Young Hyacinth, 2016
The original Keeping Up Appearances had run for five series when it’s star Patricia Routledge decided it was time to move on. Being the BBC’s most successful sitcom in terms of overseas sales, it had to play a part in the Landmark Comedy Season. As Patricia Routledge has always refused to reprise the role, writer Roy Clarke was asked to write a prequel.
Prequels were nothing new to Clarke who had previously had success with his Last Of The Summer Wine prequel “First Of The Summer Wine” and the BBC does nostalgia so very well.
Despite having the same writer as the original series none of the original cast appear in the prequel. Kerry Howard takes on the role of a Young Hyacinth and nails it, but sadly the show failed to hit the spot. However I always felt given a series to develop it would probably have gone on to be a success.
Young Hyacinth is set some forty years before “Keeping Up Appearances”.
Hyacinth and her sisters live together in a crowded canal cottage with their Father, a part-time brush salesman with a drink problem.
Hyacinth dreams of matching china and a bedroom in pastel shades. But her desperate attempts to transform her sisters and her darling Daddy into an altogether better class of family are not appreciated.
If only the family were more like the Cooper-Smiths, in whose house Hyacinth works as a maid. Because now she has had a glimpse of how the elegant upper classes live, there can be no looking back.
Hyacinth – Kerry Howard
Dulcie – Debra Stephenson
Claude – Tony Gardner
Daddy – Mark Addy
Daisy – Katherine Pearce
Rose – Katie Redford
Eric – Thomas Pickles
Violet – Tamla Kari
Freddy – Tim Downie
William – James Wrighton
Written By: Roy Clarke
Produced By: Sarah Hitchcock
Directed By: Sandy Johnson
Original Transmission Date: 2nd September 2016
Very different to Keeping Up Appearences and as you’d expect from the BBC the 1950’s settings were great. Kerry Howard absolutely nailed the part of Hyacinth, but overall the show failed to hit the spot. However given a series it would probably develop into somthing better.