Are You Being Served? (1972–1985)
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The Erotic Dreams of Mrs Slocombe 

After years of reaction in her widow's love life, Mrs. Slocombe is getting extremely cranky with everybody, even with customers. The notable exception is Mr. Humphries, whom she showers ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Arthur English ...
Mike Berry ...
Benny Lee ...
Kenneth Waller ...
Vivienne Johnson ...
Louise Burton ...
Brenda Cowling ...
Lady Customer
Jack Haig ...


After years of reaction in her widow's love life, Mrs. Slocombe is getting extremely cranky with everybody, even with customers. The notable exception is Mr. Humphries, whom she showers with embarrassingly obvious attention, including presents. When the obsession drives her to alcoholism and it starts raining complaints from verbally abused customers, Mr. Rumbold and Mr. Grace investigate, and end up with psychological advice that the only cure is for the object of her desire to appear to be responsive- poor Mr. Humphries has to sit next to her when the whole floor gets to attend a ballet show of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

28 May 1981 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jack Haig who play the Old Gentleman also featured on " 'Allo 'Allo ". See more »


The Mohair Jumper: I'm not sure it's really me.
Miss Brahms: Oh, but it is, madam! You see, everybody has an aura what goes with their personality. Some people have an aura what is pink, others have an aura what is blue. And as soon as I saw madam, I said to myself, madam has an aura what is purple with white stripes.
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References Bride of Frankenstein (1935) See more »

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User Reviews

This Was The Episode Where We Wondered About Mr. Humphreys
24 February 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In the 8th Season of ARE YOU BEING SERVED? there were a number of cast changes, such as two actors taking over the senior salesman slot in haberdashery, a new junior salesman (Kenneth Berry) and a new Mr. Grace (Kenneth Waller). Into this flux there were occasions when the episodes of the long - running comedy hit seemed to be flaying. One of the flaying episodes was this unexpected little beauty. For the key to this episode was the conclusion that opened the issue: Wilberforce Clayborne Humphries - was he gay or straight or what?

The late John Inman is possibly the comic performer most people recall from ARE YOU BEING SERVED? This is not to knock Mollie Sugden's "Mrs. Slocombe", Frank Thornton's "Captain Stephen Peacock", Wendy Richards' "Ms Shirley Braham", Nicholas Smith's "Mr. Cuthbert Rumbolt", or Arthur English's "Beverley Harman". The ensemble was always first rate (as were the previous actors like Trevor Bannister and Arthur Borough* who were on it as well). But Inman's friendly and fey Mr. Humphries was like a hose of light laughing gas every time he spoke or moved. He certainly is missed since his passing last year.

(*Again, the performer's name is misspelled on this website's thread. It is spelled as "B", "R", "O", "U", "G", "H". Why it keeps popping up as "Borough" is anyone's guess.)

It is generally assumed, due to his description of his social life (frequently in situations like playing strip poker with sailors) that Humphries is a happy homosexual man. It is only in THE EROTIC DREAMS OF MRS. SLOCOMBE that we finally question this issue.

Mrs. Slocombe has been hitting the bottle more frequently than ever. She confides to Ms Brahms that she's been having a series of erotic dreams about Humphries. When Captain Peacock presses Brahms about Slocombe's behavior she tells him. In the haberdashery counter Humphries, "Bert Spooner" (Mr. Berry), and "Mr. Klein" (Benny Lee), are aware of her interest too (she has been purchasing items like gloves for him there). Humphries has tried to ignore it, but finds that by force of her personality he can't.

The floor was in a store-wide raffle for some tickets to the ballet at Covent Garden. The floor has won, and with the consultation of Mr. Grace and Mr. Rumbolt the members of the two departments and Captain Peacock go to the ballet. But secretly, having read a psychiatrist report on Mrs. Slocombe, they find that the only way to possibly end her persecution of Mr. Humphries is for Mrs. Humphries to take the initiative and show a wild sexual urge to Mrs. Slocombe. It may shock her into normality.

There are many good moments in the show, dealing with the secret drinking of Mrs. Slocombe (that is not very secret). If Ray Milland hid bottles in chandeliers, Mrs. Slocombe hides gin in manikin sections. A drinking test she is asked to take takes to the air, so to speak. And the final ballet sequence is very funny.


It is this episode that Humphries' homosexual reputation is finally questioned a bit. He had (two years earlier) pretended to be a groom for Mrs. Slocombe at a Greek wedding, but it was not a real Greek wedding. Here he is at sea about how to play sex games with Mrs. Slocombe (who is progressively getting sleepier and sleepier), and has to ask Ms Brahms. And Ms Brahms, in showing how to manipulate a man into a sexual mood unleashes a hitherto unexpected tiger.

So again, was he or wasn't he? Maybe he was bi-sexual.

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