Are You Being Served?'s Mollie Sugden

Tea Time Tidbit for the week of July 9, 2018

Tea Time Tidbit

Sugden as Mrs. Slocombe

If you were a fan of ‘Allo, ‘Allo, be sure to tune into Are You Being Served? on Thursday at 3:30pm, as Gordon Kaye, who played French café owner, Rene Artois, makes a very funny cameo appearance. This particular episode is the one in which Mrs. Slocombe, played by Mollie Sugden, gets to take over from Mr. Rumbold after he goes down with a bad case of food poisoning. The episode is from season 7 of AYBS and in it you’ll see that Mrs. Slocombe sports at least two different hair colors.

Having her character change hair color was reportedly Sugden’s idea – along with removing her earring every time she’s speaking on the phone – but in the earlier series the BBC didn’t have the money to purchase different colored wigs. Instead, Sugden dyed her hair a different color each week. When the series became successful enough for the BBC to purchase wigs for Sugden, no one was probably more relieved than the actress’s twin sons, given that their mother liked to pick them up from school each day.

The twins were just eight years old when the pilot episode of AYBS first aired in 1972. It ran for 13 years, but they still recall how their mother would “turn up at the school gates with bright purple hair” – before it became a fashion statement!

Tea Time Tidbit

Sugden and Moore in My Husband and I

Sugden’s husband, William Moore, was also an actor who appeared in numerous British television shows, including one with his wife, called My Husband and I. In it, Sugden starred as the high-powered head of personnel at a prestigious advertising agency, whose husband – played by Moore - takes a job as chief doorman for her company.

Another show Moore appeared in was To the Manor Born, where he played the local station master in an episode we’ll be airing on Friday, July 13th at 2pm.

Sugden and Moore were married for 42 years, until his death in 2000 at the age of 84. Sugden died shortly before her 87th birthday in July of 2009 of unspecified heart failure.

To contact Heather:
E-mail: heather@mpt.org
Address: Afternoon Tea
Maryland Public Television
11767 Owings Mills Blvd.
Owings Mills, MD 21117

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Afternoon Tea is Maryland Public Television's weekday presentation of British programs.
Our host and Tea Lady is Heather Sanderson.
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