"Are You Being Served?" Episode List
Episodes are grouped by copyright year.
---------- 1972 ----------
- [untitled pilot]
- The Ladies' Intimate Apparel must share a floor with the Gentlemen's Department. This
causes great concern in the Gentlemen's Department, as Mrs. Slocombe will be taking over
an area formerly used for men's display. In fact, Mr. Grainger is forced to take down his
trousers and let Mrs. Slocombe put her knickers there instead. Mr. Lucas puts his hands
all over her stockings, and we are treated at the end to Mrs. Slocombe's bust, lit up, in
the middle of the floor. [Floor Display]
[This is shown in a black and white copy, but the credits refer to it as "A BBC
---------- 1973 ----------
- Dear Sexy Knickers...
- Mr. Lucas continues his attempts to win the heart (or at least the body) of Miss Brahms,
this time through a love letter addressed to "Sexy Knickers". His attempt at
delivery creates even greater problems, however, as Mrs. Slocombe receives the note and
assumes it is from Captain Peacock. Once she finds that he has sent no such note, he
questions the Gentlemen's Department and discovers, to no one's surprise, that the note is
from Mr. Lucas. Mrs. Slocombe, far from being upset, is pleased to have an admirer in Mr.
Lucas and promises to wait for him after the store closes. Whether or not he will go is
- Our Figures are Slipping
- The staff are concerned about the decrease in sales. They meet to try to think up some
ideas, without much luck.
- Camping In
- The staff must spend the night in Grace Brothers due to a transport strike, camping out
in tents on the sales floor. But of course, things couldn't be that simple. Mrs. Slocombe
refuses to share her tent with Miss Brahms, who then won't leave Captain Peacock's. Mr.
Lucas has great trouble getting his to stay up (which is unusual for him), and Mr. Rumbold
realizes he must also spend the night on the floor. He seems less than pleased when
Captain Peacock tells him that he wants to sleep with him, but they manage to sort things
out. Finally, the staff gathers around a makeshift "fire", singing and watching
Mr. Grainger's impressions.
- His and Hers
- A perfume retailer (AbFab's Joanna Lumley) causes agitation among the staff by giving
away free ties and knickers with each sale. The sales staff feel she will reduce their
sales, but Captain Peacock's agitation is of an entirely different sort -- he immediately
attempts to chat her up. After she spurns him and is driven off by the staff, they are
informed by Mr. Rumbold that she works for Grace Brothers. To save their own jobs, they
take over her sales. [Floor Display]
- Diamonds are a Man's best friend
- A wealthy client loses a valuable diamond in the store, and we learn about the
integrity, or lack thereof, of the staff. A reward is offered for the missing diamond, but
at the same time a shipment of rhinestones is dropped in the store. The staff each finds a
rhinestone which they think is the missing diamond, and then try get the reward for
themselves by hiding it from the others. Also, Mr. Humphries shows his talent for
massaging Mr. Lucas' lumbago.
---------- 1974 ----------
- The Clock
- Mr. Grainger fears he will be forcibly retired. At his going-away party, Mr. Grace
misunderstands and accepts the clock, which is Mr. Grainger's retirement present from the
store, and Mr. Grainger continues on in his old position. [Floor Display]
- Cold Comfort
- The staff try to cope with a shortage of heat. Mr. Lucas creates a bewildering array of
heating devices, ranging from two hairdryers to aim up one's pants to a new sales line --
"Novelty Foot warmers", which are good for the economy as they use less oil!
These devices are, of course, caught by the eagle-like eyes of Captain Peacock who reports
them to Mr. Rumbold. As the staff are being questioned in Mr. Rumbold's office, Mr.
Rumbold's desk catches on fire due to a heater that he has hidden inside of it.
- The Think Tank
- The staff put on a fashion show to showcase the features of the store. Since they cannot
afford models, the staff models the garments themselves.
- Big Brother
- Surveillance cameras are installed at Grace Brothers. Mr. Rumbold begins to carefully
watch their every move, and finds out some very interesting information about the staff.
He counts Mrs. Slocombe's visits to the ladies' room, observes Miss Brahms adjusting her
"stock", and catches Mr. Lucas smoking. Mr. Lucas explains that he was smoking
to steady his nerves -- his mother is gone for the night, and Miss Brahms has said she
will sleep in the guest room to keep him company. (What she doesn't know is that he sleeps
there too.) In the end, the staff is outraged by this invasion of their privacy, so Mr.
Humphries and Mr. Lucas trick him into removing the equipment for his health.
- Hoorah for the Holidays
- The staff try to choose a group holiday package, as the store is being closed for
renovations. They are shown a selection of slides from a short list of the worst hotels to
be found. Leisure activities include shopping for souvenir wrought-ironware to toying with
one's couscous. This is hardly what the staff had in mind, and they refuse the offer. Mr.
Grace offers them money instead, which they accept, before realizes that the vacation time
will now by off-season. Still, they can all go play bingo at Mr. Grainger's traditional
site. [Floor Display]
---------- 1975 ----------
- The Hand of Fate
- Mr. Humphries displays his talent for telling fortunes.
- Coffee Morning
- The staff protest the monitoring of their breaks and trips to the restroom, in the form
of a signing in and out book. Mrs. Slocombe objects to having to stick her nose in a book
every time she wants to powder it, and Miss Brahms worries what will happen if her pen is
out of ink and she urgently needs the restroom. Captain Peacock's suggestion that one get
someone else to do it for her isn't greeted with much enthusiasm, and they decide to
protest this by refusing to sign, but Mr. Grainger is singled out by Captain Peacock and
made an example of. A union meeting is convened by Mr. Mash, and Mr. Grace finally
arranges for the coffee to be brought to the staff to avoid them losing their break time
in transit to the canteen.
- Up Captain Peacock
- Captain Peacock, as a reward for his many years of service, gains privileges to the
Executive Washroom and Dining Room, to the great consternation of Mr. Grainger. In the
Executive Dining Room he is treated to "Le Shepherd's Pie" and an
"amusing" little wine, while Mr. Grainger fumes in the staff canteen. A protest
by Mr. Grainger results in the demolition of the Dining Room and Executive Washroom, as
the room allocated to the staff is too small and must be enlarged. [Floor Display]
- Cold Store
- Seasonal illnesses have got the staff down, and sometimes more than that even, as Mr.
Grainger has got a bad case of the "gastrics." Mrs. Slocombe becomes quite ill,
and Miss Brahms refuses to work near her, as she has had flu shots and must avoid
exposure. At the same time, Mr. Lucas is trying to feign illness to get home to his girl.
No thanks to Mr. Mash's suggestion of an onion and soap, he is transferred to the Ladies',
and Miss Brahms comes to work with Mr. Humphries to avoid getting sick. He, of course, has
no feelings whatsoever on having a girl behind the men's counter. Mr. Lucas pretends to
sprain his ankle, in an act of supreme frustration, but is sent to the hospital by Mr.
Grace, spoiling his plans for the day.
- Wedding Bells
- Mrs. Slocombe is greatly disturbed to learn that she has no say in the garments she
sells -- namely, knickers with slogans such as "In Case of Emergency, Pull
Down". She protests, but is over-ruled until Mr. Grace leads the staff to believe
that he is going to ask her to marry him. It turns out that he is merely asking her advice
on a ring for someone else, but she tells the members of the floor that she turned him
down, after gaining some promises from the rest of the department.
- German Week
- The staff try to promote the sale of German goods, by dressing up in German fashion and
performing a small dance. Mrs. Slocombe does her duty in sampling the German wine, and
Captain Peacock feels that his costume isn't giving him the proper air of authority. In
fact, he feels he is getting entirely too much air and very little authority! Mrs.
Slocombe gets drunk, and ends up fighting Captain Peacock during their dance. Notice
Joanna Lumley (AbFab's Patsy) as a customer.
- Shoulder to Shoulder
- The ladies' department temporarily move into the gentlemen's while their department is
being remodeled. Tensions run high, but no one is more pleased than Mrs. Slocombe when, at
the end, the men learn that they now must move into the ladies' while their side is redone
and she gets her chance to pay them back.
- New Look
- The staff try a Twenties sales theme. [Floor Display]
- Christmas Crackers
- Holiday events at Grace Brothers, and the staff dress up to try and boost sales. Mrs.
Slocombe dresses as Robin Hood, which explains the funny quiver she has in back. The
department is remodeled, and they enjoy their holiday dinner in the canteen. This is
Doremy Vernon's first appearance. [Floor
---------- 1976 ----------
- No Sale
- Mr. Rumbold tries a new experiment, and opens the store earlier in the morning. Sales
are good, but the staff is not pleased at having to come in so early. So, they try not to
sell anything to avoid longer hours, through a variety of techniques. Suddenly, Arab
customers are told the umbrellas are Jewish, and Mr. Grainger tells a customer he has
piggy eyes, a fat face, and a pimple on his nose. Needless to say, sales drop off and the
plan is scrapped.
- Top Hat and Tails
- The staff forms a team to compete for the Grace Brothers ballroom dancing competition,
led ably by Mr. Humphries.
- Forward Mr. Grainger
- Mr. Grainger temporarily takes over Mr. Rumbold's position, to Captain Peacock's envy.
The staff are no less amazed -- they were sure that Captain Peacock would get anything
going in that office, especially the new secretary. He turns out to be a strict and
unforgiving manager, but when Mr. Rumbold returns early, the staff take out their anger at
his actions on him. Mr. Rumbold leaves again, returning Mr. Grainger to power, but he has
learned his lesson.
- Fire Practice
- Sales to an Arabian sheik are more difficult than expected, when they are unable to
touch his wife to take the measurements. Women cannot touch women, as they say. Men can
touch women, of course, but then they kill them -- strangely enough, they allow Mr.
Humphries to take the measurements. ("And I'm not even a believer!") After the
sale is completed, they are offered a number of items in exchange, ranging from a goat to
a new wife for Mr. Grainger. This is interrupted by a surprise fire drill, which ends in
chaos. They are forced to stay afterwards for practice, which is interrupted by a real
- Fifty Years On
- The staff celebrate Mrs. Slocombe's birthday. The major task is to confirm her age,
which is finally determined by finding the age of her pussy. Thankfully, due to complete
records, they are able to determine when she first had it. The age of Tiddles is found,
and from there they decide Mrs. Slocombe must be 50. An additional problem is determining
her full name. The biggest problem occurs, however, when they discover she is only 46! [Floor Display]
- Oh What A Tangled Web
- Capt. Peacock appears to be having an affair with Miss Hazelwood, bringing Mrs. Peacock
to Grace Brothers with the intention of determining the truth. It all comes out at the
board of inquiry set up by Mr. Grace after Mr. Grainger is attacked by Miss Hazelwood
irate father. [Floor Display]
- The Father Christmas Affair
- The staff all want to play Father Christmas, after a mechanical version flashes the
staff ("Hohoho little boy, have I got a surprise for you!") and crushes a small
boy. Mrs. Slocombe is finally paid to do the job. Or, depending on the version, Mr.
Grainger is chosen by the boy they find on the street. Two versions of this episode are in
existence, the one with Mrs. Slocombe as Father Christmas is a truncated version of the
original. [Floor Display]
---------- 1977 ----------
- Mrs. Slocombe Expects
- The staff think Mrs. Slocombe is going to have a baby, they find that it is only her
cat. Denied time off, she smuggles her cat into work, but is discovered by Captain
Peacock. His anger melts at the sight up the kittens.
- A Change Is As Good As A Rest
- The staff temporarily are transferred to the toy department, where they start slowly but
quickly warm to the change.
- Founder's Day
- The staff compile a retrospective for Mr. Grace's 80th birthday.
- The Old Order Changes
- The staff dress in mod fashions as a sales gimmick, after Mr. Grace's visit to the
United States. After redesigning the store and staff in 70's fashions, Mr. Grace returns
from his trip to China and gives them his new sales proposal, described in his Little Red
Book. [Floor Display]
- The staff prevent a takeover of Grace Brothers by another firm, by impersonating the
shareholders. Mr. Harman gives a rousing speech, and Grace Brothers is saved.
- Goodbye Mr. Grainger
- Mr. Grainger may have to leave Grace Brothers, as his temper as become extremely short.
The staff, in a private meeting with Mr. Rumbold, decide he must go. However, when he wins
the lottery, his bad mood vanishes and he makes his peace with the staff and stays on.
- It Pays To Advertise
- The staff star in a TV commercial for Grace Brothers, produced by Mr. Humphries. [Floor Display]
---------- 1978 ----------
- By Appointment
- The staff prepare for a visit by the Queen. The visit is abruptly ended when Mrs.
Slocombe accidentally pushes a flower pot out the window, nearly hitting the Royal Couple.
- The Club
- The staff try to decorate a clubroom in Grace Brothers' basement, resulting in major
disagreements and finally an all-out battle. [Floor
- "Do You Take This Man?"
- Mrs. Slocombe, after her fiancé returns home to his wife, stages her wedding for her
wealthy uncle so she can get the house promised her if she marries a Greek.
- Shedding the Load
- The staff must decide which of them will lose a job. After a meeting to decide the
unlucky person, Mr. Tebbs decides he must retire and make room for a younger man. At his
noble gesture, the others decide they cannot let him get away with such generosity and all
quit, but Mr. Grace cancels the cutback anyway. [Floor
- A Bliss Girl
- Mr. Humphries takes the place of an absent salesgirl, as Capt. Peacock is demoted to
Assistant Salesman in his place. [Floor Display]
- Happy Returns
- The staff plan a ballet to celebrate Mr. Grace's birthday. [Floor Display]
---------- 1979 ----------
- The Junior
- A new Junior is highered, Mr. Goldberg, who threatens to reveal "Captain"
- Strong Stuff This Insurance
- The staff must take physicals to get insurance. Listening through the door of Mr.
Grace's office, they hear Mr. Harman describing the state of the furniture, which they
misunderstand as being the results of their physicals.
- The Apartment
- Mrs. Slocombe moves into a display apartment in Grace Brothers, because her new home has
squatters. Due to a transport strike, the whole floor arrives one by one, seeking refuge.
- Mrs. Slocombe, Senior Person
- Mrs. Slocombe temporarily takes the place of Mr. Rumbold, who is taken in. She eats the
cream cakes she finds in his office, before he calls from the hospital warning that they
are what made him ill.
- The Hero
- Capt. Peacock is challenged to a boxing match. He backs out, and Mr. "Hugger"
Humphries is "elected" to take his place in a wrestling match. He loses the
match, but Mrs. Slocombe enters the ring and defeats the challenger.
- Anything You Can Do
- The staff try to run the canteen, after a major argument with the canteen staff. After
impressing everyone with the quality, they realize they are losing money and decide to
apologize to the canteen staff.
- The Agent
- Mr. Goldberg tries to get the staff better jobs. After Captain Peacock and Mr. Rumbold
become aware of this, Mr. Humphries and Mrs. Slocombe are given rises, and decide to stay
with the store.
- The Punch and Judy Affair
- The staff enact a life-size Punch and Judy show to try and placate the rest of the
staff, whose picket lines they crossed. [Floor
---------- 1981 ----------
- Is It Catching?
- The staff contract a strange illness, Marine's Disease, from Mr. Humphries. They are
quarantined in the basement until the illness is past. [Floor Display]
- A Personal Problem
- Capt. Peacock's wife works at Grace Brothers, as Mr. Rumbold's secretary. He is
intensely jealous, and the staff seeks a way to confirm her infidelity.
- Front Page Story
- Mr. Humphries is made editor of the staff magazine. The 1st Floor staff is not pleased
with the stories he writes about them, causing friction in their relations with him.
- Sit Out
- The staff go on strike, after being threatened with a pay cut or being moved to the
bargain basement. They stage a protest on the roof, which is interrupted by a fire which
destroys the basement.
- Heir Apparent
- Old Mr. Grace thinks Mr. Humphries is his long-lost son. Mrs. Humphries (also played by
Mr. Inman) arrives, and shows that she has never had relations with Mr. Grace.
- Closed Circuit
- Miss Brahms attracts the amorous attention of a lord. Captain Peacock, Mr. Humphries,
and Mrs. Slocombe try to give her a respectable background to no avail; Lord Hurley falls
for Mr. Grace's nurse.
- The Erotic Dreams of Mrs. Slocombe
- Mrs. Slocombe falls in love with Mr. Humphries, to his great distress.
- The staff celebrate Old Mr. Grace's 90th birthday, and the staff attempt to make him a
coat of arms, leading to the tracing of his roots.
---------- 1983 ----------
- The Sweet Smell of Success
- Mrs. Slocombe sells her home-made perfume. After a great misunderstanding, Mrs. Peacock
finds Captain Peacock without his pants (perfume had spilled on them) and the ill-fated
trousers in the hands of Miss Belfridge, Mr. Rumbold's secretary.
- Conduct Unbecoming
- Mr. Humphries is accused of stealing. In a trial, he is found guilty and dismissed, but
Mr. Harmon finds the missing money in the back of the till.
- Memories Are Made of This
- Mrs. Slocombe is hit by a golf ball and thinks she's a little girl, wrecking havoc on
the store as she cavorts around the department.
- Calling All Customers
- The staff perform a play on CB radio to advertise Grace Brothers. The play results in
the store being swamped by truck drivers, who are driven off by Mr. Humphries and Mrs.
- Monkey Business
- Grace Brothers may be bought by the Japanese. The staff take their problems to Number
10, where they contact such persons as President Reagan on the phone, and Mrs. Thatcher
gets fashion tips from Mr. Humphries.
- Lost and Found
- Mrs. Slocombe's cat is missing, and in comforting her, Mr. Humphries finds himself
entangled even deeper than he expected.
---------- 1984 ----------
- Goodbye Mrs. Slocombe
- Mrs. Slocombe is forcibly retired, and takes various jobs in the store. Mr. Humphries
and Captain Peacock get her job back, but Captain Peacock and Mr. Rumbold are retired in
the same manner. They end the show as the cleaner and the lift operator.
- Grounds for Divorce
- Capt. Peacock's marriage appears to be in trouble, as he tries to decide whether to stay
with his wife or go with his lover, Miss Bagnold.
- The Hold Up
- The staff try to foil two burglars, by first impersonating the police and then the
much-feared Gumby Gang, with Pa Gumby (Mr. Harman), Mad Ma Gumby (Mrs. Slocombe), and
Italian Tony, the Tooting Terror (Mr. Humphries). They call Mr. Rumbold, who thinks it is
all a joke.
- Gambling Fever
- The staff bet on horse races. After being catch watching the race in Mr. Rumbold's
office, Mr. Humphries goes to the sports department and mimes the race to the rest of the
staff over the security camera.
- The Night Club
- The staff film a commercial for a nightclub to the run in the store. The picture is lost
when the ad is shown, leaving only the sound, making the nightclub sound like a brothel. [Floor Display]
- Friends and Neighbors
- The staff use apartments in the Grace Brothers building, to cut down on transportation
- The Pop Star
- Mr. Spooner's vocal talents are discovered during the staff show. He is signed by a
record company, and the staff appears on TV performing the song when Mr. Spooner loses his
Are You Being Served? The Movie
Are You Being Served? The Movie was made in 1977, and starred John Inman, Mollie
Sugden, Frank Thorton, Wendy Richards, Trevor Bannister, Arthur Brough, Nicolas Smith,
Arthur English, and Harold Bennet. The plot concerned a vacation taken while the store is
closed for remodeling. However, during their visit there is a rebel uprising and the movie
climaxes with the appearance of Young Mr. Grace in a tank. The jokes are taken
more-or-less straight from the TV Series, but it is the only AYBS? show I know of in which
people die. (Albeit somewhat comically.)
Are You Being Served? Cast List
Darian has made a great set of character profiles for most of the characters on the
show. I highly recommend you check them out: James' AYBS?
[position character: actor (years on show, if not 1972-1984)]
- Senior Saleslady, Ladies' Department
- Mrs. Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Jennifer Rachel Yiddell
Abergavenny Slocombe: Mollie Sugden
- Junior Saleslady, Ladies' Department
- Miss Shirley Brahms: Wendy Richard
- Senior Salesman, Gentlemen's Department
- Mr. Ernest Grainger: Arthur Brough (1972-1977)
- Mr. Percival Tebbs: James Hayter (1978)
- Mr. Harry Goldberg: Alfie Bass (1979)
- Mr. Grossman: Milo Sperber (1981)
- Mr. Klein: Benny Lee (1981)
- Assistant (later Senior) Salesman, Gentlemen's Department
- Mr. Wilberforce Clayborne Humphries: John Inman
- Junior Salesman, Gentlemen's Department
- Mr. James (a.k.a. Dick) Lucas: Trevor Bannister
- [Mr. Lucas is called James in "The Clock" and Dick in "The Old Order
- Mr. Bert Spooner: Mike Berry (1981-1984)
- Floorwalker, First Floor
- Capt. Stephen Peacock: Frank Thornton
- [In "The Junior", Mr. Goldberg reveals that "Captain" Peacock's rank
is really Corporal.]
- Manager, First Floor
- Mr. Cuthbert Rumbold: Nicholas Smith
- Owners, Grace Brothers
- Young Mr. Grace: Harold Bennett (1972-1981)
- Old Mr. Henry Grace: Kenneth Waller (1981)
- Head, Packing and Maintenance
- Mr. Mash: Larry Martyn (1972-1976)
- Mr. Beverly Harmon: Arthur English (1976-1984)
- Mr. Grace's Nurse: Vivienne Johnson
- Ms. Belfridge: Candy Davis
- The Canteen Manageress: Doremy Vernon
You may also
AYBS?A! Episode Guide