Thank you, Trevor Bannister, for years of smiles and laughter


Trevor Bannister, known to British comedy fans worldwide as the twenty-something menswear salesman, Mr. Lucas, at Grace Brothers Department Store, has died at the age of 76. Bannister, who played the part of the rebellious Mr. Lucas from 1972-1980, always had the keen eye for Miss Brahms, played by the late Wendy Richard. Post Are You Being Served, Bannister had a long and successful career in television and on the stage. It was the stage that gave him reason to leave ABYS when he took a part in a long-running stage play, Middle Age Spread unable to appear in both. When Bannister asked that the weekly record day be changed from Friday to Sunday, the BBC refused opening the door for a post-Grace Brothers career.

It was Arthur Brough, the cranky senior salesman at Grace Brothers, who gave Bannister his start in show business when he hired him for an actor’s repertory company at the age of 15. In addition to the theatre, Bannister had roles in Keeping Up Appearances and Coronation Street. Most recently, Bannister was a regular cast member in Last of the Summer Wine.

Over the years, we were extremely fortunate to get to know Trevor, interviewing him several times for our PBS productions, Celebrating Mollie Sugden, Funny Ladies of British Comedy, Funny Blokes of British Comedy and, most recently, Behind the Britcom: From Script to Screen. Trevor was always appreciative of his success and was the epitome of British humbleness when discussing his career accomplishments. The photo above was given to us by the cast during the production of our tribute program, Celebrating Mollie Sugden, in celebration of Mollie’s 80th birthday.

Below, Trevor Bannister and Frank Thornton discuss what comes first in a comedy, the situation or the character, the creation of Are You Being Served and how both he and Frank came to be cast in the series created by David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ci4fi8zFLj4

  • Karen Mills

    He has left a legacy in his delightful, witty, well-timed comedy, as well as his occasional more serious roles. He will live forever as Mr. Lucas at Grace Brothers, and I’m sure will inspire generations to come. Trevor, it was a delight to get to know you through your body of work.

  • Bev Bowers

    I am so sorry to hear of His passing! I adored his character Mr.Lucus! I have the full set Of AYBS on VHS and watch it all the time. Rest in peace Mr. Bannister! You will be missed!

  • Cora

    RIP Mr. Bannister. I adored him in AYBS and in Last of the Summer Wine. Glad there are videos, DVDs, etc., so we can continue to enjoy his talents.

  • Don O’Brien

    God Bless you, Mr. Lucas, as you begin your eternal patrol with the past greats of British and American Theatre. You have given me so many laughs particularly in the Nursery Scene on AYBS, an incredibly funny skit.

    Peace and compassion to your wife Pamela and your three sons. All the best, Don

  • So terribly sad to hear this news. His role as Mr. Lucas is definitely one of my favorite parts of AYBS.

  • Jackiboo

    Bye Trevor. Thanks for the memories and laughs.

  • Judy

    Never imagined Trevor would be the next AYBS cast member to pass away. I adored him so….He was such a wonderful man. Haven’t been able to watch AYBS since his death. Makes my heart break.
    I’m so greatful I got to see him in Last of the Summer Wine.
    My Love and Prayers go out to His wife and soms.
    R.I.P. Trevor
    Forever Mr. Lucas

  • mike

    I just learned a few days ago of his untimely passing. Loved Mr. Lucas, he was a hero to the rest of us underpaid, under appreciated, overworked set.

  • A brilliant actor and a genuine and friendly gentleman who had time for anybody and everybody. I was fortunate to lunch with Trevor a few months earlier and it was a joy to hear stories of his vast acting career. He will be missed, but has left us all with so much. Rasie a glass with a wink and a smile… to Trevor 😉