Goodbye to John “I’m free” Inman who died in the early hours of this morning at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.
He was iconically famous as the dreadfully camp (but not gay of course!) Mr Humphries in the camp 70’s BBC TV sit-com Are You Being Served ? which – in those long off days before satellite and cable channels – was able to draw audiences of over 20 million viewers at its zenith. Ah, those were the days.
Inman made his stage debut in the musical Ann Veronica at the Cambridge Theatre (even we hadn’t heard of that one) and later went on to appear in Charley’s Aunt at the Adelphi. For 17 months he played London’s notorious Windmill Theatre and Let’s Get Laid at the Whitehall with Fiona Richmond. He was a regular pantomime performer usually playing the Dame.
Born in Preston and the cousin of actress Josephine Tewson (Elizabeth in 90’s camp sit-com Keeping Up Appearances), Inman was partner of Barry Howard from that other camp sit-com Hi De Hi but later became the long time partner (33 years) of Ron Lynch entering into a civil partnership in December 2005 .
Let’s hope Mr Inman is “going up”.