Pilot is the first episode of Are You Being Served's first series which aired on September 8, 1972.

Episode summaryEdit

Mr. Grainger, head of the Men's Ready-Made Department, is not a happy camper. After 25 years, he is being forced to share his floor with women!

Immediately he and Mrs. Slocombe (head of Ladies' Intimate Apparel, their new roommates), come to blows over territory and displays. The new men's junior, Mr. Lucas is learning fluting (handkerchief) lessons from Floorwalker Captain Peacock, while Assistant Salesman Mr. Humphries provides life lessons on how to survive at Grace Brothers. Mr. Lucas also shows off his seam-straightening skills on Mrs. Slocombe, who reports to Miss Brahms (ladies' Junior) that his hands were actually rather smooth, and we learn someone's naughty little secret. The major argument of the day: will the trouser display be moved so the Ladies' Department can put up a display of their own? After a lot of moaning and groaning on both sides, Mr. Grainger finally consents to allowing the Ladies' one display, and for it Mrs. Slocombe makes a choice that pretty much illuminates how relations between the two departments are probably going to be.


This episode sets the tone for things to come in the series.

Some history: this is the only black & white episode, but you knew that already. What you probably didn't know is that "BBC Colour" appears at the end of the credits.

This episode was a short-notice replacement in 1972, when a terrorist attack during the Munich Olympics forced many events to be cancelled. This caused several large gaps in programming that needed to be filled, the AYBS pilot was one of the programs called upon, it was aired...and the rest is history.

Episode QuotesEdit

Exactly how well-endowed is Mrs. Slocombe?: Mr. Humphries: "If she burns her bra we'll have to call out the London Fire brigade."

The hard sale: Mr. Lucas: "What size are you, sir?" Customer: "As a matter of fact, I was looking for the Gents'." Mr. Lucas: "In that case, size doesn't really come into it, does it?"

Upon learning of Peacock's Blue Cinema Club membership: Mr. Humphries: "I wondered why he brought that brown raincoat in the sale!"

More midnight blue: Mr. Humphries: "Well, if he (Peacock) knows that you know that he goes sitting in that little cinema, where there's no room for their legs and they all have their macks over their knees..." Mr. Lucas: "How do you know what it looks like?!?" Mr. Humphries: "My doctor sent me there for therapy." Mr. Lucas: "Did it work?" Mr. Humphries: "That's none of your business."

On Young Mr. Grace's departure: Mr. Humphries: "I wonder where he's going?" Mr. Lucas: "[int.]... a toss up between the bank and the undertaker."

The first meeting in Rumbold's: Mr. Rumbold: "We are here to discuss Mrs. Slocombe displaying her underwear. and later on Mrs. Slocombe: "Look, what's me not having a baby have with him not taking his trousers down?"


Also appearingEdit


Revealing mistakeEdit

When Mr. Lucas says, "I am about to find the 'other' pair of trousers." The tear in the trousers can already be seen, before he puts his knee into it.


  • Mr. Humphries shows Mr. Lucas how to stretch a jacket by kneeing the stitching to make it feel roomier. This is a trick writer/creator Jeremy Lloyd picked up while working as a junior at Simpson's Department Store.