John Inman’s friends organise memorial gig

PinkNews Staff Writer August 6, 2007
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John Inman is to be honoured with a tribute show in London next month.

He was best known for playing one of the most prominent camp characters in British TV history.

Mr Inman’s portrayal of Mr Humphries in the popular BBC comedy Are You Being Served made him a household name.

In March he died in St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, west London, aged 71.

His catchphrase, “I’m free,” and his camp mannerisms and double-entendres made his Mr Humphries character one of the most obviously gay voices on television.

Both Inman and the producers of Are You Being Served denied that Mr Humphries compounded a stereotype of gay men. In 1976 John Inman was named BBC TV personality of the year.

On September 30th Are You Being Served co-stars Trevor Bannister (Mr Lucas) and Frank Thornton (Captain Peacock), Danny La Rue and others will perform a benefit gig in his memory at the Lyric Theatre in London.

The charities fund of The Grand Order of Water Rats will benefit from the event along with The Entertainment Artists Benevolent Fund.

Mr Inman’s agent Phil Dale told

“Everyone on the bill worked with John or counted themselves as a personal friend. It will be a wonderful evening and a celebration of his life.”

Mr Inman remained a popular figure after the sitcom came to an end in 1985, after twelve years and 69 episodes.

He worked in panto for many years, and also starred in an Australian version of Are You Being Served which ran for 13 episodes in the early 1980s.

In December 2005 Mr Inman formed a civil partnership with his partner of 33 years, Ron Lynch.

Actress Rula Lenska, who worked with Mr Inman, told the BBC at the time of his death:

“It was suggestive but never in your face or aggressive. It had an innocent quality that you rarely find today.

“He was a joy to work with and even after an exhausting day in pantomime he would have time for the fans who crowded round the stage door.”

In 2004 Mr Inman had to cancel opening a pantomime in London, and revealed that he had been told that he had Hepatitis A some years previously.

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