While Dadâ€™s Army was in a full swing David Croft has joined Jeremy Lloyd in another project that started his long streak of successful sitcoms in his career - Are You Being Served?? Just like in Dadâ€™s Army it was based on real experience of the author, just like in Dadâ€™s Army the idea was rather simple, and just like in Dadâ€™s Army it proved that the simple ideas have the best potential.
Jeremy Lloyd used to work in menswear department of Simpsons of Piccadilly store in London and from his own experience he drew a lot of ideas for Are You Being Served?? David Croft saw the potential in the project and, while still working on his flagship sitcom Dadâ€™s Army, he became writer and producer for the new sitcom.
Story is set in Grace Brothers department store in London, where the menswear department staff is about to face quite a revolution when they have to give up part of their space to ladies department that has been moved to their floor. This of course creates a lot of tension at the beginning and leads to plenty of double entendre humour.
Head of the ladies department is Mrs Slocombe, a no-nonsense sales person that is ready to give quite a fight for every inch of the physical space as well as the respect for her department. But in Grace Brothers the old rules are still in order - from having a floorwalker, who guides the customers from the moment they enter the department, the strict hierarchy of the staff and the way they have to address customers with the phrase "Are you being served, sir?".
The humour in this sitcom was based on the clash between the departments, the outdated rules that are ridiculous in modern times and the double entendre. With great cast and characters that are both likeable and entertaining Are You Being Served? ran for 10 seasons, was implemented in Australian version and later was used as basis for follow-up series Grace & Favour starring several of the cast members, also was (unfortunately) was remade in 2015 with "modernized" cast. Original Are You Being Served? is among the best British sitcoms with unique atmosphere and a lot of memorable quotes.
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