October 25th, 2016

Leamington keeping up the exports for BBC

Leamington keeping up the exports for BBC Leamington keeping up the exports for BBC
Laughing all over the world - Patrica Routledge as snobbish Hyacinth “Bouquet” Bucket. (s)

ROYAL Leamington Spa is regularly seen on TV screens around the world.

The reason is down to the BBC’s most popular international export of the last four decades – Keeping Up Appearances.

Many of the exterior shooting for the sitcom, featuring snobbish social climber Hyacinth “Bouquet” Bucket, was done in and around Leamington. Hyacinth, played by Patricia Routledge, and her hen-pecked husband Richard, played by Clive Swift, were regularly seen driving in various locations in the town during the five series originally screened between 1900 and 1995. Scenes were also filmed at locations including the Town Hall, the Rugby Tavern pub and the old police station.

The very British comedy beat popular shows including Top Gear, Dr Who, and Strictly Come Dancing in purchases through BBC Worldwide’s Showcase.

But the town was not home to the ‘Bouquet residence’ which was actually located in Binley Woods near Coventry.

And her sister Daisy and brother-in-law Onslow’s dilapidated council house home was actually in Coventry – in the Stoke Aldermoor area of the city.

Keeping Up Appearance’s creator Roy Clarke put its popularity down to the fact that “everyone knows a Hyacinth”.

He said: “The Old Girl keeps on raising and ridding the dust. It appears that she’s an international phenomenon.

“Wherever you are it seems there’s a Hyacinth next door, or just down the road or in the family.”

And fans of the show could be about to get a new fix.

There have been reports the BBC is planning to revive the comedy with a prequel provisionally titled Young Hyacinth set in the 1950s.

Keeping Up Appearances has been bought nearly 1,000 times, and was followed in second place by Sir David Attenborough with his natural history series The Life Of Mammals. It was bought 958 times although the sitcom had a headstart as the ground-breaking wildlife documentary was not broadcast until 12 years after Hyacinth first hit the small screen.

Top Gear was the most-purchased factual entertainment show – with series nine from 2006 having sold 282 times, from Albania to China.

Christopher Eccleston, the first Doctor Who of the 21st century reboot, has been beamed from millions of TV screens worldwide as Doctor Who series one is the most purchased BBC drama series. The show, which was first broadcast in 2005, has been bought 629 times, from Bahrain to Hong Kong.