Are You Being Served?

BBC (ended 1985)
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643 votes
  • Episode Guide
  • S 10 : Ep 7

    The Pop Star

    Aired 4/1/85

  • S 10 : Ep 6

    Friends and Neighbours

    Aired 3/25/85

  • S 10 : Ep 5

    The Night Club

    Aired 3/18/85

  • S 10 : Ep 4

    Gambling Fever

    Aired 3/11/85

  • S 10 : Ep 3

    The Hold Up

    Aired 3/4/85

  • Cast & Crew
  • Trevor Bannister

    Mr James (Dick) Lucas 1972-1979

  • Frank Thornton

    Captain Stephen Peacock

  • Nicholas Smith

    Mr. Cuthbert Rumbold (1972-1985)

  • Wendy Richard

    Miss Shirley Brahms (1972-1985)

  • Larry Martyn

    Mr. Mash (1972-1975)

  • Photos (2)
  • show Description
  • Are You Being Served? is a British Sitcom that ran from 1972-1985. The show revolved around "Grace Brothers Department Store" and in particular the goings on within the "Gentlemen's Ready-To-Wear" and "Ladies' Separates and Underwear" Departments. A store reorganization forced these two departments to share floor space, and the conflicts that this created set the tone for most episodes. Are You Being Served? showcases a bygone period of time in which the class structure was still very much alive. There was a strict heirarchy within Grace Brothers. Everyone knew their "places" and remained in them, unless, of course, there was a chance for advancement and then it was every man and woman for themselves. A spin-off series of Are You Being Served? was released, called Grace and Favour. Although in the U.S, it was named Are You Being Served? Again!moreless

  • Top Contributor
  • francklloyd

    User Score: 1130


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (220)

    • Lucas: (having found Captain Peacock Blue Cinema membership card) I'd better get it back to him.
      Humphries: That'll be the last thing you do.
      Lucas: What do you mean?
      Humphries: Well, if he knows that you know that he goes sitting in that little cinema, where there's no room for your legs and they all have their macs over their knees…
      Lucas: How do you know what it's like?
      Humphries: My doctor sent me there for therapy.
      Lucas: Did it work?
      Humphries: That's none of your business.

    • Humphries: (about Young Mr Grace) He's worth two million.
      Lucas: Two million!
      Humphries: He can't take it with him.
      Lucas: The way he's walking, he looks as though he's carrying it on his back.

    • Humphries: She's got a nerve!
      Lucas: What's the matter now?
      Humphries: She wants to remove my shirt and put a bra there instead.
      Lucas: Just you or all of us?

    • Mr Humphries: (to Mr Lucas) Don't let Peacock see you fraternizing over there. Otherwise, you'll get the rough edge of his tongue, and I can tell you it isn't very pleasant.

    • Mrs Slocombe: Why anyone would want to buy a women's magazine with a centerfold of a nude man is beyond me.

      Miss Brahms: Well, I thought Burt Reynolds looked quite sexy.

      Mrs Slocombe: Well, you couldn't see anything; his arm was in the way.

    • Captain Peacock: Mr. Grainger, did you write this note?

      Mr. Grainger: Write it? I don't even understand it!

      Mr Humphries: Certainly not, Mr Grainger wouldn't have said "Sexy Knickers", he would have said "Sexy Bloomers".

      Captain Peacock: Did you write the note, Mr Humphries?

      Mr Humphries: No, but thanks for the compliment.

    • Peacock: How are the sales going Mrs. Slocombe? Slocombe: Well in lingerie, pants are up and bras are down.

    • Lucas: (To a customer who complains about tightness in his pants) They vary in size, too. The trousers, I mean.

    Show More Quotes

    Notes (67)

    • On New Year's Day 2010 BBC 2 broadcast a colourized version of this episode. It was the first time it could be seen again in colour since its original transmission.

    • This pilot episode was originally aired unexpectedly (and without advance publicity) during the 1972 Munich Olympics. It was run in place of Olympic coverage after several days worth of events were cancelled due to the terrorist attack on Israeli athletes. It was later repeated at the start of the first season. Although it was originally produced in colour, only a black and white copy is believed to have survived.

    • Harold Bennett and Larry Martyn do not appear in this episode.

    • The "knee" a jacket method is an actual trick of the trade that creator Jeremy Lloyd picked up while working in Simpson's Department Store. His experiences there provided the basis for much of "Are You Being Served?"

    • Larry Martyn doesn't appear in this episode.

    • This is the first episode Mr Rumbold plays an instrument, later episodes reveal he is a talented music player.

    • Harold Bennett does not appear in this episode.

    • Harold Bennett does not appear in this episode.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (42)

    • It is revealed in this episode that Mr Rumbold recently transferred from the Hardware Department. Captain Peacock spent some time as floorwalker in the Toy Department, but was happy to move to Ladies and Gentlemen's Apparel.

    • Look carefully at the trousers in Mr. Lucas's hands when he says, "I am about to find the 'other' pair of trousers." You can see the "tear" in the trousers before Mr. Lucas puts his knee into it.

    • Mr. Rumbold's original secretary (played by Stephanie Gathercole Reeve) makes her final appearance on the show. She also provided the voice in the show's theme ("Ground floor, perfumery, stationery and leather goods...")

    • From this episode onwards John Inman wears a toupet. The bald patch, quite apparent in the first two seasons, has suddenly disappeared.

    • This episode is a wonderful illustration of the "Peter Principle" of business. The theory states that any business will promote anyone to his or her own natural level of incompetence. The Peter Principle of course is personified by the hapless Mr. Rumbold, who obviously already has reached a level of incomptence sufficient to get him into "upper middle management" The only logical thing therefore would be to consider promoting him! Of course, everyone else hopes he will be promoted so that they can move up too!

    • Mr. Mash's "Ausfahrt" sign (which Captain Peacock says means "the way out") is a bit misleading. An ausfahrt is actually a highway exit, while an exit door would be an ausgang. Of course, phonetically, the latter is not as funny.

    • When Lucas and Humphries knock their mugs against each other, only Lucas's mug breaks properly. John Inman (Humphries) corrects this by obviously crushing his mug with his hand. This is necessary for the next joke, when Lucas puts the two ears of the broken mugs next to his head, imitating Rumbold.

    • The first two years of AYBS? had the Gents and Ladies Departments on the first floor. Now, as proved by the conversation between Young Mr. Grace and Mr. Rumbold, it's all on the third floor.

    Show More Trivia

    Allusions (37)

    • Before going to see Mr Rumbold, Mr Lucas sings " Heigh-ho Heigh-ho it's out of work we go". This is a reference to the seven dwarfs work song from 1937 film, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"

    • Entire Cast: "Keep the Home-Fires Burning"
      "Keep the Home-Fires Burning" was a popular song in Britain during World War I, and revived during World War II. The lyrics are by Lena Ford and the music by Ivor Novello.

    • There is a dual allusion in the title of this episode. "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" is a movie with Marilyn Monroe. "Dogs are a Man's Best Friend" is a commonly used phrase.

    • Bridal Veil Customer: We're torn between Eastbourne and Brighton (for our honeymoon). Mrs. Slocombe: Why don't you compromise and try Beachy Head? Beachy Head, a cliff on the south coast of Britain, is a well-known suicide spot.

    • When Mr Lucas (Trevor Bannister) enters from the lift with ice skates around his neck, Mr Humphries (John Inman) says, "oh look it's Sonja Henie" This is a reference to 3 time Norway Olympic Gold Medalist Sonja Henie

    • Lucas: (referring to Mr. Mash) He's one of us. (is about to take a sip of the hot chocolate Mr. Mash provided) Mash: Ten pence each. Humphries: He's not one of us. (he and Lucas put their hot chocolates back on Mr. Mash's tray)
      This is a twist of an incident that cost Jeremy Lloyd his job at Simpson's Department Store. He had sold soft drinks to fellow sales clerks during a heat wave.

    • The allusion in the title is to the phrase, Hoo rah for Hollywood, which is a lyrics in a song credited to Johnny Mercer.

    • Lucas: Twenty years in this place! It's almost as much as the train robbers got. A reference to the Great Train Robbery of 1963, when two million pounds were stolen from a post office train by fifteen criminals. Thirteen of them were eventually caught and they received long prison sentences.

    Show More Allusions
  • Fan Reviews (25)
  • Yes, I'm Free!

    By dcouchot, Oct 28, 2014

  • They have served me well

    By Chubbywuz, Jan 16, 2013

  • This is one of my top ten favorite Brit sitcoms lavish cast of characters and great comedic talent,what more could you ask for in a show.

    By Devilman1210, Oct 28, 2011

  • Welcome to "Grace Brother's"

    By Gotal_LCP, Apr 28, 2009

  • Ask me if I'm free to watch an AYBS DVD, my answer: "IM FREE!"

    By AngelDNTN, Dec 04, 2008

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