There’s some good news for fans of Are You Being Served? this week: a pilot episode for a potential brand new series will be recorded at the BBC on March 5th! Finally the powers that be are looking at reviving the show that’s been "gracing" American television sets for years, but hasn’t been seen in the U.K. since the series ended in 1985.
According to a statement released by the BBC, the one-off show will be “picking up where Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft's much loved comedy left off, the show will bring Grace Brothers and some of the nation's all-time favorite sitcom characters including Mrs. Slocombe, Captain Peacock, Miss Brahms, and Mr. Humphries back to life.”
No word yet on who’ll be in the pilot episode, all that’s known is that it’ll be "an all star cast." Sadly only Mike Berry, who played Bert Spooner, remains with us from the department stores regulars, and it’s not known if he’ll be appearing in the revival. The 73-year-old is still crooning, though, and just a couple of weeks ago he appeared on the BBC talent show The Voice, where he auditioned with the Buddy Holly song “True Love Ways”. Unfortunately, Berry didn’t survive to the next round.
Before joining Are You Being Served?, as the replacement for Mr. Lucas, played by Trevor Bannister, Berry was more known for his singing abilities. He had three hit songs in the 1960s and in 1964 toured with the Rolling Stones. Berry found that experience “magic”. As he said in an interview “you could go on sweeping the stage and you’d bring the house down.”
During the 1970s as well as singing, Berry was also a model and it was then that he added acting to his resume. He appeared in television commercials, a children’s television series, and was ultimately cast in Are You Being Served? Berry stayed with the series until 1985. His character left the show to become a pop singer at the conclusion of the series. Berry chose not to reprise his role as Spooner in the spin-off series, Grace & Favour, which aired in 1992 and 1993.
Working on Are You Being Served? was reportedly one of the most “enjoyable experiences” of Berry’s professional life. He especially seems to have loved working with the rest of the cast. "We all had enormous fun and I became very fond of them, particularly Wendy, John and Molly. We had a similar sense of humour and therefore a lot of laughs.”
After he left Are You Being Served? Berry went back to singing and he continues to write and record. You can see Berry’s audition for The Voice here:
And of course you can see Are You Being Served? each and every weekday afternoon on MPT at 2pm.
If you’ve got a tidbit of information about an actor or show you see on Afternoon Tea, or if there’s someone you’d like to know more about, drop me a line.
To contact Heather:
Address: Afternoon Tea
Maryland Public Television
11767 Owings Mills Blvd.
Owings Mills, MD 21117