Clive Swift

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Clive Swift
Birth name Clive Walter Swift
Born (1936-02-09) 9 February 1936 (age 80)
Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Medium Television
Nationality British
Years active 1965–present
Influences Barry Humphries
Spouse Margaret Drabble (1960–1975)
Children Rebecca Swift
Adam Swift
Joe Swift

Clive Walter Swift (born 9 February 1936) is an English actor and songwriter. He is best known for his role as Richard Bucket in the British television series Keeping Up Appearances, but has played many other notable film and television roles, including that of Roy in the British television series The Old Guys.

Life and career[edit]

Swift was born in Liverpool, Lancashire,[1] the son of Lily Rebecca (née Greenman) and Abram Sampson Swift.[2] His elder brother, David, was also an actor. Both were educated at Clifton College and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where Clive read English literature. He was previously a teacher at LAMDA and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His family was Jewish.[3]

In the 1970s, he appeared as Doctor Black in two of the BBC's M.R. James adaptations: The Stalls of Barchester and A Warning to the Curious. He is best known forr his role on Keeping Up Appearances as Richard Bucket, the long-suffering husband of Hyacinth. Swift starred in the BBC adaptation of The Barchester Chronicles and appeared in the Doctor Who story Revelation of the Daleks. On 25 December 2007, he appeared in a Doctor Who Christmas special as Mr Copper. He also played Sir Ector, the adoptive father of King Arthur in John Boorman's 1981 film Excalibur.

Swift was formerly married to novelist Margaret Drabble (1960–75).[4] He is the father of one daughter, Rebecca, who runs the Literary Consultancy in London's Free Word Centre and two sons, Adam Swift, an academic, and Joe Swift, a TV gardener.[citation needed]

As well as acting, he is a songwriter. Many of his songs are included in his show, Richard Bucket Overflows: An Audience with Clive Swift, which toured the UK in 2007 and Clive Swift Entertains, performing his own music and lyrics, which toured the UK in 2009. He also played the part of the Reverend Eustacius Brewer in Born and Bred, which aired on BBC 1 from 2002-05.[citation needed]


Selected television roles[edit]


  • Oblomov as the Doctor
  • The Right Time
  • From Fact to Fiction – The Orchard as the Narrator
  • Measure for Measure as Escalus
  • "Jorrocks's Jaunts and Jollities" as Nash
  • "The Price of Fear – Remains to be Seen" as Fred Treiber



  1. ^ "Lancashire" is correct. Merseyside did not exist before 1 April 1974
  2. ^ Clive Swift profile,; accessed 12 October 2016.
  3. ^ Margaret Drabble (20 April 2010). "Art Thou Contented, Jew?". Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  4. ^ Sadler, Lynn Veach (1986). Margaret Drabble. Twayne Publishers. ISBN 978-0-8057-6907-4. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 

External links[edit]