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Keeping Up Appearances

Release Date 1995-12-25
Runtime 30 minutes
Genres Comedy
Stars Patricia Routledge, Clive Swift, Judy Cornwell, Geoffrey Hughes, Josephine Tewson
Directors Harold Snoad

Keeping Up Appearances is a British sitcom created and written by Roy Clarke for the BBC. Centred on the life of eccentric, social-climbing snob Hyacinth Bucket, the sitcom follows her obsessive and determined attempts to impress in middle class society and portray herself as more affluent than she truly is. The show stars Patricia Routledge, who received two BAFTA nominations for her performance as Hyacinth. Broadcast between 1990 and 1995 on BBC One, the sitcom spawned five series and 44 episodes—4 of which are Christmas specials. Keeping Up Appearances was a great success in the UK and also captivated a large audience in the US, Canada, and Australia, but production ceased in 1995 when Routledge wanted to move on to other projects. Since its original release, all five series—including Christmas specials—are available on DVD. In 2004, the sitcom was ranked 12th in the countdown of Britain's Best Sitcom. It is regularly repeated worldwide.

1. The Senior Citizen's Outing


Hyacinth volunteers to look after the old people in an outing to the funfair, however a certain old man proves to be quite a handful. As the day progresses, Hyacinth ends up in a mirror house, on some dodgems and on a ghost train.

2. The Mayor's Fancy Dress Ball


Hyacinth prepares for the Mayor's fancy dress ball and is also on a mission to impress the new neighbours, a few streets away.

3. Hyacinth is Alarmed


Richard is terrified to wake up to see Hyacinth smiling at him; he later realises he has forgotten his and Hyacinth's wedding anniversary. Richard then decides to have an alarm system installed, claiming it is Hyacinth's "surprise" anniversary present.

4. A Riverside Picnic


Hyacinth organises a riverside picnic, much to the despair of those invited. Despite Emett's and the Vicar's best efforts to tell Hyacinth they are unable to attend, they find getting out of Hyacinth's function impossible. As always, Hyacinth's plans of perfection are shattered when a digger dumps dirt in her chosen location for the picnic.

5. Skis


For Richard’s birthday Hyacinth buys some skis as she believes they "will look good on the car". However needing Violet and Bruce’s roof rack the Buckets head off to Violet's luxury home, picking two neighbours up along the way. Hyacinth is thrown into a panic when arriving as Violet and Bruce are arguing.

6. Country Estate Sale


Richard is not looking forward to going to a country house sale with Hyacinth as he believes she will spend beyond their limit. Liz and brother Emmett are also going to the sale, and are devastated when they realise Hyacinth is there. Meanwhile, a Mrs Braddock has commandeered Onslow’s car and is impersonating his dog, which has gone missing.

7. The Boy Friend


Hyacinth sings to her hearts content when discovering Emmett's latest musical The Boyfriend is in production. Meanwhile Daddy is once again back in the war and guarding Onslow’s house with a sharp object.

8. A Barbecue At Violet's


A "luxury barbecue" at Violet's house looks like being a disaster because Bruce and Violet keep having violent arguments. Hyacinth organises a sing song in an attempt to take everyone's mind off their hosts' battle. Later, Hyacinth goes along to a rehearsal of "The Boy Friend" to offer her services to Emmet.

9. A Crafts-Woman Scorned


Hyacinth is completely insulted when she is awarded second prize at the local craft fair, and over Lydia Hawksworth. Scandalized even further when she and Richard are overtaken by Lydia's new car, it isn't long before Richard's worst fears are realized and Hyacinth sets her sights on a newer, more expensive Rolls Royce.

10. The Hostess


Hyacinth has put an advert in the local newspaper to teach people social etiquette, however an excited Hyacinth does not quite get what she expected.

11. The Pageant


Hyacinth and Richard arrive at the church hall as Hyacinth organises a pageant based on the English Civil War, with herself as Queen Henrietta Maria and Richard as Charles I. However, all of the volunteers supposedly taking part are unable to make it. At a last-minute attempt to get the show off the ground, Hyacinth invites Onslow, Daisy, Rose, Bruce and Violet to participate. Later in rehearsals, however, Hyacinth falls foul of a stage accident, after accident prone Liz pulls the wrong rope. Meanwhile, Daddy is dancing the tango with a man.