Keeping Up Appearances

Keeping Up Appearances

Keeping Up Appearances is a British sitcom created and written by Roy Clarke. It aired on BBC One from 1990 to 1995. The central character is eccentric and snobbish middle class social climber, Hyacinth Bucket (Patricia Routledge), 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. Her attempts are constantly hampered by her lower class extended family, whom she is desperate to hide. Much of the humour comes from the conflict between Hyacinth's vision of herself, and the reality of her underclass background. In each episode, she lands in a farcical situation as she battles to protect her social credibility. The show comprised five series and 44 episodes, four of which are Christmas specials. Production ended when star Patricia Routledge moved on to other projects. All episodes have since been released on DVD. Keeping Up Appearances was a great success in the UK, and also captured large audiences in the US, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, and the Netherlands. By February 2016, it had been sold nearly 1,000 times to overseas broadcasters, making it BBC Worldwide's most exported television programme. Domestically, it placed 12th in the Britain's Best Sitcom poll of 2004. It has been syndicated on Gold and Drama in the UK; on PBS in the United States; and on 7TWO in Australia. In September 2016, BBC One transmitted a 30-minute prequel, titled Young Hyacinth, in which Kerry Howard plays 19-year-old Hyacinth Walton, who is working as a maid in 1950s Britain.

Genre: Comedy
Director(s): Harold Snoad

[into phone] You're a louse! You've always been a louse! And what's more, you've got hairy toes! You're the first man I've ever known with hairy toes, Ted Butterfield, and it looks like a bad sign.

[grabs the phone and scowls at Rose, covering the receiver] Rose, you cannot speak like that to a Butterfield! Good gracious, girl, think of the bright future ahead.

Bright future? Well, do you know the Butterfields?

Of course we know the Butterfields. We've just been there. [into phone] My sister won't keep you a moment, Mr Butterfield. [covers receiver] We call regularly at their place of business.

What place of business?

[into phone] My sister's standing here in the grip of a very powerful emotion. You mustn't take any notice of her harsh words. It's just a crust that she's had to develop to cover her purity and simplicity. We're like that as a family; the highest standards prevail; my son wears pure silk pyjamas. [Rose is trying to grab the receiver] Rose, pull yourself together. You'll have to learn to behave if you're going to maintain a relationship with one of the town's leading commercial families!

What commercial family?

The executive motor showroom and garage. Their forecourt service is unparalleled.

He's not that Butterfield! This one's a total dreck without a penny to his name.

Hnh? [into phone, shouting in a low voice] And furthermore, will you kindly stop bothering my sister!

[slams down receiver]

[cries] What have you done that for! I love him!

How can you love him? The man has hairy toes.

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