List of Keeping Up Appearances characters

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This page is a list of main characters for the British sitcom Keeping Up Appearances, which ran from 1990 to 1995.

Hyacinth and her family[edit]

Hyacinth Bucket[edit]

The show's protagonist is the social-climbing snob Hyacinth Bucket (née Walton) (b. 4th December 1929)[1], who insists that her surname is pronounced "Bouquet" with the accent on the second syllable. 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. 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 slim line telephone with automatic redial facility with, "The Bouquet residence; the lady of the house speaking." Those around her despise her snobbery, her meddling and her refusal to listen to others. Hyacinth tries to avoid her poorer or oddly-behaving relatives (Daisy, Onslow, Rose, Daddy and Bruce), while boasting about her richer relative (Violet who has "a Mercedes, sauna, and room for a pony..."), in order to maintain her vaunted social status. However, she loves her family dearly, especially her father, and will rush to their aid in times of need, though often reluctantly.

She frequently refers to or makes preparations for her candlelight suppers, attendance of which almost seem mandatory, but we never actually see one in progress, although her main guests are Elizabeth, Emmet, the Vicar and the Vicar's wife.

Hyacinth is the eldest of four sisters: in birth order, herself, Daisy, Violet and Rose.

Richard Bucket[edit]

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 lower-middle class standing. 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.

Hyacinth believes that Richard's favourite hobby is gardening and repeatedly forces him to go into the garden to work on it, even though he makes it quite clear that he does not enjoy it. The main reason she nags Richard into constantly doing the gardening is to try to make people believe Richard could afford a gardener, but chooses not to as he enjoys gardening himself. Richard and Hyacinth's front garden is frequently seen, but the back garden is unseen. Hyacinth always criticises Richard for having a dead flower on her roses and also that her roses are smaller than the ones next door (which turn out to be a different variety).

As shown in the Christmas Special "The Father Christmas Suit", during which Richard is supposed to dress up as Father Christmas, but ends up getting drunk with Emmet, he is proficient in playing the piano (Richard plays the piano while he and Emmet sing "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer") and also appears to have an interest in cricket. Until series three, he works as a civil servant; his exact title is not specified, though Hyacinth states he is the deputy in the council's department of finance and general purposes. He dreads the idea of early 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 to come back. In the series five episode, "The Senior Citizens' Outing", he is seen reading a self-help book titled, 'Can You Afford to Retire?'; this is more than likely a means of escaping Hyacinth rather than any fiscal concern. He obeys his domineering wife's orders which 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 like 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. It is revealed that Richard and Hyacinth are no longer intimate, as Hyacinth does not approve of it at their time of life, and he also says to her that as soon as their son, Sheridan, was born, Hyacinth lost interest in Richard. 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. He drives the car because Hyacinth has not learned to drive, but he says he just steers while Hyacinth gives directions.

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[edit]

A happy, lively character, Daisy (née Walton) lives with her slobbish husband Onslow, her man-crazy sister Rose and their senile father. Daisy, Onslow and Rose are the lower-class relatives Hyacinth is ashamed of. Daisy is constantly trying to get her husband to show passion towards her (sometimes brushed off with a statement like "but we made love last Tuesday"). However, she often fails to rouse any signs of affection from him 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 not bothered by 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 having another woman. She often likens him to Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire. Despite their poor sex life, Daisy and Onslow have a daughter called Stephanie, who appeared only in the final episode of series one, along with her own daughter Kylie and two de facto husbands. Daisy is a Liverpool supporter, which almost resulted in Onslow not marrying her.

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 library, or watching television. Daisy is full of life and always smiling, despite picking up her husband's bad habits of sleeping until noon and watching television all day. She persists in trying to get her apathetic husband to have sex with her (she recalls their first time was in a bus shelter on Milton Street, though Onslow disagrees), and tries to share romantic moments with him, however, her efforts always fail, as Onslow prefers to drink beer and watch "racing on the telly." As a result, Daisy tends to lose herself in Mills & Boon romance novels. Like Rose and Violet, Daisy turns to Hyacinth for help when faced with a problem, whether it is a love dilemma pertaining to her husband Onslow, or an urgent case of the "missing father" syndrome.

Onslow[edit]

A 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 "work shy, bone idle and out of condition", and eats, drinks, and sleeps until noon. He'll watch television all day every day, and rarely moves from his armchair. He calls himself "the breadwinner", but his only income is money he makes from betting on horses and social security. Nevertheless, Onslow's intellectual reading, and viewing Open University programmes, have made him knowledgeable. Onslow owns a dog, who lives outside in the rusting carcass of a Hillman Avenger in the front garden. His sex drive has slackened off considerably since his youth (as the only thing he consistently says to Daisy during the day is "Is there any more smoky bacon?" or "Any more beer?"), and Daisy's romantic efforts to arouse him are in vain. He is an inattentive husband to Daisy, in that he never takes her out, nor has he ever bought her any jewellery or clothing, and treats her like a dogsbody. Onslow is also a football fan of an unnamed 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. Despite Hyacinth's utter contempt of him, in the Christmas special "Sea Fever", after realising Onslow and Daisy were holidaying on the QE2 with Hyacinth and Richard after Onslow had won first prize in a national newspaper competition, Hyacinth kindly wished Onslow congratulations and danced with him in the ship's ballroom.

Hyacinth detests Onslow; however, he's a gentle, friendly character and gets on well with everyone else, including other relatives and the local vicar. Onslow is good friends with Richard, nicknaming him "Dickie" much to Hyacinth's outrage (though Richard himself does not mind), and often attempts to persuade him not to let Hyacinth browbeat him all the time. Onslow is a gentle and loving character, despite his appearance suggesting otherwise, and is Roy Clarke's favourite character in the show, as stated in the Comedy Connections series. He was played by Geoffrey Hughes in all episodes of the show.

Stephanie and Kylie[edit]

Stephanie is Daisy and Onslow's daughter. Her daughter (Daisy and Onslow's granddaughter) is named Kylie and is christened in the episode “The Christening”. Hyacinth does not approve of the name Kylie, nor that Stephanie is unmarried and has two male partners who she describes as 'hippies' (one of which is apparently Kylie's father, but not even they know which one). Stephanie and Kylie are not seen or mentioned again in the show, although in one episode of Series Two while pushing Daddy in a wheelchair Daisy says it reminds her of when she and Onslow used to push the baby in the pram; it also reminds them of why they had to bring the wedding forward.

Rose[edit]

Hyacinth's youngest, lustful sister, has an eye for married men and a taste for short skirts and 'provocative' outfits. She is another family member of whom Hyacinth is ashamed and who threatens her social prestige. Rose is promiscuous, but also a gentle soul who is a bit mixed up, as Richard says. She has been married before, as in one episode she says to Daisy, "Sometimes I wonder about getting married again, but it puts such a dampener on your love life...", thus implying that she is divorced. She has been engaged countless times over the years yet never actually marries during the show. She has, however, been married.[2] Hyacinth is particularly ashamed of Rose, but does care deeply for her. 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. She was played by Shirley Stelfox in series 1 and Mary Millar from series 2 on. Stelfox's Rose possessed more of a dry-witted persona with a penchant for short skirts, while Millar's Rose was more over-the-top in both personality and wardrobe. Her surname remains unknown throughout, but it can be presumed that it is Walton, as her father's surname is revealed in the episode Young Hyacinth.

Violet and Bruce[edit]

Violet is Hyacinth's almost-invisible, wealthy sister whom Hyacinth always brags about variously having a large house, Mercedes, sauna, jacuzzi, swimming pool and room for a pony (though it is never clarified as to whether Violet actually has a pony or merely room for one). She also has a musical bidet. Violet leads a troubled marriage with cross-dressing husband Bruce (who works as a turf accountant) and repeatedly phones Hyacinth to complain about Bruce's mad behaviour, yet Hyacinth insists that she put up with Bruce for the luxurious lifestyle his wealth gives her, particularly the Mercedes. Bruce often confiscates Violet's clothes so he can wear them himself, leaving her with his clothes. Hyacinth does her best to keep the oddities of the latter away from her neighbours and friends. Violet is also the third-eldest of the four sisters and although in the episode, "The Pageant", Bruce states that he and Violet have children, they are never named nor referenced to. A sign outside their house reads "The Paddocks", but it is not revealed if Paddock is their last name or merely the name of their property.

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 (when told by Hyacinth to find a friend "in the same income bracket" to drive her, Violet calls Onslow and invites her sisters to gate-crash Hyacinth's "waterside supper with riparian entertainments"). Although continually bragging about Violet to her friends, Hyacinth is unable to use Violet and Bruce to her full advantage, being unable to invite them around or introduce them to friends and neighbours due to their volatile marriage or 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 clearly arrive in the middle of a vicious domestic row, in which Violet and Bruce are arguing loudly and hurling objects at each other. Violet eventually wants to divorce Bruce, but Hyacinth frog marches her distraught sister to the vicar in an attempt 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", and is dismayed when Hyacinth announces that they will be visiting Violet for a barbecue.

Violet and Bruce are unseen characters for most of the first four series, apart from the occasional glimpse of Bruce in an outlandish costume or partially seen from a distance, but in the fifth series, both Bruce and Violet become recurring characters (played by John Evitts and Anna Dawson respectively). In terms of appearance, Violet somewhat resembles a more tasteful version of Rose.

Daddy[edit]

Daddy is the apparently senile widowed 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), but she does love him dearly, yet his antics and constant requirement for attention put her social standing at risk. Daddy seems unable to keep himself out of trouble. Either chasing women and promising to marry them, or reliving his childhood or World War II experiences, he often goes missing and requires the rescue efforts of his daughters and sons-in-law. It is often said by Richard that the rundown terrace house 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. 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.

Sheridan Bucket[edit]

An unseen character, Sheridan is Hyacinth and Richard's spoiled and selfish only son, about eighteen years of age. He is away at college (a poly which Hyacinth insists is of a "university standard" - the first three series were written prior to 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, and she too sometimes becomes frustrated with his constant demands for money. Although Hyacinth claims Sheridan writes to her constantly, and often expects to receive letters from him, Sheridan never gets in touch unless he wants money. 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 car, desire for pure silk pyjamas, and his male friend, Tarquin (with whom Sheridan makes their own curtains). Richard regularly tries to raise the issue with Hyacinth, only for her to remain totally oblivious. A glimpse at 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.

Animal characters[edit]

Onslow's dog[edit]

Onslow's dog (name not given, but referred to as a female dog by Onslow) is often found in the Hillman Avenger that has been left to rust in the front yard of Onslow's home. Generally placid, the dog, significantly, barks aggressively at only two characters: Hyacinth and Mrs Councillor Nugent, the two most disagreeable characters on the show. In what is arguably the series' most memorable running gag, the dog makes Hyacinth fall into the nearby hedge by barking at her from the car whenever she walks down the path to the house. Onslow clearly cares for the dog, as in the sixth episode of season 5, when one of Daddy's fiancées stays in the old car and the dog isn't there, Onslow goes to look for her. In the same episode, Hyacinth, emboldened by home-made wine bought at an auction, barks at the dog (thinking she's in the car), but is yelled back at by the above-mentioned fiancée of Daddy.

Violet and Bruce's pony[edit]

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. When Hyacinth and Richard plan on taking Daddy to Violet and Bruce's house, the pony makes a brief cameo in the background, as well as the gates of the house being shown with ponies on them. The stables is also seen briefly in this episode.

Neighbours and acquaintances[edit]

Elizabeth 'Liz' Warden[edit]

Elizabeth Warden (née Hawksworth) is Hyacinth's friendly, tolerant next-door neighbour who lives at number 24 Blossom Avenue. 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. Unlike most, Liz sympathises with Hyacinth, aware of how she is despised by everyone, including Liz's brother Emmet, and may thus be Hyacinth's only real friend (although she refers to Hyacinth as a "neighbour" rather than a friend.) This friendship is tested by Hyacinth's unthinking put-downs of Elizabeth's dexterity, clothes, car, daughter's intelligence, etc. She also likes Richard quite dearly, has deep sympathy for him and the two seem discreetly fond of each other. Liz also feels pity for Hyacinth and Richard's son, Sheridan, believing "he never really stood a chance" with Hyacinth for a mother.

Liz has an unnamed husband who is frequently away due to his job (he is variously mentioned as being in the Far East or in Saudi Arabia) and a daughter, Gail who is at university, and is apparently friends with Sheridan. Liz's daughter may be a subject of envy on Hyacinth's part as whilst Gail Warden is at a genuine university, Sheridan Bucket is merely taking needlework courses at a polytechnic. Gail is dating a boy named Harold (liked well enough by Liz but despised by Hyacinth, especially since Gail and Harold living together even though they are unmarried.) Mr Warden and Gail are rarely mentioned after the first series and both, like Hyacinth's son Sheridan, are unseen characters. While Elizabeth did actually meet Rose, Onslow, and Daisy, Hyacinth would still go to great lengths to prevent her from seeing their shabby house. Liz owns a white 1988 Austin Metro, which appeared in most episodes. She is often the target of Hyacinth's tactless and unintentionally hurtful comments, mostly regarding her clothing, car and frequent coffee spillages.

Emmet Hawksworth[edit]

Emmet is Elizabeth's brother, who later moves in with her at 24 Blossom Avenue, beginning in series two, after losing his home in a messy divorce. Emmet is a classically trained musician as well as the director for the local theatre, and Hyacinth frequently sings at him, and drops broad hints that he should include her in his work. Hence Emmet is terrified of leaving the house and develops both a fear of and a dislike for Hyacinth, to the point where he burst into tears when Liz told him they had been invited to tea at Hyacinth's "country estate" or explosively losing his temper when trying to rehearse an "Annie Oakley" song which was not in his planned programme, but, rather, Hyacinth's programme, and she kept criticising his tempo. However, as the series progresses, Emmet develops a desire for revenge against Hyacinth, notably goading her into riding a horse when he knew she couldn't ride one, and phoning her to inform her that their neighbours, the Barker-Finches, had been burgled for the second time in three months, knowing Hyacinth would be infuriated that she was not the centre of attention. In the latter years of the programme, Hyacinth makes clear her belief that the reason for Emmet's constant desire to avoid her is that he is shy due to an attraction to her. Upon hearing this, Emmet says, "I think I want to die!" Although initially flattered by the attention, Emmet also develops an aversion to Hyacinth's sister, Rose, as she always tries to seduce him, to the point of fearing that she might try and force her way into his house.

Religious people[edit]

Michael Partridge (the vicar)[edit]

Michael (played by Jeremy Gittins) is the young and handsome vicar of St. Mark's church, Hyacinth's local church, and, 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 discussing Hyacinth with his wife, they frequently refer to her as "the Bucket woman". 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 somewhat reasonable) with Rose or other women is a recurring gag in the series, as well as breaking whatever he is holding when his wife mentions Hyacinth, or in one episode, while on an exercise pedal bicycle, pedalling faster, as if to escape.

Mrs Partridge (the vicar's wife)[edit]

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 woman with a soft Scottish accent, often finding her husband in compromising positions with Rose, whom she nicknames 'the vampire sister', or other young females and assuming 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. Mrs Partridge once notably exacted revenge on Hyacinth by tricking her into enthusiastically volunteering to clean the church hall's toilet area.

The other vicar[edit]

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 church. He knows Onslow, and he gets along well with Onslow (much to Hyacinth's horror).

Other characters[edit]

Mrs Fortescue[edit]

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. 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.

Major Wilton Smythe[edit]

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. He also owns a big dog. In Season 2, Episode 4, it's stated that Major Smythe was wounded in the leg somewhere east of Suez, and he still has "some poxy foreign lead in there somewhere", which causes him to walk with a slight limp, but only if he's certain nobody is 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 (seen in Season 2, episode 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[edit]

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". She also seems to be the only person who can get away with referring to Hyacinth as "Mrs Bucket" without incurring her wrath (as was the major, until he got physical with Hyacinth). 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 committee itself is never identified, nor it is clear if Mrs Nugent or her husband is the Councillor. Hyacinth admits that she doesn't know what the committee does, she just wants a seat on it.

Michael (postman)[edit]

Played by Leo Dolan in the first series and by David Janson from 1992 on. He is slightly impertinent, yet overwhelmed by Hyacinth Bucket, of whom he lives in fear, but tries to confront her when she pounces on him, when he delivers (occasionally throws) mail to her letterbox and tries many techniques to not speak to Hyacinth, but all fail. He is the father of seven children.

Lydia Hawksworth[edit]

Another of Hyacinth's social rivals, Mrs Hawksworth 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. By this behaviour, it can be assumed that she too is as snobbish as Hyacinth. 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. Although not explicitly mentioned, it is possible that she may be Emmet's ex-wife.

Mrs Barker-Finch[edit]

Never seen but referred to constantly, 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. Although Hyacinth invites Mrs Barker-Finch to parties and dinners, Mrs Barker-Finch never attends. Presumably, she is the only person bold enough to decline one of Hyacinth's dreaded invitations. 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, exampled when Hyacinth hears that Mrs Barker-Finch has been burgled for the third time, 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 becomes unreasonably jealous whenever Mrs Barker-Finch has some form of social success, such as having a local celebrity dine at her barbecue, or goes on a luxurious holiday, and becomes adamant that she will do better than her. When Hyacinth ordered her new three-piece suite "an exact replica of the one at Sandringham House", she went to extraordinary lengths to ensure Mrs Barker-Finch saw it being delivered, 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.) But, as it turned out, the van was seen to crash into a verge, and Daisy and Onslow's hired van turns up just as this happens, resulting in them delivering the three-piece suite to Hyacinth's house, which Mrs Barker-Finch presumably sees (although this is never confirmed).

Delia Wheelwright[edit]

Delia Wheelright is another unseen rival of Hyacinth. Her rivalry with Hyacinth forms the central plot for the episode 'How to go on holiday without really trying'. 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; but not those catering for the 'Spaghetti and trips Brigade'. Of course the Buckets cannot afford to pay for any of the expensive holidays, however Hyacinth takes a handful of brochures including those for the 'Orient Express' and the QE2 (a trip which they later 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.

The Two Miss Pillsworths[edit]

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.

Mr and Mrs Thorgunby[edit]

Mr Reginald 'Reggie' Thorgunby (played by Mark Brackenbury) was Richard's superior in the Department of Finance and General Purposes. Over the Christmas period 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. Early on in the episode Hyacinth phones the Thorgunby's house. She is surprised to have a timid childish voice answer at the other end. Believing it to be a child, Hyacinth tells the person to "run along, poppet, and tell your Mummy Mrs Thorgunby that there is a nice lady wanting to speak with her". It turns out that Hyacinth is speaking to Mrs Thorgunby.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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).
  2. ^ In s3 e1, Early Retirement, she says: "I wonder if I should get married again"