ashwood on a few occasions when the locals are rioting, demanding that the British go home.
Tin Min, Burma
- "Pretty Boy" Me Thant (Burt Kwouk)
Me Thant is a Burmese smuggler, who is bribed by GHQ at 20 pieces of gold a week to keep away from, and avoid assaulting, the local British troops. Later on, he challenges Sergeant Major Williams to a test to see which of the two is more manly. Me Thant cheats to make sure he wins the test, but his gang is infiltrated by members of GHQ, resulting in him and his gang being tied against a small plank, "Burmese style".
- Ah Syn (Andy Ho)
Ah Syn is the cook for the camp later in the series, a man of Chinese ethnicity who served food that Captain Ashwood describes as 'furniture stuffing'. Gunner Graham in particular moans that the food is inedible and disgusting. When Captain Ashwood asks if he knows about spotted dick and toad in the hole, he misunderstands entirely and thinks that spotted dick is an illness.
The series, which attracted up to 17 million viewers during its run, is no longer repeated on British television, as it falls short of modern broadcasting standards for racism. "It is without doubt the funniest series that David Croft and I wrote. Of course, it is also the show that we're not allowed to talk about any more," said Jimmy Perry to Guardian journalist Stuart Jeffries in 2003. In the opinion of journalist Neil Clark in a profile of Perry written for The Daily Telegraph a decade later it "appears to have fallen victim to political correctness".
The casting of the white actor Michael Bates as the Indian bearer Rangi Ram has been seen as an example of blackface. Jimmy Perry rejected the claim that Bates "blacked-up", saying all he "wore was a light tan", in the 2013 Daily Telegraph interview. A frequently recurring gag connected with Rangi Ram is his continual references to "we British" and "us British" while at the same time referring to the other Indian characters as "ignorant coolies" or "damned natives". Bates was born in India to English parents but had learned to speak Urdu, which he used during the show and had fought in the Burma Campaign giving him some insight into his characterisation. David West Brown wrote, in English and Empire, that the case for Bates' character rests on an assumption that his "dramatic and social functions are not derogatorily comic in the way that depictions of African diaspora identities are" in a series like The Black and White Minstrel Show. The BBC website article about the series describes Bates as having "blacked up".
Perry told an interviewer from Radio Times in 2014 about this rejection: "You might as well be in Stalin’s Russia. You don’t want to upset anyone". Jeffries asked Perry about the exchanges between the Battery Sergeant Major and the troupe which went "You're a load of poofs! What are you?", followed by the standard response "We're a load of poofs!". Perry commented: "People complain that the language was homophobic, and it was, but it was exactly how people spoke." He referred to the behaviour of his own Sergeant Major in the concert party in India, who told them: "'No man who puts on make-up and ponces about on a stage is normal - what are you?' 'We're a bunch of poofs!' we'd reply". Spike Milligan is reported to have considered Davies' performance the most comedic he had seen. Of the depiction of the Melvyn Hayes character 'Gloria' Beaumont, Croft told interviewer Simon Morgan-Russell that the character "never expressed any interest in other males" and, in fact, "was a transvestite, not a homosexual".
The series' overall tone of sympathy towards imperialism is believed to be at least partly responsible for its not being repeated on British television in later years, along with, according to Darren Lee writing for the British Film Institute's Screenonline website, a belief that it contains "national stereotyping and occasionally patronising humour", or in the words of Stuart Jeffries in 2015, it contained "obliging underlings sporting cheerful grins that, even when I was a boy, made me cringe." "It relied solely on English prejudice and nostalgia", A. A. Gill wrote in The Sunday Times in 2013. According to Mark Duguid, again for Screenonline, it suffers "from its narrow stereotypes of its handful of Indian supporting characters as alternately servile, foolish, lazy or devious". Neil Clark, in a 2005 article for The Times, said the series "delightfully lampooned the attitudes of the British in India". Its perceived flaws have not stopped it appearing in several "best of" lists.
The show's creators had been aware of the issues around the casting of a seemingly white actor to play one of the Indian characters, but went ahead owing to the lack of suitable Indian actors at the time. Jimmy Perry in his 2013 Daily Telegraph interview defended the casting, commenting that Bates (who was born in India) "spoke fluent Urdu, and was a captain in the Gurkhas". Neil Clark, Perry's interviewer, maintains the show is a classic of the sitcom genre.
Concerning the issues with It Ain't Half Hot Mum, Alex Massie wrote in January 2019, shortly after the starring actor Windsor Davies died, that "even when judged by modern standards" the series is a "relatively minor offender when compared with programmes" such as Mind Your Language, Love Thy Neighbour and Curry and Chips. The American actor John Wayne was filming in London in 1974, and caught an episode on television. Unimpressed with what he was seeing, he is reported to have said: “Well, at least the guy playing the sergeant-major has a great voice".
All eight series have been released on DVD region code 2 and 4. A Complete Series Collection Box Set containing all eight series of the show was released on 4 October 2010 in Region 2 and re-released in 2018. No complete series boxset has been released in Australia, Region 4.
Master copies of the fourth and sixth episodes of series one ('A Star is Born' and 'It's a Wise Child') were lost after first broadcast, and have not been recovered. VHS copies recorded at home by a viewer in Australia were found in 1988. They are not of broadcast quality, but are included as extras on the series 1 DVD.
|DVD Title||Code||No. of discs||Year||No. of episodes||Release date|
|Region 2||Region 4|
|Complete Series 1||CCTV 30213||1||1974||8||5 September 2005||2 March 2006|
|Complete Series 2||CCTV 30227||1||1975||8||10 October 2005||5 October 2006|
|Complete Series 3||CCTV 30269||1||1976||6||13 February 2006||7 March 2007|
|Complete Series 4||CCTV 30295||2||1976||8||1 May 2006||5 September 2007|
|Complete Series 5||CCTV 30328||1||1977||6||31 July 2006||5 March 2008|
|Complete Series 6||BBCDVD 2645||1||1978||7||9 June 2008||4 September 2008|
|Complete Series 7||BBCDVD 3008||1||1980||6||24 August 2009||3 September 2009|
|Complete Series 8||BBCDVD 3047||1||1981||7||5 October 2009||4 March 2010|
|Complete Series 1–4||CCTV 30532||5||1974–1976||30||30 October 2006||N/A|
|Complete Series 1–8||BBCDVD3329||9||1974–1981||56||4 October 2010||N/A|
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- Morgan-Russell, Simon (2004). Jimmy Perry and David Croft. Manchester / New York City: Manchester University Press. pp. 69–70. ISBN 9780719065569.
- "WINDSOR DAVIES & DON ESTELLE - full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company.
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- Brown, David West (2018). English and Empire: Literary History, Dialect, and the Digital Archive. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 232. ISBN 9781108426558.
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- Keeley, Annie (18 March 2014). "It Ain't Half Hot Mum outlawed by our PC attitudes, says writer". The Times. Retrieved 10 February 2019. (subscription required)
- Clark, Neil (1 September 2005). "Listen and repeat after me . . ". The Times. Retrieved 14 October 2019. (subscription required)
- Morgan Russell Jimmy Perry and David Croft, p. 77
- Lee, Darren (2003–2014). "It Ain't Half Hot Mum (1974-81)". BFI Screenonline. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
- Jeffries, Stuart (19 March 2015). "The best exotic nostalgia boom: why colonial style is back". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
- Gill, A.A. (17 March 2013). "A comedy bomb, however you try to hide it". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 14 October 2019. (subscription required)
- Duguid, Mark (2003–2014). "Race and the Sitcom". BFI Screenonline. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
- Clark, Neil (20 October 2006). "No laughing matter". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
- Massie, Alex (22 January 2019). "Don't believe the myth that this is a nation of Little Englanders". CapX. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
- "Windsor Davies obituary". The Times. 21 January 2019. Retrieved 12 June 2020. (subscription required)
- Morgan-Russell, Simon (2004), "It Ain't Half Hot Mum", Jimmy Perry and David Croft, Manchester University Press, ISBN 9780719065569
- It Ain't Half Hot Mum at BBC Online
- It Ain't Half Hot Mum at BBC Programmes
- It Ain't Half Hot Mum at TV.com
- It Ain't Half Hot Mum on IMDb
- It Ain't Half Hot Mum at British Comedy Guide
- It Ain't Half Hot Mum at the BFI's Screenonline
- It Ain't Half Hot Mum British TV Comedy Guide
- Melvyn Hayes Official Website