It starred John Inman as Graham Jones, able secretary to executive Joan Warner (Rula Lenska). Episodes primarily focused on the office and home of Mrs. Warner, a divorced woman in her 30's trying to balance her career and family in (still-sexist) 1980s England; Margaret Thatcher may have been in 10 Downing Street, but Mrs. Warner was still suffering in a man's world. Mr. Jones and Mrs. Warner worked for the fictional multinational corporation called 8-Star
While Take A Letter, Mr. Jones worked to dispel stereotypes about female executives, it seemed to pander to others:
- Mr. Jones could not escape the oddity of being a "male secretary" to a female boss - at least not without insinuation that there was sexual interest between him (a 40-something bachelor) and Mrs. Warner. To the programme's credit (although not very realistically), no one who found it odd that Mr. Jones was a male secretary questioned his sexuality.
- Female secretaries at 8-Star used sex to get along with their male bosses: when one mentions that she laddered her tights in the boss' office and suggests that the company should offer a clothing allowance, Mr. Jones quips that "It might just be cheaper to get him to cut his fingernails".
- Much comedy is culled from Mrs. Warner's "mad Italian" maid Maria, an overweight, over-excitable, Italian woman whose English is below par (played by British actressMiriam Margolyes, OBE). Along with being maid, Maria helped care for Mrs. Warner's 6-year old daughter Lucy (Claudine Bowyer).
|#||Title||Director||Writers||Original air date|
|1||"The Interview"||Bryan Izzard||Chesney and Wolfe||5 September 1981|
|2||"The Protector"||Bryan Izzard||Chesney and Wolfe||12 September 1981|
|3||"The Holiday"||Bryan Izzard||Chesney and Wolfe||19 September 1981|
|4||"The Japanese Contract"||Bryan Izzard||Chesney and Wolfe||26 September 1981|
|5||"The Trade Fair"||Bryan Izzard||Chesney and Wolfe||3 October 1981|
|6||"Business Before Pleasure"||Bryan Izzard||Chesney and Wolfe||10 October 1981|
John Inman starred in Take A Letter, Mr. Jones between seasons of the BBC comedy Are You Being Served?. Take A Letter, Mr. Jones was never a ratings success (only running one season), but in recent years it has been resurrected by many American PBS stations, where Are You Being Served? is also a hit.
A US VHS set of the series was released by Questar in 1995