When Mr. Humphries takes over as head of the mens-wear department at Bone Brothers in Australia, his character and experiences remain exactly the same as it was behind the counter in Grace ... See full summary »
Fascinating account of the classic British sitcom ARE YOU BEING SERVED? with creators David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd telling us how the series started out as a "pilot" show that only went into after the tragedy of the 1972 Munich Olympics left a hole in the BBC schedule. The pilot was shown and was an instant hit.
Several cast member appear in interviews, including Mollie Sugden, John Inman, Trevor Bannister, Frank Thornton, Wendy Richard, Nicholas Smith, Mike Berry, and Doremy Vernon. Others seen in clips from the show, which ran from 1972 to 1985, include Arthur Brough, Harold Bennett, Larry Martyn, Arthur English, Alfie Bass, James Hayter, and more briefly Vivienne Johnson, Penny Irving, Milo Sperber, and Benny Lee.
There's even an interview with Michael Knowles, who played the first store customer in the pilot episode. Tony Sympson and Mavis Pugh also show up i clips as customers.
Croft and Lloyd discuss their battles with the BBC over the show's "double entendres," the gayness of Mr. Humphries, the various cast changes, and the chore of churning out scripts as the series went on and on.
They also discuss how the series changed after John Inman and Mollie Sugden shot to stardom, leaving Trevor Bannister (the show's nominal star) in the dust, and their ill-fated attempts at starring series of their own. Both Inman's ODD MAN OUT and Sugden's COME BACK MRS. NOAH were huge bombs.
Finally, they discuss the tepid results of spinning off Sugden, Inman, Thornton, Richard, and Smith into GRACE AND FAVOUR in 1992. That series ran for two years.
Lots of background information on creating the series and its characters. A fine companion piece for fans of the series.
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