Thursday, 3 March 2016

Keeping Up Appearances

There's part of me that thinks we should be discussing the EU referendum, but then again I'm not really qualified to talk about it, I haven't really got much of a clue either way and I'm not sure that what I think really matters.

So instead, in complete contrast, I'd like to talk to you about 'Keeping Up Appearances'.

A couple of surprising facts about this programme have recently been brought to my attention.

The first is what Rev Richard Coles discussed on Chris Evans' Radio2 Breakfast Show on Friday 19th February (just in case you want to listen again on iPlayer -

He has it on good authority that Pope Benedict used to like to watch Hyacinth & Co of an evening to unwind after a busy day doing what Popes do (praying a lot I imagine).

Quite what he made of the very English sense of humour - and sister Rose's insatiable appetite for the Vicar - is perhaps best left a mystery.

Then, in another amazing fact, it transpires that Keeping Up Appearances is the show which BBC Worldwide has sold most around the world.

You thought it was Top Gear didn't you?  I must admit so did I, but that's the best selling factual programme.

No, it's Hyacinth, Richard, Emmet, Elizabeth, Onslow, Daisy and Rose who are seen around the world most - I wonder how Clarkson, May and Hammond feel about that?

I'm sure we could try and analyse the secrets of its success, but the truth is very simple - it's a well-written comedy, starring fine actors and is an accurate portrayal of that very commonplace character we all have in our lives.

You know the one - the snob, the social climber, that person who likes to pretend they're something they're not and make others feel a little bit inadequate in comparison.

Except, somewhat surprisingly, we remain quite fond of Hyacinth, because despite her faults she's very funny.  And perhaps, if we're brutally honest, we're all a little bit more Bouquet than Bucket.

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