Trivia / Are You Being Served?

  • Actor Allusion: In "The Hold Up", Mr Harman comes up with a plan with Mrs Slocombe and Mr Humphries to rescue the others by dressing up as the dreaded Gumby Gang. As Pa Gumby, actor Arthur English as Mr Harman is dressed up as a character he was most famous for doing years prior to the show: a shady "spiv" character, complete with pencil moustache and wide tie.
  • Actor-Shared Background: In the final episode, "The Pop Star", Mr Spooner is revealed to be a talented lead vocalist. Same for his actor Mike Berry.
  • The Cast Showoff:
    • Mr. Spooner, was played by singer Mike Berry. The last episode was centered around Mr. Spooner trying to break into the pop music scene.
    • Nicholas Smith, who played Mr. Rumbold, could play various musical instruments, a talent which was exploited in a number of episodes.
  • Dawson Casting: To a minor extent. Mr. Lucas was supposed to be in his mid-twenties when the show began, but the actor, Trevor Bannister, was 36 years old. In fact, he was only a few months younger than Nicholas Smith, who played Mr. Rumbold, and nearly a year older than John Inman, who played Mr. Humphries. Inverted for "Old" Mr. Grace who was played by Kenneth Waller age 54; his younger brother was played by Harold Bennett, who was 28 years older.
  • Dye Hard: It can be strange to see Mollie Sugden in interviews with her normal brown (or grey) hair.
  • Name's the Same: Both of Miss Shirley Brahms' Suspiciously Similar Substitutes in the Australian version of the show were named Shirley Buxton and Shirley Nichols.
  • The Other Darrin: Mrs. Peacock, who makes appearances in a few episodes, was played by two actresses named Diana; Diana King played her in most of her appearances, and Diana Lambert played her in the character's final two appearances in the series.
    • Diana Lambert had previously played a customer named in the credits as "the Six-Pound Fox Customer" in the Season One episode "Fifty Years On."
  • Old Shame: The 1981 Christmas Special "Roots?" (named after the seminal US mini series Roots) has the main cast performing a routine in blackface obviously inspired by the old Minstrel Shows type routines - this episode is rarely repeated as a result.
    • "Top Hat and Tails", the second episode of Season 4, was a "Young Shame". The episode aired infrequently due to a ballroom dancing scene depicting Mr. Humphries and Mr. Lucas dancing together. Though almost universally absent in syndication, it saw the light of day more frequently from the late 90s on.
  • Playing Gertrude: Nicholas Smith (Mr. Rumbold) is only nine years older than Wendy Richard (Miss Brahms).
  • Reality Subtext: The series' creators have implied that Mr. Humphries was promoted to senior salesman because so many of the elderly actors who had previously appeared on the show died (Arthur Brough, Harold Bennett), retired (James Hayter), or just didn't work out (numerous others). The younger, healthier Inman was already known to the audience and reliably funny, so the producers felt they could count on him to stay around for several years. Thus, they made Humphries the senior character, and never cast a new middle-tier salesman.
  • Write What You Know: Co-writer Jeremy Lloyd was inspired originally by his stint working in the menswear department at Simpson's of Piccadilly (a now-defunct London department store).
    • Furthermore, John Inman, the most popular cast member, was working in retail when he auditioned.
  • Write Who You Know: Jeremy Lloyd based the characters on employees he encountered while a department store worker.
    • He's not the only one; one day, Mollie Sugden, who played Mrs. Slocombe, was at a department store when one of the employees told her that he had previously worked with John Inman, and asked for Sugden to give Inman his regards. When Sugden asked Inman if he remembered that particular employee, his response was, "Remember him? I got the walk from him!"

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