Keeping Up Appearances, 1990
In Tribute To Clive Swift Who Has Died, Aged 82
Another Roy Clarke classic, only this time set away from Yorkshire. Clarke’s wonderful comic creation Hyacinth Bucket is one of British Sitcoms finest characters. Keping Up Appearances ran for series notching up forty four episodes, including four Christmas Specials.
Created and written by Roy Clarke for the BBC. the show centres on the life of an eccentric, social-climbing snob. This clever sitcom portrayed a social hierarchy-ruled British society. It makes jokes about a small obsessive world where a determined snobbish middle class woman desperately and continually looks for opportunities to climb the social ladder, despite being wedged between a working-class background and upper-class aspirations, just below her sister Violet (whose house has a swimming pool, sauna, and room for a pony) and just above her working-class sisters Daisy and Rose.
Patricia Routledge won 2 BAFTA nominations for her portrayal of Hyacinth. The show is the BBC’s most sold sitcom worldwide.
Hyacinth Bucket — who insists her surname is pronounced Bouquet — is a social-climbing snob who spends her time visiting stately homes, hosting “executive-style” candlelight suppers, bragging of her “white slimline telephone with automatic redial” and maintaining the integrity of her woodblock floor, wallpaper, and status in the community, name-dropping at any hint of an opportunity.
Her sole aim in life is to impress neighbours, friends, and important people. When answering the telephone, she greets the caller with “The Bouquet residence, the lady of the house speaking!”
Hindering her best efforts are her underclass sisters Daisy (Judy Cornwell) and Rose (Shirley Stelfox in series 1; Mary Millar thereafter), and Daisy’s proudly “bone-idle” husband Onslow (Geoffrey Hughes).
This comic threesome, along with Hyacinth’s senile father, are forever turning up inconveniently (usually in their clapped out Ford Cortina – which always makes a characteristic backfire when it pulls up and embarrassing Hyacinth, who goes to great lengths to avoid them.
David Griffin (series 2 – 5)
Mary Millar (series 2 – 5)
Shirley Stelfox (series 1)
Created and Written By: Roy Clarke
Produced By: Harold Snoad
Original Transmission Dates: 29th October 1990 – 25th December 1995