22 Facts You Didn't Know About The British Comedy Are You Being Served?

Are You Being Served? is a classic British Sitcom. If you don't love these characters, then you are dead inside. Here are 22 facts about the show, I bet you didn't know. While you are at it, check out these facts about the show Keeping Up Appearances.

Are You Being Served? (1972)
  1. Wendy Richard (Ms Brahms) owned a very extensive collection of ornamental frogs. She started her collection upon buying a frog statue she thought resembled her Are You Being Served? (1972) co-star Arthur Brough. She maintained that her collection exceeds 1,000 frogs.

  2. Trevor Bannister, Arthur Brough, John Inman, Wendy Richard, Mollie Sugden, and Frank Thornton in Are You Being Served? (1972)
  3. With the death of Nicholas Smith (Mr. Rumbold) on December 6, 2015. Mike Berry (Mr. Spooner) is the last surviving regular cast member from the series' entire run.
  4. Producer Garry Marshall created a 1979 pilot for an American version of Are You Being Served? (1972). It was titled "Beanes of Boston", and was screened but never found a network buyer.
  5. The store in the series was based on Simpson's Department Store.
  6. Mr. Lucas's first name is given in early series as James but he's referred to as Dick Lucas, later on.
  7. Throughout the series, the scripts constantly change the location of the Ladies' and Gentlemen's departments, sometimes referring to it being on the third floor, sometimes on the fourth. Also, the theme song lyrics indicate the department is on the first floor.
  8. After the first episode of of Are You Being Served? (1972), Mollie Sugden decided her hair was too plain for the outrageous personality of Mrs. Slocombe, so she bleached it white, then dying it a different color for each subsequent episode in the first season. Unfortunately, the ends of bleached hair become "spongy," causing the dyes never to entirely wash out. Her twin 10 year old boys didn't appreciate being picked up from school "by a mother with multi-colored ends." So, after the first season, when she saw the show was a hit, she asked the BBC to supply her with wigs instead of dying her hair a different color every week.
  9. Mollie Sugden (Mrs. Slocombe), was a close friend of Björk.
  10. During World War II, Mollie Sugden (Mrs. Slocombe) worked in a munitions factory in Keighley making shells for the Royal Navy.
  11. On December 27, 2005 in the City and London Borough of Westminster, John Inman (Mr Humphires) entered into a civil partnership with Ron Lynch, his life partner of 33 years. This was allowed to take place under a new British law that had come into effect the week before which gave official recognition to same-sex relationships by way of civil partnerships, without official recognition by the Church of England. 
  12. Mr Humphries, was 5'6
  13. Frank Thornton (Captain Peacock) Was a Flying Officer during WWII, Frank later toured the RAF Gangshows as a talent-spotter. 
  14. Wendy Richard (Ms Brahms) left school when she was 15, and genuinely worked as a junior in the fashions department of Fortnum and Mason, an upscale Piccadilly store.
  15. Nicholas Smith (Mr Rumbold) sang in high baritone and played the piano, guitar, trumpet, drums and various other instruments.
  16. Trevor Bannister (Mr Lucas) left Are You Being Served? in 1979 because he had been offered a long-running part in a stage play, Middle Age Spread. He asked the BBC whether they would change the recording date for Are You Being Served so he could appear in both, but they refused.
  17. Harold Bennett (Young Mr. Grace) was born in 1899.
  18. Harold Bennett (Young Mr. Grace) had a career as an architect, became an actor when he retired.
  19. Prior to World War II, Harold Bennett (Young Mr. Grace) toured the U.S. as a clown with a circus. 
  20. Are You Being Served? producer David Croft remembered that Brough (Mr Granger) would often disappear off the set. "Whenever we were rehearsing he'd vanish at about three minutes to eleven," Croft recalled. "For a while we wondered where he went, but eventually discovered that he'd nip next door to the pub for a quick pink gin. We'd watch from the window as this little figure hurtled towards the pub, we never spoke to him about it. One day when he returned, John Inman (Mr Humphries) asked where he'd been. He made some excuse, but what he'd forgotten was that it was pouring with rain and his bald head was soaking wet!"
  21. Mike Berry (Mr Spooner) was a hit singer in the early 1960s (the week of January 10, 1963 British pop charts have his tune "Don't You Think It's Time" at #21). His final appearance on Are You Being Served? in 1985, just before the show's own finale, has him leaving Grace Bros. to become a pop singer.
  22. Mike Berry (Mr Spooner) was 6'2.5
  23. James Hayter (Mr Tebbs) did not return to Are You Being Served? after his first season on the show, even though he intended to, as he was made a better offer NOT to appear on it. He had been doing the TV voice-overs for Mr. Kipling's Cakes, but the firm did not like him playing Mr. Tebbs, as they thought the character was unpleasant and it would hurt their product's image. When Hayter defied Mr. Kipling's request that he quit the show, saying he would continue in the part, the firm offered him three times his BBC salary if he terminated his connection with "Are You Being Served?". According to co-star Nicholas Smith, who was co-starring in a farce with Hayter during the off-season, "I said, what was he going to decide? 'Well, my boy,' he growled, 'if they will pay me three times as much not to do it, then I won't do it. At my time of life I have no more ambition!'" Hayter, who had replaced Arthur Brough on the show, was himself replaced by Alfie Bass, who also lasted just one season.
(Source IMDB)

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