Are You Being Served?

Season 7 Episode 8

The Punch and Judy Affair

Aired Wednesday 7:30 PM Dec 26, 1979 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary

The Punch and Judy Affair
When the staff of the Ladies' and Gents' departments don't participate in a strike, relations between them and the rest of the store's employees become understandably bitter. In order to improve the mood, the staff presents a life-size Punch and Judy show for the other employees' children.moreless

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  • It starts with cleaners on strike, crossing picket lines, and now Mr. Rumbold's department perform "Punch and Judy" for the kids of the other employees. Mr. Humphries tries to direct, but things get out of control while directing.moreless

    This episode is a laugh out loud favorite, and shows that some people just weren't meant to play fairy tale characters...that's what makes this episode so funny, yet Mr. Humphries was right. Mr. Goldberg shouldn't get carried away with his role. I like how Mrs. Slocombe takes advantage of her role as the police woman. This episode shows employees being in a different reality which is the world of Punch and Judy. I liked how Mr. Harman kept coming onto the floor. I also liked how the characters were dressed up as kids at the end...I think Mrs. Slocombe and Miss Brahms looked strange in their costumes though. Mr. Goldberg's costume looked AWESOME!! So did Mr. Humphries. This episode is adorable. You should see when Captain Peacock smiles. Mr. Harman was right. That did come as a bit of a shock.moreless
Doremy Vernon

Doremy Vernon

Canteen Manageress (1975-1985)

Recurring Role

Vivienne Johnson

Vivienne Johnson

Nurse (1978-1981)

Recurring Role

Hilda Fenemore

Hilda Fenemore


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Final appearances of Mr Lucas, Mr Goldberg and Penny Irving as Young Mr Grace's secretary. Their departures are never explained.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Mr Humphries: I shall tell the story and you'll improvise spontaneously on the theme.
      Miss Brahms: Yes and we have to use funny voices, don't we?
      Mr Humphries: We do, Miss Brahms, and yours will do fine.

    • Captain Peacock: Bring them out in the goods lift and await my orders.
      Mr Harman: Await your orders? Queen Victoria is dead, you know! You don't give me orders. If you want anything, you make a request, preferably with a smile somewhere lurking around your lips. And if you can't manage a smile, a little, unsolicited gratuity.

    • (About getting a dog for a play)
      Captain Peacock: I could get Miss Hepburn from the Pet Dept. to lend us a dog.
      Miss Brahms: I thought you were avoiding her after she shoved those 2 ferrets down your trouser's?

  • NOTES (4)

    • Music: The episode ends with the cast singing 'Kids' from the 1960 Broadway show Bye, Bye Birdie (Michael Stewart - Lee Adams - Charles Strouse).

    • Bannister considers this AYBS? episode one of his best.

    • Trevor Bannister had spent the year performing in a play. The BBC had re-arranged production schedules so Bannister could do AYBS? as well. But after 1979, the schedules conflicted themselves, prompting Bannister to stop playing Mr. Lucas.
      It was probably time. Mr. Lucas was a product of the 1970s, when male chauvinism was commonplace. In interviews, Bannister said that he could not have revived Mr. Lucas had he been asked to do Grace and Favour.

    • This was the final appearance of Trevor Bannister, Alfie Bass, and Penny Irving.


    • Mrs Slocombe: I haven't been to a children's party since I was five.
      Mr Lucas: Was that for your birthday or for the relief of Mafeking?

      The siege of Mafeking was an important military action during the Boer War, lasting from October 1899 until May 1900.