I just read the news at Instapundit that Molly Sugden died on Wednesday at the age of 86. She played the indomitable Mrs. Slocombe on the British comedy, Are You Being Served? and one of her signature phrases was, “And I am unanimous in that!”
My late life partner, Margaret Ardussi, was quadriplegic due to multiple sclerosis the last 10 years of her life. She spent most of her time in her hospital bed watching television and loved PBS, especially the British dramas like Upstairs, Downstairs, All Creatures Great and Small and the British comedies. Our favorite was Are You Being Served? with Molly Sugden, John Inman, Frank Thornton and Wendy Richard. Wendy Richard died earlier this year of cancer. She played Miss Brahms, Mrs. Slocombe’s Cockney young assistant.
I do find it hard now to watch any of the British shows I loved to watch with Margaret because I feel her presence so much when I do and miss her terribly. But, when we watched them together every Saturday night, I noticed something wonderful about the writing of the Britcoms, as PBS called them, which was that we could watch them over and over and over and delight in them every time. It’s now one of my criteria for successful writing, “How much can I stand to see or read this again and again?”
(I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read the Horatio Hornblower series, Kim by Rudyard Kipling, Middlemarch by George Elliot, or Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.)