Yo Ho, WeRCatz here!

This coming September, the BBC sitcom Are You Being Served? will turn 50. Created by Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft, this sitcom would become an international hit. Are You Being Served? spawned a sequel, Grace and Favour, as well as a film and several Christmas specials. It would be ranked number 20 in the program Britain’s Best Sitcom in 2004.

The pilot for the show was not premiered until the 1972 Summer Olympics when the Munich Massacre took place on September 8, 1972. This led to the first series (season) to be produced and premiered in March 1973. A slow build-up of ratings made the show a hit and got more successful with each series.

The show was filled with sexual innuendo, mistaken identity, misunderstandings, sight gags, and memorable uses of the double entendre. Making fun of the British class system, the show follows employees of the Ladies’ Department and the Men’s Department. Floor Manager Captain Peacock (Frank Thornton) supervises his sector while Ms. Brahms (Wendy Richard), Mrs. Slocombe (Molly Sugden), Mr. Lucas (Trevor Bannister), Mr. Grainger (Arthur Brough), and Mr. Humphries (John Inman) tend to their customers. At the same time, Mr. Rumbold (Nicholas Smith) is trying to keep things in order under Young Mr. Grace.

Almost every fan of Are You Being Served? remembers the classic one-liners, innuendo, quips, and wit of Mr. Humphries. His campy catchphrase “I’m free!” and his mincing walking remain relevant. Although he exhibits the typical gay stereotypes, the writers never revealed his true sexual orientation. This would be necessary because a senior BBC executive wanted Croft to eliminate Inman from the show; Croft stood by Inman so that the show would be successful.

To this day, Are You Being Served? remains one of BBC’s beloved sitcoms. Reruns of this show are still on TV, especially on PBS in the US. I still have a fun time watching this series and you can too!