With the new episode of the popular sitcom fresh in viewers’ minds, it ssemed a good time to look back at the documentary that delved into the story of what became one Britain’s best loved sitcoms.
The documentary was first aired back in 2010 and featured interviews with the remaining cast of the time and the writers. Sadly in 2016 only Mike Berry who played Mr Spooner is the only original cast member still with us.
ARE YOU BEING SERVED? began life as a COMEDY PLAYHOUSE episode similar to STEPTOE AND SON.
The entire idea looked to have been shelved were it not for the terrorist act at the Munich Olympics of 1972 in which several Israeli athletes lost their lives. With acres of time to fill in their schedules, the BBC turned to the sitcom pilot and transformed it into a series.
By the mid-Eighties the series quite literally ran out of steam. Viewers were turning away from it’s seaside postcard style humour with more upmarket shows such as French and Saunders and Comic Strip presents attracting the viewers.
This documentary offered a fascinating account of the series, with archive interviews with many of the cast – the majority of whom have now passed away.
Alexander Armstrong – Himself – Narrator (voice)
Jeremy Lloyd – Writer
David Croft – Writer and Producer
John Howard Davies – BBC Head of Comedy, 1977-1982
Trevor Bannister – Mr. Lucas
Wendy Richard – Herself (2003) / Miss Brahms (archive footage)
Frank Thornton – Himself / Captain Peacock
Michael Knowles – Himself – Actor / Writer
Nicholas Smith – Himself / Mr. Rumbold
Mollie Sugden – Herself (1999 / 2003) / Mrs. Slocombe (archive footage)
John Inman – Himself (2003) / Mr. Humphries (archive footage)
James Norton – associate producer
Samantha Peters – producer
Caroline Wright – executive producer
Original Transmission Date: 1st January 2010