Are You Being Served? actor Nicholas Smith dies aged 81

(Image credit: PA WIRE)

Nicolas Smith, the actor who played store manager Mr Rumbold in hit BBC comedy Are You Being Served?, has died aged 81.

Smith was the last surviving cast member of the popular show, which regularly pulled in audiences of 20 million during the 1970s and early 1980s.

"It is with great sadness we can confirm that our client passed away yesterday," his agents at Michelle Braidman Associates said.  "He was a lovely man and a terrific actor. He will be much missed by all who knew him."

Smith, who died in hospital on Sunday, had been in hospital for seven weeks following a fall at home

His daughter is the actress Catherine Russell, who plays Serena Campbell in Holby City and she tweeted some recent footage of him on YouTube playing his own composition at the piano called The Music Lesson.

She said: "My dad died. But before he did we got this gem. One of his own compositions."

Set in fictitious department store Grace Brothers, Are You Being Served? ran from 1972 to 1985 and  also starred John Inman, Mollie Sugden, Frank Thornton and former EstEnders star Wendy Richard alongside Smith, who played Cuthbert "Jug Ears" Rumbold, the manager.

Born in 1934 in Banstead, Surrey, Smith's other TV roles included parts in Doctor Who, The Frost Report, The Saint, Z Cars and The Avengers.


Sean Marland

Sean is a Senior Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week, who also writes for He's been covering the world of TV for over 15 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are I'm Alan Partridge, The Wire, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.