One of Britain’s best-loved sitcoms will return to BBC One later this year for a one-off special. Are You Being Served? follows the misadventures of the staff of a retail floor of a fictional London department store called Grace Brothers.
Picking up where Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft’s classic comedy left off, the show will bring Grace Brothers and some of the nation’s all-time favourite sitcom characters, including Mrs Slocombe, Captain Peacock and Mr Humphries back to life with an all-star cast.
It’s 1988 and Young Mr Grace is determined to drag Grace Brothers into, well 1988, but he has a problem on his hands. Mr Humphries, Captain Peacock, Mr Rumbold and Mrs Slocombe all seem to be stuck in another era. A new member of staff, Mr Conway, joins the team – but will he help shake things up or will he just put a pussy among the pigeons?
This brand new one-off special will be written by the multi-award winning Derren Litten (Benidorm, The Catherine Tate Show). The original sitcom began on BBC One in 1972 and ran for over ten years.
The new cast include Bafta-award winning Jason Watkins (The Lost Honour Of Christopher Jefferies) who will play the role of Mr Humphries; Sherrie Hewson (Benidorm, Coronation Street) will play Mrs Slocombe; John Challis (Only Fools And Horses) will play Captain Peacock; Roy Barraclough (Coronation Street) will play Mr Grainger; Arthur Smith (comedian and writer) will play Mr Harmon and Niky Wardley (The Catherine Tate Show) will play Miss Brahms.
As well as the original favourites, there will be some new characters joining the show. They are Mathew Horne (Gavin And Stacey) who will play Young Mr Grace, the original Young Mr Grace’s grandson; Jorgie Porter (Hollyoaks) will play Miss Croft and newcomer Kayode Ewumi will play the character Mr Conway.
Are You Being Served? was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC Channels and iPlayer and Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning. It will be produced by James Farrell (Mrs Brown’s Boys, Flat TV) and directed by Dewi Humphreys (Vicar of Dibley, My Family, Still Open All Hours). The executive producer is Stephen McCrum (Josh, Bluestone 42, Mrs Brown’s Boys).
Shane Allen says: The Are You Being Served? special is a riot of a script from Derren and has attracted a real comedy pedigree cast to pay homage to this glorious and much-loved show.”
Derren Litten says: “Writing a new episode of Are You Being Served? has been the most fun I have ever had as a professional writer. We have an amazing cast, a brilliant producer and a great director, it was just too exciting an opportunity to pass up and I am unanimous in that.”
Are You Being Served? will be filmed next month in front of a studio audience in Media City, Salford and will air on BBC One later this year. It is part of a BBC landmark comedy season to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the television sitcom. More details to be announced soon.