Credit: Shutterstock/Clive Dunn

Don’t panic!

Clive Dunn was only 51 when he had a UK number one hit with his novelty song Grandad, but had already established career playing characters far older than his years.

Born in Brixton, London, the son of actor parents, Clive followed his parents into the profession and had already featured in a number of British comedy films by the time he was in his twenties.

When the Second World war began, Clive joined the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars and was among 400 servicemen captured in Greece, where they were held as prisoners of war for four years.

Still only in his twenties when he resumed his acting career, making appearances in sitcom Hancock’s Half Hour, by the mid Sixties he’d played a number of TV roles as an old man.

Clive was only 48 and one of the youngest in the cast when he took on his best-loved role – doddering butcher and Boer War veteran Jack Jones, in long-running Second World war sitcom Dads Army. His actual youth meant that he was capable of performing much more physical comedy than his fellow cast-members.

Clive went on to make a children’s sitcom, Grandad in which he played the title role and which inspired his novelty hit. He spent much of the last 30 years of his life living in retirement in Portugal, but generations have grown up familiar with Clive and the Dads Army cast, with the comedy still being broadcast on TV to this day.