1 9 9 0 – 1 9 9 5 (UK)
40 x 30 minute episodes
6 x specials
Only one thing mattered to Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced “Bouquet”) – and that was what other people thought of her. From her suburban base in Blossom Avenue, Hyacinth (Patricia Routledge) moved heaven and earth to mix with “the right crowd” and to ensure that her reputation remained intact.
Sadly, her council house sisters, the slutty Daisy (Judy Cornwell) and the tarty Rose (Shirley Stelfox and then Mary Millar) – plus her shirtless lager-guzzling brother-in-law, Onslow (Geoffrey Hughes) – ensured it was a battle she was doomed to lose.
They looked after Hyacinth’s loopy old dad (George Webb) – who lusted after the milkwoman and rode naked on his bike chasing her – and were always likely to pop around unannounced in Onslow’s S-reg Cortina (complete with furry dice).
Undaunted, Hyacinth badgered her meek, long-suffering husband, Richard (Clive Swift), into helping with her candlelight suppers and other socially aspirant schemes, and talked up the brilliance of her (unseen) son Sheridan who was away at a polytechnic, to all who would listen.
Like an amalgam of Beryl Reid putting on a posh accent, Mrs Slocombe from Are You Being Served? and Joan Sims playing Joan Sims, she answered the telephone with a ringing “The Bucket residence – the lady of the house speaking”, and hounded her neighbours Elizabeth (Josephine Tewson) and divorced brother, Emmet (David Griffin), to the point where they became prisoners in their own home and were thrown into a frenzy of nerves by a simple invitation to afternoon coffee.
Generally, though, it was Hyacinth’s own social gaffes that scuppered her rise to the top.
Clive Swift died on 1 February 2019, eight days before his 83rd birthday, following a short illness.
Josephine Tewson passed away on 18 August 2022, aged 91, at Denville Hall, a care home for actors and other members of the entertainment industry in north London.
Shirley Stelfox (1)
Mary Millar (2)