Comedy writer Jeremy Lloyd, the man behind both ‘Allo ‘Allo! and Are You Being Served?, died penniless, documents have revealed.
The comic genius, who passed away on December 23 last year, created two of Britain’s best loved sitcoms, but his estate was worth just £59,218 at his death, according to the probate office.
Lloyd reportedly planned to leave his wealth behind to wife Lizzie and ex-fiancee actress Charlotte Rampling, but after his outstanding affairs were settled, his estate was worth nothing.
Lloyd, who married three times – including briefly to actress Joanna Lumley – began his career as an actor before penning jokes for Morecambe and Wise and Bruce Forsyth among others.
He achieved huge success, however, with his two sitcoms, beginning with Are You Being Served? in 1972.
Jeremy Lloyd with ex-wife Joanna Lumley (PA)
He used his own experiences working in Simpsons of Piccadilly to write the comedy set in the fictional Grace Brothers department store.
The risque humour and famous catchphrases, such as camp Mr Humphries’s ‘I’m Free’, saw it draw in up to 22 million viewers and last for 13 years. In 2004, it was ranked 20th on the BBC’s list of Britain’s Best Sitcoms.
Its success led the way for ‘Allo ‘Allo in 1982, about WWII French cafe owner Rene Artois (Gordon Kaye) and infatuated waitress Yvette (Vikki Michelle).
The cast of Are You Being Served? (PA)
Resistance fighter Michelle Dubois’ oft-repeated line: “Listen very carefully, I shall say ‘zis only once!” became the title for Lloyd’s autobiography.
Born the son of an Army colonel and a dancer in troupe The Tiller Girls, he grew up to be awarded an OBE for services to comedy in 2012.
He died last December, aged 84, in hospital after a battle with pneumonia. He married his third wife just six months before his death.