Keep Young and Beautiful (Dad's Army)

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"Keep Young and Beautiful"
Dad's Army episode
Episode no. Series Five
Episode 042
Directed by David Croft
Story by Jimmy Perry and David Croft
Produced by David Croft
Original air date Friday 13/10/72 8.30pm
(recorded Friday 9/6/72)
Running time 30 minutes
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Asleep in the Deep"
Next →
"A Soldier's Farewell"

Keep Young and Beautiful is the title of the second episode of the fifth series of the British comedy series Dad's Army originally transmitted Friday 13 October 1972.


The government has called for an injection of youth into the Home Guard, along with a syphoning off of the more elderly of its current members into the ARP. When an exchange of personnel is mooted, the platoon decides to take drastic action: some dye their hair, others enrich their skin, Sergeant Wilson dons a "gentleman's abdominal support" (a corset) and Captain Mainwaring a toupée.


Captain Mainwaring is discussing with Sergeant Wilson how he would prefer to have much younger men in his platoon after Corporal Jones's section make a mockery of the day's exercise. At that moment, Wilson presents Mainwaring with a letter from the war office which states that the oldest members of the Home Guard will be transferred to ARP and the younger, more fitter ARP Wardens will be transferred into the Home Guard.

Upon learning of this, Corporal Jones and Private Godfrey visit Private Frazer's funeral parlour and tell him that "If any of the platoon are going to be put in the ARP, it'll be us three cause we're the oldest." Frazer then agrees to perform a makeover on Jones and Godfrey, as well as himself, in order to make them look younger. In the meantime, Mainwaring worries that he too might be transferred into the ARP, so he buys himself a wig, much to the amusement of the platoon, while Sergeant Wilson has acquired a corset (or "gentleman's abdominal support", as he calls it). Chief Warden Hodges is also worried of being put into the Home Guard so he purchases some grey 'hair dye' courtesy of Private Walker, which is actually white ceiling paint.

When Mainwaring learns of the drastic measures that Frazer, Jones and Godfrey have gone through in order to stay in the platoon, he does not approve, but states that "it's too late to do anything about it now." After the inspection, in which none of the Home Guard members were selected to join the ARP, it begins to rain heavily, causing the make-up on the three soldiers' faces to run.


  • The title is a reference to the popular 1930s showtune "Keep Young and Beautiful".
  • During the scene where Walker vigorously shakes a bottle to mix some 'grey hair dye' for Hodges, he sings "I, Yi, Yi, Yi, Yi (I Like You Very Much)" — a song made famous by Carmen Miranda in the 1941 film That Night in Rio.
  • More recent screenings of this episode have heavily re-edited the scene where Pike, Walker and Godfrey try to pick a volunteer to go into the office to try to have a look at Captain Mainwaring's new wig, and Pike recites a version of "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe" which includes the racial slur "nigger" in the second line, with Walker getting the 'moe'; Walker then continues the rhyme, "O-U-T spells out, you must go", so Pike ends up being 'it' instead. In the revised version, only the rhyme's opening line is spoken by Pike before he points to Walker and says "It's you, go on." The scene appears complete on the DVD release.



  • Croft, David; Perry, Jimmy; Webber, Richard (2000). The Complete A-Z of Dad’s Army. Orion. ISBN 0-7528-4637-X. 

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