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Are You Being Served?

'Who are you bringing to the office party, Mr Humphries? Don't know? I'll just put down ''query'', for now'LIFE IN THE most uncommercial, threadbare-looking department store in the world which somehow managed to stay in business for 13 years on a budget of jokes about tits, homosexuals and “sales drives”. Every single one of the 689,000 episodes had the same plot. Miss Brahms (PAULINE FOWLER) complains about working conditions to boss Captain Peacock (FRANK THORNTON). She alludes to her breasts (“I want to know my future’s in front of me”) and so does he (“Yes, er, you certainly have a couple of points there”). Mrs Slocombe (MOLLIE SUDGEN) arrives in the lift and makes reference to her genitals (“Ooh, it’s raining buckets outside – my pussy was soaked through this morning”). Mr Humphreys (JOHN INMAN) steps out of a nearby closet and makes a reference to his genitals (“Ooh, I had a terrible night – it took me three hours to get off”). Peacock issues instructions to ensure latest “sales drive” works. Everyone grumbles. Either Mr Lucas (TREVOR BANNISTER) or Mr Spooner (MIKE “BLUE RIBAND BLUES” BERRY) leers after passing crumpet. Mr Grainger (ARTHUR BROUGH) moans about his back. Pauline falls over, Mollie gets stuck up a ladder with Frank’s head under her skirt, John – after declaring himself ready and available – dresses up as a gay, and 150-year-old Young Mr Grace comes in and says “you’ve all done very well”. The End. Every bloody week.

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  1. Lee James Turnock

    April 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    I watched a Christmas episode of this series a couple of years ago, and it was like a live broadcast from the depths of Hell.

  2. Paul Norton

    May 6, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Peacock to Joanna Lumley: ‘You’ve certainly caused a stir in the trouser department…’ wah, wah, wah, waaaaaaaaaaah!

  3. Pingback: Are You Being Served? (1977) | Old Old Films

  4. THX 1139

    March 17, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    The last ever episode was on today so I watched it. The theme tune was indeed the best bit (that bassline!) and it was interesting the catchphrases like Mr Humphries’ “I’m free!” and (deep voice) “Menswear!” didn’t get the big laugh it used to back in the 70s. Amazing it went on so long, and in this one they had Mike Berry getting his break as a pop star, though sadly not with “Everyone’s a Wally”. Kind of scary to think most of them are dead now, of the stars in the last episode only Mike, Mr Rumbold and Candy Davis are still going.

  5. Adrian

    March 18, 2014 at 11:22 am

    The theme tune was like Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’ off the Dark Side Of The Moon album..

  6. Scott McPhee

    January 14, 2016 at 2:56 am

    John Inman’s character would answer the phone;

    (putting on a more masculine sounding voice) “Meanswear.”

    Then, when he found that the caller was his mother,

    “Oh, hello, Mummy, it’s you.” (sounding more effeminate.)

    No doubt this would be frowned upon today for being an unfair stereotype.

  7. THX 1139

    January 17, 2016 at 12:14 am

    Probably wouldn’t be frowned upon because as Russell T. Davies pointed out, Mr Humphries was actually very positive for a camp character, everyone else in Grace Bros was bloody miserable, but he was the only one comfortable in his own skin. Besides, it wouldn’t be much of a 70s sitcom without catchphrases. It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum would be more problematic.

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