Thursday, July 2, 2009

RIP, Mrs Slocombe

LONDON (Reuters) – British actress Mollie Sugden, best-known for her role as Mrs Slocombe in the television comedy series "Are You Being Served?," has died at the age of 86.
Her agent Joan Reddin told newspapers Sugden died on Wednesday after a long illness. "She was a lovely, lovely person. She was a great professional," Reddin said.
With her hair highly coiffed and referring frequently to her "pussy," Sugden played the bossy Mrs Slocombe throughout the run of the BBC's innuendo-laden Are You Being Served? between 1972 and 1985.

I love Are You Being Served? I used to watch reruns on PBS when I was a kid and my mother used to tell me that Mister Humphries (first photo below) was supposed to be gay, and I had no idea what she was talking about, even though on every episode there would be some sort of fashion show and he would dress up as a fairy and flit around the department store. I also didn't really get Mrs Slocombe's constant "pussy" references.

Anyway, Simone and I have discussed how Mrs Slocombe would make a great Hallloween costume, which we should probably do. First Bea Arthur, and now this! Who is going to replace these people! No one!

PS: Speaking of high camp/the recently departed, it's too bad there's not really going to be a showing of Michael Jackson's body at Neverland. If I were in Southern California, I would totally go. It would be a landmark moment in pop culture. Also I have this Michael Jackson half shirt from the 80's I could hawk for like $10,000.


Simone said...

OH MY GOD!!! I can't believe Mrs. Slocombe is dead and gone. I was OBSESSED with Are You Being Served as a child. I remember when I was in 6th grade we had to learn about how to make graphs or something and the teacher took a poll on everyone's favorite tv show to explain a venn diagram or something. Shockingly, I was the only kid who picked Are You Being Served. (And I used to wonder why I was so ostracized by my peers...)

I didn't understand any of the jokes on that show about her "pussy" or Mr. Humphries being a "fairy" but I did understand one thing: Mrs. Slocombe was fierce.
She was an early fashion inspiration to me. ESPECIALLY the hair. When I first dyed my hair pink and the tender age of 13, I was thinking of her... I've always assumed I'd get old and wear my hair in various pastel shades real high on my head.

houssan said...

Hello, during the last couple of days i've been reading your older post and all i can say is that you're amazing. I share your opinion on many things, and your writing is very funny and great and inspiring. Loving your blog with passion, thanks for keeping it up. :)

M said...

thank you! i just spent a long time looking at the photos on your blog and they are great. i too had an intense bowie obsession during my late high school years.

and i agree, mrs. slocombe is totally my role model for my golden years.

Alex said...

zomg I was way into that show and Keeping Up Appearances at age 12. And I definitely had the hots for Ms. Brahms.

You should do a post about Patricia Routledge. She is a critical bad ass in the vein of Mollie Sudgen and Bea Arthur.

Elina said...


Neat seeing many AYBS fans here! :-)

I run an official "Are You Being Served?" site at:

There are a lot of images and info pertaining to all the cast members.

There is also a lot of other stuff for the AYBS fan including a blog, forum and an online role playing game.