Keeping Up Appearances' Patricia Routledge and Clive Swift

Tea Time Tidbit for the week of July 31, 2017

Tea Time Tidbit

Patricia Routledge and Clive Swift
as Hyacinth and Richard

It’ll be Christmas in July this week, when Afternoon Tea airs the 1991 Keeping Up Appearances Christmas Special (Friday, August 4 at 2:30pm)! This is the episode where Hyacinth forces Richard, played by Clive Swift, to dress up as Father Christmas. Poor Richard!

Hyacinth is almost as formidable as the film director Alfred Hitchcock, who Swift worked with in 1972. The film, Frenzy, was Hitchcock’s penultimate film, and although Swift didn’t have a major role, he still wanted to give it his all. His wife in the film was played by Billie Whitelaw and at one point when the pair were discussing their ‘marriage’, Hitchcock interrupted. ‘No – shut up. You just come in, say your line and go away’,” recalled Swift in an interview. “With Hitchcock, you did as you were told.”

In real-life, Swift reportedly gets along very well with his Keeping Up Appearances co-star Patricia Routledge. “Like me she’s very musical,” Swift said, “and plays the piano and she was very loyal to me.”

Tea Time Tidbit

Appearing together in Mr. & Mrs. Nobody

While still making Keeping Up Appearances in 1993, Swift and Routledge teamed up to star as husband and wife in a touring production of a play called Mr. & Mrs. Nobody, adapted from the comedic novel Diary of a Nobody, by George and Weedon Grossmith. Keeping Up Appearances ran until 1995, at which pointed the talented and versatile Routledge decided she didn’t want to only be remembered for playing Hyacinth. Since the series ended, Routledge has kept herself busy with roles on stage, radio and television. For the last couple of years, the 88-year-old has been keeping UK audiences entertained as she travels around the country with a show aptly titled DAME PATRICIA ROUTLEDGE: Facing The Music – A Life in Musical Theatre.

The almost three-hour-long show is in the form of a sit down conversation/interview, where Routledge recalls her career in musical theatre and shares rare recordings. In case, you didn’t know, Routledge once won a Tony award for her Broadway performance in the Styne-Harburg musical Darling of the Day.

You can see Patricia Routledge and Clive Swift in Keeping Up Appearances weekday afternoons on Afternoon Tea.

Please note that for the weeks of August 7th and August 14th there will be a change in the timing of the Afternoon Tea programs. Last of the Summer Wine will be on at 1:00pm, My Family at 1:36pm, Keeping Up Appearances at 2:15pm, As Time Goes By at 2:54pm, and Ballykissangel at 3:30pm. During this time period Rick Steves will be preempted but will return August 21st at its usual time of 1pm. The Afternoon Tea programs will then air at their usual times.

To contact Heather:
E-mail: heather@mpt.org
Address: Afternoon Tea
Maryland Public Television
11767 Owings Mills Blvd.
Owings Mills, MD 21117

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