Are You Being Served? Page 10

Are You Being Served?. Image shows from L to R: Mrs. Betty Slocombe (Mollie Sugden), Miss Shirley Brahms (Wendy Richard), Mr. Dick Lucas (Trevor Bannister), Mr. Cuthbert Rumbold (Nicholas Smith), Mr. Mash (Larry Martyn), Mr. Ernest Grainger (Arthur Brough), Mr. Wilberforce Humphries (John Inman), Captain Stephen Peacock (Frank Thornton). Copyright: BBC.

Are You Being Served?

Sitcom set in London department store Grace Bros., where the Ladies' Intimate Apparel and Men's Ready To Wear departments are forced to share a floor

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Aaron

  • Saturday 10th February 2018, 8:06pm [Edited]
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,430 posts

That's very interesting, thank you! I'll double-check what's in my individual releases - might have to upgrade to the box set for those extras. :)

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Monday 12th February 2018, 2:44am
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,017 posts

Davi, er Wheel you've got an odd taste in sitcoms but each to their own. I can understand anoraks getting excited about a new Fawlty Towers or OFAH boxset, Dad's Army or even Hi De Hi, but not Are You Being Perved? a light and throwaway sitcom camper than a boy scout in a brownie skirt boiling up an erstwhile brand of liquid coffee in a tent.

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Wheel

  • Monday 12th February 2018, 10:06am [Edited]
  • Wakefield, England
  • 250 posts
Quote: Aaron @ 10th February 2018, 8:06 PM

That's very interesting, thank you! I'll double-check what's in my individual releases - might have to upgrade to the box set for those extras. :)

In you're individual releases, you should have Mollie Sudgen: Funny Woman in series 5.

Quote: Alfred J Kipper @ 12th February 2018, 2:44 AM

Davi, er Wheel you've got an odd taste in sitcoms but each to their own. I can understand anoraks getting excited about a new Fawlty Towers or OFAH boxset, Dad's Army or even Hi De Hi, but not Are You Being Perved? a light and throwaway sitcom camper than a boy scout in a brownie skirt boiling up an erstwhile brand of liquid coffee in a tent.

Yes I do have odd taste in sitcoms. I really do enjoy things like Fawlty Towers and Blackadder, but not the first one though. AYBS the reason why I like it so much is because I had family members who worked in shops like Grace Brothers and I have been hooked ever since.

But David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd did get lazy with writing the show towards the end, you could tell they ran out of stories ideas. From Series 7 onwards, it went down hill. It just became the Mollie and John show, if any of the actors had to complain it should have been Wendy Richards, her character didn't get any chance to shine in the show. Mr Lucas by Series 7 was just put in the background, and maybe that is why Trevor Bannister got fed up in the end. I also believe Alfie Bass, who played Mr Goldberg wanted a bigger role, but the writers refused so he left.

I can understand why people don't like AYBS. It's not to everyone's taste, and some episodes are really awful and others are great. But as you said each to their own.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Monday 12th February 2018, 11:24am
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,017 posts

Absolutely agree to people having their own taste, it's what makes life less dull and more intriguing. And although it's not my go to type of sitcom watch I have certainly smiled at its fill your boots Carry On type smutty humour and have happily sat through the occasional episode with a big grin.

I admire its Britishness and think its classic theme tune is one of the best and as I said here a while back I see I'm very glad this had been made and more begrudgingly the awful join the dots flat pack assembled Allo Allo with its even heavier reliance on smut and catchphrases and the so called low arts of comedy. I love this kind of stuff in Benny Hill and Frankie Howerd and Carry On but prefer more original artistry in sitcoms so I view sitcoms like AYBS and AA as cheap copies of the above mentioned masters of the low comedy arts which overdo the campiness. But it's also why I don't hate them at all. EnglandWalesScotland

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Wheel

  • Monday 12th February 2018, 11:44am [Edited]
  • Wakefield, England
  • 250 posts

At times, some of the humor in AYBS did remind me of the Carry On films. I think it's more saucy in the Carry Ons than AYBS. This sitcom wasn't intended to be made. It was part of the Comedy Playhouse in 1972. But it wasn't originally going to get aired, because they heads of the BBC at the time didn't like it. Then due to the terrorist attack at the Olympics in 1972, the BBC needed things to be aired, and so they took tapes off the shelf and AYBS pilot happened to be the first tape in B and W.

The thing that killed the show was the cast changes ultimately. In Dad's Army, wasn't there only one cast change in the major cast through out the series. While in AYBS it seemed to happen every series from Series 5. I think the show would have become better if it wasn't the John or Mollie stuff. It's not my favourite sitcom by any means, I still enjoy it because of the campiness. You wouldn't get away with Mr Humphries now, he'd have to be gay or straight. In the series, in my eyes he was a bisexual.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Monday 12th February 2018, 1:47pm
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,017 posts

Yes cast changes usually kill a sitcom especially if they assume the same identity which is nuts but it used to happen a fair bit in the 70s. But I suppose a shop in reality has a turnover of new staff so it should affect AYBS much less if handled right but Bannister's replacement character was a crude copy of Lucas. As was English's replacement of his character. But it had its moments at its best with the original cast I'll give it that.

Quote: Wheel @ 12th February 2018, 11:44 AM

You wouldn't get away with Mr Humphries now, he'd have to be gay or straight. In the series, in my eyes he was a bisexual.

:O In my eyes he lifted shirts and er folded them very neatly.

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Wheel

  • Monday 12th February 2018, 1:52pm [Edited]
  • Wakefield, England
  • 250 posts
Quote: Alfred J Kipper @ 12th February 2018, 1:41 PM

Yes cast changes usually kill a sitcom especially if they assume the same identity which is nuts but it used to happen a fair bit in the 70s. But I suppose a shop in reality has a turnover of new staff so it should affect AYBS much less if handled right but Bannister's replacement character was a crude copy of Lucas. As was English's replacement of his character. But it had its moments at its best with the original cast I'll give it that.

With Bannister's replacement, if they'd give him a different personality then it might have worked. Spooner was a carbon copy of Lucas, but Lucas was nasty with it and didn't enjoy saying, while Lucas did. I'm surprised they give the Spooner part to a pop star instead of an actor. The only time when Spooner got something different was in the final episode called the pop star.
Also when Mike Berry got his first script he said Trevor Bannister would have hated it because it was meant for Lucas, but they just crossed his name and replaced it with Spooner.

Mr Harman was a better character than Mash. I thought Mash was annoying, but Harman was funny. I enjoyed his moments with Captain Peacock on the floor.

The same with the Grainger replacements. Mr Tebbs was good, but not as great as his replacement or Mr Grainger. Too similar to Grainger. Tebbs replacement Mr Goldberg was fantastic. He was dynamic and brought something different to the table than Grainger and Tebbs. Shame he went.

Then in Series 8 we had Grossman and Klein for the senior position. They were not good at all. They didn't get any lines, but by this point it turned into the Mollie and John Show!

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Saturday 5th May 2018, 7:27pm
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,017 posts

Well your knowledge of and enthusiasm for the show is most admirable, Wheel, as Captain Peacock might've said. I've been catching a few eps on Drama is it? Think it was the first ep I saw the other day and it was pretty glorious I have to say, simply-written with gags signposted a mile in front but delivered so crisply and without a hint of irony.

This was popular humour in the 70s and for me is an elite form of humour now thanks to the humourless PC mob trying to ban it from every outlet and managing to from most mainstream ones too weak to stand up for themselves. Well done to Drama and the other nostalgia channels for keeping it up when it must be very hard. Smiley face applauds them, clap clap.

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gb901

  • Wednesday 23rd May 2018, 7:27pm [Edited]
  • norwich, United Kingdom
  • 383 posts

Hear, hear.

Quote: Wheel @ 12th February 2018, 1:52 PM

With Bannister's replacement, if they'd give him a different personality then it might have worked. Spooner was a carbon copy of Lucas, but Lucas was nasty with it and didn't enjoy saying, while Lucas did. I'm surprised they give the Spooner part to a pop star instead of an actor. The only time when Spooner got something different was in the final episode called the pop star.
Also when Mike Berry got his first script he said Trevor Bannister would have hated it because it was meant for Lucas, but they just crossed his name and replaced it with Spooner.

Mr Harman was a better character than Mash. I thought Mash was annoying, but Harman was funny. I enjoyed his moments with Captain Peacock on the floor.

The same with the Grainger replacements. Mr Tebbs was good, but not as great as his replacement or Mr Grainger. Too similar to Grainger. Tebbs replacement Mr Goldberg was fantastic. He was dynamic and brought something different to the table than Grainger and Tebbs. Shame he went.

Then in Series 8 we had Grossman and Klein for the senior position. They were not good at all. They didn't get any lines, but by this point it turned into the Mollie and John Show!

Interestingly, James Hayter, who played Mr Ttebbs in Series 6, was the original narrator of the UK television advertisements for Mr Kipling cakes - which are "exceedingly good"! The cake manufacturer paid him a significant bonus to withdraw from the series, as they felt his participation in the BBC sitcom detracted from their advert.

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Aaron

  • Wednesday 23rd May 2018, 7:43pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,430 posts
Quote: gb901 @ 23rd May 2018, 7:27 PM

The cake manufacturer paid him a significant bonus to withdraw from the series, as they felt his participation in the BBC sitcom detracted from their advert.

Really? I did not know that! How interesting.

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John M

  • Tuesday 29th May 2018, 11:36pm
  • Aberdeenshire, Scotland
  • 216 posts

Does anyone have a favourite AYBS episode? I've just been re-watching the series and I'd forgotten just how great it is.

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Aaron

  • Wednesday 30th May 2018, 8:58am
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,430 posts

Far too difficult to choose! It'd definitely be something with Mr Lucas though, perhaps more toward the start of the run.

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John M

  • Sunday 3rd June 2018, 9:43pm [Edited]
  • Aberdeenshire, Scotland
  • 216 posts

I have to say, I tend to favour Mr Lucas over Mr Spooner, but Mike Berry did do a great job. One of my several favourites is 'Take-Over' from Series 5, where the staff impersonate different board members to oust a pending take-over bid - it really illustrates the brilliant farce element of the show.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Thursday 7th June 2018, 12:24am
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,017 posts

Loving the rerun, it's funnier today than I found it then because we're not allowed to find this stuff funny anymore. PCers have made old shows bloomin hilarious, well done to the humourless twats. Basic smutty humour will outlive them all. :)

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comedymania

  • Thursday 7th June 2018, 5:40am
  • Sydney, Australia
  • 17 posts

Imho AYBS suffered from staleness. It simply went on for too long.