List of Keeping Up Appearances characters
Hyacinth and her family
The show's protagonist, played by Patricia Routledge, is the social-climbing snob Hyacinth Bucket (née Walton; b. 4 December 1930), who insists that her surname is pronounced "Bouquet", as in an arrangement of flowers. Hyacinth's primary aims in life are to impress people, particularly of the upper and upper-middle classes, and to give the impression that she is of high social standing, despite her fairly average status.
Hyacinth and Richard live at number 22 Blossom Avenue, in a bungalow which Hyacinth refers to as "The Residence" when sending letters. She describes herself as a "local celebrity", and believes she is held in high and enviable esteem by the community for her candlelight suppers, charity work and her involvement in the local amateur dramatics. In an attempt to make callers think she is well-off enough to employ domestic staff, she repeatedly (and famously) answers her beloved pearl-white slimline telephone with automatic redial facility with, "The Bouquet residence; the lady of the house speaking." While on the phone, she is prone to making impossible requests of people and does not understand why they cannot be met. Such situations include demanding a shipping forecast for a river, complaining to the waterboard that she suspects her water is "second hand", or calling the rubbish collectors and forbidding them from driving down her neighbourhood on days they do not collect rubbish as she believes it gives the impression she produces excessive trash.
Those around her despise her snobbery, her constant meddling, her outlandish plans and her refusal to listen to others. Hyacinth seems completely oblivious to everyone's terror of her and wants to believe the best of most people, that they are either enamoured with her and too shy to say so or that they are trying to be considerate of her by not bothering her. However, she cannot abide anyone one-upping her when it comes to social events or showing the same snobbery she herself shows. She has a penchant for finding the most disagreeable people to try to impress, while at the same time shunning agreeable people who are of lower social standing, but never seems to learn from her mistakes.
Hyacinth goes to great lengths to avoid her poorer or oddly-behaving relatives (Daisy, Onslow, Rose, Bruce and, to an extent, Daddy) in public, while boasting about her richer sister (Violet, who has "a Mercedes, sauna, and room for a pony") in order to maintain her vaunted social status. However, she loves her family, especially her father, and will rush to their aid in times of need. She rarely acknowledges the fact, however, that her family treat her more kindly than most characters on the series whom she is trying to impress, being equally willing to come to her aid in an emergency as she is for them.
Another of Hyacinth's other quirks is that she frequently refers to or makes preparations for her candlelight suppers, attendance at which almost seems mandatory, but we never actually see one in progress. She also plans other extravagant functions such as fancy picnics and barbecues, which usually end in disaster. She is an excellent housekeeper, keeping the house immaculately clean and setting absolutely beautiful tables for dinners and functions. She is very proud of her various china dishes and objets d'art, especially her Royal Doulton tea service with the hand-painted periwinkles. She can play piano, and often attempts to sing for (or at) people. While she has a rich, strong voice, she tends to force it too hard and loudly, making her singing unpleasant to listen to. She often plots and schemes to make herself or Richard look higher-class than they are, and has a tendency to embellish upon stories of her and Richard's exploits to make them sound better than they really were, to impress other people. She does the same with stories of her son Sheridan, whom she adores even though he only wants her money. She also has a great aversion to dogs and indeed most animals, which is reciprocated by the animals themselves.
Played by Clive Swift, Richard Bucket is Hyacinth's long-suffering husband who is at her beck and call. Richard is a calm, tolerant and relaxed character who cares little for enhancing or preserving social status, and he seems content with his (barely) middle class standing. He is usually laid back but has two great fears; heights, and Hyacinth spending too much money on things. He pronounces his last name, Bucket, as the English word, and snaps to Hyacinth in one episode, "It's not "Bouquet", it's Bucket! It was always Bucket until I met you".
Richard Bucket married Hyacinth Walton (as she was back then) on 9 February 1963 and moved into 22 Blossom Avenue at a later date. Although the house is in his name, he does not have a key for it: Hyacinth has the only key. Until series three, he works as a public servant, a deputy in the Town Council's Department of Finance and General Purposes. He dreads the idea of retirement, as it would mean being with Hyacinth all day, every day for the rest of his life, but is forced into early retirement despite begging and pleading with his boss. After his early retirement, Hyacinth attempts to get Richard back into the workforce in a "senior executive position" in several jobs, but the attempts never succeed. In "The Senior Citizens' Outing", he is seen reading a self-help book titled, Can You Afford to Retire?, suggesting he too is still eager to get back into the workforce, though this is more likely as a means of escaping Hyacinth than any real monetary concern.
A few times, Richard has stood up to Hyacinth in public because of her unreasonable behaviour, driving her into shock, but he is usually meek and mild in front of other people. He is not afraid to disagree with Hyacinth in private, however, and does so frequently, though she never listens and he always winds up capitulating to her whims. These usually involve contrived plots to impress neighbours or aristocrats, or a far-fetched plan to avoid Hyacinth's down-market family, whom he actually prefers to the upper-class people Hyacinth is determined to mingle with. Whenever anyone asks how he manages to cope with Hyacinth, he often compares his marriage to being in the army: every day is routinely planned out for him, and he never has to make any decisions. He also points out that Hyacinth is extremely kind and caters to his every need. However, in "Please Mind Your Head", it is revealed that they are no longer intimate, as Hyacinth disapproves of it at their age, and in other episodes Richard indicates that Hyacinth lost interest in him once their son Sheridan was born.
Richard and Hyacinth own a blue 1986 Rover 216, which Richard is often forced to polish, sometimes multiple times a day. He drives the car because Hyacinth has not learned to drive, but claims he only steers while Hyacinth drives by "word of mouth". A running gag of the series is that, besides directing every turn he makes, Hyacinth incessantly tells him to watch out for various people, animals, or objects that are on the side of the road or on the pavement, as if they might suddenly leap out and block Richard's path. An exasperated Richard usually responds with "Minding the..." whatever it is, in a silly voice, which irritates Hyacinth.
Richard is an avid reader, and is often shown with a book in hand - he mentions to the vicar in "Let There Be Light" that he uses reading as an escape from Hyacinth, often reading in the bathroom to avoid interruption. However, while Richard protests otherwise, Hyacinth insists Richard's favourite hobby is gardening, and forces him to work in the garden and look happy while doing so, hoping neighbours will think they could afford a gardener but don't have one because Richard likes doing it himself. Hyacinth twice tries to get him started in golf, also to impress wealthy people, but Richard is no good at it. In "Richard's New Hobby", Hyacinth also tried to get him started in amateur cinematography, but an unfortunate mishap involving the police put that to an end quickly. As shown in several episodes, Richard sings, and is actually a bit better at it than Hyacinth is, but he usually does not make a habit of singing unless asked to by someone else. In "The Father Christmas Suit", it was revealed he also knows how to play piano (Richard plays while he and Emmet drunkenly sing "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer"). In "How to Go on Holiday Without Really Trying", Richard is shown to be excellent at billiards, when Onslow "kidnaps" him and takes him to a local pub.
Roy Clarke, writer of the show, described Richard as a foil to show Hyacinth's character to worst advantage. Although various characters in the series often express bemusement as to Richard's tolerance for Hyacinth, the cast and crew observe that he simply loves her and that his sense of humour helps get him through.
Daisy (played by Judy Cornwell) is the second-born of the Walton sisters. A happy, lively character, Daisy lives with her slobbish husband Onslow, her man-crazy sister Rose and their senile father. Her married surname is never given. Daisy, Onslow and Rose are the lower-class relatives Hyacinth is ashamed of. It is repeatedly mentioned that Daisy and Onslow were once very wild and passionate lovers, but Onslow has considerably cooled down with age. Daisy is constantly trying to get her husband to show passion towards her; however, she often fails to rouse any signs of affection from him save the odd compliment, and, as a result, buries herself in Mills & Boon novels.
Her other attempts to get Onslow's attention include giving herself a makeover to attract the attention of other men, and getting herself a seventeen-year-old, motorbike-riding toy boy; however, Onslow was sensible enough to not fall for either of these. Much to Onslow's disbelief, Daisy repeatedly insists he is a "menace to the female sex" and is terrified of the thought of him possibly having another woman, or of other women (even Hyacinth) coming after him. In "A Celebrity for the Barbecue", she even likens him to Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire. It is sometimes hinted that these claims are just attempts to rouse Onslow, however.
Daisy, like her husband, enjoys life in the slow lane; she spends most of her time sitting on the sofa eating, reading romance novels borrowed from the public library, or watching television. Daisy is full of life and always smiling, despite picking up her husband's bad habits of sleeping until noon, eating junk food, drinking beer and watching television all day. She and Onslow are actually fairly well-educated, and often have philosophical discussions, but these never last long because she usually tries to turn the conversation to love fairly quickly.
Daisy tries to rein in Rose's dramatics, but her own flighty nature often gets in the way of these endeavours. She also has trouble keeping an eye on Daddy, and frequently has to ask Hyacinth for help when he goes off on one of his exploits, or does something outlandish at home. She makes half-hearted efforts to look nice around Hyacinth and tries to get Onslow to do the same, but usually fails. She also tries to rescue the Vicar and Emmett from Rose when she can.
Daisy and Onslow have a daughter called Stephanie, who appeares only in the final episode of series one, along with her own daughter Kylie and two lovers. In "Let There Be Light", Daisy reveals she was once a Liverpool supporter, but changed loyalties because of Onslow's intense hatred for the team. A kindly soul at heart, Daisy does try to help Hyacinth when the latter reluctantly has to ask for help on occasion, but is rarely ever acknowledged or thanked. Like Onslow, although Hyacinth is ashamed of her, she gets along well with every other character she meets during the series thanks to her cheerful nature.
Onslow's surname is never given. He is played by Geoffrey Hughes, is Hyacinth's brother-in-law, and is a tattooed, beer-guzzling, unemployed and apathetic slob intensely despised by Hyacinth. Onslow threatens his sister-in-law's social prestige with his scruffy clothes and common, coarse ways. Onslow is proudly "workshy, bone idle and out of condition", and rarely gets up before lunch or dinner time. In multiple episodes, it is implied he was a bit wild in his youth, and it is suggested he may even have served time in prison, but he has considerably mellowed with age and is a gentle soul under his rough exterior.
He watches television all day every day, eating and drinking constantly and rarely moving from his armchair save to go to the bookie's on occasion. He calls himself "the breadwinner", but his only income comes from betting on horses and Social Security. Nevertheless, Onslow's intellectual reading, and viewing of Open University programmes, have made him knowledgeable on a wide variety of subjects. He is also a fan of an unnamed football club, though he is known to dislike Liverpool – so much so that he felt ready to divorce Daisy when she revealed on their honeymoon that she supported Liverpool. Very occasionally, he goes to the local pub to play billiards or darts, once challenging Richard to play billiards and discovering Richard was actually better at it than he was. He also loves to eat, his favourite snack being Smoky Bacon Crisps. He owns both a bicycle and a 1978 Ford Cortina, which is falling apart and tends to back-fire and belch dark clouds of exhaust.
Onslow owns a mixed-breed dog, which lives outside in the rusting carcass of a Hillman Avenger in the front garden. However, he indicates that this is the dog's preference and not neglect on his part, and in several episodes it is shown he does care deeply for the dog and treats her well. He is an inattentive husband to Daisy, in that he never takes her out, nor has he ever bought her any jewellery or clothing. However, he does compliment her on occasion, and the two seem fond of each other despite their issues. His sex drive has slackened off considerably since his youth, and Daisy's frequent efforts to arouse him are often in vain.
Despite Hyacinth's utter contempt of him and her belief that he cannot succeed at anything, in the Christmas special "Sea Fever", Onslow managed to win a newspaper competition, which earned him and Daisy a first-class vacation on the QE2. Hyacinth and Richard were also on board in a cheaper cabin at the time, and, while at first intensely jealous, Hyacinth swallowed her pride and kindly wished Onslow congratulations and danced with him in the ship's ballroom. Also, despite Hyacinth's usual mistreatment of him, Onslow is willing to help Hyacinth when she needs help (though often she would rather it was someone else than him) and even rescued her three-piece suite in the episode of the same name when the van carrying it crashed. He also admitted in "Riverside Picnic" that he admired Hyacinth's stiff upper lip when things went wrong.
Despite Hyacinth's disdain for him, Onslow is shown to get on well with almost everyone, including his own vicar, Hyacinth's vicar, Emmett, Elizabeth, Bruce and Violet. He is exasperated by Rose and Daddy on occasion, and thinks Daisy should not take their dramatics so seriously. Onslow is also good friends with Richard, nicknaming him "Dickie" much to Hyacinth's outrage (though Richard himself does not mind), and often tries to persuade him not to let Hyacinth browbeat him all the time.
Onslow is - when he can overcome his inherent sloth - an inherently kind and good natured character. He is Roy Clarke's favourite character in the show, as stated in the Comedy Connections series.
Stephanie and Kylie
Stephanie (played by Laura Shavin) is Daisy and Onslow's daughter and Hyacinth's niece. Her daughter, Daisy's and Onslow's granddaughter, is named Kylie and is christened in the episode "The Christening". Great-Aunt Hyacinth does not approve of the name Kylie, saying it sounds like a foreign vegetable. She also disapproves of the fact that Stephanie had her baby out of wedlock, as do others, though she is the only one to make a point of her disapproval. However, when Stephanie and Kylie don't show up to the christening, Hyacinth and Richard volunteer to search for them and find that Stephanie's caravan is broken down. They also are horrified to discover that she has become a hippie and lives in the caravan with two men, and has no idea which of the two men is Kylie's father. Even the men themselves don't know, and after delivering the trio to the church for the christening, Hyacinth insists she and Richard hide behind a column in the church because she is so ashamed.
Stephanie and Kylie are not seen again in the show, although in "Problems with Relatives", while pushing Daddy in a wheelchair, Daisy says it reminds her of when she and Onslow used to push baby Stephanie in the pram. It also reminds them of why they had to bring the wedding forward, implying Daisy became pregnant out of wedlock as well.
Hyacinth's youngest, lustful sister, Rose has an eye for men and a taste for short skirts and flashy, provocative outfits. In the episode "Early Retirement", she reveals she was once married, though it is not stated whether she is widowed or divorced. Her surname is also never given, though her maiden name is Walton like all the other sisters. She was played by Shirley Stelfox in series one and Mary Millar (whose performance was more over-the-top than Stelfox's) in every episode after that. She is another family member who threatens Hyacinth's social prestige, especially as the Vicar and Emmett are two of the men she sometimes chases. She even sometimes cosies up to Richard, though Hyacinth always puts a quick stop to that.
Rose is promiscuous, unstable, and prone to fits of hysteria and depression, some of which are genuine but most of which are merely attention-seeking tactics. However, Richard describes her as a gentle soul who is just a bit 'mixed up'. She is constantly having affairs with men, but her choice in men is poor and she often finds herself with married or otherwise unsuitable men who abandon her after a brief fling. Onslow has said more than once that her hormones never get a chance to settle, which explains her outrageous behaviour. She has a penchant for stealing Onslow's cigarettes, and for going into long tirades about men and their unfaithfulness. She regularly becomes 'disillusioned' and decides to 'give up men', sometimes several times in a week, but always has a new beau in record time. She is shown to be relatively uneducated, never reads, often speaks childishly, and cannot spell simple words.
Hyacinth is particularly ashamed of Rose, and at times goes to great lengths to keep her existence and their relationship a secret. But she does care for her, all the same. In the episode "Charity Shop", she stands and listens patiently as Rose confides to her about her dysfunctional love life. Hyacinth cheers her up and then kisses her on the cheek before sending her home. In "Iron Age Remains", when Rose has locked herself in a room in one of her depressive fits, Hyacinth panics that Rose may have harmed herself, especially when there is no answer at the door (in fact, Rose just had stereo headphones on and couldn't hear the people outside). She sends Richard up a ladder to investigate, but he falls off. Hyacinth also tries to stop a fight between Rose and one of her lovers in "A Picnic for Daddy", thinking he is a reputable member of society, though she changes her mind and tells the man to stop bothering Rose when she realises she had mistaken his identity and that he was indeed another of Rose's bad choices in men.
Violet and Bruce
Violet (played by Anna Dawson) is the third-eldest of the Walton sisters, who married a successful but eccentric turf accountant named Bruce (played by John Evitts). A sign outside their house reads "The Paddocks", but it is not revealed if this refers to their surname or is the name of their property. Violet and Bruce were initially unseen characters, apart from the occasional glimpse from a distance, but in the fifth series, both Bruce and Violet became regulars on the show.
Bruce and Violet are extremely wealthy. Hyacinth often brags that Violet and Bruce have a large house, Mercedes, sauna, jacuzzi, swimming pool, musical bidet, and room for a pony. They also have a cottage in the countryside, and a villa in Ibiza. However, Violet has a troubled marriage with her eccentric, cross-dressing husband, and repeatedly phones Hyacinth to complain about Bruce's mad behaviour. Bruce often confiscates Violet's clothes in order to wear them himself, leaving her with his clothes. He also has had an affair with his secretary, and has done other unsuitable things such as refusing to come down out of a tree, drinking to excess, wearing strange costumes, throwing childish tantrums over trivial things, and buying lots of nude artwork. In "The Toy Store", Richard remarks that Bruce is supposed to be on some sort of medication but it's implied he often does not take it. However, despite everything, Hyacinth insists that Violet put up with Bruce for the luxurious lifestyle his wealth gives her, particularly the Mercedes.
While Violet is obviously far more affluent than Hyacinth, she is not the snob Hyacinth is. She is far more accepting of Daisy, Onslow and Rose than Hyacinth, in that she is not embarrassed by them. In "Riverside Picnic", when told by Hyacinth to find a friend "in the same income bracket" to drive her, Violet calls Onslow and invites her father and sisters to gate-crash Hyacinth's "waterside supper with riparian entertainments".
Although continually bragging about Violet to her friends, Hyacinth cannot use Violet and Bruce to her full advantage, as she often cannot introduce them to friends and neighbours due to their volatile marriage and Bruce's costumes. On the odd occasion, Hyacinth has invited Violet to her candlelight suppers (which Violet does not enjoy any more than anyone else), and it is implied the main reason Hyacinth invites Violet and Bruce around is because she likes to have their Mercedes in her driveway.
In the episode "A Barbecue at Violet's", when Hyacinth and Richard arrive at Violet's home, they arrive in the middle of a vicious domestic row, in which Violet and Bruce are arguing loudly and hurling objects at each other. By "Skis", Violet eventually wants to divorce Bruce, but Hyacinth frog-marches her distraught sister to the vicar to try to change her mind, determined not to lose her one genuine connection to a higher class. Richard is shown to not be fond of Violet, remarking how she is "always moaning", nor is he fond of Bruce and his eccentricities.
Daddy (played by George Webb) is the apparently senile, divorced father of Hyacinth, Daisy, Rose and Violet; the prequel Young Hyacinth reveals his wife ran off with an American. He lives with Onslow, Daisy and Rose. Hyacinth repeatedly makes bizarre excuses as to why he can't live with her (one being that he brings Sheridan out in a rash), and Daisy herself remarks in "Angel Gabriel Blue" that to punish Daddy by making him live with Hyacinth would be inhumane. Hyacinth loves her father dearly; however, his antics and constant requirement for attention put her social standing at risk. She tends to make up outlandish stories to explain his behavior to other people. It is often said by Richard that the rundown neighbourhood that Daddy lives in is the one he has lived in all his life, therefore revealing that Hyacinth grew up in the grubby, decrepit area she loathes visiting.
While mentally senile, Daddy is still quite capable physically, and seems unable to keep himself out of trouble. He is fit enough to climb onto roofs, ride a skateboard, steal cars, dig trenches, ride bicycles, and wander all over the countryside - all of which he has done, usually causing some embarrassment to his family in the process. Rose apparently inherited her promiscuous streak from him, as he is constantly ogling, pursuing, and accosting women, sometimes promising to marry them. He also relives experiences from his younger days, such as his childhood and his service in the war, and in those moments he will assume the character of his younger self in the clothes he wears and the actions he takes. He often goes missing, and requires the rescue efforts of his daughters and sons-in-law. He has a medication which makes him very drowsy (and therefore manageable) when given, but whenever it wears off, he starts causing trouble again.
Daddy's screen appearances are somewhat rare, and his spoken lines even more so. Although his given name is unknown, his surname is revealed to be Walton in Young Hyacinth.
An unseen character, Sheridan is Hyacinth's and Richard's spoiled and selfish only son, about 18 years of age. He is away at college (a poly which Hyacinth insists is of a "university standard" - the first three series were written before the Further and Higher Education Act 1992) and is known to audiences primarily through Hyacinth's telephone conversations with him.
The major running gag surrounding Sheridan involves him ringing home whenever he needs money, Hyacinth without fail assuming at first that he is "just ringing his mummy" - despite his age, she still refers to herself and Richard as "mummy and daddy". Most of the time, he needs money for ludicrous things that his friend Tarquin has suggested, up to and including a walking holiday in Iceland.
Although Sheridan usually convinces Hyacinth of his need for the money (much to Richard's exasperation), Hyacinth is very occasionally able to say no. Hyacinth claims Sheridan writes to her constantly, and often expects to receive letters from him, but Sheridan rarely gets in touch unless he wants money. Only once in the series did Sheridan do something for his parents; in the episode "What to Wear When Yachting", he arranged a weekend for Hyacinth and Richard on a small boat owned by Tarquin's father, which he claimed was a yacht but was in fact a rundown old tug.
Sheridan prefers not to talk to Richard on the phone, and has been known to pretend to be someone else whenever he calls and Richard answers. The other running gag is that Richard suspects Sheridan is gay, something which is implied through his love of needlework, his lilac-colored car, his desire for pure silk pyjamas, his male friend, Tarquin (with whom Sheridan makes his own curtains), and his stated lack of interest in girls. Richard regularly tries to raise the issue with Hyacinth, only for her to remain totally oblivious.
A glimpse of the back of Sheridan's head can be seen in the episode "Let There Be Light" while he is in a taxi, and during the opening credits, a photograph of him as a young boy is seen on Hyacinth's writing desk; this is the closest he has ever been seen on the show.
Elizabeth 'Liz' Warden
Elizabeth Warden (née Hawksworth) is Hyacinth's friendly, tolerant next-door neighbour who lives at number 24 Blossom Avenue. She has a brother, Emmett, who moves in with her in Series 2. She is played by Josephine Tewson. Hyacinth calls her Elizabeth, but everyone else calls her Liz. Hyacinth often invites her round for coffee, and despite frequent encouragement from her brother, Liz is too weak-willed to say no despite living in fear of Hyacinth's invitations.
Aware of Hyacinth's house-proud ways, Elizabeth is terrified of spilling, dropping or breaking anything in her neighbour's home, but ironically, Hyacinth's flighty mannerisms and nagging make Liz especially clumsy in her presence, and she indeed ends up spilling, dropping or breaking something nearly every time.
Unlike most, Liz sympathises with Hyacinth, aware of how she is despised by everyone, including Liz's brother Emmet. She is likely Hyacinth's only real friend (although she makes a point of referring to Hyacinth as a "neighbour" rather than a friend). This friendship is tested by Hyacinth's tactless and unthinking remarks, which usually involve Elizabeth's dexterity, clothes, car, appearance, and her daughter's intelligence. Liz likes Richard quite dearly, and has deep sympathy for him; the two seem discreetly fond of each other. Liz feels pity for Hyacinth's and Richard's son, Sheridan, as well, believing "he never really stood a chance" with Hyacinth for a mother. Liz is also unsure whether to be amused by or disapproving of her brother's frequent attempts to avoid and/or exact revenge on Hyacinth.
Liz's husband Mr Warden is never seen: he is always away due to his work (he is variously mentioned as being in the Far East or in Saudi Arabia). In "Onslow's Birthday", it is implied that Liz and her husband were having marriage troubles, which is what prompted him to take the position abroad. They have a daughter, Gail, who is also never seen but mentioned in conversation in a few early episodes. Gail grew up friends with Sheridan, but unlike Sheridan she goes to a proper university and is trying to make something of herself. Hyacinth seems a bit jealous of Gail's success as compared to her son's, and sometimes finds reasons to put her down (such as having a live-in boyfriend) when she is mentioned.
While Elizabeth did eventually meet and become friends with Rose, Onslow, and Daisy in "Problems with Relatives", Hyacinth did her best to prevent this happening and afterwards would still go to great lengths to prevent her from seeing their shabby house. Both parties have offered lifts for the other when one is stranded on the side of the road, and have met on other occasions as well. Onslow even jokingly kissed Liz under the mistletoe in the episode "The Father Christmas Suit", which prompted an inebriated Richard to do the same.
Liz owns a white 1988 Austin Metro, which appeared in most episodes and was also subject to tactless comments from Hyacinth about its age and appearance, even though Hyacinth's own car is older.
Emmet, played by David Griffin, made his first appearance in "A Strange Man", and appeared in nearly every subsequent episode. At first, Hyacinth and Richard thought he was Liz's illicit lover, but later found out he was her brother who moved in after he reportedly lost his own house in a messy divorce.
Emmet is a cultured person, unlike most of Hyacinth's acquaintances. He rides horses, enjoys working in the garden, and has a fondness for sherry (occasionally over-imbibing, which Liz chides him for). He is a classically trained pianist, as well as both producer and director for the local amateur operatic society. He is also shown to have a fair singing voice, himself. Richard suggests that Emmett probably makes a good salary for his talents. Hyacinth, who always wanted to be on the stage, frequently sings at Emmet, and drops broad hints that he should include her in his work, but to no avail.
Emmet has a tendency to be somewhat melodramatic (though not to the same extent as Rose), and is terrified of leaving the house because of Hyacinth's terrible singing and even worse manners being enough to "ruin his day." He develops a stronger aversion to Hyacinth than just about any other main character does, to the point he burst into tears when told they were going to visit Hyacinth when the latter was out of town in the episode "Violet's Country Cottage". He also frequently falls or hurts himself trying to run to escape her.
In "Singing for Emmett", Emmet explosively loses his temper at Hyacinth, only to realize Hyacinth is completely oblivious to it. Therefore, in later episodes, he frequently says nasty things about her practically to her face, because this incident taught him she doesn't listen and won't hear him. Emmett also begins to seek out ways to get back at Hyacinth for the misery she causes himself and Elizabeth. In "Let There Be Light", he and the Vicar's wife contrive to leave Hyacinth outside the church hall during the Bring and Buy sale to meet a wealthy guest (who happens to own two disagreeable dogs, but Hyacinth doesn't know this). In "Hyacinth Is Alarmed", Emmett makes a point to call Hyacinth and tell her when the house across the street is burgled twice, because he knows Hyacinth will be jealous that the burglars thought there were better pickings at the Barker-Finches than at her own house. Arguably, his most famous revenge against Hyacinth came in "Please Mind Your Head", when he discovered Hyacinth was dressed in riding gear to impress the neighbors. He forced her to actually ride a horse to prove she could, taking great delight in her horrible attempts to mount and get the horse started, but showing some remorse when the horse threw her and nearly injured her.
In the latter years of the programme, Hyacinth can no longer ignore the fact Emmett is desirous to avoid her, but assumes he's shy and possibly has a romantic attraction to her. Upon hearing this, Emmet says, "I think I want to die!" Emmett is often pursued by Rose as well, because she believes him handsome. Emmett is initially flattered by Rose's attentions, even showing some attraction to her, but eventually comes to fear her as well because of how eagerly she forces herself on him.
Like Liz, Emmett deeply sympathizes with Richard. He and Emmett become friends early on, and Emmett is one of the few people who can get Richard to do something silly or unbecoming without Hyacinth being too upset, such as going to a pub in "Hyacinth is Alarmed". Emmett also is shown in several episodes to be friendly with Onslow, despite Hyacinth's initial attempts to keep them apart.
In the special features of the complete DVD collection of the series, it is revealed that David Griffin was being treated for cancer during much of the series' run. In later series, Emmett is noticeably much thinner and seems to have aged, because of this, though the show explains it as his having gotten "prison pallor" from hiding indoors from Hyacinth all the time.
Michael Partridge (the vicar)
Michael (played by Jeremy Gittins) is the young and handsome vicar of St. Mark's Church, which Richard and Hyacinth attend. Like most, he is terrified of Hyacinth, and does his best to avoid her, often unsuccessfully. Moreover, he often forgets that Hyacinth prefers her last name to be pronounced "bouquet" and addresses her as "Mrs Bucket". When he's discussing Hyacinth with his wife, they refer to her as "the Bucket woman".
He first arrived in the parish in "The New Vicar", after being a prison chaplain for an unspecified amount of time. He is called "that dishy vicar" by Rose, who often pursues him, much to the anger of his jealous wife, who dislikes the fact that the majority of Michael's congregation are women who make a fuss of him. The vicar being caught in compromising positions (which in context are quite innocent) with Rose or other women is a recurring gag in the series, as is the Vicar damaging whatever he's holding/using whenever Hyacinth's name is mentioned. However, despite his dislike, he feels it his duty to be sympathetic to Hyacinth most of the time, trying to rescue her from the Commodore's amorous advances in "The Commodore" and agreeing to help her with her kitchen dilemma in "Angel Gabriel Blue". He also twice stops to offer Hyacinth and Richard lifts when he spots them stranded on the side of the road, and agrees to try to counsel her sister Violet in the episode "Skis", though Violet is unwilling to go through with it.
The vicar likes Onslow and Daisy and is always glad to see them, and more than once has been to their house to help with various issues (such as a ghost in Daddy's bedroom, or Rose being depressed). However, he has made no secret of the fact he dislikes Hyacinth's father, famously standing up to Hyacinth in the episode "The Father Christmas Suit" to demand she take her inebriated and nearly-nude father away from the church Christmas gathering 'as soon as possible'.
Only once did the vicar try to exact revenge on Hyacinth, in the episode "Senior Citizen's Outing". He saddled her with the two most difficult seniors to deal with, telling his wife he'd 'make up for it on Sunday'.
Mrs Partridge (the vicar's wife)
Married to the vicar, Mrs Partridge (played by Marion Barron) is usually referred to as "dear" by her husband. She is a timid yet fiery young woman with a soft Scottish accent. She often finds her husband in compromising positions with Rose, whom she nicknames 'the vampire sister', or other young females and incorrectly assumes the worst. These situations are usually prefaced in an earlier scene where she expresses jealousy over the attention that Michael's female parishioners give him.
The vicar's wife initially dislikes Hyacinth, but as the series goes on, she grows to see more humour in some of Hyacinth's behaviour than other characters do. She has been seen to stifle fits of laughter at Hyacinth's suggestion of leaving sick parishioners outside while the vicar attends a party of Hyacinth's, and on another occasion merrily bobbed her head in time to Hyacinth's horrendous singing. She also is the only person who seems willing (instead of forced) to go on Hyacinth's little expedition in "Riverside Picnic".
Mrs. Partridge, like Emmett, has frequently attempted various small revenges against Hyacinth. In "How to Go On Holiday Without Really Trying", she deliberately tricked Hyacinth into cleaning the toilets in the church hall all by herself, and in "Let There Be Light", she assigned Hyacinth to the booth farthest away from anyone else in the church Bring and Buy sale. Furthermore, in the same episode, she and Emmett contrived to get Hyacinth to stay outside and wait for Mrs. Drummond and her disagreeable dogs, instead of helping set up the sale.
The other vicar
The other vicar (played by Gerald Sim) had a single appearance in the episode "The Christening". He is of an older appearance than Michael the vicar, and his church is located at a different location from Michael's. He is Onslow and Daisy's friend and likes to joke around with them.
Michael the postman
Michael the postman was played by Leo Dolan in the first series and by David Janson from 1992 on. He is impertinent, high-strung, and completely overwhelmed by Hyacinth Bucket, of whom he lives in fear. He would rather avoid her, but tries to stand up to her when she pounces on him, which is every time he delivers (and occasionally throws) mail to her house. She constantly makes sure she takes all letters in person, never allowing him to put them in the letterbox itself and sternly rebuking him when he tries to do so. She frequently makes impossible demands of him, such as letting her see Elizabeth's mail, or switching all second class stamps on her letters to first class stamps, or having him track down packages or letters that were never actually sent. He tries many techniques to not speak to Hyacinth, but all fail. In later episodes he develops a bad twitch, and he openly tells Hyacinth it is her fault, but she seems not to notice. He is the father of seven children.
Played by Robert Rawles, the unnamed Milkman is in the same position as Michael the Postman, in that he constantly sneaks about doing his level best to avoid speaking to Hyacinth. Like the postman, he always fails, and usually finds himself bombarded with ridiculous requests such as finding out which specific cows the milk comes from and making sure Hyacinth receives exactly the same bottles every time. He and the postman consider themselves fellow brothers in affliction, and celebrate whenever Hyacinth is on holiday. However, unlike the postman, the milkman never loses his cool with Hyacinth and is not afraid of her, merely annoyed by her.
Major Wilton-Smythe (played by Peter Cellier), commonly known simply as "the major", only appears in the first two series, and hopelessly lusts after Hyacinth even though he is married to a never-seen wife, whom he refers to as "the ball and chain".
He fought in World War II and is a veteran of the British North African Campaign against Erwin Rommel. The Major lives in a large house called The Laurels, which is just around the corner from Hyacinth and Richard's bungalow. In "Golfing with the Major", he reveals he was wounded in the leg somewhere east of Suez, and he still has "some poxy foreign lead in there somewhere". He pretends to limp on this injury when he wants to get out of doing something he doesn't like, walking normally whenever people aren't watching.
He is brash and forceful, and disliked by Richard. In particular, Richard finds it odd that an elderly man like the major prefers whizzing about in a two-seat sports car convertible rather than driving in presumably a more sensible car - the major drives a Morgan Plus 4.
Despite his irritating behaviour, his upper-class status means that Hyacinth refuses to sever contact with the man. At one point she admits "it's a good thing he's a Major... if he were a Sergeant, he wouldn't get a foot past the door!"
Mrs Councillor Nugent
Mrs Nugent (played by Charmian May) is high up the social ladder but low down the charismatic scale, being a dull, bad-tempered and ill-mannered woman. She speaks in an overly loud and militaristic tone and goes on unnecessary tirades about "excessive romantic behaviour" and wasting money. Despite her dislike of romance, however, she thinks it would be fun to be a part of the film industry, and dons a skimpy costume when she thinks Richard is filming an amateur movie in "Richard's New Hobby".
She also seems to be the only person who can get away with referring to Hyacinth as "Mrs Bucket" without Hyacinth correcting her. In "The Toy Store", when Mrs Nugent yells "Mrs Bucket", Hyacinth can be seen mouthing out "It's Bouquet", meaning she still wants to correct her, but stifles it.
Hyacinth tolerates her, not only because of her status, but also because she wants a place on her committee. The nature of the committee is never established. Hyacinth admits that she doesn't know what the committee does, she just wants a seat on it.
Sonia Barker-Finch lives in the same street as Hyacinth, just opposite her own home in Number 23, Villa Costa Blanca. Above all her other acquaintances, Hyacinth is convinced that Mrs Barker-Finch is her greatest social rival; however, Mrs Barker-Finch does not seek to outdo Hyacinth in any way, and generally wants nothing to do with her at all. She is referred to in many episodes, but only makes an (uncredited) appearance in the episode "Driving Mrs. Fortescue", appearing on the pavement with a friend just in time to see Hyacinth embarrassingly trapped on the back of a moving lorry.
Although Hyacinth invites Mrs Barker-Finch to parties and dinners, Mrs Barker-Finch usually declines. She also had the temerity to talk while Hyacinth was singing, once, firmly making her an enemy of Hyacinth's. Hyacinth hypocritically believes Mrs Barker-Finch to be a snob ("She was a Barker, he was a Finch, now suddenly they're hyphenated") and is determined to get one up on her at every opportunity.
She also believes Mrs Barker-Finch is inferior to her. In "Hyacinth is Alarmed", when Hyacinth hears that Mrs Barker-Finch has been burgled twice, rather than sympathise with her, she accuses Mrs Barker-Finch of being "pretentious", and opines that only a "low-class burglar" would rob Number 23. Hyacinth furthermore becomes unreasonably jealous whenever Mrs Barker-Finch has some form of social success and becomes adamant that she will do better than her. This was best exampled in the episode "A Celebrity for the Barbecue", when Mrs. Barker-Finch invited a prominent businessman to her house. Hyacinth went to great lengths to throw a barbecue with a more distinguished celebrity.
In "Three Piece Suite", Hyacinth ordered a three-piece suite that was "an exact replica of the one at Sandringham House", and went to extraordinary lengths to ensure Mrs Barker-Finch saw it being delivered by "The van with the royal warrant on it", such as repeatedly phoning her so that she would have to come to the window and see the delivery van pull up. An ill-timed phone call from Sheridan to ask for money fouled the plan up, and Richard had to pay the van to drive away and come back. Unfortunately, the van was seen to crash into a verge shortly thereafter, and Daisy and Onslow's hired lorry turned up just as this happened. This resulted in them delivering the three-piece suite to Hyacinth's house instead, which Mrs. Barker-Finch presumably saw (much to Hyacinth's dismay).
Delia Wheelright is another unseen rival of Hyacinth. Her apparent rivalry with Hyacinth forms the central plot for the episode 'How To Go On Holiday Without Really Trying'. At the beginning of the episode, Hyacinth is talking to Delia Wheelright on the phone. We do not hear the other side of the conversation, but it is revealed that the former is going on an expensive holiday to the Caribbean.
Although she does not express it on the telephone, Hyacinth is greatly put out by this and sets out to better her. Hyacinth drags Richard into town to visit some travel agencies and inquire about holidays, though not the cheap sort of holiday that 'caters to the spaghetti and chips brigade". Of course the Buckets cannot afford to pay for any of the expensive holidays, but Hyacinth grabs information regarding trips for the Orient Express and the QE2 (the latter trip being one they actually save up to take in the 1994 Christmas special). On the way home, Hyacinth deliberately drops the brochures out of the car window in front of some friends of Delia Wheelright, in the hope that they will see the brochures and the news gets back to her that Hyacinth is going on an expensive holiday. As usual the plan comes to nothing as the friends in question take no notice.
Another of Hyacinth's social rivals, Lydia Hawksworth (actress uncredited) earned Hyacinth's ire during one of her candlelight suppers, when she obnoxiously commented that Hyacinth's kiwi fruit were "lower middle-class", and further rubbed Hyacinth up the wrong way by boasting about her recent holiday in Corfu. This behavior suggests she is either as snobbish as Hyacinth, or possibly just another of the many people exasperated by her and knows better than others how to get Hyacinth's goat. Although not explicitly mentioned, it is also possible that she may be either Emmet's ex-wife or some other relation of Elizabeth and Emmet, given her surname.
In the episode, "The Rolls Royce", Hyacinth was outraged at losing to Lydia in a flower arranging contest, and even further dismayed that Lydia had acquired a flashy new Jaguar. She then began a scheme to show her up, by visiting an exclusive garage and convincing the owner to let her "test drive" a Rolls Royce.
However, Hyacinth badgered Richard into driving the Rolls out to the country club where Mrs Hawksworth often went, and the vehicle was reported as stolen. Hyacinth was apprehended by police officers as soon as Mrs Hawksworth arrived, much to the latter's glee.
Mrs Fortescue (played by Jean Anderson) is the irascible, bossy and inconsiderate widow of a wealthy businessman who is a parishioner at the Buckets' church. Her sister is married to a baronet, which leads Hyacinth to perform favours for her even if they are inconvenient to her and Richard, with hopes of socializing with members of the nobility. She appeared in "Driving Mrs. Fortescue".
Mrs Fortescue asks for a lift into town - as she has had her own driving license revoked for speeding - and Hyacinth goes to enormous lengths to impress her, even forcing Richard to rehearse how he is going to ring her doorbell. Richard is not fond of Mrs Fortescue because she hits him with her walking stick. Much to Hyacinth's dismay, Mrs Fortescue accidentally meets Rose, Daisy and Onslow, and gets on extremely well with them.
The two Miss Pillsworths
Miss Pillsworth and Miss Pillsworth (played by Lois Penson and Clare Kelly) are two elderly spinster sisters that appear in the series 5 episode 'Skis'. They are from a rather posh and "very old" family, their late father having been a Colonel. Hyacinth and Richard drive through town, and on the way they pass the two Miss Pillsworths and, despite the lack of space in the car and the fact that both dislike Hyacinth and are reluctant to travel with her, manage to persuade the two women to take a lift. However, Hyacinth insists they detour through the beautiful neighborhood Violet lives in before letting them out of the car, prompting the elder Miss Pillsworth to fear they've been kidnapped. Later on in the same episode, the sisters run away when they see Hyacinth coming, afraid she'll insist on giving them another lift.
Mr Reginald 'Reggie' Thorgunby (played by Mark Brackenbury) was Richard's superior in the Department of Finance and General Purposes. In "The Father Christmas Suit", it was Hyacinth's intention to have Mr Thorgunby and his wife Fiona (played by Annette Peters) around for mulled wine and hot mince pies so that they could discuss the conditions of Richard's early retirement. Unfortunately for her, a series of mishaps involving a drunken Richard, a disguised Elizabeth, and a semi-naked Daddy caused the Thorgunbys to give up on the idea of a Christmas visit and drive back home.
Earlier on in the episode, Hyacinth phoned the Thorgunby's house. She was surprised to have a timid childish voice answer at the other end. Believing it to be a child, Hyacinth told the person to "run along, poppet, and tell your Mummy Mrs Thorgunby that there is a nice lady wanting to speak with her". However, it turned out that Hyacinth was speaking to Mrs Thorgunby.
Mr. Millburn (Played by Frederick Jaeger) is the owner of Frosticles Frozen Food factory, and a neighbour of Hyacinth and Richard. His unseen wife is a member of the Ladies' Luncheon Committee along with Hyacinth, and Hyacinth dislikes her, calling her a "thrusting creature." Hyacinth and Richard tend to refer to the Millburns as Mr. and Mrs. Frosticles instead of their actual names. Their acquaintance is only slight, as Richard forgot who they were for a time, and Millburn had no recollection at all of who Hyacinth and Richard were. He was shown as a not-very-bright man, who valued stupidity as a quality and who enjoyed golfing.
In "A Job for Richard", Millburn announced an open senior executive position at his factory. Hyacinth schemed with Onslow to get Richard the job, roping a reluctant Richard into it. The scheme involved Onslow pretending to be a hoodlum and Richard pretending to subdue him, to impress Millburn. The arrival of two real hoodlums (which Hyacinth had to chase off herself) messed up the plan, and Millburn offered the job to Hyacinth instead, though she refused.
The Cooper-Bassets (Mr. Cooper-Basset was played by Derek Waring, Mrs. Cooper-Basset was uncredited) were a wealthy married couple, who liked amusement parks, having met on a ghost train. They appeared in "Senior Citizen's Outing." Hyacinth, Richard, and Elizabeth ran into them while escorting some senior citizens on an outing to the seaside. Hyacinth initially wanted to meet up with them, but they went out of their way to avoid her. However, the tables were turned when the Cooper-Bassets showed up a second time while Hyacinth was dealing with an embarrassing situation with one of the senior citizens, and she tried to avoid them, but without success.
Signor Farrini and Mrs. Lomax
Appearing only in "Senior Citizen's Outing", Signor Farrini (played by Angus Lennie) and Mrs. Lomax (played by Rita Davies) were the two senior citizens Hyacinth was to escort to the outing at the beach. The vicar, knowing full well they were the two most difficult to manage of the group, deliberately saddled Hyacinth with them and told his wife that he knew it was wicked and that he would 'make up for it on Sunday'.
Signor Farrini was a senile, elderly Italian gentleman, who was almost instantly enamored with Hyacinth. He did everything in his power to follow her around and express his love, even going so far as to handcuff himself and Hyacinth together when she wasn't looking. Mrs. Lomax was an even older lady, who suffered from severe motion sickness, to the point she would even begin to feel sick in anticipation of getting in the car and would require stops every few miles to prevent her from vomiting. She also had a gluttonous appetite for sweets and ice cream.
Mrs. Drummond (played by Sue Lloyd) appeared in "Let There Be Light" and was a wealthy and very inconsiderate parishioner of Michael the vicar, and another person Hyacinth tried to impress. Her family lived on an estate called "The Grange", and Hyacinth always introduced them as "The Drummonds. From the Grange, you know." She had two ill-behaved Labrador retrievers who despised Hyacinth, but Hyacinth pretended not to notice, since Mrs. Drummond had said she had no time for anyone who disliked dogs. Mrs. Drummond would watch while other people worked, and was very much so a snob.
Bunty and Dorian
Bunty and Dorian (played by Marcia Warren and Royce Mills) were two extremely eccentric neighbours of Bruce and Violet, who appeared in "Violet's Country Cottage". They lived in a manor house next door to the aforementioned cottage, but whether they actually were aristocracy or not was not mentioned (it was, however, strongly hinted, in that Hyacinth was keen to ingratiate herself with "the lady from the manor house" and in that she recalled Violet's description of her as "eccentric but very well-connected"). They tended to dress in shabby country wear and behaved very oddly, as befits friends of the equally eccentric Bruce, whom Bunty referred to as "The Weirdo". Bunty enjoyed drinking, hunting and shooting. She first met Hyacinth while looking for her lost dog (Hyacinth and Richard were staying in the cottage at the time). Unlike many of the people Hyacinth seeks to impress, Bunty didn't seem to find anything amiss in Hyacinth's genteel manner. Richard met up with her husband Dorian while helping to look for the missing dog at Hyacinth's behest, and brought Dorian back to the cottage with him. Bunty quickly became drunk and Dorian started to pursue Hyacinth amorously, which amused Bunty to no end. For once, Hyacinth did not act snobbishly but went with the flow, and the three of them danced a conga line at the end of the episode.
Zoe Zbygn (Mrs. Thing)
Zoe Zbygn made an uncredited appearance in the episode "Violet's Country Cottage". She was an elderly lady from Poland who spoke very little English. While all the other characters could spell her surname, no one could figure out how to pronounce it. Daisy finally settled on "Mrs. Thing", which the other characters (even Hyacinth) also called her. She was Daddy's girlfriend for a time, and accompanied Daddy, Daisy, Onslow, and Rose to the cottage to visit Hyacinth. She seemed a mostly deadpan individual until she heard Richard calling her name, which made her excitedly leave Daddy's side and act amorously toward Richard. In actuality, Richard was calling Bunty's lost dog, who was also named Zoe.
The Commodore (played by Nigel Davenport) appeared in the episode "The Commodore" and was an old seafaring man who became famous sailing round Cape Horn singlehandedly. He retired from the sea and made a living going around as a guest speaker at events. Hyacinth went to great lengths to meet and impress him, and volunteered the Vicar to give him a ride back to the train station after the Commodore had given a speech. The Commodore had a notorious reputation with the ladies, including a scandalous divorce. Hyacinth ignored warnings about him, enamored with the prospect of meeting a Commodore, until he tried to seduce her in the back seat of the Vicar's car. The Vicar tried to rescue the terrified Hyacinth by offering to let her out of the car, but because stopping would mean the Commodore would miss his train (and be stuck with her!) Hyacinth told him to keep driving.
Never named, and played by Bruce Montague, His Lordship was a suave and wealthy peer who lived on a large estate some miles out in the country from Hyacinth's house. He was said to be the son of the deceased Dowager Lady Ursula. He was one of the kindliest, most considerate characters in the series.
In "Country House Sale", Hyacinth first met His Lordship in the large drive of his mansion, at the estate sale of his late mother. Hyacinth, unaware to whom she was speaking, asked him for directions, which he happily gave her. Later, she overheard a servant address him as 'Milord' and realized who she was talking to. After the estate sale had concluded, Hyacinth, who had bought several bottles of homemade wine in the sale, sought out his Lordship, and the two seemed to get along well together. They shared a toast to the late Dowager Lady Ursula, but the wine was too strong for Hyacinth, who promptly became hopelessly drunk. However, His Lordship was very nice about the whole business, blaming the wine and not Hyacinth and helping Richard get his confused wife safely back to the car.
In the episode "Looking at Properties", Hyacinth and Richard briefly leased a second home in the form of a flat in the roof of a large manor house, and were neighbours to Sir Edward (played by John Arnatt). He lived on the ground floor, and spent most of his time snoozing in a wheelchair with his gouty foot propped up. He took an instant dislike to Hyacinth when the first thing she did was inadvertently bump into his gouty foot, and barely spoke to her after that incident.
Seen only in "Country Estate Sale", Mrs. Braddock (played by Jessica James) is a senile older woman who attends Senior Lunches with Daddy and who stalks his house and insists he proposed to her, though Daddy remembers only offering her a "temporary arrangement". Rose and Daisy imply she's stalked their house before, but only one instance is shown, in which she shoos Onslow's dog away from the old car she naps in, and takes her place, waiting outside to nab Daddy. She causes Onslow to fall into the hedge (parodying a recurring gag of Hyacinth doing the same whenever the dog barks) by jumping out and yelling "Oi!" at him. She also scares Hyacinth into the hedge when she arrives later in the episode.
Mr. Mawsby (played by Preston Lockwood) appeared in "Angel Gabriel Blue". Daddy went off on one of his adventures and rented the room to the equally elderly Mr. Mawsby, giving him a receipt. Mr. Mawsby stayed in the room for a time, and Rose and Daisy mistook Mr. Mawsby for Daddy and brought him meals. When Rose found out he wasn't Daddy, Mr. Mawsby locked himself in the room and refused to leave. Eventually, after the entire family tried various tactics to get him out, Hyacinth sent Richard up a ladder to try to contact him through the window. However, Daddy came back and Mr. Mawsby left of his own volition, referring to his rented accommodation as a 'Madhouse'.
Throughout the series, Rose has a long succession of boyfriends, sometimes seeing more than one at the same time. It is a running gag that Rose has a new one almost every episode. Most are unseen, but a few make appearances, usually embarrassing Hyacinth in some way in the process.
Reg and Dennis
Appeared in "The Christening", played by Bruce Bennett and Jonathan Fryer. Rose spent the first half of the episode on the phone alternately with the two men, playing them off each other and trying to make one of them jealous enough of the other to escort her to her grand-niece's christening. Unfortunately, this backfired as both men arrived at the church at the same time and began squabbling over Rose in front of all the guests.
Charlie (played by John Darrell) was a local police inspector who appeared in the episode "Senior Citizen's Outing". It was implied he'd had a brief fling with Rose in the past; however, when he met her again, he was less than thrilled to renew the acquaintance, given she called him out in front of his peers at the police station.
Mr. Sudbury (played by Tony Kemp) was a tall, elegant man that Rose fell for because of his dancing skills. He appeared briefly in "The Father Christmas Suit", literally dancing down the street with her.
Boris and Mr. Heliwell
Boris and Mr. Heliwell, (played by Dicken Ashworth and Gregory Cox), were both mentioned in several episodes as on-again-off-again flames of Rose's, but only appeared in "The Candlelight Supper". They were two very large and loud men who embarrassingly fought over Rose's affections on Hyacinth's front doorstep, only getting louder when Rose told them to go away because she had fallen for Emmett. The disturbance prompted Hyacinth - who had Elizabeth and Emmett over for dinner - to sing as loud as she could to drown the fighting out. The horrible, off-key racket actually stopped the fight and made both men flee, which was not Hyacinth's intent but it did save the situation.
Roger (played by Jon Glover), a kindly younger man with a large Newfoundland dog, appeared in "Early Retirement". He disrupted Hyacinth's tea party plans when he went to the wrong house to pick Rose up, having mistaken Hyacinth for Rose's mother. His dog then refused to leave Hyacinth's drive, and Roger ended up leaving her there while he went in search of something to entice her away. The big dog then terrorized the pet Yorkshire Terrier of Hyacinth's honored guest.
Mr. Merryweather (played by Trevor Bannister), appeared in "Angel Gabriel Blue" and was a long-suffering, obsequious salesman in a store that sold kitchen fittings and remodeling services. Hyacinth, unaware he was involved with Rose, persuaded him to get her an out-of-stock worktop in the color Angel Gabriel Blue, so her house would be the only one in the neighborhood with the 'exclusive' color. However, the scheme backfired when Onslow found a new worktop being given away and Mr. Merryweather identified it as Angel Gabriel Blue as well, thus meaning Daisy and Onslow's house now had the "exclusive" color.
Bannister's appearance on the show was a cameo, as he had previously played Mr. Lucas - almost exactly the same character, in terms of personality and occupation, as Mr. Merryweather - on the popular BBC comedy Are You Being Served?.
In "Onslow's Birthday" Rose infamously became involved with a wealthy Greek gentleman by the name of Mr. Marinopoulous (played by Ivan Santon), who also happened to have a limousine. Rose offered Hyacinth and Richard a ride in the limousine, to Onslow's birthday party. Hyacinth, thrilled that Rose was moving up in the world, invited people over for cocktails and bought Onslow a pair of expensive cufflinks, to impress the wealthy Greek when he arrived. However, Mr. Marinopoulos was, in fact, a well-to-do undertaker, and when the limousine broke down, he came to pick Hyacinth and Richard up in his hearse instead, in front of a crowd of guests invited to see the limousine.
In "A Celebrity for the Barbecue", C.P. Benedict (played by Paul Williamson) was an acquaintance of Richard's who passed the time of day during strolls, as well as a former fling of Rose's who had parted with her on amicable terms. Furthermore, Hyacinth knew of C.P. from watching him on television, advertising his lucrative garden centre, and referred to him as "The Garden Centre King". However, none of the three were aware that either of the others knew him, until Richard happened to casually mention him in conversation with Hyacinth. Hyacinth, thinking him a celebrity, invited him to a barbecue in hopes of impressing the neighbors. She even had Richard deck the house out in live plants until it resembled a jungle, and wore one of her best dresses, only to have Rose and Daisy accidentally crash the party. C.P. gleefully reunited with Rose, much to Hyacinth's dismay.
Appeared in "The Art Exhibition". The occupation of Mr. Finchley (played by Nicholas Bennett) is unknown, but he happened to own a van with loudspeakers in the roof and a microphone in the cab. He also happened to be one of Rose's most amorous pursuers. When Daddy went missing one day, Rose borrowed Mr. Finchley's vehicle to go look for him, though he ended up having to drive her. Unfortunately Mr. Finchley turned on the loudspeakers by accident, and as the two of them rode through town, everyone could hear his and Rose's rather scandalous conversation blaring at full blast, much to Hyacinth's horror.
Seen only as a silhouette in the back seat of a car, Mr. Whatsit appeared/was mentioned in two episodes, "The Fancy Dress Ball" and "Hyacinth is Alarmed". His real name was unknown, but Rose stated that it was a Polish surname with "too many zeds" in it, hence her calling him either "Cuddly Chops" or "Mr. Whatsit". He was the most serious of Rose's lovers, actually proposing to her, but Hyacinth was afraid she'd have to call Rose "Mrs. Whatsit" or "Mrs. Cuddly Chops" if the marriage came to pass. However, when he went back to Poland, he fell for a Polish woman and broke the engagement off. Rose was more philosophical about this breakup than most, musing "Well, I couldn't pronounce him anyway".
Onslow's dog doesn't have a name, simply referred to as "Girl" or "Dog". In some episodes she appears as an Old English Sheepdog mix of some sort, but for the most part she appears as an Irish Wolfhound mix. She is most often found in the Hillman Avenger that has been left to rust in the front yard of Onslow's home, though she sometimes snuggles on Onslow's lap, hanging off it as she's too big to fit. Generally placid and friendly to visitors, the dog barks aggressively at only two characters: Hyacinth and Mrs Councillor Nugent, the two most disagreeable characters on the show. Onslow clearly is very fond of his dog - he feeds her scraps, takes her for car rides, and in "Country Estate Sale", when one of Daddy's fiancées shoos the dog out and stays in the old car herself, Onslow is visibly distraught and goes down the street looking for her. Richard also seems to be fond of the dog; however, he becomes unhappy with her when, in "A Picnic for Daddy", she takes a liking to Richard's suit and snuggles with him, pinning him to the couch against his wishes.
In what is arguably the series' most memorable running gag, the dog startles Hyacinth into falling into the nearby hedge by barking at her from the car whenever she walks down the path to the house. Sometimes the dog startles her in other places by barking, as well, such as from a window or from the church hall car park. This habit of the dog's was also responsible for Richard's leg injury in "Iron Age Remains"; she barked at Hyacinth, who in turn jumped backwards and hit the ladder Richard was standing on, knocking him off it. In "Country Estate Sale", Hyacinth, emboldened by gooseberry wine, sneaked up on the car and barked into it to startle the dog and teach her a lesson. This backfired, however, since Daddy's fiancée was in the car instead of the dog and barked back at Hyacinth, again startling her into the hedge.
Violet and Bruce's pony
Hardly ever seen and only referenced on the phone or on the gates of Violet's house, the pony is part of a main running gag, which features Hyacinth introducing Violet on the telephone (shouting to Liz, her next-door neighbour, from the corridor) by exclaiming: "The one with the swimming pool, the new Mercedes and room for a pony... But not in the car!" Or replacing the Mercedes part with "...Sauna..." or "...Musical bidet..." and referencing the joke that there isn't room for it in the Sauna or the Musical bidet.
In "Problems with Relatives", When Hyacinth and Richard plan on taking Daddy to Violet and Bruce's house, the pony makes a brief cameo in the background. The stables is also seen briefly in this episode.
Only appearing in "Early Retirement", Olive was a massive black Newfoundland that belonged to one of Rose's beaus. She was incredibly stubborn and disobedient, and caused mayhem when she sat on Hyacinth's driveway and flatly refused to get up, just as Hyacinth was expecting a prominent guest to arrive. Neither her owner nor Hyacinth could get her to move by command, so Elizabeth and Hyacinth tried pulling and pushing her instead while her owner walked off. Unfortunately, the guest (and her Yorkshire Terrier) arrived at Hyacinth's house at that moment. Olive, who liked to play with smaller dogs according to her owner, chased after the Yorkie, dragging Hyacinth down the street behind her.
Zoe the spaniel
Zoe is never seen but her actions drive much of the plot of "Violet's Country Cottage". She is reportedly a liver-and-white English Springer Spaniel belonging to Bunty and Dorian. It is revealed Bunty was training her to be a gun dog. However, Zoe is very scared of loud noises and ran away when Bunty fired the gun, and hasn't been seen since. Bunty first meets Hyacinth and Richard while trying to find Zoe, and in order to ingratiate herself with the wealthy eccentric lady, Hyacinth sends Richard to look for the dog. Richard spends much of the episode looking for Zoe, and in doing so meets Dorian, Bunty's husband, who saves him from getting stuck in a patch of nettles. Later, while still looking for Zoe and calling her name, Richard is amorously pursued by one of Daddy's girlfriends, whose first name also happens to be Zoe.
Only seen in "A Picnic for Daddy", the vicar and his wife own a fat, black and white Cocker spaniel mix. Her name is never given – like Onslow's dog, people refer to her only as "girl" or "the dog". She, like most dogs, despised Hyacinth. When Vicar gave Hyacinth a lift, with the dog riding in the boot of the car, the dog barked at her furiously and proceeded to eat all the artificial fruit off of her fancy hat. She also barked at a policeman who was following the car.
Mrs. Drummond's dogs
Also unnamed, appearing in "Let There Be Light". They belonged to a wealthy parishioner of Michael the vicar and were two Labradors, atypically vicious for the breed, who lunged at and tried to attack Hyacinth. She was eventually able to calm them and try to take them for a walk, but an ill-timed electrical explosion in the church hall spooked them into running away from her.
- In Young Hyancinth set in the 1950s, Hyacinth is 19. Depending on the exact year of the show, Hyacinth is born between 1930 (to be 19 on the first day of 1950) and 1940 (to be 19 in exactly 1959.) The Walton name was also introduced in Young Hyacinth, as it is never mentioned in the series.
- Onslow references being reminded of "hard labour" in the episode Problems with Relatives
- Emmett claims to have lost his house in the divorce, but in more than one episode it is stated his wife ran away with another man and was the one at fault, so why he should lose his house is left an unresolved mystery.
- ""Keeping Up Appearances" Angel Gabriel Blue (TV Episode 1994) - IMDb" – via www.imdb.com.
- In Picnic for Daddy the Vicar's wife says "I liked it better when you were chaplain of a prison"
- Content in this article was copied from Delia Wheelright and Daisy at the Keeping Up Appearances Wiki, which is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA 3.0) license.