Keeping Up Appearances Christmas Specials/First Episode

Tea Time Tidbit for the week of April 9, 2018

Tea Time Tidbit

Patricia Routledge as Hyacinth

If you’re a fan of Keeping Up Appearances you’re in for an extra special treat this week, when we’ll be airing both the first and the last Christmas specials of the series.

The Christmas specials that air in the UK in the evenings on Christmas Day, are usually the most highly anticipated programs of the year. On Wednesday you can see the 1991 Christmas Special and on Thursday the 1995 Christmas Special, which was also the last episode of Keeping Up Appearances. Then on Friday we’ll air the very first Keeping Up Appearances episode; "Daddy’s Accident," all of which air at 2:30pm.

Keeping Up Appearances Cast Members

According to series creator and writer, Roy Clarke, the secret to the show’s success was that “everyone knows a Hyacinth.” He’s right of course. The Yorkshire-born Clarke, who also created Last of the Summer Wine and Open All Hours, admits that the character of Hyacinth was the one role he barely had to put any imagination into creating.

“I took her [Hyacinth] largely from live,” Clarke said in an interview with British tabloid, the Daily Mirror.

Hyacinth Bucket was just one of the formidable female characters Clarke created. Others of course are Nora Batty and Ivy in Last of the Summer Wine, as well as Nurse Gladys Emmanuel and Delphine Featherstone in Open All Hours. Clarke’s inspiration for such strong, dominant women, reportedly hails back to his days in the police force in a coal mining community.

As Clarke explained in an interview once, “The workers would come home after a hard day’s work and want to drink, relax, socialize. They were backed by these strong women keeping it together.”

Sadly, many of the actors who starred in Keeping Up Appearances are no longer with us. Mary Millar, who was the second Rose in the series, died in 1998; George Webb who played Daddy died in 1998; Geoffrey Hughes, who played the lovable layabout Onslow, died in 2012; and Shirley Stelfox, the original Rose died in 2015.

Fortunately, Patricia Routledge, Clive Swift, Judy Cornwell, Josephine Tewson and David Griffin are all going strong, with Routledge, Swift and Cornwell continuing to make frequent stage appearances around the U.K. See them all on MPT’s Afternoon Tea, weekdays at 2:30pm.

To contact Heather:
Address: Afternoon Tea
Maryland Public Television
11767 Owings Mills Blvd.
Owings Mills, MD 21117

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Afternoon Tea is Maryland Public Television's weekday presentation of British programs.
Our host and Tea Lady is Heather Sanderson.
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