John Le Mesurier: It's All Been Rather Lovely

Radio Times
Review by:
Alison Graham

When John Le Mesurier’s wife Joan left him for what turned out to be a brief and disastrous relationship with his best friend Tony Hancock, he became Joan’s confidant. He’d comfort her in her unhappiest days with Hancock, telling her: “I love him too, I know exactly how it is, darling.”

Everybody loved John Le Mesurier and the contributors here, including Joan, who left Hancock and returned to her husband (he never referred to her affair again) speak of him with unconditional adoration. Le Mesurier was peerless; that wonderful, urbane delivery and the crushed-velvet voice made him unforgettable as Sgt Wilson in Dad’s Army.

To those who knew him best, he was charming, warm and delightful. Michael Palin worked with him on Jabberwocky and wonders fondly where Le Mesurier would be in 2012: “Playing a patient in a bed in Casualty?” Palin is a devotee of Le Mesurier’s reassuring presence: “[when he appeared] I just felt comfortable. I knew he knew what to do.”

About this programme

A portrait of the prolific actor's life and career, from his turbulent marriage to Hattie Jacques to his renowned role as Sergeant Wilson in the TV sitcom Dad's Army and parts in more than 100 films. Featuring contributions by Michael Palin, Clive Dunn, Ian Lavender, Jimmy Perry and Joan Le Mesurier. Narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt.

Cast and crew


Julian Rhind-Tutt
Michael Palin
Clive Dunn
Ian Lavender
Jimmy Perry
Joan Le Mesurier


Lucy Kenwright
Executive Producer
Caroline Wright
Lucy Kenwright