Are You Being Served?
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Are You Being Served?

Guildford : United Kingdom | Jul 05, 2009 at 7:20 PM PDT
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Are You Being Served?

All right, I'll admit it. I am a British comedy addict. Luckily for me, Iowa Public Television dedicates Saturday evening to British comedies - AND Red Green, of course. Today is a sad day for me, as I mourn the passing of Mollie Sugden. Sugden died on July 1, 2009. That name may not be a common, household name to many, but she was a well-known British actress. She starred in a number of comedies, but I came to love her in the slightly off-color "Are You Being Served?" which ran from 1972-1985 and endlessly on Iowa Public Television. Sugden played the authoritarian, if not a bit quirky, Mrs. Slocum, senior saleswoman in women's undergarments. She was quite often concerned about getting home to care for her "pussy" (as in pussy-cat), and trying to one-up Captain Peacock (played by Frank Thornton). At Grace Brothers department store, the cast of characters were always dishing up some sort of mischief usually ending up in disarray by the end of the 30 minute episode. Mrs. Slocum tried hard to keep young, attractive Miss Brahams (Wendy Richard) in line and in her place while interacting with a flamboyantly gay Mr. Humphries (John Inman), and a lecherous Mr. Lucas (Trevor Bannister). Department Store Manager, Mr. Rumbold (Nicholas Smith) was usually walking into the fray just as the cast was extricating themselves from the latest muck. Outrageous hairstyles and colors were Mrs. Slocum's trademark, with a purple hue used most often. She was a lovable sort, even while being completely irritating. Mollie Sugden, aged 86, will most definitely be missed on the British acting scene, even though Mrs. Slocum will continue to grace my television screen for many years. "Are You Being Served"? Yes, Mrs. Slocum, you have served us well.

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Mrs. Slocum, Mollie Sugden, in her prime on the British comedy, Are You Being Served?
alexandraames is based in Iowa City, Iowa, United States of America, and is a Stringer for Allvoices.
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  • British comedy actress Mollie Sugden dies at 86

      Arizona Republic
    British comic actress Mollie Sugden, who played the formidable saleswoman Mrs. Slocombe in the BBC's long running comedy series "Are You Being Served?", has died aged 86...As the bossy saleswoman who dominated the underwear section at the Grace...

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