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Mollie Sugden

Mollie Sugden, who aged 50 finally found fame in 1972 playing Are You Being Served's colourfully-rinsed battleaxe Mrs Slocombe, deserves hero status for her ability to get through the single-entendres about her pussy without cracking a smile; for brilliant comic timing learned in years of rep; and for her priceless facial expressions. She had previously played in another classic sitcom The Liver Birds, where again her portrayal of the snobbish, domineering, social climbing Mrs Hutchinson was a regular highlight. Not the subtlest of actresses, but then great clowns are rarely subtle, she was nevertheless a brilliant one.

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Bexhill on Sea is a peck on the cheek: Hastings is a lolloping tongue down the throat - Jo Brand
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