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Keep Young and Beautiful
Series 5, Episode 2
Keep Young and Beautiful title card
Air Date 13th October 1972
Written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft
Director David Croft
Producer David Croft
Length 30 minutes
Original Audience Figures Unknown
Previous episode Asleep in the Deep
Next episode A Soldier's Farewell
List of episodes

Keep Young and Beautiful is the second episode of the fifth series of Dad's Army, and was originally transmitted on Friday 13th October, 1972.


The government has called for an injection of youth into the Home Guard, along with the syphoning off of the eldest 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, Wilson dons an 'abdominal corset' and Mainwaring a toupée...


In the Houses of Parliament, the government are debating about whether to switch the ARPs and the Home Guard, stating that the younger, fitter men need to be Home Guard and not ARP. The decision is made to swap them.

Meanwhile, an exercise in the Walmington-on-Sea platoon is in progress, with Jones' lot doing awful. When they return, Captain Mainwaring discusses with Sergeant Wilson how he would prefer to have much younger men in his platoon after Jones' sections 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 the ARP and the younger, fitter ARP Wardens will be transferred into the Home Guard.

Upon learning of this, Jones and Godfrey visit 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. Meanwhile Chief Warden Hodges is also worried about being put into the Home Guard, so he purchases some grey "hair dye" courtesy of 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 makeup on the faces of the most elderly to run.



  • The title is a reference to the popular 1930s showtune Keep Young and Beautiful, which was often used as background music throughout the series.
  • The scene where Pike, Walker and Godfrey try to pick a volunteer to go into the office to have a look at Mainwaring's new wig has been heavily re-edited for more recent screenings. To choose who will go, Pike recites a version of "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe", which includes the racial slur "n****r" in the second line, with Walker getting the 'moe'. However, Walker continues the rhyme, "O-U-T spells 'out', you must go", so Pike ends up being 'it' instead. In the revised version, Pike speaks only the rhyme's opening line, before he points to Walker and says "It's you, go on"—whereupon Walker continues the now excised rhyme. The scene is retained intact on DVD.