It has been announced that, among those to be honored this year by Her Majesty are Patricia Routledge and Bryn Terfel, who will be featured tomorrow for Sunday Morning Opera. If you are a fan of Keeping Up Appearances the way I am, well, Hyacinthe Bucket (pronounced Bouquet) is going to be Dame Patricia Routledge. Hyacinthe is now important.
“…Keeping Up Appearances is a British sitcom created and written by Roy Clarke for the BBC, centred on the life of eccentric and snobbish middle class social climber Hyacinth Bucket, who insists that her surname is pronounced “Bouquet”. The sitcom follows Hyacinth in her attempts to prove her social superiority and to gain standing with those she considers upper class; attempts that are constantly hampered by her decidedly lower class extended family whom she desperately seeks to hide. Much of the humour comes from the culture clash between Hyacinth’s vision of herself and the reality of her working class background, plus the farcical situations she finds herself in as she battles to protect her social credibility.
The show spawned five series (seasons) and 44 episodes, four of which are Christmas specials. Keeping Up Appearances was a great success in the UK and also captured large audiences in the US, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands, but ceased production in 1995 when its star Patricia Routledge wanted to move on to other projects. Since its original release, all five series—including Christmas specials—have been available on DVD. It is regularly repeated worldwide (Public television stations including PBS member stations in the US; BBC One, Gold, and Drama in the UK and Ireland). It is also available for viewing on Netflix. In 2004, it came 12th in the poll for Britain’s Best Sitcom.
In February 2016, it was confirmed by BBC Worldwide that Keeping Up Appearances is the corporation’s most exported television programme, being sold nearly 1000 times to overseas broadcasters…”