The big screen reboot of the beloved British sitcom Dad’s Army was inadvertently inspired by Simon Cowell.

The new film version, which is now available for pre-order at JB Hi-Fi, is a remake of the classic BBC comedy series, which ran from 1968 to 1977, and followed the misadventures of the Home Guard during the Second World War.

And it seems we have the UK version of the talent show The X Factor to thank for the big screen reboot

“I was in front of the telly on a Saturday evening three or four years ago, not wanting to watch The X-Factor,” producer Damian Jones recalls. “So I channel-surfed and there was Dad’s Army. Here it was, still on at prime time and still funny. I thought, ‘This is mad for a 30 or 40 year-old television show!’”

Intrigued, the filmmaker tracked down the viewing figures and discovered that nearly three million Brits were still tuning in every week to watch the the misadventures of Captain Mainwaring and his men.

Jones duly approached the Dad’s Army estate with the idea for a movie. “They were open to it,” he remembers of their first meeting, “so I got [screenwriter] Hamish [McColl] on board and we shared our thoughts with them. That was the key to the approval process. Once they’d approved it, the Dad’s Army Appreciation Society and the Dad’s Army Museum came into the process too and supported us. They reached out to the fans and reassured them we were handling it with the right levels of diligence.”