Catherine Zeta Jones joined stars of the new ‘Dad’s Army’ film to thank military personnel for their service at a special screening of the film at Joint Forces Command, Chicksands.
Catherine, who plays journalist Rose Winters, and Blake Harrison who plays Private Pike in the film, met military personnel and their families at the SSVC Forces Cinema at the Defence
Training establishment prior to the screening.
When introducing the film to the audience, Catherine said: “It’s very British humour and about being able to laugh at yourself. It’s timeless comedy and beautifully written. I think the military will enjoy the craziness and silliness of it all and also the stiff British upper lip.”
She then went on to thank the military personnel for their work.
“We have a very proud military history and hope that all the military love it,” she said.
“Thank you for the service you give and all that you do for your country - thank you all very much.”
Blake Harrison said: “I am in awe of everything you do and what you give to the country; you are second to none.”
Joint Forces Command, Chicksands is home to the Joint Intelligence Training Group which trains approximately 5,000 students every year in a wide range of intelligence and security disciplines. The military base houses several schools, teaching students from all three Services as well as civilian analysts. The site is also home to the Army Intelligence Corps.
Daniel who serves in the Intelligence Corps said: “I started watching the series a couple of years ago. I only started watching it because my Dad never shuts up about it and now I’ve become a big fan.
“I was really surprised when I heard the stars of the film were coming. I’m excited to see the film here on camp. It’s the first time I’ve had chance to get this close to well-known actors of their calibre, even if it is for a fleeting moment.”
Chris, a Pilot Officer in the Royal Air Force, said: “I’m a big fan of the original and it’s great that the film is being shown here. It’s certainly a bit of a different afternoon. My friends will be envious.”
Joining them at the screening which comes a week before the release of the film at UK cinemas, were members of the Royal British Legion.
Rob Kelley who is a member of the Royal British Legion Riders Branch, also known as the Bedfordshire Clangers, said: “I grew up with Dad’s Army. I know all the classic lines. It’s absolutely brilliant. I took my
daughter Amy (7) to the museum in Thetford and converted her into a fan, so she knows what it’s all about when she watches it.”
The event was organised by SSVC Forces Cinemas and WO2 Chris Mooney who said: “The day has gone well and it’s lovely to see the stars, who were all very friendly.”
Chris, who retires from the Army this week after 24-years’ service, spent a year turning what was a cold under-used space into the current cinema that can accommodate 220 people.
“I really am leaving the Army on a high. I’ve had a great career and to finish my service arranging an event like this truly is memorable.
“Getting the cinema off the ground was hard work, but worth it. I had lots of support from the people on the camp, both civilian and military, and we all did it in our spare time. It was a real team effort.”
Jennifer Holdford, Cinema Operations Manager for SSVC Forces Cinemas, said: “Dad’s Army is fondly remembered by many of our Armed Forces and we were thrilled that we were able to host both
Catherine and Blake at our Forces Cinema at Chicksands. It was an amazing afternoon and we are very grateful to Universal Pictures for the opportunity of bringing this iconic film to the home of some of our
serving British Forces a week before the film’s release.”
Dad’s Army’ will be released in cinemas in the UK on Friday, February 5. The filming of the ‘Dad’s Army’ film at the Joint Intelligence Group site was arranged in conjunction with SSVC Forces Cinemas.