Patricia Routledge/Pledge Preemptions

Tea Time Tidbit for the week of November 20, 2017

No one was more disappointed at the cancellation of Patricia Routledge’s appearance in the Buxton International Festival last July than the 88-year-old Dame, who took a tumble right before going on stage and ended up in the emergency hospital.

Last week Routledge, who plays Hyacinth Bucket in Keeping Up Appearances, returned to Buxton along with music critic Edward Seckerson for "Facing The Music – A Life In Musical Theatre". The show, which has been touring throughout the U.K. since last year to sold out audiences, is an almost three-hour-long conversation with Routledge about her life and career in show business.

Although Routledge may have recovered from her fall and put her injury behind her, she didn’t forget those who had taken care of her at the local hospital. As a thank-you for the "wonderful treatment" she received, she offered free tickets to the emergency department nurses and was effusive in her praise for the services of the National Health Service, saying “they were marvelous”.

Last month, Routledge could also be found in Portsmouth at St. Thomas’ Cathedral, where she appeared with the Solent Symphony Orchestra as narrator of "Carnival of the Animals". A few days later she was a guest at a tribute luncheon put on by the British Music Hall Society for her old friend 90-year-old comedian Sir Ken Dodd. Both Dodd and Routledge were named in the Queen’s 2017 New Year’s Honors List, as was another guest at the tribute – Dame June Whitfield, who played Nelly in Last of the Summer Wine.

Talking of Last of the Summer Wine – that show and the rest of our Afternoon Tea programs will be on "holiday" for a week, beginning Monday, November 27 through Friday, December 1st. They will be replaced – just for that week – with pledge specials, which will run from 1-5:30pm each day.

Since 2011, MPT has fund-raised around the weekday Afternoon Tea programs in order to raise the dollars needed to purchase and broadcast these shows. We did this without breaking into the programs so that our members and viewers could enjoy their favorite shows without interruption. For many years, we were successful in raising the funds needed to support Afternoon Tea without replacing it with pledge specials during the year. Unfortunately, during the last several drives, we have barely made our Tea goal. Plus we came up significantly short of goal this past August.

We are going to continue to bring you the best in British comedy on weekday afternoons, but starting November 27th, we will put the Afternoon Tea programs on hiatus for one week during each of our major fundraising drives. The money that we raise during this one week of special programming, will go to pay for the Afternoon Tea programs that you will continue to enjoy 48 weeks a year. It will be used to purchase episodes of your favorite classics like Keeping Up Appearances, Last of the Summer Wine, and As Time Goes By.

We hope that you understand why we’re making this program change. But we want to ensure that Britcoms can continue on MPT. We hope that you continue to watch and enjoy Afternoon Tea on Maryland Public Television.

Thank you.

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

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