QPR Screen References: No.2 – ‘Are You Being Served ? Goodbye, Mr Grainger’

Number two in the series of screen references to the R’s over the years, is from Are You Being Served ?’ The episode, ‘Goodbye Mr Grainger’ was first broadcast on 1st April, 1977. The sitcom was written by the successful team of David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd and ran from 1972 up to 1983 incorporating 10 series and 69 episodes. It was set in the Department store of ‘Grace Brothers’ and the main characters were, ‘Mr Humphries’, played by John Inman who minces around and was known to warm the end of his tape measure before taking an inside leg measurement ! His famous catch phrase was, “I’m Free” The dotty owner was the ‘Young Mr Grace’ played by Harold Bennett, who’s usually more interested in the young female staff around him. The Floorwalker was ‘Captain Peacock’, played by Frank Thornton and the Manager was ‘Mr Rumbold’, played by Nicholas Smith. Mr Humphries colleagues in the Gents Outfitting Department in this particular episode were, ‘Mr Grainger’ played by Arthur Brough and Trevor Bannister was as usual, ‘Mr Lucas’.

The Ladies Outfitting Department was staffed by ‘Mrs Slocombe’ (always making references with a double meaning to her cat) and played by Mollie Sugden. Her junior was ‘Miss Brahms’, who was played by Wendy Richard and is well known more recently for her role in ‘Eastenders’ The other main character in this episode is ‘Mr Harmon’ the Caretaker, played by the old spiv, Arthur English.

Long overdue for retirement, Mr Grainger is getting more and more bad tempered and eventually the rest of the staff demand his resignation. He eventually apologises because he thinks he’s won the football pools. His attitude changes and he decides to buy them leaving presents including a diamante collar for Mrs Slocombe’s pussy !!! Various twists and turns then follow.

Mr Harman enters the Department singing, “………Isn’t It Nice To Have Friends” He sees Captain Peacock and says to him, ” Shall I change the central display unit over now Captain Peacock ?” He replies, “Not now Mr Harman.” Harman then says, “Do you know how to set up the central display unit Captain Peacock ?” Peacock then questions him, “Why do you ask ?” Harman responds with, ” Because in five minutes you’re going to have to do it as I’ve got two tickets for Queen’s Park Rangers.” There have been regular showings of this classic Series on UK Gold.

Steve Russell