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Are You Being Served?: A Celebration of Twenty Five Years [Hardcover]

David Croft , Jeremy Lloyd , Richard Webber
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

26 Oct 1998
Eight and a half million viewers presently watch 'Are you being served' on BBC 1 on Saturday nights. 1998 marks the silver jubileeof 1st transmission. Sky Gold is continually re-running episodes and in the US it is 1 of the most popular cable TV programmes on the West coast. Are you being Served is not only a TV classic it is also a cult. To mark 25th anniversary we plan to publish an 'official' celebration book contributed to and endorsed by the writers David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd who will contribute original scripts and behind the scenes photographs as well as personal anecdotes. The book will review the history of programme inclyding how the original idea was developed. There will be character and main actor profiles, and first hand interviews with John Inman, Molly Sugden, Trevor Bannister, Arthur Brough, Frank Thornton, and Wendy Richard. This will be followed by an episode by episode guide including a cast list and original transmission date, features on the secretaries of Young Mr Grace who became famous and quotes and memories from special guests. Finally there will be a section on the feature film.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (26 Oct 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752817957
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752817958
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 19.3 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 199,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

? Seven million plus viewers ? Croft and Perry will promote: Radio, TV, signings and buyer's lunch ? Dedicated fan club of 12,000 members Richard Webber is one of Britain's foremost show business journalists. He contributes regularly to a whole host of newspapers and magazines from the Independent to the Daily Mirror, Hello! to Radio Times and Bella. He is the author of numerous books, including the Dad's Army Scripts and The Complete A-Z of Only Fools and Horses.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One couldn't ask for more from such a book. 6 Feb 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a must for anyone who likes AYBS.

It has everything one can ask for: detailed episode guides ; leading cast bios and information about actors who played customers, nice color and B&W photos, background stories , fun facts and useless facts :-) (Mrs. Slocombe's hair color statistics table, with green at first place - in 10 episodes ! ) and a glimpse at the chilly to mocking press reviews it used to get at the time ("Candidates for the most inept comedy series of the year so far should definitely include ATV's It's Tarbuch on Tuesdays... Marginally worse is BBC1's AYBS on Wednesdays..." Morning Star 1973)

It also covers Grace & Favour and the movie.
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4.0 out of 5 stars British Comedy at its best 5 April 2009
By Rob
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Hard to find book, just a good read. If you like the tv show, this is a must for your bookshelf. When its gone, its gone. Get one now. The PC zellotts wont allow anything this good again.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Tribute! 29 Nov 2001
By Tiggah - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This lovely and indeed comprehensive tribute book commences with an introduction by Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft (co-writers of the series) and a foreword by Lloyd's ex-wife (and two-time guest), Joanna Lumley, and it is sure to be treasured by fans of this entertaining British comedy.
What makes this book so enjoyable is the amount of participation author Richard Webber has received from everyone involved in the production (from writers, directors, costume designers, etc., to the actors themselves), and the book is filled with their many anecdotes. In the case of deceased actors Harold Bennett (Young Mr. Grace) and Arthur Brough (Mr. Grainger), assistance has been provided by their son and daughter, respectively.
The book includes a detailed history of the series--how it came about, how the actors were chosen, why certain actors left the show, how certain effects were achieved, and so on. Also included are chapters on the stage show, the movie, the 90's sequel (Grace and Favour also known as Are You Being Served? Again!) and a look at the success of the show (and its US and Aussie spinoffs) abroad.
My favourite parts are the four-page bios of the original cast, which includes b/w and sepia photos of the actors at various ages and stages in their careers. (A priceless inclusion are the childhood photos of most of these actors). This is followed by one-half- to one-page bios of "other memorable characters"--the maintenance men, the replacements for Mr. Grainger and Mr. Lucas, Old Mr. Grace, the nurse, and the canteen manageress. There are separate chapters for the secretaries and the lift girls with brief quarter-page bios and tiny b/w photos of each. Finally, there is a chapter devoted to "familiar faces" which contains brief quarter-page bios & tiny b/w photos of every actor to have appeared as a guest on the show.
The book also includes a complete episode guide, often with a particularly memorable snippet of dialogue from the episode being summarized or a "memory" from one of the cast of crew. An episode guide and brief quarter-page bios are also provided for Grace and Favour. Finally, there is a detailed index.
The book is a 10" x 7 3/4" 176-page hardcover printed on thick, good-quality paper with a matte finish, and it contains many b/w and colour photos throughout.
In conclusion, this is an attractive, well-researched, well-written, comprehensive and thoroughly enjoyable look back at one of Britain's most popular comedies and at the cast and crew who made it so memorable. Very highly recommended!
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Are you still free after 25 years? 25 July 2002
By Daniel J. Hamlow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
For those of you who have the Are You Being Served? book by Adrian Rigelsford--are you free? For those of you who don't, are you also free? Well, gather around everybody, and that also includes special Grace Brothers board members.
This 25th anniversary book by Richard Webber with the two co-creators of the show, Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft, is basically an update of the previous book, but in a slightly different format. The story-by-story synopses are there, but instead of the * to **** ratings, there are memorable dialogue bits, that are always good for a laugh or two.
New material: familiar BBC performers who made guest appearances (mostly as hapless customers) on the show, with a short bio on each one. However, why was Gorden Kaye, who later starred in Lloyd and Croft's French Resistance comedy, 'Allo 'Allo, excluded from this section? Also, an episode-by-episode list of guest appearances.
What really perks me are younger photographs of the stars. They are recognizable but it's interesting to see how they looked before they joined Grace Brothers. And Lloyd and Croft's personal observations on the stars are filled with the fondest and highest respect.
There are bios on some of the minor but regular performers, such as Vivienne Johnson (Mr. Grace's nurse), Milo Sperber (Mr. Grossman) and Benny Lee (Mr. Klein), as well as those in Grace And Favour.
There are some updates. Inbetween books, Arthur English, who played Mr. Harman the packing department head, died in 1995, as did Billy Burden (Mr. Moulterd), in 1994.
However, the icing on the cake is the list of hot dolly bird secretaries who appeared throughout the season. My favorites: Penny Irving, the luscious redhead who appeared during the show's peak era, Louise Burton, and the Barbie Doll Candy Davis, who now got a Master's degree and is teaching. Wow, brain and beauty! How rare! Another hottie, Debbie Linden, sadly died in 1997.
My recommendation: get this AFTER the Adrian Rigelsford book to get the optimal enjoying effect. You'll be right as rain then.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it! 18 Aug 1999
By Glencheck@aol.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book was really good in that it spent a lot of time telling about how the show started, and the set, and all. I also liked the pictures of the actors and actresses in different stages of their life...John Inman was so cute. And, I'm so glad someone finally included bios of the customers and such!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for the AYBS fan 11 May 2000
By pontmarie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have watched this show for years and this is such a great book. There are episode details and bios, and even customer bios. Joanna Lumley from AbFab was in the show a couple of times.
If you like AYBS, get this!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Are you still free after 25 years? 25 July 2002
By Daniel J. Hamlow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
For those of you who have the Are You Being Served? book by Adrian Rigelsford--are you free? For those of you who don't, are you also free? Well, gather around everybody, and that also includes special Grace Brothers board members.
This 25th anniversary book by Richard Webber with the two co-creators of the show, Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft, is basically an update of the previous book, but in a slightly different format. The story-by-story synopses are there, but instead of the * to **** ratings, there are memorable dialogue bits, that are always good for a laugh or two.
New material: familiar BBC performers who made guest appearances (mostly as hapless customers) on the show, with a short bio on each one. However, why was Gorden Kaye, who later starred in Lloyd and Croft's French Resistance comedy, 'Allo 'Allo, excluded from this section? Also, an episode-by-episode list of guest appearances.
What really perks me are younger photographs of the stars. They are recognizable but it's interesting to see how they looked before they joined Grace Brothers. And Lloyd and Croft's personal observations on the stars are filled with the fondest and highest respect.
There are bios on some of the minor but regular performers, such as Vivienne Johnson (Mr. Grace's nurse), Milo Sperber (Mr. Grossman) and Benny Lee (Mr. Klein), as well as those in Grace And Favour.
There are some updates. Inbetween books, Arthur English, who played Mr. Harman the packing department head, died in 1995, as did Billy Burden (Mr. Moulterd), in 1994.
However, the icing on the cake is the list of hot dolly bird secretaries who appeared throughout the season. My favorites: Penny Irving, the luscious redhead who appeared during the show's peak era, Louise Burton, and the Barbie Doll Candy Davis, who now got a Master's degree and is teaching. Wow, brain and beauty! How rare! Another hottie, Debbie Linden, sadly died in 1997.
My recommendation: get this AFTER the Adrian Rigelsford book to get the optimal enjoying effect. You'll be right as rain then.
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