Wednesday, 3 April 2019

A Comedy On This Day: Are You Being Served? - Camping In (4 April 1973)



 This week's convenient occurrence that gets all of the staff together in silly costumes is a transport strike, meaning that they have to stay on the shop floor overnight, making use of tents stocked by Grace Brothers' Camping Department.

 To bring home just how old this 46 year-old programme now is, their captivity brings out the staff's Blitz spirit, and after a chorus of 'Keep The Home Fires Burning' the company start to reminisce about the War (then only 28 years ago). We learn that Captain Peacock was a desert rat (contested in later episodes), Mr Rumbold was in the Catering Corps, Mrs Slocombe was in ARP ("I was merely a slip of a girl") and, most intriguingly, Mr Grainger was in ENSA ("I used to do impersonations. I called myself Whimsical Willie. I did impersonations of Hitler and Goring and Goebbels and Von Ribbentrop and Lord Haw Haw.") It’s a curious little bit of character background in a generally broad piece.

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