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Are You Being Served?

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Ava Flores
• Saturday, 16 January, 2021
• 9 min read

Edit 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 Rum bold 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 bossy, implicitly man-hungry widow Mrs. Betty Holcombe 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 Claiborne Hum pries, an implied closet-gay true gentleman, whose successive superiors are first obviously nearly ...

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(Source: areyoubeingserved.wikia.com)

Contents

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis Taglines: I'm Free ! Edit Goofs Throughout the series, the entire staff of the floor takes breaks together.

That would mean that the entire floor would be closed due to lack of employees during break times. Mr. Grace feels that they are losing too much business during this hour, and pushes the lunch break back to later in the afternoon, leading the staff to hit the roof.

Quotes Mrs. Holcombe : Captain Peacock, I do not respond to any man's finger. Crazy Credits The closing credits listed the actors' names but not the corresponding names of the characters that they played.

Is a British sitcom created and written by executive producer David Croft (Croft also directed some episodes) and Jeremy Lloyd, with contributions from Michael Knowles and John Chapman, for the BBC. Set in London, the show follows the misadventures and mishaps of the staff of the retail ladies' and gentlemen's clothing departments in the flagship department store of a fictional chain called Grace Brothers.

Was a great success in the UK and was also popular in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the Republic of Ireland, and was successfully aired in The Netherlands and Belgium with Dutch subtitles. The show was also popular in Israel and in the United States, where it gained a loyal and enthusiastic following when PBS television stations began airing reruns of it in the mid-1980s, along with other British sitcoms.

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The idea for the show came from Lloyd's brief period in the early 1950s working at Simpsons of Piccadilly, a clothing store which traded for over 60 years until its closing in 1999. To the former Rosters of Painted department store from the time Lloyd and Croft spent there, and the former Clements of Watford.

The pilot was used as a filler during the 1972 Summer Olympics when the coverage of the Olympiad was interrupted by the Munich massacre on 8 September 1972, leading to a full series being produced. Although the first series was aired in the same time slot as Coronation Street on ITV, consequently receiving relatively little attention, the repeats shown later in the year were much more successful.

The show became a ratings hit, and after a successful 13-year run, Are YouBeingServed ? Although the pilot was produced in color, the videotape was wiped in the 1970s leaving only a 16 mm black-and-white film rerecording, which was made for international syndication to countries where color television broadcasts had not been adopted.

The restored color version was first shown on BBC2 on 1 January 2010 as part of a special Are YouBeingServed ? Film has a different version of the theme song which is longer, in a different key and without the floor announcements.

A remix of the theme was released in 1996 by a dance act calling itself “Grace Brothers”, and featured vocal samples of John Unman and Frank Thornton. From the album 604, and New Zealand band Minuit's “I hate guns”.

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A lugubrious version of the theme song is featured on the album The Ape of Naples by the experimental music group Coil. The theme song has also been covered by Australian band Regurgitation on their 1999 album ...art.

Pop singer Jamelia's song “Window Shopping” (from her 2006 album Walk with Me) begins with a sample of the familiar cash register sound effect as well as Mrs Holcombe's voice inquiring, “Good morning, Mr Grainger; are you free?” The series was shown in the United States on PBS stations and on BBC America, as well as in many Commonwealth nations around the world.

By the early 1990s, it had gained such a loyal following that American viewers of the show formed fan clubs and were in large attendance wherever cast members made guest appearances. Aired in Canada in prime time on Global Television Network in the mid 1980s and late night on YTV.

The show aired on Saturday evening prime time from the mid 1980s to late 1990s. By 1978 it had been acquired by the commercial Seven Network who successfully screened repeats of the program to audiences larger than those who viewed it on the ABC.

Was ranked as the top-rated show on Australian television for 1978, being watched by 2,255,000 people in five cities. New episodes were aired on ABC until 1984 after that the last season was broadcast on the Seven Network.

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Featured humor based on sexual innuendo, misunderstanding, mistaken identity, farce, and occasional slapstick. In addition, there were sight gags generated by outrageous costumes which the characters were sometimes required to wear for store promotions, and gaudy store displays sometimes featuring malfunctioning robotic mannequins.

A key humorous base of the series was a parody of the British class system. Characters rarely addressed each other by their first names, even after work, instead using their titles (commonly Mr, Mrs, Miss, or Captain).

Mrs. Betty Holcombe (Mollie Sudden) (Series 1–10), a senior sales assistant and head of the ladies' department. She is known for her changing hair color and conversations about her cat Riddles, which she always refers to as “my pussy”.

Miss Shirley Brahms (Wendy Richard) (Series 1–10), a young, attractive, working-class, cockney -speaking junior sales assistant to Mrs Holcombe. Mr Ernest Grainger (Arthur Brought) (Series 1–5), a 40-year veteran of Grace Brothers, a senior sales assistant and head of the gents' department, who often falls asleep on the job, is usually grumpy, and wears a measuring tape over his shoulders.

Mr Abraham Klein (Benny Lee) (Series 8), joined the gents' department to help out with upcoming sales in the store. Mr Wilberforce Claiborne Humphries (John Unman) (Series 1–10), a sales assistant in gents'; a camp -acting man who lives with his mother, also played on several occasions by John Unman.

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He made frequent use of double entendre, especially related to his implied gay lifestyle. He often breaks the fourth wall by talking directly to the television audience, unusual at the time of the original broadcast.

Mr James/Dick Lucas (Trevor Bannister) (Series 1–7), the young, penniless, womanizing junior salesman; a source of irritation to the female sales staff. Always referred to as the department 'junior', but Bannister was in fact one year older than Unman.

Mr Bert Sooner (Mike Berry) (Series 8–10), eventually replaced Mr Lucas as gents' junior sales assistant and was similar to him in many ways. “Captain” Stephen Peacock (Frank Thornton) (Series 1–10), the haughty floorwalker (an employee who both supervises sales staff and assists customers) who purportedly fought in the North Africa Campaign of World War II (and in the Pacific theater) but was accused of actually being a corporal in the Service Corps and never seeing combat.

Mr Cuthbert Rum bold (Nicholas Smith) (Series 1–10), the autocratic, obsequious (to the Grace brothers), yet bumbling and incompetent floor manager. The character was killed off in the first episode of the spinoff series Grace & Favor.

In Series 9 & 10, the management of the store was again attributed to “Young” Mr. Grace, who was by then an invisible character. Miss Selfridge (Candy Davis), the last and longest-running of Mr Rum bold's secretaries.

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She was admired by all male staff, including Mr Humphries and especially Captain Peacock, who dined her at The Ritz Hotel. Mr Mash (Larry Martin) (Series 1-3), the stock and maintenance man who installed mechanized display units in store and was often scolded by Captain Peacock for being on the floor during opening hours.

Mr Beverley Herman (Arthur English) (Series 4–10), Mr. Mash's replacement. Diana Yardstick (Domremy Vernon), the manageress of Grace Brothers' canteen at which the staff had their lunch.

Known for serving grossly unappetizing food, and for her ill temper and sarcasm, as well as for enforcing strict social order, which dictated that management, sales staff and the maintenance crew and lift operators all dine separately. Unlike many sitcoms, each episode was self-contained, there being no continuing story or theme throughout a series.

Peacock is informed by Mr. Rum bold that a Floor Walker should wear a homburg, not a bowler. Peacock that a homburg doesn't suit him, and he should wear a bowler “all the time”.

In 1977, as for many other popular British sitcoms of the time, a feature film was produced. Set in the fictional resort of Costa Plonk, in Spain, the entire cast of the television series reprised their roles in the film.

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Reviews of the film were generally negative, with one reviewer declaring, “The humor consists mainly of withering selection of patent British puns; an inflatable brassiere, some let's-insult-the-Germans jokes and a Rickey thunder-box which bolts from the outside are thrown in for good measure.” Buoyed by the huge success of the series in the United States, BBC America commissioned a special straight-to-VHS compilation in 1992.

Running at 78 minutes, The Best of Are YouBeingServed featured newly-shot scenes of Mr Humphries reminiscing with his elderly mother, Annie, about his time working at Grace Brothers. The additional sequences were filmed in America, and directed by Don Hopper.

The episode was aired in August 2016 to universally poor reviews for both the writing and the acting. In 1985, the cast began suggesting a spin-off to Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft.

Though all felt the department store format was exhausted, it was suggested the characters could be moved to a new location. The new series followed the characters after Young Mr. Grace's death, when they are forced to run a hotel in a dilapidated manor house that was purchased using their pension fund.

Directed by Robert Redrawn, John Unman, Mollie Sudden, Frank Thornton, Wendy Richard, and Nicholas Smith reprised their characters from the television show while the characters of Mr. Lucas, Mr. Grainger, and Mr. Mash were recast. The play had basically the same plot as the film version which would debut the next year, though Young Mr. Grace's role was omitted entirely and Mr. Mash had less to do than Mr. Herman in the film.

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Reviews for the play were mixed; a writer for the Blackpool Diarist of the Stage declared it the funniest show he'd seen in thirty years, while Michael Leap man from The Times, declared the play to be worthless except for the final line, though he admitted he'd never seen the television show. At the time, Americanized versions of British series, including Three's Company, All in the Family, and Sanford and Son were doing well in the ratings, and Marshall hoped to capitalize on this with his script for Beans's of Boston.

Other cast included future Magnum PI star John Hillman as Mr. Peacock, Charlotte Rae as Mrs. Holcombe, and Lorna Patterson as Miss Brahms. Ultimately, CBS passed on Beans's of Boston and a full series was not produced.

, ran for two series and sixteen episodes from 1980 to 1981 on Network Ten. It starred John Unman as Mr Humphries, who travels to Australia on loan from Grace Brothers to work for the Grace brothers' cousin, Mr.

Renamed versions of characters from the original series rounded out the cast including June Bronchial as Mrs. Crawford, a copy of Mrs. Holcombe, and Reg Gilliam as Captain Wag staff, a copy of Captain Peacock. Lloyd would later say he hated the process of adapting the episodes, which were mostly left intact except some topical jokes, which were changed or deleted.

John Unman's portrayal of Humphries' over-the-top antics and sharp-tongued, witty responses, along with his trademark catch-phrase “I'm free! “, were enthusiastically embraced by many audience members, and the character evolved into a gay icon in popular culture.

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Despite this, Unman pointed out that Mr Humphries' true sexual orientation was never explicitly stated in the series, and David Croft said in an interview that the character was not homosexual, but “just a mother's boy”. The characters (Mr Humphries especially) sometimes broke the fourth wall for comical effect.

Seven early episodes were novelized for a book, written by Jeremy Lloyd, called Are YouBeingServed ? The seven episodes featured are “Camping In”, “Up Captain Peacock”, “Wedding Bells”, “His and Hers”, “Coffee Morning”, “The Hand of Fate” and “The Clock”.

It was written by Richard Webber, with contributions from David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd. Players moved round a board resembling the shop floor to purchase one item from each of the four counters and leave the store, before their opponents and without going over budget.

All ten series, including a black and white version of the pilot episode, and all five Christmas specials from those years, as well as both series of Grace & Favor are now available on DVD in the UK (Region 2). Remake spotted arriving for filming at Salford Quays”.

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6 apps.apple.com - https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/yaga-the-roleplaying-folktale/id1455514508
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