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Trevor Bannister

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Trevor Bannister
Trevor Bannister as Mr Lucas in
Are You Being Served?
Trevor Gordon Bannister

(1934-08-14)14 August 1934[1]
Died14 April 2011(2011-04-14) (aged 76)
Years active1956–2011
TelevisionThe War of Darkie Pilbeam
The Dustbinmen
Are You Being Served?
Last of the Summer Wine
Kathleen Cravos
(m. 1959, divorced)
Pamela Carson
(m. 1982)

Trevor Gordon Bannister (14 August 1934 – 14 April 2011)[2] was a British actor best known for having played the womanising and wisecracking junior salesman Mr Lucas in the sitcom Are You Being Served? from 1972 to 1979, and for his role as Toby Mulberry Smith in the long-running sitcom Last of the Summer Wine, from 2003 until it ended its run in 2010.


In 1960, Bannister appeared on stage at the Cambridge Theatre in London in Billy Liar, which starred Albert Finney. He starred as Darkie Pilbeam, a wartime spiv, in the 1968 television series The War of Darkie Pilbeam; from 1969 to 1970, he appeared as "Heavy Breathing" in Jack Rosenthal's sitcom, The Dustbinmen. Shortly afterwards, he was asked to play Mr. Lucas in a Comedy Playhouse pilot called Are You Being Served? and took the part in the series. It was originally intended as a vehicle for him as the average man caught up in the store full of odd characters and baroque customs and, for the first four series, he received top billing every other episode, alternating with Mollie Sugden. However, as it developed into more of an ensemble piece, he found his role (and his billing) being greatly reduced as other characters came to the top.[3] He left the role in 1980, as filming for the show clashed with a lengthy tour for a play.[4]

In 1972, he appeared as the weak-bladdered producer of a local theatre company in Steptoe and Son, Episode 2 series 7 – "A Star is Born". He played Peter Pitt in the 1988 BBC sitcom Wyatt's Watchdogs. Other TV appearances include Keeping Up Appearances as the kitchen salesman, and he also appeared in Call Earnshaw, Gideon's Way, The Saint, The Tomorrow People, Only on Sunday and The Avengers. Bannister played three different characters in the ITV soap Coronation Street.[3] From 2001, he played a recurring character (The Golf Captain) in Last of the Summer Wine.[3] He became a series regular in 2009, coinciding with the 30th series. Finally receiving a name ("Toby Mulbery-Smith"), he moved next door to Barry and Glenda (Mike Grady and Sarah Thomas), and befriended Morton (Christopher Beeny).

Although Bannister appeared in a few films including Reach for the Sky (1956), Au Pair Girls (1972) and the film version of Are You Being Served? (1977), he worked mostly in the theatre, with credits including Billy Liar and the farce Move Over, Mrs Markham. Bannister also performed in Shakespeare and was a regular in pantomime for more than 35 years, nearly always playing the dame.[5] In 2007, he guest starred in the Doctor Who audio adventure Nocturne.

His final appearance was in the TV series New Tricks episode "Old Fossils" broadcast 4 July 2011.

Personal life and death[edit]

Bannister was the youngest of three siblings. His first marriage was to actress Kathleen Cravos in 1959. They had three sons together and later divorced. He married Pamela Carson in 1982.[2]

Bannister died on 14 April 2011, aged 76, after a heart attack at his allotment in Thames Ditton, Surrey.[6] Are You Being Served? and Last of the Summer Wine co-star Frank Thornton said that the last event Bannister attended was Thornton's 90th birthday on 15 January 2011, three months before Bannister died.[7]

Acting credits[edit]


Year Title Role Notes
1956 Reach for the Sky Young Officer uncredited
1965 One Way Pendulum Groomkirby's Co-Worker uncredited
1972 Au Pair Girls Photographer
1977 Are You Being Served? Mr. Lucas
1992 Hostage Mason
1999 Captain Jack Holiday-maker


Year Title Role Notes
1960 The Secret Kingdom Journalist Episode: #1.3
1960 Theatre Night Arthur Crabtree Episode: "Billy Liar"
1962 Z-Cars Second Boy Episode: "The Five Whistles"
1963 Moonstrike Flight Lt. Ronald Lee 4 episodes
1963 Compact Floor Manager 2 episodes
1964 Love Story Mechanic Episode: "The Human Element"
1964 Sergeant Cork Clem Butley Episode: "The Case of Big Ben Lewis"
1964 Story Parade Phil Tombs Episode: "The Man Who Won the Pools"
1964 Catch Hand William Collins Episode: "It's Never the Same"
1964 It's a Woman's World Milkman Episode: "Laura"
1964 ITV Play of the Week Cledwyn Williams Episode: "Undercurrent"
1965 The Villains Red Episode: "A Joker for Your Button Hole"
1965 Thursday Theatre Jack Lucas Episode: "Celebration"
1965 Meet the Wife Police Constable Episode: "The Ring"
1965 Lil Dr. Richardson Episode: "The Surgery"
1965 Our Man at St. Mark's Frederick Barrett Episode: "One"
1965 Z-Cars Billy Dunn Episode: "One Good Turn"
1965 The Wednesday Thriller Archie Episode: "The Imposter"
1965 Object Z Peter Barry All 6 episodes
1966 Dr. Finlay's Casebook Harry Vincent Episode: "Miss Letitia"
1966 No Hiding Place Eddie Bates Episode: "The Lifer"
1966 ITV Play of the Week John Thomas Raynor Episode: "Tickets Please"
1966 Object Z Returns Peter Barry All 6 episodes
1966 The Man in Room 17 Martin Fowler Episode: "The Black Witch"
1966 Gideon's Way P.C. John Moss Episode: "The Reluctant Witness"
1966 Mrs Thursday Harold Wright 2 episodes
1966 Softly, Softly Mr. Barton Episode: "Best Out of Three"
1966 The Informer Porter Episode: "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You"
1966 Intrigue Syrett Episode: "It Pays to Pick Brains"
1966 Thirty-Minute Theatre Basil Episode: "O-Goshi"
1967 Turn Out the Lights Ricky Dean Episode: "A Big Hand for a Little Lady"
1967 The Avengers Gordon Episode: "Something Nasty in the Nursery"
1967 No Hiding Place Johnny Cooper Episode: "Gentle Persuasion"
1967 ITV Play of the Week Brian Miller Episode: "Travelling Light"
1967 Dixon of Dock Green Eddie Farrell Episode: "The Climber"
1968 Softly, Softly Elgin Episode: "In Bulk"
1968 The Troubleshooters Bob Plater Episode: "A Girl to Warm Your Feet On"
1968 ITV Playhouse Joseph Pyne Episode: "Rogues' Gallery: The Tale of Lancelot Wishart"
1968 Champion House Lenny Carter Episode: "Guilty"
1968 Public Eye Briers Episode: "Cross That Palm When We Come to It"
1968 Orlando Toulouse Quelquechose 4 episodes
1968 Television Theatre from... Gareth Episode: "Zombie"
1968 The War of Darkie Pilbeam Darkie Pilbeam All 3 episodes
1968 Her Majesty's Pleasure Flash Moseley Episode: "Thanks for the Memory"
1969 The Saint Johnny Fox Episode: "Portrait of Brenda"
1969 Softly, Softly Dennington Episode: "Critical Path"
1969 Z-Cars Ned Corby 2 episodes
1969 Thirty-Minute Theatre Jacko Episode: "The Victims: A Degree of Stress"
1969–1970 The Dustbinmen Heavy Breathing All 21 episodes
1969 Plays of Today Japhet Episode: "A Voyage Round My Father"
1970 Two D's and a Dog Captain Byng Episode: "Military Pickles"
1971 Doomwatch Dr. Anthony Lewis Episode: "Public Enemy"
1971 It's Awfully Bad for Your Eyes, Darling Eldred Episode: "The Man Who Came to Dinner"
1971 Cider with Rosie Father TV film
1972 Steptoe and Son Rupert Ffaines-Muir Episode: "A Star Is Born"
1972 Country Matters Arthur Dagnall Episode: "The Sullens Sisters"
1972–1979 Are You Being Served? Mr. Lucas 48 episodes
1974 Armchair Theatre Mike Episode: "If You Could See What I Can See"
1975 The Tomorrow People Colonel Masters 4 Episodes: "Secret Weapon"
1994 Keeping Up Appearances Salesman Episode: "Angel Gabriel Blue"
1996 Silent Witness Gary’s Solicitor Season 1 Episode 1 Part 2
2001–2010 Last of the Summer Wine Toby Mulberry-Smith 24 episodes
2006 Coronation Street Solicitor 5 episodes
2009 Casualty Mr. Walter Episode: "Midday Sun"
2011 New Tricks Bob Ruxton Episode: "Old Fossils"


Year Title Venue Notes
1957 The Touch of Fear Newquay Theatre, Newquay
1960 Billy Liar Cambridge Theatre, London
1966 Early One Morning Arts Theatre, London
1973 Move Over, Mrs Markham Vaudeville Theatre, London
1975 The Mating Game Theatre Royal, Windsor
1981-82 Dick Whittington and his Cat Beck Theatre, Hayes
1982 Clouds Theatre Royal, Windsor
1983 Hobson’s Choice Theatre Royal, Bath
1983 The Birthday Suite Redgrave Theatre, Farnham
1983 The Mating Game Theatre Royal, Windsor
1983-84 Aladdin Festival Theatre, Chichester
1984 The Birthday Suite Beck Theatre, Hayes
1984-85 Aladdin Congress Theatre, Eastbourne
1985 Suddenly at home New Theatre, Cardiff
1987 Your place or mine? Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guilford
1988-89 Aladdin Theatre Royal, Margate
1989-90 Cinderella Theatre Royal, Margate
1990-91 Cinderella Theatre Royal, St Helens
1991-92 Jack and the Beanstalk Wyvern Theatre, Swindon
1994 The Good Times Will Come Old Red Lion Theatre, London
1994 Funny Money Thorndike Theatre, Leatherhead
1995 Seaside Postcard Pier Theatre, Bournemouth
1996 Funny Money Playhouse Theatre, London
1997-98 Jack and the Beanstalk Harlequin Theatre, Redhill
1998-99 Jack and the Beanstalk Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guilford
1999-00 Aladdin Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guilford
2000 Caught in the Net Theatre Royal, Windsor


  1. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Hayward, Anthony (17 April 2011). "Trevor Bannister obituary". The Guardian. London.
  3. ^ a b c Webber, Richard (29 September 2007). "What happened to... ? Mr Lucas from Are You Being Served?". Daily Express.
  4. ^ "Obituary: Trevor Bannister, actor". 27 February 2013.
  5. ^ Oonagh Jaquest (December 2003). "Dame Academy: 35 Years of fellers in frocks". BBC. Archived from the original on 25 February 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2006.
  6. ^ "Are You Being Served? star Trevor Bannister dies at 76". BBC. 15 April 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  7. ^ Corey Ross (29 March 2010). "Diamond anniversary for theatre loving couple". Salisbury Journal. salisburyjournal.co.uk. Retrieved 27 January 2012.

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