Are You Being Served? (1972–1985)

TV Series  -   -  Comedy
8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 3,814 users  
Reviews: 50 user | 3 critic

The misadventures of the staff of a retail floor of a major department store.

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Alpha House Premieres Today

All ten episodes of the second season of "Alpha House" are available starting today. Watch them now, only on Prime Instant Video.


Related News

British Actress Sugden Dies
| WENN
Eastenders Star Richard Dies
| WENN
TV Star Richard 'Dying Of Cancer'
| WENN

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 23 May 2011
 
a list of 43 titles
created 02 Jan 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 08 Feb 2013
 
a list of 39 titles
created 03 Aug 2013
 
a list of 41 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Are You Being Served? (1972–1985)

Are You Being Served? (1972–1985) on IMDb 8.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Are You Being Served?.

User Polls

Episodes

Seasons


Years



10   9   8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1985   1983   1981   1979   … See all »
1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Keeping Up Appearances (1990–1995)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A snobbish housewife is determined to climb the social ladder, in spite of her family's working class connections and the constant chagrin of her long suffering husband.

Stars: Patricia Routledge, Clive Swift, Geoffrey Hughes
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

When Mr. Humphries' mother is asked to write a book, she and her son stroll down memory lane as they recall his old experiences at Grace Brothers'.

Director: Don Hopfer
Stars: John Inman, Mollie Sugden, Frank Thornton
Last of the Summer Wine (TV Series 1973)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Three old men from Yorkshire who have never grown up face the trials of their fellow town citizens and everyday life and stay young by reminiscing about the days of their youth and attempting feats not common to the elderly.

Stars: Peter Sallis, Jane Freeman, Kathy Staff
Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (1973–1978)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Frank Spencer is more than just a complete klutz. Everything he touches falls apart, and he can't keep a job for more than a day. The only thing that keeps him going is his long-suffering ... See full summary »

Stars: Michael Crawford, Michele Dotrice, Jessica Forte
One Foot in the Grave (1990–2000)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Victor Meldrew is a retiree with an attitude who seems to attract bad luck. If he's not driving his long suffering wife Margaret crazy with his constant moaning, he's fighting with his ... See full summary »

Stars: Richard Wilson, Annette Crosbie, Doreen Mantle
Dad's Army (1968–1977)
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Popular BBC comedy series set in the fictional south coast seaside town of Walmington-On-Sea during World War 2. Alternating moments of gentle character comedy with broad slapstick, it ... See full summary »

Stars: Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Clive Dunn
'Allo 'Allo (1982–1992)
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

René Artois runs a small café in France during World War II. He always seems to have his hands full: He's having affairs with most of his waitresses, he's keeping his wife happy, he's ... See full summary »

Stars: Gorden Kaye, Carmen Silvera, Vicki Michelle
Open All Hours (1976–1985)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Arkwright is a tight-fisted shop owner in Doncaster, who will stop at nothing to keep his profits high and his overheads low, even if this means harassing his nephew Granville. Arkwright's ... See full summary »

Stars: Ronnie Barker, David Jason, Lynda Baron
Waiting for God (1990–1994)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When Tom Ballard moves to Bayview Retirement Vilage, he meets Diana Trent, a feisty old woman who complains about everything and wants nothing more than just to die. Much to the dislike of ... See full summary »

Stars: Graham Crowden, Stephanie Cole, Daniel Hill
To the Manor Born (1979–1981)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Audrey fforbes-Hamilton is sad when her husband dies but is shocked when she realises that she has to leave Grantleigh Manor where her family has lived forever. The new owner is Richard De ... See full summary »

Stars: Penelope Keith, Peter Bowles, Angela Thorne
It Ain't Half Hot Mum (1974–1981)
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The comic adventures of a group of misfits who form an extremely bad concert party touring the hot and steamy jungles of Burma entertaining the troops during World War II.

Stars: Windsor Davies, Melvyn Hayes, Donald Hewlett
George & Mildred (1976–1979)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

George and Mildred Roper are forced to leave their home in South Kensington (as the landlords in Man About the House (1973)) when they receive a compulsory purchase order from the council. ... See full summary »

Stars: Yootha Joyce, Brian Murphy, Norman Eshley
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Mrs. Betty Slocombe (69 episodes, 1972-1985)
...
 Mr. Wilberforce Clayborne Humphries / ... (69 episodes, 1972-1985)
...
 Captain Stephen Peacock (69 episodes, 1972-1985)
...
 Miss Shirley Brahms (69 episodes, 1972-1985)
Nicholas Smith ...
 Mr. Cuthbert Rumbold / ... (69 episodes, 1972-1985)
Trevor Bannister ...
 Mr. Dick Lucas / ... (48 episodes, 1972-1979)
Arthur English ...
 Mr. Beverley Harman / ... (48 episodes, 1976-1985)
Harold Bennett ...
 Young Mr. Grace (46 episodes, 1972-1981)
Arthur Brough ...
 Mr. Ernest Grainger (34 episodes, 1972-1977)
Edit

Storyline

This quintessentially British sitcom is about Grace Brothers, a department store in London which is owned and kept traditional, almost pre-war (e.g. precise dress code for ladies frills and gentlemen's hats according to rank), by two brothers who look old enough to have fought in the Boer war but rarely appear, as most scenes play on one floor where Mr. Cuthbert Rumbold is the executive (meaning he enjoys an endless parade of foxy but stupid secretaries) in charge of management while his dignified floor walker, Captain Stephen Peacock, has daily charge over two small sales teams. The fat and bossy, implicitly man-hungry widow Mrs. Betty Slocombe supervises the attractive Miss Shirley Brahms (with a terribly common Cockney accent) -with first choice of customers, on commission- the sale of women's clothes and accessories; the sales star at the gentleman's side is Mr. Wilberforce Clayborne Humpries, an implied closet-gay true gentleman, whose successive superiors are first obviously ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 March 1973 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Grace Brothers  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(69 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Mr. Tebbs (James Hayter) was the only character to ever be given a departure storyline (he retired). Everyone else who left the show simply disappeared and was never mentioned again. See more »

Goofs

Throughout the series, the scripts constantly change the location of the Ladies' and Gentlemens' departments, sometimes referring to it being on the third floor, sometimes on the fourth. Also, the theme song lyrics indicate the department is on the first floor. See more »

Quotes

[the nurse is coaching Old Mr. Grace on an electric bicycle]
Mr. Grace's Nurse: I've got a surprise for you, Mr. Grace. You've been doing it on your own the last five minutes.
Old Mr. Grace: You get used to that sort of thing at my time of life.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits listed the actors' names but not the corresponding names of the characters that they played. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Hilarious Mollie Sugden and John Inman... Priceless
15 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

ARE YOU BEING SERVED had a long run on British TV, from 1972 to 1985. This groundbreaking series paved the way for many other famous Brticoms. But this one was the first to feature a gay character and delighted audiences with its naughty and unending double entendres.

Set in a dismal department store, Grace Brothers, the basic plot revolves around the sales people in the ladies' and gents' departments, forced to share floor space. Of course there are other store employees and many hapless customers. This basic structure saw something like 69 episodes filmed over 13 years as well as many cast changes.

The series was first seen as a starring vehicle for the swinging bachelor, Mr. Lucas, played by Trevor Bannister. As the junior sales clerk in the men's department, Lucas was always short of money and anxious to get out of the store to chase "birds." But after a few episodes two other characters emerged from the pack as audience favorites.

The blowzy Mrs. Slocombe, played by Mollie Sugden, was a middle-aged woman with an ever-changing hair color. She could switch between Cockney and Posh accents in a heartbeat and was often the butt of Lucas' crude jokes. Mrs. Slocombe had an alarming habit of referring to her "pussy" but was always blithely unaware of how these stories were taken by others.

The character of Mr. Humphries, played by John Inman, embraced many gay stereotypes but at heart he was a sweet and non-threatening character. Like Mrs. Slocombe, he had his own set of double entendres, but he winkingly made it known he knew exactly what he was saying.

Other main characters included the pompous floorwalker, Captain Peacock, played by Frank Thornton; the busty sales girl Miss Brahms, played by Wendy Richard, the crusty senior sales clerk, Mr. Grainger, played by Arthur Borough, the dim manager, Mr. Rumbold, played by Nicholas Smith, and the ancient store owner, Young Mr. Grace, played by Harold Bennett.

There were also crude maintenance men, Mr. Mash, played by Larry Martyn, who was succeeded by Mr. Harman, played by Arthur English, and a series of busty-but-dumb secretaries.

After Bannister left the series and Borough passed away, there was a series of replacements for these characters but none were terribly successful. Pop star Mike Berry had a decent run as Mr. Spooner, "the junior," and a series of actors had turns replacing Borough as "the senior." Alfie Bass, James Hayter, Benny Lee, and Milo Sperber all had short runs.

Over all the years, however, the hearts of the series were Mollie Sugden and John Inman. Both were superb comic actors who were game for just about anything. Anything here meant outlandish costumes (Inman often in drag), musical numbers, dances, and knock-about slapstick comedy that was done live and apparently in front of an audience. Sugden was often asked to wear ridiculous costumes, ranging from rompers to lederhosen. Inman even appeared as his own mother.

The bottom line is that this series was silly but sweet. Its crude language and situations were easily forgiven because the actors were so damned good. Like a handful of other TV classics, ARE YOU BEING SERVED has never stopped running. This was a famous import for PBS) along with other Britcoms) and became a staple of that network.

The show was so popular, it spawned a 1977 movie in which the gang all go on holiday together. There was also a sequel series called GRAVE AND FAVOUR or ARE YOU BEING SERVED AGAIN? In which Sugden, Inman, Thornton, Richard, and Smith all retire to the country and run a hotel (owned by Grace Brothers) in exchange for free board.


17 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
If they tried to remake the show... Low_Rent
Very sad only 2 left and they were the oldest Vince70
Young Mr.Grace or Old Mr.Grace arashchristopher
Why did these characters leave the show? Nick-Stone
Mr. Lucas is not attractive holdencopywriting
Mr.Mash or Mr. Harmon? lisaboothe
Discuss Are You Being Served? (1972) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page