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Comedy by its very nature is politically incorrect

Although often cast as a straight man, actor Frank Thornton was most famous for his roles in comedies.

Acting in more than 60 films, he most famously he played the stuffy Captain Peacock, at department store Grace Brother, the setting for the sitcom Are You Being Served?

Frank had made frequent earlier TV appearances including in Steptoe and Son and made an appearance in the famous Blood Donor episode of Hancock’s Half Hour.

With ambitions to become an actor from childhood, Frank became an insurance clerk when he left school and took drama classes at night, with a brief start in the theatre before joining up to serve in the RAF during the Second World War.

He returned to the stage, then won roles in films and on TV, before being cast in the role that made him a household name. He said his wife hated the moustache he grew for the role.

After Are You Being Served, the actor took to the stage again, in drama, farce and musicals, as well as featuring in a follow-up to Are You Being Served? called Grace and Favour.

In his seventies and eighties, the actor played the role of the pompous retired police officer Herbert “Truly” Truelove in the long running sitcom, Last of the Summer Wine.

Frank once joked about the snooty characters he played: “Getting into character was easy for me, because if you are tall you can easily look down your nose at someone.”