FOW gather to re-create AYBS and share memories


A lot of goings on recently at Grace Brothers Department Store. Friends and colleagues of the late Wendy Richard gathered this past week to share behind-the-scenes stories, fond memories and a little bit of laughter. While a majority of the new “cast” came from Wendy’s days on Eastenders, Nicholas Smith returned in his role as Mr. Rumbold from the original AYBS cast.

Are You Being Served Organized by Wendy’s husband, John Burns, this new generation of stars included Fern Britton, former EastEnders actors James Alexandrou, Natalie Cassidy and Ricky Groves, Bond star Colin Salmon and actor Darren Little who all gathered to share personal and professional stories.

The original black & white pilot for the series, Are You Being Served, premiered in September of 1972 as part of the series, Comedy Playhouse. As the story goes, it was literally grabbed off the shelf and aired at the last minute due to the disruption of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. This original pilot was then re-shown in March of 1973 when the first season was completed. It has been a British comedy mainstay on public television stations across the country ever since with the likes of Mr. Humphries, Mrs. Slocum, Miss Brahms, Capt. Peacock, Mr. Rumbold and Mr. Lucas as our friends from across the pond.  Any fond AYBS or Wendy moments out there you’d like to share?

For me, I’ll never forget these immortal words:

Ground Floor: Perfumery, stationery, and leather goods, wigs and haberdashery, kitchenware and food. Going up…

Thanks, Wendy.

  • Miss Brahms’ explanation of how her parents met from the “Camping In” episode is a funny, sweet moment in a particularly memorable episode. The “Diamonds Are A Man’s Best Friend,” “German Week,” and “A Change Is As Good As A Rest” episodes are some of the funniest in the whole series.