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Are You Being Served?
Are You Being Served pilot title card.jpg
Title card of pilot
Genre Sitcom
Created by Jeremy Lloyd & David Croft
Written by Jeremy Lloyd
David Croft
Michael Knowles
John Chapman
Directed by David Croft
Bernard Thompson
Harold Snoad
Ray Butt
Gordon Elsbury
John Kilby
Martin Shardlow
Starring Mollie Sugden
Frank Thornton
John Inman
Wendy Richard
Nicholas Smith
Trevor Bannister
Arthur English
Harold Bennett
Arthur Brough
James Hayter
Alfie Bass
Mike Berry
Larry Martyn
Kenneth Waller
Theme music composer Ronnie Hazlehurst
Country of origin United Kingdom
Language(s) English
No. of series 10
No. of episodes 69 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) David Croft
Producer(s) David Croft
Harold Snoad
Bob Spiers
Martin Shardlow
Running time 30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel BBC1
Original run 8 September 1972 – 1 April 1985
Chronology
Related shows Comedy Playhouse
Are You Being Served? (film)
Are You Being Served? (Australian TV series)
Beane's of Boston
Grace & Favour

Are You Being Served? was a British sitcom broadcast from 1972 to 1985. It was set in the men's and women's departments of Grace Brothers, a large, fictional London department store. It was written mainly by Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft, with contributions by Michael Knowles and John Chapman. The idea for the show came from Lloyd's brief period working at Simpsons of Piccadilly in the early 1950s, a clothing store which traded for over 60 years until 1999.[1]

In 2004, it came 20th in Britain's Best Sitcom."

Contents

Characteristics

Are You Being Served? featured humour based on sexual innuendo, misunderstandings, mistaken identity 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 frequently featuring malfunctioning robotic mannequins. The show is remembered for its prolific use of double entendres.

The main humorous base of the series was a merciless parody of the British class system. This permeated almost every interaction and was especially evident in the conversations between the maintenance men and the ostensibly higher-class store personnel. The episodes rarely left the store, and to parody the stereotype of the British class system, characters rarely addressed each other by their given names, even after work. When they did, it was almost always for a comical effect.

The main characters included stereotypes such as:

  • Mr. Humphries, an effeminate man who lived with his mother
  • Captain Peacock, the haughty floorwalker who purportedly fought in the North Africa Campaign of World War II (but was actually in the Service Corps and was never in a combat situation)
  • Mrs. Slocombe, a boisterous snob with her ever-changing hair colour
  • Miss Brahms, a young, attractive, working-class, cockney-speaking junior assistant to Mrs. Slocombe
  • Mr. Grainger, a 40-year veteran of Grace Brothers who often fell asleep on the job
  • Mr. Rumbold, the autocratic, obsequious (to Young Mr. Grace), easily confused section manager
  • Mr. Lucas, the young, money-less, woman-chasing junior salesman
  • Young Mr. Grace, the very old, rich but stingy, woman-catching store owner
  • Mr. Harman and Mr. Mash, the maintenance men who installed mechanized display units in the Ladies and Gents' Departments and got scolded by Captain Peacock for being on the floor during business hours

The show spawned many catch phrases including:

  • "Are you free?", usually said by Captain Peacock to the staff; more often than not, the staff are noticeably free, and each would look solemnly from side to side before answering, "Yes, I'm free, Captain Peacock." John Inman remarked, when Mr. Humphries trilled, "I'm free!", it became his own personal catchphrase.
  • Whenever one of the staff asked Captain Peacock if he was free, he would look all around the floor and then say, "At the moment, yes."
  • "They'll ride up with wear", about the length of pairs of trousers or sleeves of jackets that were sold. In fact, it was used to justify selling anything that did not fit the customer; ("They'll ride down with wear" was actually used a couple of times.)
  • "MENSwear", (in a very masculine, but fake, voice), whenever Mr. Humphries answered the phone;
  • "...and I am unanimous in that!" (Mrs. Slocombe);
  • "Weak as water!" (Mrs. Slocombe);
  • "A glass of water for Mr. Grainger!" (Mr. Lucas);
  • "What makes you think it's a 'he?!'" (or "him") was a phrase that Mr. Humphries always said whenever someone asked him a question about a friend that he mentioned (whom he always referred to as "my friend"). They assumed almost automatically that the friends he referred to were male.
  • Whenever Young Mr. Grace addresses the staff he says "You've all done very well!" The staff always responds in unison, "Thank you, Mr. Grace!"
  • Whenever someone would see Young Mr. Grace for the first time, he or she would turn to someone who had seen him previously and say, "That's Young Mr. Grace?" and the other person would answer, "Old Mr. Grace doesn't get about as much."

During its run, the series attracted some mild criticism for its reliance on sexual stereotypes and sexual double entendres, including jokes about Mrs. Slocombe's "pussy" (cat) e.g. Mrs Slocombe: "Animals are very psychic; the least sign of danger and my pussy's hair stands on end". John Inman's camp portrayal of Mr. Humphries as an effeminate man could easily be misinterpreted by viewers. Inman 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".[2] With a broad mixture of stereotypical gay characteristics, some apparent heterosexual attractions, and always picking up on ambiguous words such as 'queen', 'gay' and 'camp', viewers were left wondering about Mr. Humphries' sexual orientation. In an episode of the spin-off Grace & Favour, the character is further described as neither a "woman's man" nor a "man's man" and as being "in limbo".

The characters sometimes broke the fourth wall for a comical effect.

Cast

Actor / actress Character Duration
Frank Thornton Captain Stephen Peacock PilotSeries 10
Mollie Sugden Mrs. Betty Slocombe PilotSeries 10
John Inman Mr. Wilberforce Clayborne Humphries & Mrs Humphries PilotSeries 10
Wendy Richard Miss Shirley Brahms PilotSeries 10
Nicholas Smith Mr. Cuthbert Rumbold PilotSeries 10
Arthur Brough Mr. Ernest Grainger PilotSeries 5
Trevor Bannister Mr. Dick/James Lucas Pilot1979 Special
Harold Bennett Young Mr. Grace Pilot1981 Special
Larry Martyn Mr. Mash Pilot1975 Special
Stephanie Gathercole Mr. Rumbold's Secretary PilotSeries 2
Nina Francis Miss Ainsworth Series 2Series 3
Moira Foot Miss Thorpe Series 3
Arthur English Mr. Beverley/Harry Harman Series 4Series 10
Penny Irving Miss Bakewell/Miss Nickelson (Movie) Series 4 – The 1979 Special
James Hayter Mr. Percival Tebbs Series 6 and The 1978 Special
Vivienne Johnson Nurse Series 6 – The 1981 Special
Alfie Bass Mr. Harry Goldberg Series 7 – The 1979 Special
Mike Berry Mr. Bert Spooner Series 8Series 10
Milo Sperber Mr. Grossman Series 8 Episodes 1Episode 4
Benny Lee Mr. Klein Series 8 Episodes 5 – Episode 7 & The 1981 Special
Kenneth Waller Old Mr. Grace Series 8 and The 1981 Special
Debbie Linden Secretary Series 8 Episodes 1Episode 4
Louise Burton Secretary Series 8 Episodes 4 – The 1981 Special
Candy Davis Miss Belfridge Series 9Series 10
Diana King
Diana Lambert
Mrs. Peacock Series 4 and Series 9
Series 10
Doremy Vernon Canteen Manageress 1975 SpecialSeries 10
Nigel Quashie Seymour Series Ten
Pat Astley Mr. Grace's Nurse Series 5 Uncredited

Characters

Episodes

The cast of Are You Being Served? in late 1981: from left to right: back row Arthur English as Mr. Harman, Wendy Richard as Miss Brahms, Benny Lee as Mr. Klein, Mike Berry as Mr. Spooner. front row Nicholas Smith as Mr. Rumbold, Frank Thornton as Captain Peacock, Mollie Sugden as Mrs. Slocombe, Vivienne Johnson as the nurse, John Inman as Mr. Humphries, Kenneth Waller as Old Mr. Grace, Louise Burton as Mr. Grace's secretary.

Are You Being Served? was first broadcast on 8 September 1972 on the BBC, in the form of a pilot for the series Comedy Playhouse. It only aired when it did because of free airspace created by the Munich massacre during the 1972 Summer Olympics. The pilot was reshown at the beginning of the first series on 14 March 1973. That first series was aired in the same timeslot as Coronation Street on ITV, and consequently received relatively little attention. However, repeats shown later in the year were much more successful.[3]

Although the pilot was produced in colour, the videotape was wiped in the 1970s leaving only a 16mm black-and-white film telerecording. In 2009 the pilot episode was restored to full colour using the colour recovery technique previously used for the Dad's Army episode Room at the Bottom. The restored version was first shown on BBC2 on 1 January 2010 as part of an 'Are You Being Served' special night. It is not currently available on any DVD release yet.

The show went on to receive huge audiences, with later episodes attracting up to 22 million viewers.[4] After 10 series, 69 episodes and a 13-year run, Are You Being Served? came to an end on 1 April 1985.

In addition, the cast performed in character for a stage sketch on the BBC1 programme Variety on 19 June 1976.

Theme song

The theme song, written by the show's co-writer David Croft and composer Ronnie Hazlehurst, consists of a lift girl (whose voice was provided by Stephanie Gathercole) announcing each floor over the musique concrète sounds of a cash register (which basically serves as the only percussion instrument) and a simple musical accompaniment.

A remix of the theme was released in 1996 by a dance act calling itself "Grace Brothers",[5] and featured samples of John Inman and Frank Thornton.

There is a homage to the theme song in the Ladytron song "Paco!" from the album "604", and New Zealand band Minuit's "I hate guns". A 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 Regurgitator 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. Slocombe's voice inquiring, "Good morning, Mr Grainger; are you free?".

Film

In 1977, an Are You Being Served? film was released using the same characters and cast. It was set in the fictional resort of Costa Plonka, in Spain. The film was an adaptation of the very successful stage version of the show, which played at the Winter Gardens Theatre, Blackpool over the summer of 1976.

Other countries

The series has become very popular in the United States on PBS stations and on BBC America, as well as in many Commonwealth nations around the world. A U.S. adaptation pilot episode called Beane's of Boston aired on 5 May 1979 on CBS, but it didn't make it to a full series. An Australian version, also called Are You Being Served?, ran for sixteen episodes from 1980 to 1981. It starred John Inman as Mr Humphries and June Bronhill as character similar to Mrs Slocombe. The store's name was changed to Bone Brothers as Grace Brothers was the name of an actual department store chain in Australia. The show was aired in Canada during the late night on YTV.

Grace & Favour

In 1992, most of the original cast reunited for a spin-off show called Grace & Favour. This series was called Are You Being Served? Again! in the United States and Canada.

Merchandise

Seven early episodes were novelised for a book, written by Jeremy Lloyd, called Are You Being Served? - Camping In and other Fiascos. This was written in 1976, and republished in 1997 by KQED Books. The seven episodes featured are Camping In, Up Captain Peacock, Wedding Bells, His and Hers, Coffee Morning, The Hand of Fate and The Clock.

In 1995, KQED Books published Are You Being Served - The Inside Story by Adrian Rigelsford, Anthony Brown, and Geoff Tibbalis, with a foreword by Jeremy Lloyd, and sub-titled: "The Inside Story of Britain's Funniest - and Public Television's Favorite - Comedy Series". In 212 pages, the book's six chapters cover: The Cast of Characters, Behind the Scenes, The Episodes, The Spin-offs, Trivia Quiz, and Glossary. ISBN 0-912333-04-9.

In 1999, I'm Free! The Complete Are You Being Served?, a guide to the series, was published by Orion Books. It was written by Richard Webber, with contributions from David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd.

A board game was also produced in the 1970s. 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.

DVD releases

Series One to Eight, including the black & white version of the pilot episode and all five Christmas specials from those years, are available on DVD in the UK (Region 2). Are You Being Served: the Movie was released in 2002. Series Nine and Ten are expected to be released by 2012.

All ten series, as well as both series of Grace & Favour (in packaging titled Are You Being Served? Again!) and the film are available on DVD in Region 1 (North America).

All ten series, as well as both series of Grace & Favour (in correctly-titled packaging) and the film have been released in Australia (Region 4).

A DVD titled Are You Being Served? - Best of The Early Years and Are You Being Served? Christmas Specials have also been released.

DVD Title Disc No. Year Ep. # DVD release Special episodes
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Complete Series 1 1 1972-1973 6 27 August 2002 25 July 2005 2 March 2006 The Pilot B&W version
Complete Series 2 1 1974 5 27 August 2002 19 September 2005 8 June 2006
Complete Series 3 2 1975 9 27 August 2002 30 January 2006 5 October 2006 1975 Christmas Special
Complete Series 4 1 1976 7 27 August 2002 27 March 2006 7 March 2007 1976 Christmas Special
Complete Series 5 1 1977 7 27 August 2002 5 June 2006 6 June 2007
Complete Series 6 1 1978 6 30 September 2003 28 August 2006 3 October 2007 1978 Christmas Special
Complete Series 7 1 1979 8 30 September 2003 25 August 2008 6 March 2008 1979 Christmas Special
Complete Series 8 1 1981 8 30 September 2003 7 September 2009 7 August 2008 1981 Christmas Special
Complete Series 9 1 1983 6 30 September 2003 TBA 2010 2 October 2008
Complete Series 10 1 1985 7 30 September 2003 TBA 2011 5 March 2009
Complete Series 1-5 6 1972-1977 34 27 August 2002 2 October 2006 TBA Same as individual releases
Complete Series 6-10 5 1978-1985 35 30 September 2003 TBA 2011 TBA Same as individual releases
Complete Series 1-10 11 1972-1985 69 7 September 2003
11 August 2009
TBA 2012 April 1, 2010 Same as individual releases

See also

References

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Are You Being Served? ("AYBS") was a British sitcom broadcast from 1972 to 1985. In all 69 episodes were televised and also included 1 motion picture with the same title. In 1992, many of the main characters were reprised in a short lived follow-up series, Grace and Favour (later known as Are You Being Served, Again?).

Regular characters included Mrs. Slocombe (senior salesperson in ladies' ready-wear), Captain Peacock (floor walker), Mr. Humphries (mens' ready-wear), Miss Brahms (ladies' ready-wear), Mr. Rumbold (manager), Young Mr. Grace (upper management/owner?), Mr. Lucas (mens' ready-wear), Mr. Grainger (senior salesperson in mens' department), and a variety of beautiful secretaries (to both Young Mr. Grace and Mr. Rumbold). However, a variety of additional characters graced the screen for just a season or two, especially in the roles of the maintenance man and the third men's wear salesperson.

The series was set in the men's and ladies' ready-wear departments of an old-fashioned British department store, Grace Brothers. Main themes of the show included Mr. Humphries questionable sexuality, Mr. Lucas's desire to get a date with Miss Brahms, Mr. Grainger falling asleep on the job, and Mrs. Slocombe's problems with her "pussy"(-cat).


Contents

Season 1

Pilot [1.0]

Mr. Mash: "Cor Blimey! Women Drivers"
Mrs. Slocombe: "That'll do, Mr. Mash"
Mr. Mash: "Middle class cow!"

Dear Sexy Knickers [1.1]

Dear Sexy Knickers: I don't half fancy you. Meet me outside at five-thirty and we'll get it together.


CAPTAIN PEACOCK: Mr. Grainger, did you write this note?
MR. GRAINGER: Write it? I don't even understand it!
MR. HUMPHRIES: Certainly not, Mr. Grainger wouldn't write "Dear Sexy Knickers", yould would have said " Dear Sexy Bloomers" wouldn't you?
MR. GRAINGER: I would very much doubt it.
CAPTAIN PEACOCK: Did you write the note, Mr. Humphries?
MR. HUMPHRIES: No, but thanks for the compliment.

MRS. SLOCOMBE: Why anyone would want to buy a women's magazine with a centerfold of a nude man is beyond me.
MISS BRAHMS: Well, I thought Burt Reynolds looked quite sexy.
MRS. SLOCOMBE: Well, you couldn't see anything; his arm was in the way.

MISS BRAHMS: (on the telephone, thinking she's speaking with Captain Peacock): If I have anymore of your ol' guff, I'll have you on the carpet.
MR. GRAINGER: (hanging up, dumbstruck): Some lady wants to have me on the carpet.

Our Figures Are Slipping [1.2]

[LUCAS INVITING MISS BRAHMS TO THE MOVIES]

MISS BRAHMS: What's on?
MR. LUCAS: Well, there's Bambi in Studio Two, then around the corner there's The Unsatisfied Virgin...I've seen Bambi.

Camping In [1.3]

MRS SLOCOMBE: Yes well, I met my husband in a German air raid. His face was lit from an incoming incendiary, he threw me flat on me face and said 'look out, here comes a big one!' MR LUCAS: they didn't have much time for chatting in those days

His and Hers [1.4]

Diamonds Are a Man's Best Friend [1.5]

Season 2

The Clock [2.1]

Cold Comfort [2.2]

The Think Tank [2.3]

Big Brother [2.4]

Hoorah for the Holidays [2.5]

Season 3

The Hand of Fate [3.1]

MRS. SLOCOMB: What is it, Mr. Mash?

MR. MASH: Did you put in an order for Twenty-seven galvanised buckets?

MRS. SLOCOMB: And what would I be doing in Lady's department with Twenty-seven galvanised buckets? This is Lady's department, not a farmyard!

MR. MASH: We could be milking a jersey.

Coffee Morning [3.2]

Up Captain Peacock [3.3]

Cold Store [3.4]

Mr. Mash: "Well it's common sense innit? Nobody sticks an onion under their arm without peeling it, do they?"

Wedding Bells [3.5]

Mrs. Slocombe: There's a naked man in there, in his underpants!

German Week [3.6]

Mrs. Slocombe (drunk,about Mr. Rumbold): Oooh, Twiddle his knob someone, he's out of focus!


Miss Brahms: Well it's either that or take him with me mum's washings to the launderette.
Mr. Lucas: "I'm not going there again. I've seen more of your mother's underwear there than I have of yours."

(Young) Mr. Grace: Well I'll be one tight long, I always go to the club on Tuesday evening.
Mr. Rumbold: Oh, oh yes, the Bridge Club..
(Young) Mr. Grace: No, no, no, the strip club.

Mrs. Slocombe: I won't forget being thrown flat on my back on Clapham Common by a landmine. And the German Air Force was responsible.
Mr. Lucas: All the other times she was flat on her back, the American Air Force was responsible.

[On having to stay for a meeting after working hours]
Mrs. Slocombe: You know, this sort of thing just isn't fair on my pussy. She has a go at the furniture if I'm not there prompt.

Mr. Grainger: I can't wait more than ten minutes because I'm having a bath tonight
Mr. Humphries: Oh, it's treats!
Mr. Grainger: Well, I can't get the old boiler working very often
Mr. Lucas: Having a bath with Mrs Grainger, are you?
Mr. Grainger: I don't find that amusing!
Mr. Lucas: Come to think of it, neither would I

Mrs. Slocombe: You know, there's only two things I like about Germany: Curt Jurgens and Gorgonzola.
Miss Brahms: Gorgonzola isn't German!
Mrs. Slocombe: Oh. Then there's only one thing I like... No! I tell a lie. I like Irving Berlin!

Mr. Lucas: Here, listen to this, you'll never guess what the German word for "cuff links" are.
Mr. Humphries: What?
Mr. Lucas: Manschettenknopf.
Mr. Humphries: I don't expect they'll sell any with a name like that.

Mr. Grainger: This is a funny name for a sweater: Mit dir hand go wäschen.
Captain Peacock: That means: Wash by hand.
Mr. Lucas: It's a good thing you parley the Deutsch, Capt. Peacock.
Captain Peacock: I had to study it during the war, you know.

Mr. Mash: Ausfahrt.
Captain Peacock: I beg your pardon?
Mr. Mash: Ausfahrt. What's that mean, then?
Captain Peacock: The way out, Mr. Mash, and I suggest you take that one, as we open in a few moments.

Miss Brahms: I'm not selling German Sex Knickers
Captain Peacock: 'Sechs' is just the German word for six
Miss Brahms: What do they use for sex?
Mr. Mash: Same as they use everywhere else

Shoulder to Shoulder [3.7]

Mr Rumbold: Oh, Miss Thorpe, where's the maintenance file?
Miss Thorpe: You mean the one marked 'Decoration'?
Mr Rumbold: Yes.
Miss Thorpe: I filed it yesterday under 'A'.
Mr Rumbold: Under 'A'?
Miss Thorpe: Yes, I file most things under 'A'.
Mr Rumbold: I don't quite follow.
Miss Thorpe: Well, A letter, A sales report, A customer's complaint.
Captain Peacock: A very difficult way of finding anything.

[to telephone customer]
Mr Humphries: We'll do your inside leg.
[Aside to Lucas]
Mr Humphries: This should be fun.
Mr Lucas: You ought to be careful. You know it's an offense to make dirty phone calls.

[Captain Peacock beckons Mrs. Slocombe with a wave]
Mrs Slocombe: I do not respond to waves.
Miss Brahms: What about that man you met on your holiday?
Mrs Slocombe: Ah, that was different; he was waving from his yacht!

Captain Stephen Peacock: Mr. Lucas, you are not indispensable. There are many young men who would bend over backwards to get into Grace Brothers. Mr. Wilberforce Clayborne Humphries: That's one of the qualifications.


Mr. Dick Lucas: You nearly got me the sack then. Mrs. Betty Slocombe: You should have been put in one at birth.


Mr. Wilberforce Clayborne Humphries: This sweater is half man-made wool, half polyester fiber. Newlywed Male Customer: Surely that's man-made as well. Mr. Wilberforce Clayborne Humphries: Ah, yes, but it's made by different men.


Newlywed Male Customer: Shall I or shan't I? Should I or shouldn't I? Mr. Dick Lucas: Is he or isn't he? Mr. Wilberforce Clayborne Humphries: I don't know, but I'd think it'd help if there was a rush.


Mr. Ernest Grainger: That Mrs. Slocombe gets in my hair. Mr. Wilberforce Clayborne Humphries: Metaphorically speaking, you mean.

New Look [3.8]

Christmas Crackers [3.9]

Season 4

No Sale [4.1]

MR GRAINGER(to customer): And that's because you've got a fat face, piggy eyes, and a ...a pimple, on your nose. (turns to Mr. Humphries and Mr. Lucas) You young salesmen just don't know how not to sell clothes.

Top Hat and Tails [4.2]

Forward Mr. Grainger [4.3]

Fire Practice [4.4]

Mr. Humphries and Mr. Lucas: One for them and one for us, One for them and one for us, one for them and one for us.

(Man holds up knife threateningly)

Mr. Humphries and Mr. Lucas: All for them and none for us, all for them and none for us.

Fifty Years On [4.5]

Oh What a Tangled Web [4.6]

The Father Christmas Affair [4.7]

Season 5

Mrs. Slocombe Expects [5.1]

CAPTAIN PEACOCK: How thoughtful of Grace Brothers to leave the doors open, so that we, the customers can actually get in to buy things.

A Change Is as Good as a Rest [5.2]

MRS SLOCOMBE: Is there no demand for mechanical pussies?
CAPTAIN PEACOCK: I'm told people prefer the real thing.

Founder's Day [5.3]

The Old Order Changes [5.4]

Take-Over [5.5]

Goodbye Mr. Grainger [5.6]

It Pays to Advertise [5.7]

Season 6

By Appointment [6.1]

The Club [6.2]

Do You Take This Man? [6.3]

Shedding the Load [6.4]

A Bliss Girl [6.5]

Happy Returns [6.6]

Season 7

The Junior [7.1]

Strong Stuff, This Insurance [7.2]

The Apartment [7.3]

Mrs. Slocombe, Senior Person [7.4]

The Hero [7.5]

Anything You Can Do [7.6]

The Agent [7.7]

The Punch and Judy Affair [7.8]

Season 8

Is It Catching? [8.1]

Mr Humphries:[Humphries comes in in a plastic bag that covers all of his body except his face] Before you say anything, I've got to use this because me mother's got me raincoat to queue up for her diability pension. I borrowed it off a very nice punk girl rocker that lives next door. It was her bridal gown.
Mrs Slocombe: Don't tell me she got married in that.
Mr Humphries: Married? She lived in it for a week with the groom before they found somwhere to squat.

A Personal Problem [8.2]

Mrs Slocombe: Oh, I'm better for that. What's been happening?
Mr Humphries: Well, Mrs Peacock love Captain Peacock, and Captain Peacock, alias Jack the Lad loves Mrs Peacock, although he's got a very strange way of showing it. And Mr Rumbold, it appears, was just masquerading, and I know from long experience that only leads to trouble. Ooh, and the maintenance men who have the wherewithal to open the locked window have just come out the pub.
Mrs Slocombe: Ooh, isn't that wonderful, Captain Peacock? All's well that ends well.
Captain Peacock: Mrs Slocombe, since the maintainence men have just got on a 47 Bus, what makes you think it's all going to end well?

Front Page Story [8.3]

Sit Out [8.4]

Staff: Grace Brothers unfair to salespersons, Grace Brothers unfair to salespersons.

Mrs Slocombe: Oh, I've dropped the pot!
Mr Spooner: I think we've attracted attention, all right.
Mr Humphries: Somehow, I don't think a red policeman is not going to be on our side.

Miss Brahms: You know, you're life isn't like Jackanory at all, it's more like Blue Peter.

Mr Humphries: (recognizing the fireman) You!
Fireman: You!
Mr Humphries: What's happened to the Benedictine monastery?
Fireman: Well, it's a long story.
Mr Humphries: You can tell me on the way down. Alley-oop!

Heir Apparent [8.5]

CAPTAIN PEACOCK: Well, it's Mrs Slocombe at the top of the stairs, followed by Miss Brahms. Behind her, Mr Klein and myself, then Mr Humphries. And outside on the street, Mr Spooner.

(It should have been the other way round because a handicapped person should be in front to give the slow ones a chance and race equally)

Closed Circuit [8.6]

The Erotic Dreams of Mrs. Slocombe [8.7]

Mrs. Slocombe (to Miss Brahms after the latter has caught her in the fitting room hitting the bottle): I'm just taking me slimming pill; only I've run out of water, and I can't bear neat gin.

[Mrs. Slocombe, suitably fortified with gin and tonic, deals with a customer wishing to return a cardigan.]
Customer: I'm going to take your name!
Mrs. Slocombe: I'm sorry, madam, we're not allowed to give names.
Customer: Well, in that case, I…I shall remember your face!
[Mrs. Slocombe makes a face at the customer.]

Mrs. Slocombe (on Mr. Humphries): He's different in me dreams.

Spooner (discussing Mrs. Slocombe's "fatal attraction" with Mr. Humphries): Do you think she wants something?
Humphries: I hope not.

Humphries: Quite a lot of ladies have thought twice about me. Trouble is, it's the second thought that puts them off!

Spooner (at the ballet): Have they all forgotten the words?
Klein: They don't have words in ballet, you ignorant birk!

Roots? [8.8]

Mr Rumbold: Mr Humphries, why are you different from the others?
Mr Humphries: Do you know, a lot of people ask that. Apparently, this was made for Mrs Thatcher but when she got there, she said she wanted to be treated like any other woman going down a mine... and she was.

Mr Spooner: Now I know why the miners said "One out, the lot out"
Captain Peacock: I say that hasn't cooled me down at all.
Mrs Slocombe: Put it away, Miss Brahms.

Old Mr Grace: Happy birthday, dear brother.
Young Mr Grace: It's not my birthday, you silly old fool. No wonder the department is losing money.

Mr Rumbold: I see. Well can you find a B-flat in there?
Mr Harman: Certainly sir. Would you like it on the flute, the horn, the Hawaiian guitar or the bass bassoon?
Mr Rumbold: What on earth does that sound like?
(Low parp)

Season 9

The Sweet Smell of Success [9.1]

Mrs Slocombe: It's something I do at home.
Mr Humphries: Well, that narrows things down a bit, doesn't it?

Mrs Slocombe: Mr Spooner, if you're cheeky to me during working hours, you can expect a reprimand. However, any of your lip before we open and you'll get my umbrella up your hooter.

(Bell ring)

Captain Peacock: As that was the opening bell, a reprimand is all we can allow.

Miss Belfridge: Mr Rumbold, I must speak to you. There's a man in a blue overcoat looking through the window in your office.
Mr Rumbold: Well what's so strange about that?
Miss Belfridge: He's outside and we're on the fourth floor.
Mr Rumbold: Good heavens!

(Both of them rush into his office)

Mr Spooner: Cor, who was that?
Captain Peacock: His new secretary.
Miss Brahms: Huh, bet they're paying 'her out for the electricity bill.
Captain Peacock (realising who Miss Belfridge is talking about): Blue overcoat?
Mrs Slocombe: Mr Humphries!
Miss Brahms: Ooh, he's never climbed that drainpipe.
Mr Spooner (mock surprise): Ooh, not in those trousers.

Mr Humphries: About time, too. It's very draughty out here. Up a bit, George.

('George' pulls up the machine until Mr Humphries could clamber into the office)

Mr Humphries: This is as far as I go. Thanks for the lift. Oh...
Mr Rumbold: This is most irregular.
Mr Humphries: I was just only using my initiative. I knew that the outside of the building was being painted, and after a little light banter with the workmen every morning, I took the advantage of their kind offer of a lift. (Walks to the door but stops just as Mrs Slocombe realizes...)
Mrs Slocombe: There's white paint on the back of your coat.
Mr Humphries: That must have been where I lost my nerve and he tried to steady me. D'you know I've no head for heights. And he was well over six foot tall.

Miss Yardswick: National Associated Canteen Employees, Restaraunt and Domesticated.
Mr Humphries: 'Knackered.' I might have guessed.

Miss Brahms: Here, Captain Peacock, have you asked Rumbold yet about selling the perfume?
Captain Peacock: No. He's busy showing Miss Belfridge the ropes.
Miss Slocombe: I bet she can't type with more than one finger.
Captain Peacock: That's exactly what my wife said when I showed her the photo.
Miss Brahms: What photo?
Captain Peacock: Oh er... in the senior staff magazine. Here. "Menswear News. Miss B. Belfridge wins top position as C Rumbold's temporary secretary" Look.
[Photo shows Miss Belfridge in a bathing suit]
Miss Brahms: She's in a bathing costume!
Mrs Slocombe: Just.
Captain Peacock: Well, it does liven up an otherwise abysmally dull publication.
Miss Brahms: Huh. Bet old jug ears didn't dare show that to his missus.
Captain Peacock: Not if he has any sense. Mine was even worried she was on the same floor as me.
Mrs Slocombe: Well, you do have quite a reputation, Stephen.
Captain Peacock: (chuckles)
Mrs Slocombe: Well you used to.

Conduct Unbecoming [9.2]

Memories Are Made of This [9.3]

Calling All Customers [9.4]

Monkey Business [9.5]

Lost and Found [9.6]

Season 10

Goodbye, Mrs. Slocombe [10.1]

Grounds for Divorce [10.2]

The Hold-Up [10.3]

Gambling Fever [10.4]

The Night Club [10.5]

Mrs Slocombe: "Hello pet it's your misstress speaking." "Now listen I'm gonna be later then I thought." "So why don't you lay down on that big comfy bed of yours and when I come home I'll tickle your tummy all over."

{Everyone rolls their eyes}

"Oh I'm soo sorry Mr. Akbar!!" "I must have misdialed." "It's your neighbor Mrs. Slocombe(listen's) "What do you mean you leave your key under the mat?" (Later)

"Mrs Slocombe: "Oh my little pet I'm ever so sorry."But i'll make it up to you when I get home. "Why dont you open your little flap and play with your ball." "MR. AKBAR HOW DARE YOU!!!"

Friends and Neighbours [10.6]

The Pop Star [10.7]

Catchphrases

Captain Peacock: Are you free?
Mr. Humphries: I'm Free

Mrs. Slocombe: ...and I am unanimous in this...
Mrs. Slocombe: Weak as water!
Mrs. Slocombe: Mind you...
Young Mr Grace:You've all done very well!
Old Mr Grace: She's (or in one case "you are")a lively little thing...

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